Langue de Barbarie National Park – part 2

On 23 February ornithologist (and finder of Kielder Blue 1H in November 2013,  therefore a Kielder hero!) Frédéric Bacuez joined us to take a pirogue up to the breach area and across to UV’s old area in the Langue de Barbarie National Park. Frédéric has written an informative blog about the many different species of birds we saw on that day – including some migrants heading north – on Ornithondar

This post concentrates on UV’s ‘old area’, where he spent almost all of his time from late April to September 2015.  It is a very small patch of under a square kilometre.

Initially the pirogue headed north of UV’s original location on the narrow spit of land separating the Senegal River from the Atlantic Oxean. A few hundred metres of the northern end was lost to the ocean sometime last summer or autumn. Sand bars and trees still provide homes for birds.

The new northern limit of land in the National Park (c) Joanna Dailey

The new northern limit of land in the National Park
(c) Joanna Dailey

A handy perch above the waves (c) Vic Paine

A handy perch above the waves
(c) Vic Paine

The current and rough sea prevented exploration further north. The pirogue turned and headed for UV’s old area which is used by other Ospreys now.

Osprey on a tree UV could have used (c) Joanna Dailey

Osprey on a tree UV could have used
(c) Joanna Dailey

UV used to sit in the trees on the river side of the spit sometimes – this is the view from the north.

UV's old area seen from the north (c) Joanna Dailey

UV’s old area seen from the north
(c) Joanna Dailey

The interior of the spit at this point has some sandy open spaces amongst the (mainly) Filau trees. UV would perch in this area some days.

UV would have looked down on this area many times (c) Joanna Dailey

UV would have looked down on this area many times
(c) Joanna Dailey

The beach was not as well populated by Ospreys as the southernmost part was the previous day. This is the view UV saw each day in the summer.

UV roosted in these trees on many nights (c) Joanna Dailey

UV roosted in these trees on many nights
(c) Joanna Dailey

He perched in daytime on one slightly elevated place quite near the sea – this could well have been it.

Is this UV's old perch? (c) Joanna Dailey

Is this UV’s old perch?
(c) Joanna Dailey

Ospreys were visible foraging offshore with a few sat on other old stumps.

Enjoying the view (c) Vic Paine

Enjoying the view
(c) Vic Paine

It felt quite special to experience the small area UV called home from late April to September, and difficult to see why he lost interest.

The pirogue trip continued south as far as L’Ile aux Oiseaux, an important breeding area within the Park. Gabions have been installed to reduce the erosion. Handy perches!

Great Cormorants enjoy the view (c) Joanna Dailey

Great Cormorants enjoy the view
(c) Joanna Dailey

Throughout the pirogue journey Ospreys were spotted regularly. Mainly they were bringing fish caught offshore to a tree by the river, or were ‘just resting’ on the riverside. Here are a few of the thirty or so Ospreys seen.

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And just a few of the other species.

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Very few of the Ospreys were colour ringed. The bird census undertaken in November and December under the auspices of Project Tougoupeul recorded details of eight ringed Ospreys out of regular counts of around 180-200. Vic photographed one metal ringed Osprey where the quality of the image enabled a partial ring reading.

Osprey with metal ring (c) Vic Paine

Osprey with metal ring
(c) Vic Paine

Unfortunately the last two digits were not visible.

Partial reading (c) Vic Paine

Partial reading
(c) Vic Paine

The BTO contacted their Swedish opposite numbers who informed Vic that the Osprey was ringed in SW Sweden.

Many thanks to Vic for sharing his excellent photographs with the blog.

This entry was posted in Abroad, Blue UV, Migration. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Langue de Barbarie National Park – part 2

  1. MaryGK says:

    An excellent review Joanna, thank you for taking us to UVs wintering grounds, wonderful photos from yourself and Vic. It is so special to see the area you report about in your super blogs.

    • joannadailey says:

      Thanks, Mary, being there was a special experience.

      It isn’t over yet, another blog will cover the northern part of the Langue de Barbarie and the area just east, which he uses most of the time now!

  2. MaryGK says:

    Look forward to it Joanna. Stay safe UV wherever you fly. :-).
    Sorry if I have made multiple entries, I am trying to deal with extra extra slow wifi at the moment lol.

  3. Wonderful review, Joanna ! Thanks a lot !

  4. 1935peter says:

    These posts are wonderful —– I enjoy seeing where ‘our’ birds go

    • joannadailey says:

      Thanks, Peter. It is such a great learning experience in the wintering grounds. We weren’t there long enough!

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