Tag Archive | Franklin’s Gull

Technopole – more gulls, breeding waders & more

It’s been a while since Technopole last featured here, mostly for a lack of birds… With water levels now extremely low – the main pond only has a few shallow patches of water left – and as a result bird numbers are very low. Just a few hundred Black-winged Stilts, and Spur-winged Lapwings, 100-200 Slender-billed Gulls, the odd Audouin’s and a few oversummering Black-headed Gulls, a few lone waders here and there, 6-8 Greater Flamingos and that’s about it. Luckily there’s always something to see at Technopole, and even if overall numbers of migrants are low at the moment, there’s always some of the local species for which it’s now breeding season!

But more about the gulls first.

One of the previous winter’s Mediterranean Gulls remained up to 10 June at least but only allowed for a few poor records shots, rather unusually a 2nd summer (rather than 1st summer) bird. Apparently the first June record for Senegal, of what in the past 10-20 years has become a regular winter visitor in small numbers to the Dakar region. The last Yellow-legged Gull (Goéland leucophée) was seen on 2 May, also a rather late date.

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Mediterranean Gull / Mouette mélanocéphale

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Mediterranean Gull / Mouette mélanocéphale

 

Actually I just realised that I hadn’t shared some of the better pictures of the star bird of the spring here: the 2nd c.y. Laughing Gull, which ended up staying from 25 April until 22 May at least. With the exception of the adult bird this spring (which was seen only twice by two lucky Iberian observers 🙂 on 21-23 April), all previous records were one-day-wonders.

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Laughing Gull / Mouette atricille 2 c.y. (BP)

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Laughing Gull / Mouette atricille 2 c.y. (BP)

 

And while we’re at it, here’s the stunning adult Franklin’s Gull in breeding plumage, which unfortunately didn’t linger and was seen just once, on 30 April, at fairly long range hence the hazy pictures:

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Franklin’s Gull / Mouette de Franklin ad. (BP)

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Franklin’s Gull / Mouette de Franklin ad. (BP)

 

This bird is from the following day, probably the 2nd summer seen several times between 13 April and 2 May:

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Franklin’s Gull / Mouette de Franklin, 3 c.y.? (BP)

 

Several Black-winged Stilts are still on the nest, but breeding success appears to be low (because water levels are too low, making the nests more vulnerable?). Only a handful of little stiltlets are seen on each visit, and hardly any older juvs. are around. Wondering whether those at Lac Rose may be more successful this year…

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Black-winged Stilt / Echasse blanche

 

A welcome surprise though was a tiny Kittlitz’s Plover chick (Gravelot pâtre), barely a few days old, seen on 10 June. Previous breeding records here were in June 2016 (probable) and July 2012.

Greater Painted-Snipe (Rhynchée peinte) may also be breeding as a pair was seen on 23 June and a male two weeks earlier in the same area (past golf club house on edge of lake near the small baobab!).

And this year there are quite a few Little Bitterns around, quite obviously more than in previous years, with sightings including several singing birds and pairs in at least five locations. I guess the number of territories all over the Grande Niaye de Pikine could easily exceed 10-12 pairs/singing males. Here’s a rather poor picture of a pair seen on our most recent visit, just before it flew off:

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Little Bittern / Blongios nain

 

Little Grebe (Grèbe castagneux) was once again confirmed to be breeding, though later than in previous years: an adult with a still downy juv. (aged 1-2 weeks?) was on the small pond past the golf course on 10 June, in the same site as in previous years. Previous  records in central and northern Senegal were during Dec. – April (read up more about the breeding status of Little Grebe in Senegal & Gambia in this paper that we published in Malimbus last year)

Another nice surprise last Sunday (23/6) was the first Diederik Cuckoo (Coucou didric) of the season in these parts of the country: a singing bird flew high over the pond coming from the Pikine side, then was heard again later on in the tree belt near the football field. Almost as good as hearing the first Common Cuckoo in early April, back “home” in Geneva!

We’re almost there! In the end, there’s been quite a lot to catch up on since early May…

This colour-ringed Gull-billed Tern which I think I’ve mentioned before is indeed from the small colony of Neufelderkoog in northern Germany – the only site where the species breeds north of the Mediterranean region – and as it turns out it’s only the second-ever resighting of one of their birds in Africa. The first was that of a first-winter bird seen in February 2017 in Conakry, Guinea. Our bird ended up staying at least 16 days, from 13 – 28 April. It was ringed on 18 July 2017 by Markus Risch (“WRYY”: white-red/yellow-yellow) and was a late or replacement brood, and the bird was among the latest fledglings of all.

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Gull-billed Tern / Sterne hansel

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Same bird, almost 2 years earlier! (M. Risch)

 

This Common Ringed Plover was around for some time in April / early May, ringed in Norway (details yet to be submitted).

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Common Ringed Plover / Grand Gravelot

 

Also on the ringing front, we’re still waiting to hear back for some of the 40-50 Sandwich Tern ring readings Miguel and I managed to make this spring. One of the most recent birds, seen on May 1st, was ringed in June 2017 at Hodbarrow RSPB reserve in Cumbria (UK), and was already spotted on 25/11/17 at Kartong in Gambia (4,720 km, 148 days). While 2nd c.y. birds all stay in Africa during their first summer, third calendar-years such as this one may already migrate back to Europe. 

Rounding off the overview with the most recent addition to the Technopole list: African Wattled Lapwing (Vanneau du Sénégal), which surprisingly had not been seen so far, at least not as far as I know – seems like the species actively avoids dense urban areas, since they are regular just outside Dakar but obviously a bit of a vagrant here in town. One was seen flying past, calling a few times, on 10 June.

Species number 239!

Let’s see if we can manage to find 240 in the next few weeks.

 

 

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Two Laughing Gulls, and other unexpected birds at Technopôle

Another visitor from North America showed up recently at Technopole: a superb adult Laughing Gull (Mouette atricille) was found by Miguel Lecoq and Ignacio Morales over the Easter weekend. First seen on 21.4, it was still present two days later when it was also heard calling. Amazingly, later that same week (25.4), Miguel found an immature (2nd year) in the same place!

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Laughing Gull / Mouette atricille (I. Morales)

 

Identification is pretty straightforward, the main field characters being nicely visible here: dark grey mantle, almost entirely black outer primaries, narrow white trailing edge to secondaries and tertials, back hood with white “eye lashes”, fairly long dark crimson red bill, and rather long dark red to blackish legs. The young bird is also very distinct and is relatively easy to pick out amongst the numerous other gulls that are present at Technopole at the moment: Slender-billed Gulls mostly, but also Grey-headed Gulls (the immatures of which superficially resemble Laughing Gull), and still some Black-headed, Audouin’s and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Goeland railler, Mouettes à tête grise et rieuse, Goelands d’Audouin et brun).

