BLACK HERON IN THE ISLAND OF BIRDS, DELTA DU SALOUM.


One afternoon, i spoke with the guesthouse owner.He told me about the island of birds, a small islet that many birds come to roost late evening.I felt very curious to explore it and i decided to arrange a boat with him.It costed about 30 euros.

Around 4 o’clock we met again and we went to find the boat, about 500 meters from my guesthouse.It took about 30 minutes to reach the main island and once there we passed along many of the streams that penetrate inside the island.It was very quiet and calm and the views were nice.We were surrounded by mangrove trees in each side of the streams and soon we started to see some birds.

Some of the birds we spotted around this area were pink-backed pelican, african darter, little egret, great egret, yellow-billed kite, whimbrel, lesser-crested terns, rose-ringed parakeets, Senegal coucal and pied kingfisher.

About 5 pm we arrived at the “mysterious island”.We were waiting there for quite a while until the first individuals made its appearance.Sooner the small islet began to fill with many birds.The most noisy and common were long-tailed cormorants ( see picture above ).Solitary western reef egrets landed in some branches as well.

But the bird that caught most of my attention was the black heron.Its plumage is dark blue blackish with some distinct long feathers hanging from the nape.It’s a sub-Saharan species found mainly in lakes, ponds, marshes,rice fields, grasslands and tidal rivers and flats.

But the interesting thing about it is its peculiar antics that perform to catch fish.It displays its wings like an “umbrella” to attract fish.This bird has been documented by the BBC in its Life of Birds series.

I wait patiently to photograph him while hunting but unfortunately he didn’t.I added a footage of this bird filmed by Earth Touch where you can see him in action:

We wait there until very late afternoon.About 6:30 pm we decided to come back.The driver ran out of fuel and we had to wait for some help from other boat drivers until got dark.Inconveniences can be sometimes part of the adventure.Finally we arrived in the pier late evening.

This sought-after bird made my day !!!

Next stop, Salemata, a town not well-known for its birdlife that delivered some interesting bird species. See you soon my friends !!

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