Gambia bans female genital mutilation

This is a video about Ousmane Sembène‘s film Mooladé, against female genital mutilation. Ousmane Sembène is from Senegal.

Good news now from a country bordering on Senegal.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Gambia bans female circumcision

Today, 13:06

In Gambia female genital mutilation has been banned. President Jammeh said in a speech that it is banned with immediate effect.

Opponents of female circumcision are reluctant because the ban has not yet been legally defined. “President Jammeh’s statement sends a strong signal to the world, but a law is a stronger signal,” said anti-FGM activist Jaha Dukureh. “A law can save countless lives in Gambia.”

Dukureh has long campaigned for this ban in Gambia. …

Earlier this year, Nigeria also introduced a ban. In countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia and Mali it is still allowed.

17-year-old little tern seen in Gambia

English little tern and other terns in Kartong, Gambia

Kayn Forbes, birdwatcher from Norfolk, England, reports today on Twitter:

17 year-old Little Tern originally ringed in Great Yarmouth in 1998 seen in Kartong, The Gambia

On the photo, the little tern is in front. Behind it, larger Sandwich terns. Behind the Sandwich terns, still larger royal terns with their yellow bills. Finally, closest to the sea the biggest species: Caspian terns.

I fondly remember Kartong Bird Observatory, and terns on the beach in Gambia. However, I did not see little terns then; let alone such an individual, rather old for this species.

English Sandwich tern migration to Africa

This video from England is called Sandwich terns return to RSPB Coquet Island.

From the Farne Islands Blog in England:

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Mines a double!

Saturday 22nd February comments: This summer, for the first time on the Farne Islands, we ringed just over 100 Sandwich Tern chicks with small red darvics; special red plastic rings which have a unique three letter code enabling observers to read them in the ‘field’ with telescopes.

As a result we had a ‘return’ from a beach in Gambia in November as bird ‘UFA’ was spotted roosting amongst other terns on a beach. Now make that a double. News has just arrived that another of our Sandwich Terns has been seen, this time further south of Gambia in the Bijagos Archipelago off Guinee-Bissau. The bird fitted with the red darvic ‘UKS’ was noted on 22nd January.

This sighting shows you the value of such a ringing scheme and we hope this is the first of many sightings in future years so if you’re going abroad this winter, you may be a lot closer to the Farnes than you think!

Sandwich Tern ‘UKS’ movements:

17th July 2013 ringed as a chick on Inner Farne
13th August 2013 seen at Findhorn Bay, Moray
18th August 2013 seen again at Findhorn Bay, Moray
22nd January seen on a beach at Bubaque, Guinee-Bissau

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African bird count update

This video is called Some Birds of The Gambia 1.

And here is the sequel.

BirdLife in the Netherlands reports about the big international count of coastal birds, all the way from the Netherlands to South Africa. 1,500 people counted in thirty countries. I have ranked the reports from the north to the south.

From Morocco:

Like every winter, GREPOM BirdLife in Morocco did waterfowl counts. We will visit 150 wetlands throughout the country. Until now we have done 70 and 98 water bird species were observed. A preliminary analysis indicates that we have record numbers of wintering shovelers, red-crested pochard ducks, great cormorants and ferruginous ducks. While not as many teal and shelducks were counted as in previous years. Rarities we saw as well, like magnificent frigatebird, brent goose, blue-winged teal, purple sandpiper and ring-billed gull.

In Mauritania, there were 285 black-winged stilts in a small lakelet in the capital Nouakchot. In Diawling national park, for the first time since five years ago, women participated in the counting. There were more birds there than last year: 175,601 versus 144,140.

This video is called Kartong Bird Observatory, in Gambia, west Africa.

In the Gambia, in Tanji Bird Reserve, there were 2,000 grey-headed gulls, an Audouin’s gull, two kelp gulls and five tern species.

This video is about Tanji beach.

Balla Moussa in Guinea reported an osprey and lesser flamingoes.

Papanie Bai Sesay wrote from Sierra Leone:

Our water bird count in Sierra Leone had a flying start. Many species of waders and over fifty water bird species at Yawri bay, Sherbro river and Turtle Island. Today, we have discovered an important place upstream in the Sherbro river with lots of waterfowl. Yesterday we had three African skimmers behind York island.

In Ghana, a little grebe and a black-tailed godwit.

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Counting birds, from the Netherlands to South Africa

This video is called Gambia birding near Kotu Creek.

Last January, there was the first bird count ever all along the eastern Atlantic shores, in thirty countries, from the Netherlands to South Africa.

From the reports by the counters (translated):

Simon Delany counted in Gambia: “Baobolong is a gem of a wetland north of the Gambia River. … We walked huge distances. The counter is at forty species, including black storks, six hundred African spoonbills, pratincoles and ten species of wintering waders.”

From Mauritania:

On 22 January, he counted the birds at a small freshwater pond in Nouakchot. “Immediately, a barn swallow. And black-tailed godwit, spoonbill, ruff and shoveler as well.”

In Sierra Leone, a Dutch black-tailed godwit was seen near Kagboro Creek. Meanwhile, contact has been established between bird counter Papanie Bai Sesay and Dutch researchers. The godwit was ringed on May 14, 2012 in the Kamperpolder. There were at least a hundred godwits more in the same area.

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African migratory bird count, January 2014

This video is called Moroccan Birds Mini Documentary.

Translated from BirdLife in the Netherlands:

Morocco is also a participant in Flyway bird count

Morocco is also a participant in the simultaneous counting of wading birds along the Atlantic Flyway route, which will be in January 2014. The census is needed to understand the problems for wading birds along their route from Greenland to Africa.

Morocco is of great importance for migrating wading birds. There are many areas where waders have an interim pause before they continue south flying to their wintering areas along the coast.

Besides Morocco also Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde will participate in the first West African simultaneous count since eight years. The counts are needed to increase understanding wintering wading birds in West Africa better.

British grey heron all the way to Gambia

This video is about a grey heron in Belarus.

Ringed grey herons recovery map. Purple dots mean Ringed in Britain & Ireland, Found Here; and orange dots mean Ringed Here, Found in Britain & Ireland

From the British Trust for Ornithology:

Summary of all Ringing Recoveries for Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

This page presents information on recoveries of Grey Heron that have been ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland. The map shows all records of birds ringed in Britain & Ireland and recovered abroad (purple) and birds ringed abroad and recovered in Britain & Ireland (orange).

The table then summarises the number of birds that have moved between different counties of Britain & Ireland and between other countries and then gives a selection of recoveries. First are listed the number of birds found in each county, then the number of birds ringed in each county. In the next two columns are listed the number of birds ringed abroad and found in Britain & Ireland and the then number of birds ringed in Britain & Ireland and found abroad.

For longevity and distance records an individual is only included once, for reports to and from countries an individual may be reported multiple times, particulary if it bears a colour mark or other means of identification in the field. Some older (mostly foreign) recoveries are also included where these were received in the year reported on. For full details of how these birds have been selected click here.

For other information, have a look at the BirdFacts page for Grey Heron.