Tuesday, 22 May 2018


Kandra is just west of Kiffa on the way back to Nouakchott. It is the site of a permanent lake although small in the dry season.

Mohamed Vall and I stopped off there on our way back from Kiffa at the beginning of April.

It was a very hot day and partly because of this, most of the bird activity was next to the lake rather than in the near-by woodland.

black kite

The lake was a magnet for black kite.

immature Egyptian vulture

There was one other bird of prey present. It was an immature Egyptian vulture. All of these birds spent some time in the air and indeed directed us by their presence above the lake as to where to find the lake through the trees.

They were also joined by brown-necked raven.

spotted redshank

Given how little fresh water there is between the Savanna belt and the Mediterranean at this time of year, flocks of migrant water birds must love having found Kandra. There was a flock of 10 spotted redshank including one in pure breeding plumage.

black-winged stilt and spotted redshank

It is difficult to know if the black-winged stilt are passage or resident birds.

little grebe

This is likewise true with the flock of little grebe that were observed.

Abyssinian roller

Abyssinian roller is a resident though they can wander.

red-billed firefinch

While we didn't see any red-billed firefinch in Kiffa, we found them here. Like the roller it is normally a bird of the far south of the country.

red-billed quelea

They are hundreds of thousands of red-billed quelea along the Senegal River valley but you can often see ones and twos further north. We only found one there.

Also away from the water, we found a migrant lesser whitethroat and rufous bush-robin. However laughing dove and Namaqua dove were the most numerous birds.

Namaqua dove

With patience we found a group of fulvous babbler too.

fulvous babbler

I have no doubt Kandra like Kiffa are excellent birding places in the rainy season. The main problem is getting there. Nouakchott is 600 kilometres away.

After Kandra we headed west to Aleg to stay on Sunday night. I have already posted what we saw on Aleg on the Monday morning as we continued our journey home.

So I have nowhere else to report, except here, that after Aleg on the Monday, we had one final important sighting. At Boutilimit, barely 150 kilometres from home, we spotted a roaming tawny eagle high in the sky. The trip ended with me adding this to my country list making 303.

Species seen at Kandra on Sunday 1st April
Little Grebe  
Grey Heron  
Glossy Ibis  
Egyptian Vulture  
Black Kite  
Spur-winged Lapwing  
Little Stint  
Common Sandpiper  
Spotted Redshank  
Marsh Sandpiper  
Laughing Dove  
Namaqua Dove  
Blue-naped Mousebird  
Eurasian Hoopoe  
Abyssinian Roller  
Common Kestrel  
Southern Grey Shrike  
Woodchat Shrike  
Brown-necked Raven  
Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark  
Sand Martin  
Barn Swallow  
Lesser Whitethroat  
Fulvous Babbler
Black Scrub-Robin  
Rufous  Scrub Robin  
Common Redstart  
Northern Wheatear  
Greater Blue-eared Starling  
Western Yellow Wagtail  
Sudan Golden Sparrow  
Red-billed Quelea  
Red-billed Firefinch  

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