I have a few blogs to catch up with concerning a trip down south over the New Year weekend but first here is one from Nouakchott from Christmas Eve.
These days birding around the city must include a visit to the large freshwater lake in the north of the citty. It is in Sukok district.
One reason to go there is to look for any new duck arrivals. The bad news on Christmas Eve was that though numbers were again up there were no additional species.
In these blog I have tried to show pictures from there of species not shown in the previous blog from the area.
African swamphen is one such species.
Little grebe is another although the two black-necked grebe were also still there.
Many of the male ducks were moving out of their eclipse plumage into breeding plumage. This was most apparent with the northern pintail.
Indeed northern pintail was the species of duck with the biggest increase in numbers since the last visit.
female northern pintail
Wigeon numbers maintained a high of six.
Wood sandpiper is the most numerous wader. The one spotted redshank was still there.
Over the weeks, an occasional western reef heron has turned up. This was the first time a dark morph bird was seen.
western reef heron
There is a right turn just past the gendarmarie check-point that leads to a coastal fishing village. We investigated this for the first time.
Waders were mostly sanderling, red knot and grey plover.
Kentish plover 1
However the best wader was Kentish plover which is surprisingly uncommon compared with what I was used to in the Gulf.
Kentish Plover 2
After this, we made it to another new site. This was one was the side of the water company which supplies tap water to Nouakchott. Friends of Mohamed Vall had told him that there was a water body at the back of the works.
The water was a lake and had attracted a good cross section of birds. Indeed I suspect it is going to be very interesting during the spring passage.
We were hampered by poor visibility caused by a sandstorm coming off the Sahara.
Nevertheless, we could see flocks of both Sudanese golden sparrow and of house sparrow.
Sudanese golden sparrow
There were waders including a common snipe and at least two little ringed plover.
little ringed plover
Three male black-crowned sparrow-lark came down to drink while we were there.
Late on one green sandpiper was seen although wood sandpiper and little stint were more numerous.
This site will be regularly visited from now on.