Proper rare bird record shot:

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Laughing Gull / Mouette atricille (M. Lecoq)

 

This is the fourth American species to be seen in Senegal in less than two weeks, once again highlighting the potential of the country to find vagrant gulls and waders: the overwintering Lesser Yellowlegs (Chevalier à pattes jaunes) was last seen on 8.4, followed by a 2nd year Franklin’s Gull (Mouette de Franklin) on 13.4, the American Golden Plover (Pluvier bronzé) from Palmarin (15.4), and now Larus atricilla. And this is by just a small handful of active observers… just imagine what else there is to be found, if only there were more birders here.

There are just five previous records of Laughing Gull:

  • An adult in the Saloum delta on 18.3.85 (Dupuy, A.R. (1985) Sur la présence au Sénégal de Larus atricilla. Alauda 53. Two years earlier, a possible sighting in the same place of a bird apparently paired with Grey-headed Gull, could not be confirmed and should thus be ignored.
  • An adult at Guembeul (near Saint-Louis) on 12.1.95 (Yésou P., Triplet P. (1995) La mouette atricille Larus atricilla au Sénégal. Alauda 63)
  • A 2nd winter in the Saloum delta on 28.12.05, see picture below (A. Flitti; Recent Reports, Bull. Afr. Bird Club 13)
  • One flying past the Ngor seawatch site on 7.10.08 (P. Crouzier, P. J. Dubois, J.-Y. Fremont, E. Rousseau, A. Verneau; Recent Reports, Bull. Afr. Bird Club 16)
  • An adult at Saint Louis on 10.1.14; a 2nd winter possibly also present (M. Beevers; Recent Reports, Bull. Afr. Bird Club 21)

 

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Laughing Gull / Mouette atricille, Saloum, Dec. 2005 (A. Flitti)

 

Elsewhere on the continent, there are records from Morocco, Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau (first records is yet to be published), and possibly elsewhere – most recently, an imm. photographed at the Bijol Islands in Gambia in December 2018. It’s an annual vagrant to western Europe, even in unexpected locations such as on this lake in the Swiss Alps where an adult overwintered in 2005/2006:

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Laughing Gull / Mouette atricille, Merligen, Dec. 2006 (B. Piot)

 

Unlike Franklin’s Gull, which has been recorded in all months except for November, with most records in May, July and August, Laughing Gull is obviously a species that is more to be expected in winter, with all records so far occurring between October and April.

Other good birds found during Miguel’s frequent visits these past few days include two other additions to the Technopole list: Golden Oriole on 25.4 (Loriot d’Europe), and Pallid Swift on 23.4 (Martinet pâle). A late Mediterranean Gull (Mouette mélanocéphale) was also a good record, as was the count of 606 Sanderlings.

 

The site list now stands at 237 species. Which one will be next?

 

Update!

I wrote the preceding paragraphs yesterday, and since then I’ve been – at long last – back to Technopole, as I was up north last weekend and travelling abroad for work this past week. Well, we got the answer: species number 238 is Plain Martin (also known as Brown-throated Martin; Hirondelle paludicole). We had a single bird feeding over the water – often at close range – along with a couple of Barn Swallows (Hirondelle rustique) and several Little Swifts (Martinet des maisons), nicely showing its features. This is a rarely reported species from Senegal, and as it turns out the first eBird observation for the country! It’s rather patchily distributed throughout West Africa, being more common in Morocco, East Africa, and Southern Africa. Considered a non-breeding visitor to Senegal and Gambia, I could only find six old records from Senegal: Morel & Morel list four, followed by one in Jan. 1992 in the Djoudj and one from Mekhe in August 1992. Last year, Bruno Bargain found several at Kambounda (Sédhiou, Casamance), on 2.12.18, but other than those there do not seem to be any recent observations. Very nice sighting and an unexpected addition to my Senegal list – and a cool lifer for Miguel!

Alas no Laughing Gull this morning, but we did see the Frankin’s Gull again. Also another Pallid Swift, as well as new sightings of a colour-ringed German Gull-billed Tern (Sterne hansel) and a Norwegian Common Ringed Plover (Grand Gravelot), plus now two different Med’ Gulls. Let’s try again on Wednesday morning, who knows maybe the gull will be back. It may actually have been around for a few weeks now, as there was a possible sighting at Technopole on March 30th. It’s quite possible that the adult is hanging out by the harbour or elsewhere in the baie de Hann or even Rufisque, and will show up again at Technopole.

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Franklin’s Gull / Mouette de Franklin (BP)

 

 

 

The Great Re-Tern

April is Tern month!

From mid-March into May, lots of terns pass through Dakar on their way back home from the wintering grounds further south – some as far as South Africa! – and the first half of April is definitely peak time for many species. When conditions are right, literally thousands of these elegant birds may pass through on a single day, and sites such as Technopole can hold several hundreds of birds at any one time. So much that in the past week, I’ve had the chance to see 12 out of the 14 tern species that are known to occur in Senegal, the only ones missing being Bridled and the rare Sooty Tern.

On Monday 8.4 at Technopole, decent numbers of terns were about, mainly Sandwich Tern (+300, likely quite a bit more) with a supporting cast of the usual Caspian and Gull-billed Terns (the former with several recently emancipated juveniles, likely from the Saloum or Casamance colonies), but also several dozen African Royal Tern, a few Common Terns, at least two Lesser Crested, and as a bonus two fine adult Roseate Terns roosting among their cousins. And as I scanned one of the flocks one last time before returning back home, an adult Whiskered Tern in breeding plumage, already spotted the previous day by Miguel. I managed to read four ringed Sandwich Terns but far more were wearing rings, but were impossible to read.

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Gulls & Terns at Technopole

 

Yesterday 13.4, we went back to our favourite urban hotspot mainly in order to see if we could read some more of these rings. The main roost is close to the northern shore of the main lagoon, quite close to golf club house, which makes it possible to get close enough to the birds to read most rings. We saw most of the same tern species (except Roseate), with the addition of a fine moulting White-winged Tern and a small flock of Little Terns migrating over our heads. The first colour-ringed bird we saw was actually a Gull-billed Tern, but not the usual Spanish bird (“U83”) ringed in 2009 and seen several times herein the past three winters. This bird was even more interesting, as it was ringed in the only remaining colony in northern Europe, more precisely in the German Wadden Sea. Awaiting details from the ringers, but it’s quite likely that there are very few (if any!) recoveries of these northern birds this far south. It may well be the same bird as one that we saw back in November 2018 at lac Mbeubeusse, though we didn’t manage to properly establish the ring combination at the time.

