Aba Island – By Julie Dewilde
On the 15th of November, I went with Laurent, to Aba Island north of Kosti, for camping and some birdwatching.
We decided to camp at the north end of the island : GPS : 13°22.677’ N ; 32°36.011’E.
On the Nile side of the road, it was a swampy herbaceous area, where birds were hiding, and on the other side, cultivated areas with some flooded fields. The road was protected by a small embankment.
View of the site
On the way to the north of the island, I observed a collared pratincole flying, a great egret, some squacco herons, a lot of sand martins, and some ethiopian swallows, some cattle egrets and only one abyssinian roller.
While birding in the north, in the early morning, I could observe several (about ten) white-winged terns, a few long-tailed cormorants, some purple herons, one black-headed heron and a lot of squacco herons and of course the usual spur-winged lapwings. Of special interest for water birds were a couple of long-toed lapwings that I have only seen before last january around kosti area as well. I could unfortunately only get thus blurry photo
There were also big colony of barn swallows chasing insects above the herbaceous swamps, and colony of northern masked weavers together with red bishops.
There were some yellow wagtails and white wagtails and a lot of shrikes : southern grey shrikes, isabelline shrikes and woodchat shrikes, probably also some lesser grey shrikes which may have been confused with southern grey shrikes from far. Some bee-eaters obsered as well : blue-cheeked and little green bee-eaters.
As for birds of prey, I observed several marsh harriers above the swamps and one black shouldered kite
List of birds observed in the north of aba island :
– white winged terns : ≈ 10
– long-tailed cormorants : 5
– great egret :1
– purple heron : 6
– black-headed heron : 1
– cattle egret : 5
– squacco herons : ≈ 30
– spur-winged lapwing : 5
– long-toed lapwing : 2
– pied kingfisher : 5
– yellow wagtail : 5
– white wagtails : 2
– southern grey shrike : 5
– woodchat shrikes : 4
– isabelline shrikes : 6
– northern masked weaver : ≈ 30
– red bishop : 5
– blue-naped mousebird : 4
– white-browed coucal : 1
– little green bee-eater : 1
– blue-vheeked bee-eater : 2
– marsh harrier : 5
– black-shouldered kite : 1
– ethiopian swallows, barn swallows, sand martins, mourning doves, namaqa dove, laughing dove, zitting cisticolas
On the way back to khartoum, we stopped to observe a maya very rich in waterbirds. Unfortunately, they were very far and it was impossible without a telescope to be able to observe all of them.
But among them, we could see : 6 grey herons, a group of about 80 european spoonbills , among them 5 african spoonbills, 15 spur-winged lapwings, 10 sacred ibises, about 30 glossy ibises, 1 great egret, 3 curlews, 5 common grenshanks, 10 common sandpipers, a lot of little stint (more then 100) kentish plovers, and kittlitz plovers, a few caspian plovers, 6 black-winged stilt, a group of more than 200 ruffs, 2 wood sandpipers, 4 marsh sandpipers, about 60 gull-biled terns, 1 ospreys and some barn swallows.
Much more were too far to be identified
This maya was really interesting and i was a bit frustrated not to have a telescope. It worth a stop.