This blog is about habitat change on the northern part of the Langue de Barbarie but we’ll start and end with some ospreys!
One of the puzzling aspects of UV’s behaviour since his return to his wintering area in October 2016 is the increasingly small amount of time he has spent on the northern spit when compared to last winter. In February 2016 we found many ospreys on the beach which is several miles from housing. Sea or river fishing appeared productive. One of the aims of the February 2017 visit was to try and determine why UV visits the area infrequently.
As the pirogue neared the area quite extensive crop growing was noticeable.
Cabbages are relatively salt tolerant but must be able to thrive because the sand is being deposited by the wind and not tidal action, so is not salt laden.
The people working the land are from Doune Baba Dieye, the village on the other side of the Senegal River destroyed by the power of the sea in 2011. Lives and livelihoods were lost but here is evidence of rebuilding.
They are not alone in utilising the end of the northern spit.
You can see that gulls aren’t concerned by the activities but there was a striking absence of perching ospreys when compared to the same time last year – a couple on the beach rather than over twenty.
When UV has been to this area in the last couple of months he has often been perched in what looks like water on the Google Earth images. In a recent post Paul’s calculations about the rapid extension southwards of the north spit were mentioned. Here is evidence.
The pin is the position where the photo was taken. It is near some of UV’s recent perches. Paul has modelled the probable extent of the land now. Or, more accurately, ten days ago!
Spookily, as this blog was in draft UV’s data arrived showing he spent nearly three hours on the spit late yesterday. This photo was taken very near where he spent part of the time.
There’ll be more posts about UV and his wintering area. But for now here are the promised ‘other osprey’ photos – they may not land on north spit so often but foraging is still profitable!