Working for birds in Africa

First record of Red-footed Booby Sula sula for Senegal

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Première mention du Fou à pieds rouges Sula sula pour le Sénégal. Le 19 octobre 2016, un Fou à pieds rouges Sula sula immature a été photographié à environ 10 milles marins au nord de la presqu’île du CapVert, Dakar (c.14°56’N 17°28’W). Il s’agit de la première donnée pour le Sénégal. Les colonies les plus proches se trouvent sur l’île de l’Ascension, dans l’Atlantique Sud, et sur l’archipel brésilien Fernando de Noronha. L’espèce est occasionnelle aux Îles du Cap-Vert, où elle a été rapportée 11 fois avant juillet 2016 ; en octobre 2016, au moins 17 individus étaient présent à Raso.

On 19 October 2016, a pelagic trip was organised during the 14th Pan-African Ornithological Congress (PAOC14) in Dakar, Senegal. We set off north from Ngor, with the objective to travel out to the start of the continental shelf, c.15 nautical miles offshore, and attempt to locate a trawler. Approximately 45 minutes into the journey BvG noticed a longwinged, pale brown seabird approaching from the east and called ‘shearwater’. At that point, we had not seen any Calonectris shearwaters and the bird’s slim-winged structure and rather lazy flight action on slightly ‘pushed forward’ wings, seemed to match that genus. The bird continued to approach as we slowed down, and the lack of contrast between brownish upper- and underparts, the slightly slower flight and, at close range, the bill structure, quickly revealed that it was in fact a Sula species. Fortunately, it made a few circuits of the boat, during which BvG took several photographs (Figs. 1–2). The sighting was made c.10 nautical miles north of the Cape-Vert Peninsula of Dakar, at c.14°56’N 17°28’W

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