Boa Vista, March 2016
Landscape and people

Landscape and people 



Osprey (and shipwreck)
Alexander's Kestrel
Brown Booby
Cream-coloured courser 
In March 2016 we visited Boa Vista, the easternmost island of Cape Verde, which is a nation on a volcanic archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa. Cape Verde is known for its mild sunny climate, its many beaches and shipwrecks. Wildlife on the mostly barren grounds consists largely of goats and donkeys (maybe not really wild, but they seemed to move about freely) but the birds were more interesting. The number of bird species on the island is somewhat limited, but we didn't find them to be very shy and they provided us excellent photo opportunities.
Travelling with a small group of photographers, led by our good friend Martijn de Jonge, we went in search of the Red-billed Tropicbird, with its beautiful (and seemingly somewhat impractical) long tail (see above). The Red-billed TB nests in cliffs at the ocean's edge and displayed itself in the wonderful morning light. An Alexander's Kestrel hunted nearby and didn't take much notice of us when it sat down to eat its prey. A pair of Ospreys had built their nest on a wreck nearby and Brown Boobys were patrolling the ocean in small flocks. Little Plovers ran the sand dunes a bit further inland and Brown Necked Ravens kept a close watch on small lizards in the shrubs and low bushes.
Cape Verde is also a well known breeding site for Humpback whales in the North Atlantic. March and April are normally the peak of the breeding season, when the whales can be sighted off the W and SW coast of Boa Vista, jumping about spectacularly. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to be there during our visit.

Life on the island seemed to concentrate on tourism and local small scale fisheries, which gave hungry photographers ample choice of wonderful local fish dinners with the corresponding Portuguese wines.


360 panoramas taken from our appartment and the beach can be viewed by clicking on the pics below.