maandag 28 november 2011

21 november 2011 - Egyptian Plover day!

No end of photos will do justice to today. We started early, crossed the river mouth to Barra and then saw 161+ species whilst heading for Egyptian Plover. We also had some excitement late in the day when our ferry lost control and crashed into the mangroves!!

As well as a handful of Pomarine Skuas we also saw several dolphins around the river mouth, presumably Bottle-nosed?

 as well as an atmospheric sunrise.
The drier north bank is great for many species including Chestnut-bellied Starling and these Northern Anteater Chats
Raptors featured strongly all day, one of the biggest surprises was this Short-toed Snake-eagle (Beaudouin's is more likely)
Although when this Martial Eagle appeared it certainly created a bigger reaction (overshadowing the Northern Carmine Bee-eaters that had just flown over!)
and then it came even closer!
The wetlands were, as always, stacked with birds. If only there were somewhere to stay a night we could really do justice to the birding. These Collared Pratincoles were fantastic.
and this White-rumped Swift was a Gambia tick for me
and this Malachite Kingfisher posed nicely
Our target was still missing though, and i couldn't enjoy the other species as much as normal. There were farmers who had set up camp on the muddy shore of the lakes, shouting to each other, cattle wandering about, meaning that the Egyptian Plovers had been disturbed......seemed like only one safe place to be, om the main road!

Thankfully the traffic was slow! The same day we listened to singing Savile's Bustard, and saw hundreds of birds visiting Serings water hole, including Exclamatory Paradise Whydah, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting and Cut-throat Finch.....what a day!

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