Technopole and Cap Manuel 16 March
As the water levels in Technopole continue to fall, the golf course is now accessible, though with perhaps too much standing water for golfers (see photo below). The painted snipe (three today, including this male) continue to frequent the tamarisk-bordered pool to the right of the main track, just before the submerged tennis courts. The golf course itself has plenty of Jacanas and purple swamp-hens grazing on the damp grassland, whilst black crakes were also out in the open on the edge of the tennis courts.
The main lake, visible from the fishermen’s hut just after the Sonatel building, continues to have good numbers of white-faced whistling ducks, plus a handful of garganey. The gathering of gulls is still predominantly black-headed gulls in smart summer plumage, today with one second calendar year Mediterranean gull.
After Technopole we briefly visited Cap Maneul, where a path follows the foot of the cliffs north from the Savanna hotel to a car park with old gun emplacements. The mix of soft and volcanic cliffs and scrub looks promising and has previously attracted short-toed eagle, osprey and peregrine. We were not lucky today, but saw huge numbers of Sandwich terns offshore, many resting on the water in the late morning, but with birds spread out towards the Iles de la Madeleine and providing extra interest to the already beautiful view. Large numbers of terns sitting on the water is not something I associate with the species in Europe, but here is a common enough sight with common and black terns far offshore. From dusk observations off Ngor and now these birds, I suspect the Sandwich terns roost on the sea overnight. The photo below, taken with my phone though a telescope, gives a general impression of the distant spectacle.