Technopole at the middle and end of May
A mid May visit to Technopole on 13th with visiting birder and bird photographer Sharad Sridhar considerably improved the recent quality of images on this blog. I will feature some more later, but here and below are an obliging immature red-necked falcon, a fairly reliable species here.
The dwindling number of Palearctic waders mainly comprised common ringed plovers. The birds here are actually more likely to be Nearctic birds, that is those from Greenland, Canada or (the minority just inside the Palearctic) Iceland. It should be possible to say which population, but here help is needed. The Nearctic birds, which common wisdom has are the main population wintering in West Africa, do not moult in the wintering grounds and this bird looks like its tertials are old, whereas the northern Scanadinaivan and Russian tundrae, more typically found in eastern Africa, should have moulted in Africa and have fresh plumage.
Other northern hemisphere migrants were few, though a few northern house martins were a surprise. These are not a regular wintering species around Dakar and proved to be the first record for Technopole and species 192.
New arrivals for May were also a few Eurasian spoonbills and African spoonbills. If last year repeats itself both species of spoonbill mysteriously appear together around now and depart towards the end of the rains 3-4 months later.
Copper Sunbirds were enjoying the Bougainvillia flowers.
Thanks to Sharad for all of this article’s gorgeous photos.
After a brief period away from Senegal, my next visit was on 31 May. Northern hemisphere waders were further reduced to just five greenshank and the first black-tailed godwit for a few months. The gull and tern flock is mostly slender-billed gulls, with one lingering black-headed gull, one gull-billed tern, three black terns and two common terns. A few northern house martins hawked with the resident little swifts.
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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, So is Iles de la Madeleine, and further afield the Saloum Delta at Palmarin (photos: B. Piot)
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