Spring migration at Ngor (25.03)
Quick stop at the Calao terrace this morning (8:45-9:30) to see what’s on the move at the moment. Spring migration has obviously picked up, or at least it was more visible today compared to last Sunday, with the majority of birds flying north or north-east.
- Cape Verde Shearwater: 2+1 birds flying NE at fairly close range
- Scopoli’s Shearwater: at least one, probably belonging to this species, feeding out at sea
- Northern Gannet: at least 80, the majority of which flying NE. As usual a mix of all possible ages with very few full adults in the lot.
- Pomarine Skua: 3 immatures flying past in different directions, and 9 adults slowly following a fisherman’s pirogue
- Arctic Skua: 3 birds, including one nice adult
- Lesser Black-backed Gull: 7, all towards the NE
- Sandwich Tern: +50 flying NE, some feeding at sea
- Lesser Crested Tern: 3 NE
- Royal Tern: 3 NE
- Arctic Tern: 20-40 NE, difficult to count because often flying low over the water (possibly also some Common Terns among them)
Also present were one of the usual Peregrines on the Ngor Diarama hotel, an Osprey, Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper.
Meanwhile in Almadies, I had a garden tick with 11 Chestnut-bellied Starlings flying rapidly past, but easily recognisable thanks to their diagnostic pale wing patches. A garden tick? If you’re unfamiliar with the term and think I’m referring to parasitic arthropods, then here’s a good read: The Garden List (and like Nigel, I tend to take the more liberal view of counting anything that’s visible from my garden – or in this case balcony).
Little Bee-eaters have reappeared in recent days, one Hooded Vulture was patrolling the area while noisy Senegal Parrots and Western Plantain-eaters mostly remained invisible today. And the usual little jobs are around of course: African Silverbill, Red-billed Firefinch, Variable and Beautiful Sunbirds, Black-headed Weaver, Tawny-flanked Prinia.
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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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