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.
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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The defunct, twin volcanoes of Mamelles, in Dakar’s Ouakam arrondissement, with Cape Verde Shearwaters and Bottle-nosed Dolphins. The rocky coast of Dakar, forming the Cap Vert Important Bird Area, is an outstanding site for seabirds (photo: P. Robinson). Technopole and its numerous waders, herons, gulls, terns and other waterbirds (including Greater Flamingos when conditions are right) is one of the best sites for birds in the greater Dakar region (photos: B. Piot)
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