Swakop River Mouth Bird Count March

Greater Flamingo in the Swakop River Mouth
Today we counted the birds at the small lagoon at the Swakop River Mouth. I have been writing about the Swakop River in earlier posts. Having had a significant flood event this year, where the river reached the Atlantic Ocean, the whole system has changed. This bird count was significant because it was the first monthly count of the river bed since the river flowed.

I mentioned before that the very high tides had flooded into the lagoon. Today it was clear that this has had a major impact. I didn't take notes, and so I don't have actual numbers to give, but it was certainly clear that the total number of birds had gone down significantly. There was only one grater flamingo, very few waders and generally less birds.

Should we be concerned? Probably not. We will have to wait and see what happens over the next few months. It is a really small wetland, and elsewhere nobody would be to concerned at all, but obviously we are in a desert here, and wetlands are few and far between. One wetland out of the loop, so to speak, could be a significant problem. We don't know, but we will certainly learn more as the year goes on.

For now there are still lots of pool in the river bed. But as time goes on these may dry. It is still rainy seasons, and perhaps the whole river could reach the ocean another time. Many of the birds such as Ducks, Teals and Coots may be holding out in these bits of water further up the river for the time being.

So, for now there are really more questions than answers about what the river has done to the system and the overall wetland status here at the coast. It is interesting, though, to be watching while it all happens.
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