Monday 26 September 2016

Northern outskirts of Nouakchott

On Friday afternoon, I walked straight out of my temporary lodgings north towards the edge of the city. It isn't so far as although the city is large the development is ribbon-based along main roads. Straight out north from my district and there is no major road hence the short distance to the edge.

I had hoped the change in terrain from the tree -laced central district would produce different birds. I wasn't disappointed.

In the low scrub were many warblers. This would have been the first greenery they had seen since crossing the Sahara which opens up just north of the city.

Willow warbler was once again the most abundant warbler.

Melodious warbler 1

However I had prolonged views of two Melodious warbler.

Melodious warbler 2

There were no real hiding places for the birds and they wanted to feed too so views were as easy as they can get for this species.

Melodious warbler 3

I made a brief birding trip in my neighbourhood on Thursday evening and here is a  closely related western olivaceous warbler for comparison which was seen then.

western olivaceous warbler

Another species in the low scrub was western sub-alpine warbler.

western sub-alpine warbler

Looking up at a group of laughing dove on a wire gave me quite a surprise when I realised one of them was not a laughing dove at all but a young European turtle dove.

European turtle dove (left)

This bird has a burr stuck above its eye. 

European turtle dove

Out in the semi-desert a little bit further out of town, I came across my first brown-necked raven in Muaritania. In the scattered trees were pied flycatcher, a common redstart and a nightingale.

spotted flycatcher

Other migrants included spotted flycatcher and three woodchat shrike. One was the only adult bird I have observed this autumn.

woodchat shrike

Woodchat shrike are at least temporarily out numbering desert grey shrike.

desert grey shrike

On Saturday I visited the Cinquieme district of the city and added four more species to my steadily growing Mauritania list.

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