Photographer's Note

White-faced Whistling Duck

This is a cloud of ducks. As evaluated by BirdLife International and according to the guide they where about 66000.

Have you ever thought they could be so numerous?

It is an amazing experience to see them. They land and take of from time to time, you don’t even know why. Probably they feel a threat (probably a coyote or a group of wild pig moving close to them).

Photo taken from a hiding place at 10 AM at GPSLatitude16,25.0207N - GPSLongitude 16,12.9428W

The White-faced Whistling Duck, Dendrocygna viduata, is a whistling duck which breeds in sub-Saharan Africa and much of South America.

Picture taken in the Parc National des Oiseaux du Djoudj (PNOD; 16,000 ha) which consists of an inland delta in a shallow depression lying within the flood-plain of the Senegal river, in north-western Senegal, on the border with Mauritania, where it is contiguous with Diawling National Park (MR021). The park lies about 60 km north-east of the city of St Louis and some 20 km north-west of the Ndiaël basin (site SN002). Objectives for the park include environmental education and promotion of ecotourism as well as wildlife conservation.

The PNOD consists of an extensive complex of seasonally inundated brackish lakes and pools lying on impermeable saline soils and linked by channels to a branch of the Senegal river. It lies within the Sahel zone at sea-level and the terrestrial vegetation consists of Tamarix and Acacia savanna with a ground layer of herbs and grasses. Areas subjected to inundation support Typha, Sporobolus robustus, Phragmites and Nymphaea. The surrounding landscape outside the park is flat, open thorn-bush savanna used for livestock-rearing, hunting and some rice cultivation. There are seasonally inundated and marshy areas and small channels, especially adjacent to the river, and some of these are extremely important for birds in some years or at certain times of year, depending on flood and rain water-levels. These additional areas are therefore incorporated in the IBA and include an area known as 'Débi' to the north of the park and the 'Zone d'intérêt cynégétique' (or hunting zone) du Djeuss to the south. The IBA also extends downstream of the park along the river as far as the Maka Diama dam. Most of these areas are incorporated within the management plan for the PNOD and its buffer zone.

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Additional Photos by Michel Detay (mdetay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 487 W: 1 N: 1045] (4929)
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