Technopole: 211 & 212
Last Sunday, not one but two new species were added to the Technopole list, which now stands at an impressive 212.
First was a Eurasian Curlew flying over while calling loudly, but apparently didn’t stop – possibly because not much suitable habitat is left at the moment, with water levels being very high right now.
Second were two European Turtle Doves perched in an acacia tree, one of which I managed to get a distant record shot of. This non-breeding visitor to Senegal was recently “uplisted” to the status of Vulnerable on the global Red List of Endangered Species because it has seen important declines in many parts of its European breeding grounds – sadly, this is something I’ve been able to witness first-hand over the course of the past 20 years in the Geneva area. Previously it was considered to be of Least Concern… now it’s just 2 categories away from being Critically Endangered.
It may be surprising that neither of these two migrants had been seen so far at Technopole, especially the Curlew since a small number regularly spend the non-breeding season along the Petite Cote, mainly at the Somone lagoon. Both species surely must have occurred here before, but maybe because the site isn’t much visited at this time of the year they had gone unnoticed so far.
Other than these, things were rather quiet, the main lake mostly being occupied by the regular cormorants, herons and egrets. Pelicans of both species are present again albeit in low numbers, while 2 Whiskered Terns, ca. 6 Black Terns, and several Caspian and Gull-billed Terns were flying around or roosting. There are now very few waders on site: a single Bar-tailed Godwit, a few Greenshanks, Common Redshanks and Common Sandpipers, a Wood Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper, a handful of Common Ringed Plovers accompanied by 2-4 Curlew Sandpipers, and that’s about it.
Northern Crombec was singing along the main track; Grey-headed Kingfisher is still present as it was calling in the gardens below Camberene. Three Red-necked Falcons were in the area where they nested earlier this year.
I’ll try to upload the complete list of birds of our favourite urban wetland, which was initially compiled by Paul Robinson, once I’ve had the chance to include status of each species. Since early 2015, I’ve added a handful of species so far: besides the two most recent additions, there’s been Egyptian Goose, Lesser Yellowlegs, Temminck’s Stint, and Spotted Flycatcher.
No doubt will there be a few others to come, including some that occur on the peninsula but which apparently haven’t been recorded at Technopole yet, e.g. Double-spurred Francolin (which I think was calling somewhere in the distance on my most recent visit, but not clearly enough to be sure – to be confirmed), Black-billed Wood Dove and Black-crowned Tchagra. Of note is that only a few raptor species are on the list, which also lacks in crakes (no Spotted, Baillon’s or Little Crakes so far!) and a few Palearctic migrants (e.g. Pallid Swift, European Bee-eater). And surely there must be some more vagrant American waders (Pectoral Sandpiper!) and gulls (Bonaparte’s Gull?) to be found.
Which one will show up next?