UV took a long time to find his wintering grounds – it wasn’t until the end of April 2015 that he eventually settled in the Langue de Barbarie National Park. He certainly isn’t alone there. Twice monthly bird counts by the National Park usually record 180-200 Ospreys along the ‘tombolo’, the sand bar which comprises the 2000 hectare National Park. Frédéric Bacuez has written about the 15 January bird count in Ornithondar.
This post begins with a couple of photos towards the north end then concentrates on the southern boundary with the mainland. This Google Earth Image provides some context.
Zebrabar provides a range of accommodation but most important for birdwatchers is an observation tower over 40′ tall giving 360° views over otherwise flat and low-lying terrain. This photo shows the view north towards the breach.
The next photo at ground level shows UV’s old area to the left – it has fairly dense tree cover of Filaos, mainly.
There will be more about that area in another post. Now the focus switches to the southern end where UV spends quite a few hours sitting on the beach after flying further down the coast. This is his position on 3 March – actually a little way beyond the shallow lagoon.
And this is a view towards that area.
The villagers would have kept their fishing pirogues in the mouth of the river before it silted up. Now, as the Google Earth image shows, they are mostly on the beach. UV has also perched in the trees roughly where the haze begins.
Normally he is on the beach or in trees on the west side of the river, as were all the thirty or so Ospreys seen during our visit. There is no sign of buildings on the mainland side of the river north of the small settlement and the inhabitants walk along the beach near the Ospreys yet they seem to prefer that area.
Eight Ospreys could be seen in a group in the low vegetation on the extreme left of the photo. Other Ospreys sat on the beach – on a branch or on the sand. They were foraging offshore not in the lagoon. Terns and Gulls overflew the lagoon which probably holds only small prey in the shallows. Here are a few Ospreys!
Some Ospreys were tolerant of other birds – and people to a degree – but others were quite flighty.
The beach here was less covered with plastic than many others but virtually every photo has some obvious coloured plastic showing. The villages have no way to dispose of plastic that has covered items they buy so there are predominantly plastic rubbish heaps in every populated place.
The beach shelved steeply towards the sea; this photo gives an idea.
Further posts will follow covering other areas frequented by UV. And his ‘friends’!