Lac Mbaouane, Kayar


Lac Mbaouane is a part of the Naiyes Important Bird Area, on the route to Kayar, north of Dakar. It is a saline lake that appears to be entirely fed by rainfall. Over the months since September and the end of the rains it has shown an interesting evolution from lake full of water and few birds, to a slightly smaller lake, as evaporation occurs, full of waders, to this month’s state on 16 January. The pictures above and below show a lake still substantial and with damp mud, but devoid of waders. The water is extremely salty to the taste. The most abundant bird was osprey. These saline lakes with no fish near the coast are popular roosting sites for ospreys that feeds offshore. Today there were 18 and similar numbers can be found at coastal lakes where the birds do not fish such as Lac Rose, Yene and Toubab  Dialaw.

mbaouane3mbaouane4Amongst the total of less than ten waders was the considerable surprise of a white-fronted plover.


In the photo it is typically running at great speed and long in profile; features often picking it out from the similar Kentish plover before the diagnostic grey feet and plumage differences. This is  a rare species north of Joal and I suspect the few Petite Cote records include errors. There is one record from Technopole, Dakar. Today’s record  seems to be the furthest north, even just outside its mapped range!


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