In the last post we described changes to the northern part of the Langue de Barbarie. An increase in human activity in the unpopulated area at its southern end may well be why UV – and other ospreys – were less in evidence in February 2017 than the same period last year. Where are UV and his like spending time now?
Doune Baba Dieye, the island where a village was destroyed by the ocean, hosts UV (sometimes) and other ospreys whilst the displaced villagers tend their crops on the north spit of the Langue. In February 2016 there were ospreys on Doune Baba Dieye so this isn’t a new destination. But they are still present in number in 2017 which was not the case on north spit albeit over a short observation period. Plus there’s the supporting evidence from UV’s data to indicate the spit is less popular, at least with him.
This year UV has visited more or less the same southern area of Doune Baba Dieye as in 2016.
This beach was a destination more often last year than this. The tip of the mainland, part of which is visible to the top right of the photo, is another destination for ospreys to perch. Beyond the trees top left is where UV has been more of the time in 2017. This is the area, looking inland.
Some of the dots on the sandbar are ospreys and on some days UV is one but not when we visited. Either day!
The beach and trees around the tributary are well used.
And crabs were enjoying lunch.
Last year Whistling Duck flocks were in the shallow water but not this, although bird life abounded.
UV and other ospreys also perch at the end of the mainland that you can see in the first photo.
But there is human activity there too which will deter the less tolerant birds.
You can see how shallow the water is near the river mouth. Another area UV perches is a mangrove lined tributary off the main river. Access is only possible around high tide.
But not on that day!
The habitat housed kingfishers and heron, ospreys were seen and also heard slightly further away. It is a quiet area and difficult to access, good for wildlife.
Leaving the tributary revealed the first human activity.
That was to the east, to the west…
Overhead ospreys foraged.
You’ll have noticed some detritus on the beaches in the earlier photos. Here is more including a Wetlands International bucket.
Wherever the origin – and netting especially is a local responsibility – plastic entering the food chain is a growing problem, and one that can persist for hundreds of years. The detritus is not necessarily from the local area but could well have been brought to shore from thousands of miles away by ocean currents. These currents being what they are, much of west Africa’s beach flotsam emanates from western Europe and countries around the Mediterranean. In recent years, some enterprising Senegalese have found a way to make money out of the washed-up garbage.
But it would be far better to stop this problem at source – and that means all of us should dispose of our unused items responsibly!