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Colour-ringed Gull-billed Tern & Black-winged Stilts / Sterne hansel & Echasse blanche

 

So, back to our ring readings: all in all, we managed to decipher an impressive 14 Sandwich Tern rings – blue, white, yellow & red! – of birds originating from no less than four countries: Ireland, UK, Netherlands, and one from Italy (to be confirmed). Most of these are chicks that were born in summer 2016 and that logically spent their first two years in the Southern Hemisphere, and are now returning back to their breeding grounds for the first time. In addition, a Black-headed Gull with a blue ring proved to be a French bird ringed as a chick in a colony in the Forez region (west of Lyon) in 2018, while a Spanish Audouin’s Gull was a bird not previously read here. I’ll try to find some time to write up more on our ring recoveries, now that my little database has just over 500 entries!

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More gulls & terns

 

Others local highlights from these past few days are the Lesser Yellowlegs still at Technopole on 8.4 (but not seen yesterday… maybe it has finally moved on), also a superb breeding plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit, still a few Avocets, plenty of Ruff, Little Stint, Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlin, many of which in full breeding attire. And on 13.4, once again a Franklin’s Gull, but also a rather late Mediterranean Gull and what was probably the regular adult Yellow-legged Gull seen several times since December. Three Spotted Redshanks were also noteworthy as this is not a regular species at Technopole. The Black-winged Stilts are breeding again, and the first two chicks – just a couple of days old – were seen yesterday, with at least two more birds on nests; a family of Moorhen was also a good breeding record.

Full eBird checklist from 13.4 here.

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A sleepy Franklin’s Gull / Mouette de Franklin

 

Earlier this week at the Calao was just about as good in terms of tern diversity: again the usual Sandwich Terns which are passing through en masse at the moment, with some LCT’s in the mix, several dozen Common Terns and the odd Roseate Tern hurriedly yet graciously flying past the seawatch spot, and of course more Royal Terns en route to Langue de Barbarie or Mauritanian breeding sites, a lone Caspian Tern, and this time round an even less expected White-winged Tern (and just two Black Terns). Oh and also the first Arctic Tern of the season! The first birds in spring are typically seen at the end of March or first half of April; earliest dates (2015-2018) are 16.3.18 and 25.3.16. The numbers of migrating terns were really impressive here on Saturday 6.4: a rough estimate puts the number of Sandwich and Common Terns passing through at 500 and 1200, respectively, in just two hours.

At Ngor, regular morning sessions have yielded the usual Pomarine and Arctic Skuas, Northern Gannets, as well as a handful of Cape Verde Shearwaters feeding offshore on most days. Sooty Shearwaters passed through in good numbers on 6.4, while last Friday (12.4) was best for Sabine’s Gull: 73 birds in just one hour, so far my best spring count. Also several Long-tailed Skuas and the other day a South Polar or (more likely) a Great Skua was present, a rare spring sighting. All checklists for the recent Calao counts can be found on this eBird page.

 

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Greenshank & Black-winged Stilt / Chevalier aboyeur & Echasse blanche

 

 

27/1/19, journée folle au Technopole

Il y a des jours comme ça!

Après une sortie déjà bien mémorable en compagnie de Simon le 24/1, lorsque nous observons entre autres des Canards chipeaux et un siffleur – tous deux des nouvelles espèces pour le site que Simon avait trouvées la veille – puis d’un Bécasseau de Temminck, Miguel et moi avons pris le temps de bien fouiller notre local patch dimanche dernier. Arrivés à l’aube sur les lieux, nous sommes repartis cinq heures plus tard avec pas moins de 111 espèces au compteur. Pas mal du tout, si l’on considère qu’une visite typique en hiver apporte généralement 70 à 80 espèces. De plus, la journée a été exceptionnelle aussi bien point de vue quantité – il devait y avoir facilement 4’000 oiseaux au Technopole ce jour-là – qu’en termes de qualité, avec plusieurs oiseaux rares et tout à fait inattendus.

Voici donc, in order of appearance, une sélection d’espèces rencontrées:

  • Tourtelette d’Abyssinie (Black-billed Wood Dove): un juv. dans le coin nord-est du site était une petite surprise, cet oiseau n’ayant apparemment jamais encore été signalé auparavant au Technopole. En même temps, une Tourterelle vineuse (Vinaceous Dove) chantait dans le cordon boisé juste derrière: espèce numéro 233 pour le site!
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Black-billed Wood Dove / Tourtelette d’Abyssinie juv.

 

  • Hibou des marais (Short-eared Owl): on pensait qu’ils ne reviendraient pas un deuxième hiver de suite, mais les revoilà! Au moins deux de ces hiboux qui nous avaient gracié de leur présence l’hiver dernier, alors qu’un afflux important se déroulait en Afrique occidentale, étaient de nouveau présents sur leur dortoir favori dans un groupe d’acacias. Ils y avaient déjà été répéres fin décembre par deux observateurs, donc tout indique qu’ils resteront encore jusqu’à fin mars ou début avril avant de repartir pour nicher en Europe.

 

  • Bécasseau de Temminck (Temminck’s Stint): déjà vu le 24/1, il ne nous a pas fallu beaucoup de temps pour le retrouver dans le même secteur, se nourrissant en compagnie d’autre bécasseaux. Du coup, nous avons pu observer en cette seule matinée tous les Calidris réguliers du pays: Bécasseau maubèche, cocorli, variable, minute et sanderling – pas mal, non? De plus, ce n’est apparemment que la deuxième obs du Temminck au Technopole, la précédente datant de mai 2015. A peine visibles sur la photo, les pattes jaunâtres en combinaison avec le dessus et la poitrine bruns uniformes sont typiques de ce petit bécasseau, trop souvent confondu avec le Minute. Il est ici tout à fait en marge de son aire de répartition régulière, étant bien plus commun en Afrique de l’Est (au Sénégal, il semble hiverner en petit nombre dans le bas-delta notamment).
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Temminck’s Stint / Bécasseau de Temminck

 

