Technopole 19 July
Unlike several of the Niayes – lakes within and to the north of Dakar – Technopole is not simply a temporary lake that fills up with the rains and subsides later. The water table, still close enough to the surface be reached with shallow excavation into the sandy soil to access water for the market gardening that rings the main lake, has declined substantially in people’s memories. However, it is higher than the dry years of the 70s and 80s, when there are recollections of playing football over what is now the lake. These days it is also a retaining lake for flood waters. All of which is to say that, with three days of rains now in Dakar, it odd, but not astonishing that the main lake level is lower than a month ago.
We walked out onto the islets now accessible without wading, to better count the waders, on the way flushing two painted snipe that would otherwise have gone unrecorded. New in were this “autumn’s” first common and green sandpiper and white-winged black tern. Numbers of black-tailed godwit (80), ruff (30), wood sandpiper (40) and black tern (60) continue to rise and the three Franklin’s gulls remain near the main road, where the majority of the 400+ little grebes, the most abundant waterbird since May, occur. Nile monitors are becoming a more regular sight.
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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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