Thursday, 15 September 2016

West Nouakchott

The western side of Nouakchott has a high water table in many places. I made my first visit to these part of the city on Tuesday afternoon which was the end of our Eid break from work.

In several places there are shallow brackish lakes and the larger ones attract waders.

I spent some time birding a small cluster of these larger lakes.

Ringed plover were common but associating with them were a smaller number of Kittlitz's plover.

Kittlitz's plover (left) with ringed plover (right)

Kittlitz's plover is at furthest north of its normal range. It was also a lifer.

young kentish plover

This is ideal terrain for Kentish plover and given the young age of several of the birds seen, they are breeding here.

spur-winged lapwing

The other "plover" present was spur-winged lapwing sometimes called spur-winged plover.

wood sandpiper

Only two types of sandpiper were observed. These were wood sandpiper and common sandpiper.

common sandpiper

I should expect easily to add green sandpiper and curlew sandpiper to my country list fairly soon. Other sandpipers are much rarer.

little stint

The most abundant wader of all on Tuesday afternoon was little stint.


There were a few sanderling too. I am not use to them actually wading rather than running around on sand near the water's edge.


Four dunlin were also sighted.

common redshank

As well as the spur-winged lapwing already mentioned, there were other larger waders present encouraged by the fact that the "lakes" were up to 30-40 cms deep in a few places.

Common redshank were easy to pick up. However a single greenshank was nearly missed as it was resting in the middle of the complex of pools and partially hidden.

black-winged stilt

The final larger wader was black-winged stilt.

At the edge of the lakes was a medium sized rubbish dump. I gave this a close look. Although most of the birds there were house sparrow, I was rewarded for my efforts by two migrants.


One was a spotted flycatcher but the other pleased me more. It was a whinchat.

This was an encouraging sighting as the passage season is still young.

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