Technopole de Dakar 24 April
En route to the Technopole, I had a brief look at the sea at Yoff and for the first time this year there were thousands of black terns, not a wintering species in big number here, or at least not seen in big numbers offshore in winter, fishing with common terns and a few hundred Cape Verde shearwaters.
The water levels at the Technopole main lake are still too high for waders and most were on the edge of the NW lake, where 200 or so were evenly split between common ringed plovers and little stints, the latter (above) developing the nice richer brown tones of summer plumage. Otherwise waders were few, with single figures of common and wood sandpiper, greenshank, grey plover and sanderling. There were no Palearctic passerines and gulls and terns were now represented by just small numbers of the Senegalese breeding species (slender-billed and grey-headed gull and gull-billed and Caspian tern) except for the now year-round presence of Audouin’s gulls, with 11 second and third year birds.
One of the site’s specialities, greater swamp-warbler, was singing close to the path to the NW lake and gave me an inappropriate opportunity to embed the blog’s first YouTube video, with the call, but no bird! I shall put occasional film, of a thoroughly amateur quality, at the YouTube channel created today.
Greater swamp-warbler song however needs no excuse for inclusion, even without sight of the bird. The senegalensis sub-species may not be rare, but has a very small global range and is a little known species, so far confined to the Senegal River delta either side of the Senegal-Mauritania Border and the Gambia River within Gambia, with isolated observations from swamps at Mboro (between Dakar and St Louis), Tambacounda and, regularly and apparently resident, at Technopole, which by default becomes the most accessible place in the world to see the sub-species. Other than a couple of recordings of the song to be found on xeno-canto, also from Technopole, made by Bram Piot, contributor of observations to this blog, and an image also from Technopole by friend Flemming Quist (copied below) there seems to be no documented information since it was first described from Senegal in 1985, though birds have been captured at Djoudj.