  • Chevalier à pattes jaunes (Lesser Yellowlegs): alors que je cherchais à mieux observer un pluvier posé parmi les nombreux Grand Gravelots (c’était un argenté…) je vois un chevalier suspect tout près de la piste, se nourrissant activement dans la vase: bec sombre assez court à base légèrement jaune, dessus gris-brun uni, dessous blanc, croupion blanc, et surtout: des pattes jaunes flashant… encore un Tringa flavipes! Serait-ce le même que celui vu l’hiver dernier en février, peut-être même l’oiseau déjà vu en août 2015 et janvier 2016, voire également à Yene en novembre 2017?? En tout cas cette régularité d’observations est intriguante. Comme pour les bécasseaux, nous avons pu observer ce jour tous les chevaliers réguliers au Sénégal, car en plus des habituels des lieux il y avait également deux ou trois Chevaliers arlequins, peu communs ici (Spotted Redshank). En plus de quelques photos relativement nettes pour une fois, on a même réussi à faire un enregistrement de son cri, à écouter ici.
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Lesser Yellowlegs / Chevalier à pattes jaunes

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Lesser Yellowlegs / Chevalier à pattes jaunes

 

  • Goéland de la Baltique (Baltic Gull): probablement la plus grosse surprise du jour, on a été bien étonnés de voir un adulte on ne peut plus typique de cette sous-espèce nominale du Goéland brun: en comparaison directe avec ce dernier, notre oiseau s’en distinguait nettement par sa taille plus petite (sans doute s’agissait-il d’une femelle), son manteau très sombre, presque noir même, et surtout une projection primaire importante lui conférant un aspect bien plus élégant et plus allongé (un peu comme un Pluvier bronzé comparé au Pluvier argenté!). En vol, les ailes longues et plutôt étroites, avec très peu de blanc au bout des primaires externes, étaient frappantes. Malheureusement après un envol général l’oiseau n’a pas été revu, donc pas de photos à l’appui… Notre première obs au Sénégal, ce taxon est néanmoins connu pour hiverner en effectifs très modestes sur les côtes d’Afrique de l’Ouest (quelques individus? pas sûr même que ce soit un visiteur annuel). Sa présence ici, loin de ses quartiers d’hiver réguliers en Afrique de l’Est et l’ocean indien, a été confirmée grace à quelques lectures de bagues notamment en Gambie. Egalement présent dans le tas de centaines de goélands, au moins un Goéland leucophée (Yellow-legged Gull) de 1er hiver, un individu au manteau très clair.

 

  • Mouette mélanocéphale (Mediterranean Gull): une dizaine d’oiseaux au moins, soit un peu plus que d’habitude. Comme toujours, l’essentiel des effectifs hivernants est composé d’oiseaux de premier hiver. Pas vu d’oiseaux bagués cette fois-ci, mais on vient de me signaler – merci Renaud – que “RV2L” vu l’hiver dernier a été observé il y a tout juste quelques jours au Portugal.

 

  • Canard chipeau (Gadwall): les trois individus trouvés par Simon le 23/1 étaient toujours présents, bien que pas forcément faciles à répérer dans le tas d’anatidés, bien plus compact que quelques jours plus tôt: avec près de 400 Souchets et autant de Sarcelles d’été, cela fait du monde à fouiller… Il s’agit a priori de la première donnée sur la péninsule du Cap-Vert de cet hivernant rare au Sénégal, dont les quelques observations proviennent sauf erreur toutes du bas-delta. On n’a pas vu la femelle de Canard siffleur (Wigeon) cette fois alors qu’elle était assez bien visible les 23-24/1; là aussi il s’agirait d’une première pour le Technopole. Cela fait donc pas moins de 4 ajouts à la liste, et cela en moins d’une semaine.
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Gadwall / Canard chipeau

 

  • Mouette de Franklin (Franklin’s Gull): encore une obs de ce laridé néarctique! C’est presque devenu banal ici… Un peu loin comme souvent, au repos dans un groupe de Goélands railleurs et Mouette rieuses – bien nombreuses ce jour – j’ai tout de même fait une photo-preuve où l’oiseau, au manteau gris sombre et au capuchon déjà en grande partie noir, est tout juste reconnaissable au milieu du groupe. Entre la photo du Temminck et celle-ci, je ne sais pas laquelle gagnera au concours de la photo la plus pourrie du jour…
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Franklin’s Gull / Mouette de Franklin

 

Pour le reste, voir notre checklist eBird (merci Miguel!)

Une fois de plus, le Technopole confirme sa position de haut-lieu de l’ornithologie sénégalaise, et de hotspot urbain tout à fait exceptionnel. A voir ce que nous apporteront les prochaines visites!

 

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White-rumped Seedeater / Serin à croupion blanc

 

 

 

 

 

Technopole updates – waders, gulls, and a hybrid heron

It’s been a while since I last talked about Technopole on this blog, so here’s a quick update on recent sightings at our favourite Dakar hotspot. I’ve been fortunate to visit several times in the last few weeks, most recently on August 22nd and September 2nd. At the end of August, the site was the driest it’s been in many years: barely any water left on what I usually refer to as the “central lake”. Only some shallow water remained on the far south end along the main road, and even less in the north-east corner close to the golf club house. Even the level of the large reed-fringed lake on the north-east side has dropped substantially.

As a result, there are far fewer birds around than would usually be the case at this time of the year, when the first rains start filling up the lakes again. There are now very few waders, herons and cormorants, hardly any ducks and fairly few gulls and terns (which is more usual during late summer). With the rains finally arriving in Dakar – though just four or five decent showers so far – the site has rapidly started filling up in the past two weeks and is becoming more attractive once again.

This is what it looked like roughly between June and the end of August: hardly any water!!

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Despite the low water levels, diversity remains pretty high, with still some 70-75 species typically seen on recent visits. The highlight on Aug. 22nd was yet again a Franklin’s Gull among the flock of Slender-billed Gulls, most likely the same 2nd c.y. bird as in May and June, seen here for the fourth time (see this piece about the species’ status in Senegal and more broadly in West Africa).

Great White Pelicans are particularly numerous this year, with an impressive 650-700 birds present at the moment. They most likely come from the Djoudj colony; unlike in previous years the species is also present daily at Ngor, though in much lower numbers than at Technopole. And a few days ago I even had four flying over the house at Almadies, yet another garden tick.

Besides the ever-present Black-winged Stilts and Spur-winged Lapwings, (both still with several older chicks and quite a few locally hatched juveniles), Ruff is now the most numerous wader, though there are 30-40 birds only… compare with the ∼500 Ruffs counted last year in August! Also just four Black-tailed Godwits (also a Bar-tailed on Aug. 12th), single Whimbrel, Marsh Sandpiper, Dunlin, 4-5 Little Stints and just a handful of Sanderlings, while the first Curlew Sandpipers were seen on Sept. 2nd. On the same day, a Little Ringed Plover was present near the fishermen’s hut – there don’t seem to be many “autumn” records at Technopole of this species. A Kittlitz’s Plover was seen again on Aug. 22nd, following several records in previous months: could the species have bred at Technopole? In June we found a nest containing two eggs and several additional terrtitories near Lac Rose.

