Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Monday 28 January 2013

Cuckmere Haven 28/1/13

Saw the Spotted Redshank on the scrape this morning which was found yesterday. 8 Pintail were on the meanders. Very little else.

Redshank and Spotted Redshank

Monday 21 January 2013

The Gambia - 3/1/13

My trip to The Gambia was organised by Hidden Gambia who were brilliant. The accomdation used is perfect, the transport links are great and the staff are brill. I would certainly recommend Hidden Gambia if you wish to go in a small party. I was however mostly on my own except from up river and my 1st day as I mainly likely to explore and find birds on my own. The country is very safe even in the remote areas, and the birds are also pretty good.

I flew with Thomas Cook out of Gatwick, 6 hours later I was in Banjul. The driver was there ready to pick me up and I was on my way south.

My first 2 nights were at Footsteps Eco-Lodge near Gunjur on the coast. Good birding around there as well. I walked to the beach in the evening seeing a total of 55 birds in just 2 hours!!

Blackcap Babblers - 4
Brown Babblers - 10
Yellow-billed Oxpecker - 4
Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher - 2
Black-billed Wood Dove - 4
Senegal Parrot - 10+
Royal Tern - 1
Fine-spotted Woodpecker - 1

Purple Glossy Starling
Cattle Egret
The beach nearby

The Gambia - 4/1/13

My first full day in the country so I thought it'll be best to get a guide. His name was Lamin, like everyone in Gambia, but was very good, cheap and on time. We went to Marakissa just north of Brikama. We went by bush taxi which I didn't know leave their destination when they are full, so a bit of waiting. Anyway about 5 hours was spent in the area having lunch at the camp, and getting back to Footsteps by mid afternoon.

Footsteps - Brikama
Lizard Buzzard - 1
Piapiac - 10
Double-spurred Francolin - 4
Black-shouldered Kite - 1
Senegal Coucal - 4

Giant Kingfisher - 1
Reed Cormorant - 2
White-faced Whistling Duck - 30+
Black Crake - 3
Northern Crombec - 3
African Golden Oriole - 2
Grey Kestrel - 2
Pied Hornbill - 1
African Harrier Hawk - 2
Little Weaver - 2
Lesser Honeyguide - 1
White-crowned Robin-Chat - 1

Pygmy Kingfisher - 1
Yellow-headed Gonolek - 2
Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat - 1

Bearded Barbet
Pied Hornbill
Bronze Mannikin
Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher
Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat
Black-necked Weaver

The Gambia - 5/1/13

This morning I met my guide for the next 5 days up river, plus 2 other birders. I wasn't expecting a guide everyday, but we fortunately in George Town had no itinary so were still able to do what we wanted, thank goodness we were all birders. We drove in our minibus to Bintang where we sailed on the Lady Hippo up to Tendaba Camp. The river was very wide so no chance of seeing any land birds, but lots of Terns were following the boat. In the evening, we got on a smaller boat and went through the mangroves opposite seeing some top quality birds.

Footsteps Lodge
Western Olivaceous Warbler - 1
Senegal Coucal - 1

Long-crested Eagle -1
Lesser Crested Tern - 2
Namaqua Dove - 6
Greater Flamingo - 2
Black-rumped Waxbill - 5

Wooly-necked Stork - 2
Mouse Brown Sunbird - 10+
Blue-breasted Kingfisher - 1
White-backed Night Heron - 1
African Finfoot - 1
Little Swift - 20+
Caspian Tern
Western Reef Egret
Long-tailed Glossy Starling
African Darter
Pink-backed Pelican
White-backed Night Heron
African Finfoot

The Gambia - 6/1/13

An amazing day today. Saw my target bird, but a stack load more species. We started at Tendaba Camp and walked east, then joined the Lady Hippo north to Farafenni where we drove the north bank, visiting many wetlands before re-joining another small boat heading up river to Macarthy Island at George Town. We checked in at the Baobolong Annexe which was very good and an ideal place to bird from. Whilst on the final leg of the boat journey, we went past many islands which had Chimps and several other Monkey species.

White-billed Buffalo Weaver - 1
Senegal Eromomela - 1
Dark-chanting Goshawk - 1
Bush Petronia - 4
Grasshopper Buzzard - 1
African Hobby - 1

Kaur Wetlands
Black Heron - 2
Chestnut-backed Sparrow Lark - 6
Marsh Sandpiper - 1
Knob-billed Duck - 5
Curlew Sandpiper - 1

North of Kaur
Egyptian Plover - 5!!!
Exclamatory Paradise Whydah - 1
Pygmy Sunbird - 2
Subalpine Warbler - 1
Northern Puffback - 1
Painted Snipe - 10
Purple Swamphen - 1
Short-toed Eagle - 1

Boat Trip to George Town
Palm Nut Vulture - 20
Red-necked Falcons - 2
Swallow-tailed Bee-Eater - 1
Swamp Flycatcher - 5
Western Banded Snake Eagle - 2
Broad-billed Roller - 50+
Calithrix and Red Colobus Monkeys + Chimps

Egyptian Plovers
Dark-chanting Goshawk

The Gambia - 7/1/13

An early morning walk south of George Town in good habitat before breakfast. Bansang Quarry was the agenda for the day. Our vehicle also needed bump starting as usual and delayed our return by a bit, but was no problem. Another quiet afternoon at the annexe before an evening walk north of George Town towards Janjanbureh.

