Thursday, November 15, 2012

Arrival at Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay has an unusual climate with cold damp mornings, driven by the sea fog, which eventually burns off leaving hot dry afternoons.  I got my first sunburn when the fog burned off unexpectedly!

We had a cup of tea sat on the little veranda with our room and snapped this Orange-river White-Eye that had just made use of the bird bath in the main garden:



We headed out for an afternoon bird walk along the sea front.  On the grass verge, Cape Sparrows:


These pictures give you an idea of the scale and habitat at Walvis Bay:



It's a breathtaking place and if it isn't already it should be protected as a site of global significance for wading birds.  There are literally hundreds of thousands of birds taking advantage of the abundant food, though none actually breed there due to the local Jackals.

This is one small Tern roost comprising Sandwich Terns, Common Terns, Caspian Terns, Swift Terns and the Namibian Endemic, Damara Terns:


A Caspian Tern lifting off after a plunge dive for fish:


Curlew Sandpipers - we're used to seeing a couple a year, there must be well over 25,000 at Walvis Bay:



Greater Flamingoes:
















We originally got in a knot over this wader, but by structure it must be a Grey Plover:


As well as the wading birds there are gulls including Hartlaub's Gull:


And Kelp Gull:


And the smallest of all waders, Little Stint:


A more familiar bid is the Pied Avocet, here again present in huge numbers:


Sanderling:


 

And finally a cute ball of fluff, the White-fronted Plover:



We really enjoyed the walk, though it was only a taste of the following day, which was basically planned as a full exploration of the Bay.

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