MarshSandpiper_Technopole_20180822_IMG_3084

Marsh Sandpiper / Chevalier stagnatile

Sanderling_Technopole_20180902_IMG_3160

Scruffy Sanderling…  a moulting adult (Bécasseau sanderling ad. en mue)

 

On July 7th, a presumed hybrid Little Egret x Western Reef Heron was seen along the track leading to the golf course: interesting bird, as it may mean that there are mixed broods at the Parc de Hann colony, unless of course it was born in the Somone or another heronry. Or that it may be breeding there at the moment, as our bird was obviously an adult in breeding plumage, judging by the pink-reddish feet, bluish lores and long feathers extending from the back of the head. While difficult to judge, the bill length and shape also seems to be more like Little Egret. In addition to the features in the pictures below – in particular the whitish head, central neck and lower belly – we noted a fair amount of white on the wing, mainly towards the base of the outer hand.

WesternReefxLittleEgret_Technopole_20180707_IMG_2889

Presumed hybrid Little Egret x Western Reef Heron / probable hybride Aigrette garzette x Aigrette des récifs

WesternReefxLittleEgret_Technopole_20180707_IMG_2895

Head shot of same bird

Now compare with this typical Western Reef Heron, photographed during my most recent visit to Technopole:

WesternReefHeron_Technopole_20180902_IMG_3152

Western Reef Heron / Aigrette des récifs

Our bird corresponds to presumed hybrids found in southern Europe and in Morocco, though we can’t rule out the possibility that it is in fact a rare dark morph Little Egret, as these do seem to exist… mcuh remains to be learned about these egrets! For more on the identification of Western Reef Heron and Little Egret, see Dubois and Yésou’s article in British Birds (1995).

Talking of herons, here’s a breeding-plumaged Great Egret: note the entirely black legs and feet as well as the mostly dark bill, with just the some yellow still apparent on part of the lower mandible. The bare skin around the eye and on the lores could be described as pale turquoise, though it transitions from light green to more bluish tones. Quite amazing how these birds completely change the colour of their bill and legs during breeding season!

GreatEgret_Technopole_20180822_IMG_3121

Great Egret / Grande Aigrette

 

Besides the above waterbirds, Technopole of course holds lots of good other birds: at the moment, there are a few Broad-billed Rollers that appear to be breeding, and other wet-season visitors such as Woodland Kingfisher and Diederik Cuckoo are also around. And while breeding wasn’t confirmed this year, Red-necked Falcon is still seen on most visits, usually flying around or actively hunting. Zebra Waxbill was more of a surprise, as I’d only seen this species on a few occasions in winter. The lack of rain may have prompted these birds to wander about and somehow make it to Technopole.

Last Sunday I paid an early morning visit to Yène-Tode, but despite the recent rains the lagoon is still largely dry and didn’t hold many birds… The first few puddles had formed, but I reckon it’ll take several more decent showers before the lagoon fills up again. The highlight were two Spur-winged Geese, a species that is rarely seen in the Dakar region and that somehow manages to largely avoid Technopole. To be continued!

 

WhitefacedWhistlingDuck_Technopole_20180902_IMG_3126

White-faced Whistling-Duck / Dendrocygne veuf (Technopole 2.9)

 

 

Franklin’s Gull in Senegal & West Africa

A new observation of a Franklin’s Gull at Technopole, on May 20th, prompted me to have a closer look at the records of this American species in Senegal and more generally across West Africa. I’ve been compiling records of Nearctic vagrants for some time now, which I may use one day to write up a formal publication on the topic – the list currently includes 83 records of 18 different species and some patterns are starting to emerge.

No less than 21 of these records are of Franklin’s Gulls, though these correspond to at least 36 different observations (one record can refer to a bird seen over several dates). As such, this is by far the most frequent American vagrant seen in Senegal. It’s actually been annual at Technopole since 2011, year that saw the arrival of three different birds. In the following three years, at least five different birds were regularly seen, to the extent that Franklin’s Gull became an expected feature at Technopole during that period (I was lucky to see one of these birds in July 2012, during a visit with Paul). It’s been quite difficult to determine how many records there actually are, as it’s not always clear when multiple records relate to a single bird, and whether the recent spring sightings at Technopole (2015 – 2017) may also be all of just one returning adult.

Here’s the most recent bird:

FranklinsGull_Technopole_20180520_IMG_2116

Franklin’s Gull / Mouette de Franklin, Technopole, 20.5.18

This year’s bird is clearly not a returning adult, as it appears to be a second calendar year (“first summer”) bird. Ageing Franklin’s Gull is not always straightforward – see K. M. Olsen’s comment in this short post by Paul – but I think this bird can be fairly safely identified as a second year bird, based on the head pattern (adults such as last year’s should have a completely black hood) combined with a small amount of white in the primary tips – and note active moult of primaries.

FranklinsGull_Technopole_20180520_IMG_2112

Franklin’s Gull / Mouette de Franklin, Technopole 20.5.18

This is what we have in terms of records so far – corrections and additions welcome!

  1. 29.5.83 Delta du Saloum, Fatick, paired with Grey-headed Gull, sitting on nest (Erard et al. 1984)
  2. 17.1.86 Ile de Gorée, Dakar, first winter (F. Baillon) (Baillon & Dubois 1992)
  3. 24.4.86 Delta du Saloum, Fatick, among Grey-headed Gulls (C. Devisse) (Baillon & Dubois 1992)
  4. 3.12.88 Plage de Hann, Dakar, adult (J. J. Blanchon, P. J. Dubois, J. P. Pillion) (Baillon & Dubois 1992)
  5. 18.2.91 Plage de Hann, Dakar, first winter (P. J. Dubois, P. Le Maréchal et al.) (Baillon & Dubois 1992)
  6. 28.2.07 Saint-Louis, adult (J. Piette; H. Dufourny; ABC Recent Reports Vol. 14(2) & 15(1))
  7. Oct. 2008 Ngor, Dakar (French seawatch team)
  8. 26.1.11 Bao Bolon, Kaolack, 2nd year (R. Ottvall et al. – trip report here)
  9. 24.7 – 1.8.11 Technopole, two 2nd year (P. Robinson)
  10. 5.8.11 Technopole, 2nd year, different from previous two birds (P. Robinson)
  11. 29.10.11 Yoff, Dakar (P. Robinson)
  12. 11.2.12 Technopole (J.-F. Blanc, S. Cavaillès)
  13. 3.5 – 18.8.12 Technopole, up to three seen min. nine times (P. Robinson, S. Cavaillès, BP)
  14. 18.5.12 Almadies, Ngor, near lighthouse Pointe des Almadies, seen from boat (P. Robinson)
  15. 16.4 – 4.8.13 Technopole, up to four seen min. eight times (P. Robinson et al.), also one on 18.8 at lac Mbeubeusse (P. Robinson, G. Citegetse et al.)
  16. 6-16.3.14 Technopole, adult (P. Robinson; J.-F. Blanc)
  17. 15-20.3.15 Technopole, adult (BP; J.-F. Blanc)
  18. 3.5.15 Technopole, adult (BP) – possibly the same as in March, or a different bird (and treated as such in this list).
  19. 13.7.16 Technopole, adult (W. Hagemeijer, M. van Leeuwen; photo on observado.org)
  20. 14.5.17 Technopole, adult (BP)
  21. 20.5, 10.6, 7.7, 22.8 & 20.9.18 Technopole, 2nd year (BP, M. Lecoq, G. Caucanas)¹

