Cape Verde Islands 2015

I visited the island of Sal in cape verde between 19th may to 2nd june 2015, the weather was average of 28/29 degrees with a strong cool wind for most of the duration of our stay. We stayed in the new Melia dunas hotel just north of santa maria the islands capital in the south of the island.Along the beach from the hotel there were many Bar tailed desert larks feeding on the scrub along the sand dunes. There were also a few hoopoe larks scattered around the length of the beach and i was lucky enough to stumble across a nest with 2 chicks in it, but unfortunately the nest was predated when i checked it a week later.Along the water's edge you can find waders like whimbrel, turnstone, sanderling and of course many kentish plover. Osprey's can be seen hunting along the beach very low giving superb views, and also on occasions Red billed tropic birds would turn up sometimes up to 3 birds would fly along the water's edge flying to within a couple of feet giving breath taking views. Along the beach where there are hotels being built you can find Alexandra Kestrels hovering and the most common bird of all which were everywhere were the Iago sparrow. Images below

Bar tailed desert lark

 Hoopoe lark

Iago sparrow




Alexandra kestrel

Red billed tropic bird

We booked a trip on 4x4 with fernando who is situated on the beach at the hotel, they take you on an island tour visting various parts of the island one was buracona where you can see what they call the magic eye when the sun shines through a hole in the caves and the reflection on the water gives it a jewel look well worth the look, here you can see Osprey, Iago sparrow and Brown necked raven, they then take you across country to the other side where you can see cattle egret on route. They visit shark's bay, here you can see Whimbrel Kentish plover Osprey and other Wader's that i couldn't quite Id as the 4x4 was a bit jumpy but well worth even getting a taxi here during migration times and walk along the rocky coast line. The water is very shallow and you can wade out 100 yds up to you knees and get good views of Lemon sharks as they feed around you. The trip finishes off at pedra de lume the salt lakes they charge 5euro to enter here and again you can see many waders with Black winged stilt breeding here i think, we didnt fancy swimming in the salt lakes so the driver took us to the top of the creator to view it from above giving stunning views here you can see many Bar tailed desert larks also. Images below

Old winder 

Lemon shark

Salt lakes

But if you staying down near santa maria there is an old disused salt lake that just looks like a large pond in santa maria, here i had Black winged stilts, Lesser black backed gull, Kentish plover, Yellow legged gull 1st or 2nd calender not sure to be honest, again this place well worth the look during migration period. Right once you've had a good look around here if you head west then along the main road towards the RIU hotel there's a roundabout at the end of the road with flooded dunes in front, Here you can get really close to the Black winged stilts Kentish plover and this is the only place where i came across 2 pairs of Black crowned sparrow larks, also there are house martins flying around the hotel grounds here and some interesting moths and butterflies in this much more vegetated area of sand dunes Images below

Black crowned sparrow lark
Crimson speckled Moth 

Grasshopper species

Flower species

Black winged stilt

House Martin

Yellow legged gull

Lesser black backed gull

 Kentish plover male and female

Orb weaver Spider

moth/butterfly species

Monarch Butterfly 

Bath white Butterfly

Unknown insect

Between the melia dunas hotel and the RIU further down there is a large area of desert scrub between the beach and road here is where i came across Cream coloured courser below

These birds are quite approachable as long as you keep still they will come within 8-10 yds of you 


Paul Challinor said...

Great summary. The camera will be going with me definitely after reading this. Thanks again. Maybe I'll feedback after the holiday in August, though it will almost certainly be with a request to help id the birds.

Martyn Hnatiuk said...

Nice report - notice the Kentish Plover are colour ringed - maybe worth checking out, to see if they are resident or passage birds

Martyn Hnatiuk MartynH said...

The unknown butterfly is a "African Baubul Blue" [Azanus jesous]

Martyn Hnatiuk MartynH said...

The Monarch is an "African Tiger" [Danaus chrysippus chrysippus]

Paul Parsons said...

The plants are Broomrape species.