Farewell Gambia – a final morning at Tanji

As I look out of the office window at snowy Rutland I can’t belive it is only a week since we were watching Ospreys catching fish off Tanji Beach. In today’s video diary Paul Stammers describes a fantastic last morning and recounts his highlights from the trip.

Friday 3rd February

Our last morning in The Gambia and what a fantastic morning it turned out to be. As we arrived at Tanji beach, conditions were perfect for fishing Ospreys: virtually no wind, a little cloud and a falling tide. Over the course of the next two hours we saw at least four birds catch fish in front of us, just a few metres from the shore. One of them 3GM, was a bird we have now seen on numerous occasions over the past few weeks, but another adult German Osprey, 9JY, was a new one for the trip. She caught a fish and then perched in the same spot, just over the main road, that we had seen her on last year’s trip – proof, again, that the birds return to the same place every winter. After a brilliant couple of hours we had a walk around Tanji Bird Reserve where we added White-fronted Plover, Curlew and Dunlin to the trip list. Those three species meant that over the course of the 25 days we have spent in Gambia and Senegal we have seen 272 species. In addition we have identified fourteen colour-ringed Ospreys, including seven from Germany, five from Scotland and Rolf’s bird from France. Half of the colour-ringed birds were new ones that we hadn’t seen last year, not bad considering we returned to many of the places we visited last year.