There’s obviously a clear increase in the number of records in the last eight years, even since 2007 after which this neat gull was not seen during two years only. The arrival of up to five different immature birds in 2011-2014 is noteworthy and as far as we know this was unprecedented in Africa. With the exception of this year’s bird, it’s quite possible that the single adults seen at Technopole since 2014 all refer to one or more of these original five, spending the winter further south and moving back north through Senegal in spring.

The near-absence of records prior to 2011 doesn’t mean much, since observer coverage was much lower then, so it’s hard to say anything much about longer term trends: the increase in records is probably in a large part related to increased observer pressure, particularly in Dakar where the majority of records are from. This also makes more sense, rather than that it reflects a real increase in records, considering that Franklin’s Gull is a species that’s said to be declining, particularly in the U.S.

Below is an attempt to plot the number of observations (not records!) and the number of birds involved, based on available data up to early June 2018.

FranklinsGull_Records_Year

Here’s one of the 2011 birds from Technopole, thought to be second year:

Franklins_2

2nd c.y. (30.7.11, Paul Robinson)

This one is from barely a week later, and is thought to be an adult moulting into winter plumage:

Franklins_3

ad.? (5.8.11, Paul Robinson)

And here’s the adult in full breeding plumage from May 2012 at sea off Almadies. Besides the all-dark hood, note the greater amount of white in the wing tips compared to immature birds:

franklins_1

Franklin’s Gull / Mouette de Franklin, Almadies, May 2012 (P. Robinson)

 

Trying to unravel any seasonal patterns is tricky with so few records, though in recent years it’s clear that most birds show up between March and August, with the most recent observations all from March, May and July. There are only a couple of October records, none from September and November, and at least since 2013 there’s no evidence of wintering birds (if there were any on the Dakar peninsula, we’d probably see them at least from time to time at Technopole!). On the chart below, I’ve included birds that were seen over multiple months in each of the months’ totals, hence the sum of records exceeding 21.

FranklinsGull_Records_Month

 

The breeding record from the Saloum delta is of course intriguing, and it’s not excluded that more attempts have occurred again since the 1983 record.

fourfranks2

Franklin’s Gull outnumbering Slender-billed and Lesser Black-backed Gull on 23.7.13 at Technopole! (Paul Robinson)

 

Records from elsewhere in West Africa are much rarer than in Senegal: in Mauritania, one was seen on 27.1.06, followed by a second record on 17.4.16, both at Banc d’Arguin (Bull. African Bird Club 23: 238), then a third on 23.4.17 in Nouakchott (see Robert Tovey’s account on the find here). In The Gambia, Franklin’s Gull was seen in 1984, on 17.1.02, and again on 8-9.2 until 15.3.05 at least; all records are from Banjul. The first for Ghana was an adult on 8.5.11 on the Sakumono lagoon on the outskirts of Accra.

Nine records are known from Morocco, the most recent one being a first-winter bird on 12.2.16 at Oued Souss (Agadir) – so clearly not one of the Senegal birds as these were all adults by then.

Elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, there are several records from South Africa, at least two from Mozambique, one from Congo-Brazzaville (one on 14.11.15 at the Kouilou-Niari River), at least one from Burundi, UgandaMalawi, Namibia and Zambia, and the species is also listed as a vagrant to Ascension island and Tristan da Cunha. And the first for the Seychelles was seen on 7.5.17. They really do wander about!!

FranklinsGull_rangemap_xenocantoFranklin’s Gull – now known as Leucophaeus pipixcan –  is a widespread colonial breeder on the prairies of northern North America, wintering mainly in coastal regions on the Pacific coast of South America (Colombia – Chile; range map xeno-canto). It’s a regular vagrant to Europe, and stragglers have been recorded as far as Kazakhstan, Australia and New Zealand, even Antarctica.

 

¹ On 27.1.19, one bird (probably adult) was again at Technopole (BP, M. Lecoq)

 

A few references

Baillon, F. & P.J. Dubois, 1992. Nearctic gull species in Senegal and The Gambia. Dutch Birding 14:49-503

Érard, C, Guillou, J.-J. & Mayaud, N., 1984. Sur l’identité spécifique de certains laridés nicheurs au Sénégal. Alauda 52:184-188

www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Franklins_Gull/lifehistory

 

L’année ornithologique sénégalaise 2017 / Year in review

Comme cela semble une tradition chez les bloggeurs, je me suis pris au jeu de faire une petite revue de l’année 2017, ornithologiquement parlant bien sûr. On parlera évidemment des vraies raretés, mais aussi de l’exploration de quelques coins peu connus, des données de nidification et d’extension d’aire, et j’en passe. Pas facile en tout cas de résumer les points forts de ces douze derniers mois, non seulement parce qu’il y en a pas mal, mais aussi du fait que pour beaucoup d’espèces le statut réel au Sénégal reste encore à préciser: répartition, phénologie, statut et tendances. Difficile aussi de couvrir un pays entier quand on n’est que 3-4 ornithologues réellement actifs à y résider!! Il manque certainement des obs importantes dans ma synthèse – qui sera forcément incomplète – donc si vous avez des compléments ou des corrections je les ajoute volontiers.

