Return to Technopole 29 September
After a longer than expected absence in europe and then catch-up time, today and last Sunday morning, both at Technopole, have been my only birding in Senegal since mid-August. The rains have blocked off the internal roads, unless you wish to wade, which we did not today, instead visiting the main area of market gardening (see the map below) and the commuter suburb of Guédiawaye, part of which overlook the lake and from which the photo above is taken. The photo gives some impression of the scale of the 350 or so hectares of Technopole.
Despite two years now of visits to Technopole, this is my first to the market gardening area. Whilst it is essentially similar to many other such areas of cultivation on sandy soils along the coastal Niayes zone between Dakar and St. Louis, it must qualify as the largest area of cultivation within the Ville de Dakar and should provide a few pleasant additions to our urban birding list. Today’s best find there was a red-eyed dove, perched in a tree with a few laughing doves and species 198 for Technopole 2011-13, after last month’s addition of orange-cheeked waxbill. Red-eyed dove is here towards the northern limit of its African distribution. It is not found inland at Dakar’s latitude and is one of the species, like the oil palm, that creep into higher latitudes due to the benign influence of climate and water table on the vegetation of the Naiyes zone.
Elsewhere, a family party of Senegal eremomela suggested breeding nearby and shikra and osprey flew over.
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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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