Bijoli Island Video Diary

Each day this week, we’ll be posting a video diary filmed during our final ten days in Africa. Here’s one from Bijoli Island, a small sandy island just off the Gambian coast. There’s also an extract from the diary I wrote that day.

Wednesday 25th January

A couple of weeks ago, when we went out to Bijoli Island for the first time, it was low tide and the birds were scattered around the island. Today we wanted to try something a little different and so we made the short boat ride out to the island shortly after 8am to coincide with high tide. That turned out to be a really good decision. As we arrived, we found that the birds were concentrated on the central part of the island; an area that only gets covered in the worst storms. As usual the Caspian Terns and Grey-headed Gulls were there in excellent numbers. Slender-billed Gulls, looking resplendent in the early morning sunlight, were dotted in amongst them and numerous Sanderlings, Ringed Plovers and Turnstones dashed around in front of us. At the southern end of the island a large group of Audouin’s Gulls were roosting and they were joined by one or two Little Terns, Bar-tailed Godwits and Grey Plovers. Several Ospreys were scattered around the island, sitting happily in amongst all the terns and gulls. We checked each one for colour rings and soon located 3PV, a German male who we had seen on the island with the first group. Numerous Ospreys were coming and going, some fishing just off the island and others resting on the sand.  An adult male landed with the group of Audouin’s Gulls and we immediately saw that it had a blue colour ring on its left leg. John and I inched our way forward and soon read the ring – blue/white CT. I sent a text to Roy and within minutes he had replied saying that it was a bird that had been ringed as a chick at a nest on the Black Isle in 2009. Great stuff!