D’abord les grosses raretés:

Ensuite, quelques autres migrateurs rares – Rare migrants:

  • Le Puffin majeur est vu à Ngor le 25/5 (2 inds.), une rare donnée “printanière”, alors qu’un passage important – et étonnant par la date – a lieu début décembre. Great Shearwater: two at Ngor on 25/5 were apparently the first May record, while a strong passage was noted early December. 
  • Un Grand Cormoran de la ssp. maroccanus était lui aussi à Ngor, sur les enrochements, les 2 et 15/12. Great Cormorant at Ngor in December. 
  • Plusieurs Bondrées apivores sont notées entre le 9/10 et le 5/11, avec un autre même à fin décembre, alors que c’est une espèce apparemment rarement vue, en tout cas dans l’ouest du pays: Dakar, Toubacouta, Guéréo/Somone et Popenguine. Several Honey Buzzards in October and early November between Dakar and the Saloum, with another bird at Somone in late December. 
  • Deux Aigles de Bonelli sont vus dans la région des Trois-Marigots en novembre-décembre, où un imm. était déjà présent en fevrier, confirmant ainsi la présence régulière en très petit nombre dans le nord-ouest du pays. Ornithondar continue avec les rapaces, sous la forme d’un Vautour percnoptère noté le 25/12, espèce qui a aussi vu des effectifs importants dans le Boundou en fin d’année. Two Bonelli’s Eagles and an Egyptian Vulture near Saint-Louis.
  • Deux petits rallidés peu vus au Senegal ensuite: la Marouette poussin surtout, trouvée à Boundou les 4-5/11, mais aussi celle de Baillon au Djoudj (7/2) à la STEP de Saint-Louis (25/12), qui pourraient bien concerner un hivernant ou un oiseau de passage et non un local. Two little marsh skulkers that are rarely reported from Senegal, though they are probably quite frequent on migration, are Little Crake at Boundou, and Baillon’s Crake near Saint-Louis.
  • Plusieurs espèces peu fréquentes dans la région de Dakar sont vues pour la première fois au Technopole: Goéland dominicain, Flamant nain, Phalarope à bec large, Bengali zebré, Souimanga pygmée, Rolle violet, Hibou des marais, Pouillot ibérique. Egalement un Bec-en-ciseaux le 4/6 et une Sarcelle d’hiver le 9/11, avec d’autres migrateurs peu fréquents comme le Goéland leucophée et la Bécassine sourde à l’appui. A number of scarce species in the Dakar region were reported for the first time from Technopole: Kelp Gull, Lesser Flamingo, Grey Phalarope, Zebra Waxbill, Pygmy Sunbird, Broad-billed Roller, Short-eared Owl, Iberian Chiffchaff. Also African Skimmer and a Eurasian Teal, while other uncommon migrants seen at the site include Jack Snipe, Yellow-legged Gull.
  • Le 29/10, un Blongios de Sturm est à la lagune de Yène, endroit par ailleurs très fréquenté cet automne par les canards et limicoles. A Dwarf Bittern, along with good numbers of ducks and waders, was seen at Yene lagoon.
  • Un Martinet à ventre blanc est vu le 13/10 à Boundou, et le 13/11 il y en avait deux à Popenguine, où jusqu’à neuf Hirondelles de rochers étaient présentes en novembre-décembre. Alpine Swift at Boundou and at Popenguine, where up to nine Crag Martins were seen in Nov.-Dec.
  • L’Hypolais pâle, un hivernant probablement régulier mais rarement détecté au Sénégal, était à Palmarin le 19/2, alors que deux oiseaux sont identifiés le 28/12 près de Guéréo (dans la même zone qu’en mars 2016 – une coïncidence?). Eastern Olivaceous Warbler – probably regular, but very rarely detected. One was at Palmarin on 19/2, while two birds were at Guereo (Somone) on 28/12 (where one was seen in the same area in March 2016 – a coincidence?)
  • Une Pie-grièche isabelle est signalée près de Gossas (vers Ouadiour) le 28/11. Isabelline Shrike near Gossas on 28/11. 
  • Un hybride Pie-grièche à tête rousse x écorcheur le 26/8 au Lac Tanma était une première non seulement pour le pays mais apparemment aussi pour le continent africain. Hybrid Woodchat x Red-backed Shrike at Lac Tanma, apparently a first such record for Africa.
BaillonsCrake_STEP-StLouis_20171225_IMG_7089

Baillon’s Crake / Marouette de Baillon

Woodchat x Red-backed Shrike / Pie-grieche a tete rousse x ecorcheur

Woodchat x Red-backed Shrike / Pie-grieche à tête rousse x ecorcheur

Quelques autres observations intéressantes: effectifs records, nouvelles donnes sur la répartition – Other sightings: record numbers and new range data

  • Parmi les autres “premières” pour la réserve naturelle communautaire du Boundou se trouvent bon nombre de migrateurs paléarctiques comme la Spatule blanche (Eur. Spoonbill) ou le Becasseau cocorli (Curlew Sandpiper) et même un Fuligule nyroca (4-5/11; Ferruginous Duck), mais aussi quelques africains, migrateurs (Blongios de Sturm, Least Bittern), erratiques (Courvite à ailes bronzées, Bronze-winged Courser) et résidents (Gladiateur de Blanchot, Grey-headed Bush-shrikeBruant à ventre jaune, Brown-rumped Bunting).
  • Le Puffin du Cap-Vert est présent en fin d’hiver au large de Dakar, comme d’habitude, mais un effectif important est noté le 18/4 lorsque pas moins de 5’500 oiseaux se nourrissent devant Ngor. Cape Verde Shearwater: a max. of ca. 5,500 birds were feeding off Ngor on 18/4.
  • L’observation d’un Phaéton à bec rouge adulte sur l’Ile aux Oiseaux de la Langue de Barbarie les 7-12/4 était pour le moins insolite. Red-billed Tropicbird on the Langue de Barbarie’s “Bird Island” on 7-12/4.
  • Un Ibis hagedash survole la maison aux Almadies, Dakar, le 23/8, alors que l’espèce semble toujours présente sur la Petite Côte avec plusieurs observations en octobre. Hadada Ibis: one on 23/8 flying over Almadies, Dakar, and several observations at Somone and Saly. 
  • Le Marabout d’Afrique est vu aux Trois-Marigots (14/4), soit dans une région du pays où l’espèce est maintenant très rare semble-t-il. Marabou Stork at Trois-Marigots. 
  • Un Aigle huppard adulte a survolé le Lac Tanma tout en criant, le 1/10, donc hors de son aire regulière dans le pays. A Long-crested Eagle flew over Lac Tanma while calling, away from its regular range in Senegal
  • L’effectif d’environ 300 Foulques macroules le 16/5 à Ross-Bethio (près du Djoudj) est surprenant à cette période de l’année. A Dakar, il y en a eu deux au Lac Mbeubeusse le 7/10 et autant à Yène-Todé les 21-29/10. Around 300 Eurasian Coots were at Ross-Bethio on 16/5, a high count especially at this time of the year; in the Dakar region, two records of two birds. 
  • Un Trogon narina est de nouveau observé dans la réserve naturelle de Dindéfello (16/2), soit le seul site d’où l’espèce est actuellement connue, suite à sa découverte en 2010. J’allais aussi ajouter deux Bulbuls à queue rousse signalés dans la forêt de galerie au même endroit (3/2) et publiés dans le Bulletin de l’ABC, mais à en lire le rapport de voyage des observateurs on constate que l’identification est loin d’être certaine. Narina’s Trogon was seen again at Dindéfello, the only site in Senegal where the species, which was first recorded here in 2010, occurs. Two Leafloves were reported from the gallery forest here, but it seems that identification is far from certain despite being published in the ABC Bulletin.
  • Le Moineau domestique est maintenant bien implanté à Tambacounda semble-t-il, et l’espèce est vue pour la première fois au Boundou: l’expansion continue! House Sparrow now well established in Tambacounda and reported for the first time at Boundou. 
  • A Lompoul, le Petit Moineau est vu début janvier puis de nouveau confirmé à la fin de l’année, avec plusieurs oiseaux dont des chanteurs, bouchant ainsi un trou dans l’aire de répartition connue. Bush Petronia was found early January and confirmed again at the end of the year, thus filling a gap in the known distribution range.
CapeVerdeShearwater_Ngor_20170415_IMG_1247

