Monday, 17 December 2012

Birdwatching near Al Dabaseen Bridge - By Julie Dewilde

On the 30th of November, I went back to the al Dabbaseen bridge, a place I found very interesting when I visited it in may. I went there in the late afternoon. The Nile was a bit higher than last time : the herbaceous islands where i could obsevre ibises, egrets, ducks, were still under water, but yet there were a nice bird activity in the area, especially for waterbirds with a lot of waders, ducks and terns. Some species were the same than in may, and new ones were observed.

There were still a lot of ethiopian swallows and palm swifts flyng above the bridge.

All around the bridge (north and south) I could observe great egrets, a group of grey herons, one black-headed heron, some european spoonbills, black-winged stilt and little egrets and severals groups of black-tailed godwits.

About 100 little stint were counted in the area, and a lot of kittlitz and kentish plovers, lying and resting on the ground : their plumage was incredibly cryptic and we had to walk on them, so they moved, to notice them.

Cryptic plovers

Several common sandpipers, marsh sandpipers, common greenshanks, common ringed plovers, egyptian plovers and ruffs were also observed.
Of special interest for me were one terek sandpiper and a group of  7 pied avocets , both of them were my first ones in khartoum, although I was not here during all the wintertime last year.

Terek Sandpiper

Avocets and other waders

Regarding the terns, there were a few whiskered terns and white-winged tern, some caspian terns as well and a lot of gull-billed terns (more than 200 counted)

As for the ducks, a lot of northern shovellers, some eurasion wigeon and some northern pintail. A lot of ducks could be observed in the middle of the Nile but too far to be identified without a telescope.



I could also observe a couple of great cormorants flying which surprised me as I was more expecting white-breasted cormorants.

Great Cormorants

List of birds observed :

-       spur-winged lapwing : 30
-       great egrets : 2
-       grey herons : 43
-       black-headed heron : 1
-       european spoonbills : 4
-       black-winged stilt : 20
-       little egret : 5
-       black-tailed godwit : 50
-       little stint : 100
-       terek sandpiper : 1
-       common ringed plover : 2
-       kittlitz plover : 50
-       kentish plovers : 15
-       common sand piper : 3
-       marsh sandpipers : 3
-       common greenshank : 20
-       egyptian plovers : 6
-       pied avocet : 7
-       ruffs : 3
-       gull-billed terns : 200
-       whiskered terns : 1
-       white-winged terns : 2
-       caspian terns : 5
-       great cormorants : 2
-       eurasian wigeon : 14
-       northern pintail : 5
-       northern shoveller : 70

The day after, I went back to the same place at the same period of the day, with a group of french ornithologists : Jean-Yves, Pierre, Olivier and Clemence equipped with telescopes.
Besides the species above, we could observe a lanner falcon, common teals, and ospreys.
On the Nile, through the telescope, we could observe a large gull which really looked like a caspian gull, unfortunately too far to be identified  100% and too far to get a picture.
In the telescope again, in the middle of the nile, we could observe a few dark diving ducks identified as ferruginous ducks.

In my opinion, this place looks really interesting to visit on a regular way. It is at this same place, last year, I could observe my first hottentot teals.

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