Changing places

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.

the beach by the Senegal River looking towards the south of Doune Baba Dieye
(c) Joanna Dailey

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.

the tributary frequented by ospreys and others
(c) Joanna Dailey

Some of the dots on the sandbar are ospreys and on some days UV is one but not when we visited. Either day!

the edge of the tributary
(c) V J Paine

ospreys by the sandbar
(c) Joanna Dailey

The beach and trees around the tributary are well used.

the best way to cool the feet
(c) Joanna Dailey


a popular beach
(c) Joanna Dailey

a more panoramic view
(c) Joanna Dailey

And crabs were enjoying lunch.

Last year Whistling Duck flocks were in the shallow water but not this, although bird life abounded.

Gulls and a Grey Heron
(c) Joanna Dailey

UV and other ospreys also perch at the end of the mainland that you can see in the first photo.

an osprey on the crest of the beach at the tip of the mainland
(c) Joanna Dailey

But there is human activity there too which will deter the less tolerant birds.

A fisherman at the very end of the mainland waits for the tide to be right…
(c) Joanna Dailey

… and later on it was
(c) Joanna Dailey

And the next day off the very end of the mainland
(c) Joanna Dailey

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.

Spoonbills near the start of the tributary
(c) Joanna Dailey

reeds give way to mangroves…
(c) Joanna Dailey

… the channel narrows…
(c) Joanna Dailey

…UV perches in this area
(c) Joanna Dailey

But not on that day!

an osprey in the mangroves
(c) Joanna Dailey

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.

just out of the tributary a herdsman tends his stock
(c) Joanna Dailey

That was to the east, to the west…

a perch with adornment
(c) Joanna Dailey

Overhead ospreys foraged.

a German osprey forages
(c) V J Paine

one of many ospreys in moult
(c) V J Paine

You’ll have noticed some detritus on the beaches in the earlier photos. Here is more including a Wetlands International bucket.

how did that get there?
(c) V J Paine

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!

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

7 Responses to Changing places

  1. Cirrus says:

    I most certainly agree about disposing of our rubbish respoonsibly Joanna. Why we can’t adopt the American idea of paper shopping bags instead of our ‘reduced’ plastic always irritates me.. Humans are so careless and thoughtless in this area. Thank you for a really interesting Blog – the photos are wonderful – oh the sight of all those Ospreys. And soon to be here in Uk too. I read that an Osprey has already been seen in Scotland. . Lowes resident male could arrive today!!

  2. joannadailey says:

    The betting does seem to be on Lowes’ LM12 being the first to arrive so no doubt another osprey will prove humans wrong again!

  3. Jo says:

    Thank you Joanna for bringing us a little nearer to UV’s holiday spots and thank you all for the pics. Flicking through them originally, the first thing I noticed was the beach debris. Your last pic is horrifying!

  4. Sheila Elliott says:

    Fabulous photos Joanna, thank you. It is always so interesting, for we armchair viewers, to get a ‘feel’ of the over-wintering quarters, and the conditions which influence the behaviour of ospreys.
    I too find the random, thoughtless disposal of unwanted or used rubbish totally reprehensible. It affects our coastlines and countryside as well.

    • joannadailey says:

      Thanks, Sheila. There’ll be another post about UV’s wintering area, it is wonderful to see them there and observe the different behaviour and the overall environment.

  5. thehutts says:

    Better than disposing of our plastic sensibly we need to stop using as much single use plastic as we can. Sally

  6. Vivien Finn says:

    Thank you for a lovely descriptive post and all the great photos. What a lovely spot UV has chosen to spend some of his time, quiet and undisturbed.
    The plastic nightmare continues, action is greatly needed by all countries around the world.

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