Sunday, 8 January 2017

Allen's gallinule in Nouakchott

My first visit to North Noaukchott lake for two weeks took place on Friday afternoon. I was joined after a while by Mohamed Vall.

This time he brought his scope. It proved to be invaluable as he picked up an unusual bird at the edge of some distant reeds.

Allen's gallinule 1

It turned out to be an immature Allen's gallinule. What's more it allowed close approach and stayed on a low lying wall for over five minutes.

Allen's gallinule 2

In Mauritania it is only regular in the Senegal River delta area. However there is a recent record of one roaming as far north as Dakhla in western Sahara which is directly north of Mauritania.

Allen's gallinule 3

North Noaukchott Lake is fresh water and should be attractive to such a species.Time will tell whether this is just a roaming bird.

Otherwise the lake held very similar species to two weeks ago. All five duck species were still present: marbled duck, wigeon, northern shoveller, pintail and teal. Though in each case numbers were down.


Only one each of wigeon and marbled duck were observed this time.

northern shoveller

Northern shoveller remains the most numerous duck.

common teal

Two common teal remain. I still have hopes of the cold weather in Morocco and Spain driving mallard, pochard or tufted duck down before the winter is out.

common sandpiper

While duck numbers are down, waders are up. There are more common sandpiper, wood sandpiper and green sandpiper around than all winter at the moment. Three common snipe were observed too. However more common ringed plover were present than any other wader this time.

common ringed plover

Cattle egret have been an ever presnt all winter. Often there has been a European spoonbill partly associating with them. I don't know whther it has been the same bird each time.

European spoonbill

I could only locate one of the two black-necked grebe which have been wintering here. Though this has happened before, only for me to see two the next time.

black-necked grebe

Not long before we left, a mixed flock of gull arrived. Most as ever were black-headed gull with a few Meditteranean gull mixed in.

Mediterranean gull

I am beginning to wonder what birds will be present at the lake in spring and in the summer. When the wintering birds leave, what will be left and what if anything will arrive?

No comments:

Post a Comment