As ever I met up with one of Gambia's top bird guides, Musa Jatta of Turaco Birding Expeditions. We did not go anywhere particularly exotic but in truth we really didn't have to as the birdlife in the Gambia is second to none. That said I hope to join Musa on one of his more exotic trips into the Senegal next time I visit. While I was there we visited Abuko, the Lamin Rice Fields, Brufut Wood and Tanji.
I have selected a range of photos of some of the species seen but there were many more yet to be see :)
Spur Winged Lapwing
Western Reef Heron/ Egret
Little Egret, don't manage to get that many reasonable in flight shots so here you go :).
Blackcap Babbler visited us at the hotel every evening. There was a leaking tap outside they took full advantage of.
White Crowned Robin Chat
Hamerkop collecting nest materials
A pair mating
And mating on top of the nest. I had no idea that this was such a noisy event, the noise could be heard all across the hotel grounds and from what I saw this was repeated several times a day for several days. The nest is a large rough affair but has an entrance hole at the side through which the birds enter.
A pair of Yellow Billed Shrike
Blue Breasted Kingfisher
African Wattled Lapwing
Vinaceous Collared Dove
Black Kite in Flight
© Bernard Bracken
Some Rose-ringed Parakeet flying by.
Hybrid Red-bellied x African Paradise Flycatcher (f)
Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher (m)
Not a great photo of a Common Wattle Eye
A Lanner Falcon high in a tree. My first clear view of one of these. Unfortunately he saw me too so I only got one photo.
Black Billed Wood Dove (f)
Grey Back Camaroptera
Shakira in the bushes
A Black-shouldered Kite in the distance
Western Red-billed Hornbill
African Grey Hornbill
African Pied Hornbill
Klaas's Cuckoo, a first for me, they were seen in places in Saudi Arabia but I never managed to see one.
Splendid Sunbird (m)
Variable Sunbird (m)
And another shot of a Long-tailed Nightjar. These amazing birds are almost impossible to see and full marks to the local guide who found them and shared the experience. I had never seen one of these before but in a small area of about 5sq m there were 4.
A pair of Lavender Waxbill
Lavender Waxbills and a Village Weaver.
Western Plantain Eater.
Yellow Throated Leavelove
A couple of Ringed Plover
Grey-headed Gull and a larger Lesser Black-backed Gull with fish supper :)
White-crowned Robin Chat
Broad Billed Roller
Perl Spotted Owlet perched in a tree
Female Black Necked Weaver
Still working on a couple of ID's which I will update as soon as I can
All in all I have only two days birding on this trip but was delighted by what we saw, in addition to the above we saw a number of Wire Tailed Swallows, Chiffchaff, a Green Woodhoopoe and a brilliant close up of a Malachite Kingfisher but as it often the case the battery in the camera had given up by then. We have already booked to return next year for a little longer and I am looking forward to getting a bit further afield to see some more of what this beautiful country has to offer.