Friday, 2 December 2016

Cansado beach

Another area visited in the Nouadhibou peninsula last weekend was the beach north of Cansado towards the main city of Nouadhibou.

This is a stretch of coast which doesn't have low lying cliffs like Cansado itself. It is also has some strips of worn-down rock.

The beach had many lesser black-backed gull and yellow-legged gull like the rest of the peninsula.

one oystercatcher

However, given the terrain, it was not surprising to see several ruddy turnstone and a few oystercatcher.

another oystercatcher

Other waders included kentish plover, common ringed plover, grey plover and whimbrel.

caspian tern and sandwich tern

While Caspian tern are very common in the Noaudhibou area, this was the only place Mohamed Vall and I saw sandwich tern too.

common tern

Yet it was a single common tern which attracted our interest.

Many thousands migrate from northern and western Europe down the Western African coast towards the tropics and southern hemisphere for winter. However this was the first one I have seen in Mauritania. It looks like they don't stop off but prefer non-stop flying. This is the only reason I can think of as to why I haven't seen any before. Indeed the bird we observed at Cansado was not in good condition and this would explain why it came to coast.

common tern stretching 

This is in stark contrast to birds seen in the Gulf and which do linger on the coast on migration down East Africa. Indeed a few winter and over-summer in Oman on the same latitude as the parts of Muaritania where I have been searching for this species.

In the next blog we look at central Noaudhibou bay where there were literally thousands of birds.

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