Sth of George Town
Vinaceous Dove - plenty
Pearl Spotted Owlet - 1
Stone Partridge - 2
European Turtle Dove - 1
Bronze-tailed Glossy Starling - 1 (Clements - 1000)
Black-headed Weaver - 20

Bansang Quarry
Walhberg's Eagle - 1
Red-throated Bee-Eater - 4
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting - 1
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird - 1
Scarlet-chested Sunbird - 2

Four-banded Sandgrouse - 4

Pearl Spotted Owlet
Black-headed Plover
Lavender Waxbill
Bronze-tailed Glossy Starling - Bird sp. 1000
Swamp Flycatcher

The Gambia - 8/1/13

Another early walk heading north from George Town seeing very little. I had one big target today so Kunkilling Forest was on the cards. Afterwards we drove south on the south bank to some rice fields and then visited a Owl roost. The afternoon was also brilliant as we had a small cruise down river around a couple of islands seeing some Hippos, Monkeys and other good birds. The evening was a barbeque in the middle of nowwhere with drums and dance. A great end to a great day.

North of George Town
Levaillant's Cuckoo - 1

Kunkilling Forest
Adamawa Turtle Dove - 4 : Awesome

Rice Fields
African Hawk Eagle - 1
Brown Snake Eagle - 2
Grasshopper Buzzard - 1
Collared Pratincole - 100+
Common Snipe - 2
Black-faced Quailfinch - 3

Brikama Ba
Verreaux's Eagle Owl - 1

Boat Trip
Bruce's Green Pigeon - 6
Broad-billed Rollers - 50+
Striated Heron - 1
Night Heron - 100+
Tawny Eagle - 1

Adamawa Turtle Dove
Intermediate Egret
Squacco Heron
Black-faced Quailfinch
Verreaux's Eagle Owl

The Gambia - 9/1/13

The whole morning was spent birding around Bird Safari Camp walking from George Town. A break was had in the afternoon. We then got a small boat onto the north bank and walked north birding the area. In the evening I done my bit for charity and gave a 2 yr old some clothes and a school bag.

George Town -Bird Safari
Grey-headed Bush Shrike - 2
Klass's Cuckoo - 1
Greater Honeyguide - 1
Wattle-Eye - 1
Oriole Warbler - 1
Walhberg's Eagle - 1

North Bank opposite George Town
Little Green Bee-Eater - 10
Red-throated Bee-Eater - 20+
Four-banded Sandgrouse - 1

Oriole Warbler
Mottled Spinetail
Abysinnian Roller
Red-throated Bee-Eater
Our ride for the evening

The Gambia - 10/1/13

Today we left George Town, caught the car ferry to the north bank and drove south for about 3 hours, stopping at Wassu Stones and a couple of wetlands. We joined the Lady Hippo down river to Bintang, and I got driven to Nemasu Eco-lodge near to Kartung. Nemasu was an amazing choice as the beach was a 30 sec walk away, and proved to be great for birds and even better, I was the only one staying at the site. I walked along the beach in the evening feeling extremely happy.

Wassu Stone Circles
Montagu's Harrier - 1 male
Red-chested Swallows - 10+
Northern Wheatear - 1
Northern Carmine Bee-Eater - 2

Baobolong Wetlands
Whiskered Tern - 10+
Slender-billed Gull - 50+
Montagu's Harrier - 1 fem
Great Spotted Cuckoo - 1

Kaur Wetlands
Short-toed Eagle - 1 (annoyingly not a Beaudouin's)

Boat Trip to Bintang
African Spoonbill - 2
Blue-breasted Kingfisher - 1

Slender-billed Gull
Sunset at Nemasu
Nemasu Eco-lodge - My hut

The Gambia - 11/1/13

My first full day at Nemasu warranted an early morning walk in random places, which proved very productive. After this, I done nothing but lay on the beach for most of the day. As it was cooling down, I strolled north along the beach to a local fish market where I found a small lagoon. Apart from seeing a cow being quartered on the beach, the usual stuff was seen.

Voilet Turaco - 2
Yellow-throated Leaflove - 3
Bearded Barbet - 1
Collared Sunbird - 2
Four-banded Sandgrouse - 5
Whitethroat - 1
Hoopoe - 1
Pied-winged Swallow - 1
Crested Lark - 2
Oriole Warbler - 2
Western Bluebill - 1

Fish Market
Caspian Tern - 10
Grey-headed Gull - 200+

Voilet Turaco
Senegal Thick-Knee
Four-banded Sandgrouse
Western Grey Plantain-Eater
Yellow-billed Oxpecker
Grey-headed Gull