Hundreds of longboat-shaped fishing boats were moored up and there were plenty of fish on sale, some of which were extremely large.
Yet strangely, there was hardly a bird in this immediate area apart from a few house sparrow.
Moving south 150 metres down the coast, it was a different story with several locations producing a different array of birds.
The first location was a smelly rubbish dump based on partially on fish parts and broken shells but with pools surrounding it.
Bar-tailed godwit were patrolling the pools and some of the wet earth.
Sanderling were there in numbers.
Ruddy turnstone were also present.
Welsh common ringed plover 1
Common ringed plover are proving to be abundant all over west Nouakchott including near the fish market at the coast.
One of them was ringed and flagged. If I have understood the rings correctly this is a Welsh bird. I have written to the contact sending pictures and await verification.
Welsh common ringed plover 2
A young Kittlitz's plover is good evidence that this species breeds here.
juvenile Kittlitz's plover
While walking a little further down the coast to a cleaner area, a large flock of Eurasian spoonbill flew past and laso travelling south.
In this place, there are three sand-banked small lagoons managed by the environment ministry which are designed to attract birds.
Black tern were certainly attracted to it.
Whimbrel were there.
On a small island in one lagoon, a large number of sanderling were huddled together.
A much smaller tern was easily picked out there. Little tern is the only option.
I was surprised that gulls and sea-faring terns were not seen at the ocean's edge.
Counter-initutively, by scanning all around, I found a large number 500 metres inland from the lagoons. I had been looking in the wrong direction.
As I walked towards the cluster of gulls and terns, three adult greater flamingo passed over.
I used a wall as a backcloth to approach the gulls so as not to spook them.
lesser black backed gull
The larger gulls were all lesser black-backed gull. One medium sized gull was a black-headed gull.
The big surprise was the presence of 14 Audouin's gull. Such a large number may be explained by a probably affinity to the fish port and market. This gull is unusally dependent on fish for its diet.
Sandwich tern and Royal tern
I am on the look out for lesser crested tern which are known to winter on the Mauritanian coast and in particular Libyan birds, a few of which are ringed.
They are known to associate with closely related sandwich tern. Well, I found several sandwich tern. However the orange-billed tern seen with them near the fish market were both the larger Royal tern.
Walikng back towards the fish market through the coast scrub turned up a small number of warblers, crest lark and an unexpected hoopoe lark.
Two desert grey shrike were observed on bushes and they were of the expected elegans sub-species in contrast to the unexpected algeriensis seen the day before at Zaatar allotments.
desert grey shrike
At a small pool, my first curlew sandpiper in country was seen.
The last new bird of the session was a shy northern wheatear.
List of birds seen. New additions to my Mauritiania list are in bold.
Common Ringed Plover
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Southern Grey Shrike
Western Bonelli's Warbler