Cape Verde Shearwater / Puffin du Cap-Vert

Quelques donnees de nidification intéressantes – Interesting breeding records:

  • Le Canard à bosse a de nouveau niché au Lac Tanma (f. avec 12 canetons le 1/10); le Dendrocygne veuf a niché au même endroit et à la lagune de Yène. Knob-billed Duck noted breeding again at Lac Tanma, where also White-faced Whistling Duck, which also bred at Yene. 
  • Pas encore de nidification, mais des observations intriguantes de plusieurs Fous bruns dont des couples visiblement formés et montrant un comportement territorial, aux Iles de la Madeleine en avril-mai surtout – à suivre! Au même endroit, 5-6 couples de Sternes bridées étaient présents en juinBrown Boobies showing signs of breeding behaviour (but no confirmed breeding) at Iles de la Madeleine, where 5-6 pairs of Bridled Tern were present in June.
  • La nidification de la Gallinule poule-d’eau est confirmée au Technopole, tout comme celle – déjà constatée dans le passé – de la Talève d’Afrique. Moorhen confirmed breeding at Technopole, where African Swamphen was also seen breeding once again. 
  • Les Echasses blanches ont eu une très bonne année au Technopole, alors que la nidification a été attestée de nouveau dans le Djoudj. Black-winged Stilts had a bumper year at Technopole, while breeding was noted in the Djoudj. 
  • Toujours pas de preuve de nidification (faute d’avoir investi le temps qu’il faudrait!), mais les Tourterelles turques du parc de Hann sont toujours présentes – avis aux amateurs! Still no proof of breeding, but the small population of Eurasian Collared Doves in Dakar is still around. 
  • Un jeune Coucou jacobin vu en octobre près de la Somone constitue une rare donnée de nidification certaine (voire la première?) pour le pays. Un autre juvenile est vu à Patako début novembre Jacobin Cuckoo fledgling near Somone. 
BridledTern_IlesdelaMadeleine_20170624_IMG_2788

Bridled Tern / Sterne bridee

JacobinCuckoo_Somone_20171009_IMG_5155

Jacobin Cuckoo / Coucou jacobin

Et enfin, parlons un peu des coins peu connus ou peu explorés – Little explored areas:

  • L’un de ces sites est la forêt de Pout près de Thiès, que nous avons visitée en juin (Circaète brun, Pintade de Numidie, Oedicnème tachard, etc.), et plus encore la forêt de Patako près de Toubacouta, explorée par Miguel en novembre.
  • En Casamance, nous avons pu faire des observations à Kolda en mai, avec observations entre autres du Grébifoulque et du Rale perlé, deux especes rarement notées en Casamance même si elles doivent y être régulières. Egalement en Casamance, on a pu voir des Faucons crécerellettes et un Busard pâle en migration active près de Cap-Skirring, alors qu’à Diembering on a pu confirmer p.ex. la présence de l’Apalis à gorge jaune (+ Phyllanthe capucin et quelques autres spécialités forestières à l’écoparc). Gabriel de son côté a pu visiter la région de Vélingara, avec notamment l’observation d’un Bihoreau à dos blanc. African Finfoot & White-spotted Flufftail at Kolda in Casamance. There appear to be very few, if any, recent records from Casamance even though the species is likely to be widespread. Also in Casamance: Cap Skirring – Lesser Kestrel and Pallid Harrier; ecoparc near Diembering: Yellow-throated Apalis, Capuchin Babbler, etc. Also a White-backed Night-Heron near Velingara. 
  • Quelques visites dans la steppe, les dunes et les niayes près du Lac Rose, trop peu visitées par les ornithos, ont produit des observations d’hivernants peu courants à cette latitude, comme l’Alouette calandrelle, le Traquet isabelle, ou encore le Traquet oreillard A few visits to the steppe, dunes and niayes near Lac Rose, rarely visited by birders, yielded several interesting records of winter visitors that are reputed to be mostly restricted to northern Senegal: Greater Short-toed Lark, Isabelline Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear.
  • Enfin, en 2017 nous avons pu mener ce qui doit être le premier suivi systématique sur l’ensemble de la saison de migration d’automne des oiseaux de mer, devant Dakar. Les faits marquants comprennent notamment un effectif record de Mouettes de Sabine, un passage impressionnant de Puffins cendrés et de Scopoli, un Puffin de Boyd et un Puffin des Baléares, et bien plus encore – résumé complet iciLast but not least, in 2017 we conducted what was the first extensive seabird migration monitoring effort in Senegal (and more generally in West Africa it seems), with regular observations made from the mainland at Ngor between the end of July and the end of December. Highlights included a record number of Sabine’s Gulls, strong passage of Cory’s and Scopoli’s Shearwater, a Boyd’s Shearwater, a Balearic Shearwater, and much more. 
African Finfoot / Grebifoulque

African Finfoot / Grebifoulque

Que nous apportera 2018? Dans tous les cas, avec un nouvel ajout à la liste nationale des le 1er janvier, l’année a bien commencé!