A flock of 35 flew high over Brumang Bridge on the 9th.
Pink Backed Pelican – Pelecanus rufescens
Recorded in small numbers on 7 dates with a maximum of 50 on the 10th.
Great Cormorant – Phalacrocorax carbo
Just 2 recorded in flight on the 10th.
Long Tailed Cormorant – Phalacrocorax africanus
Recorded on 4 dates, with a maximum of 20 on the 13th.
African Darter – Anhinga rufa
Recorded on the river boat trip out of Georgetown on the 10th when 15 were recorded.
Grey Heron – Ardea cinerea
Recorded on 8 dates in small numbers, with the daily maximum of 10 on the 10th on the river boat trip out of Georgetown.
Black Headed Heron – Ardea melanocephala
Recorded almost daily with a daily maximum of 20 on the 11th.
Goliath Heron – Ardea goliath
Just a single bird was seen on the 9th at one of the stops as we travelled to Tendaba.
Purple Heron – Ardea purpurea
Three singles seen on the 7th, 13th & 16th.
Great White Egret – Egretta alba
Common, recorded on 8 dates.
Black Heron – Egretta ardesiaca
Just recorded on the 10th when 10 were seen at a swamp on a stop over on the drive to Georgetown.
Intermediate Egret – Egretta intermedia
Recorded in small numbers on 6 dates with daily maximums of 12 on the 10th & 13th.
Little Egret – Egretta garzetta
Just recorded on 4 dates with a daily maximum of 6 on the 13th.
Western Reef Egret – Egretta gularis
Common in suitable habitat, recorded virtually daily with a maximum of 25 on the 10th on the river boat trip out of Georgetown.
Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis
Very common with several thousand seen during the trip.
Squacco Heron – Ardeola ralloides
Recorded on 7 dates with a daily maximum of 60 on the 11th.
Striated Heron – Butorides striata
Recorded in low numbers on 7 dates, with a daily maximum of 6 on the 11th.
Black Crowned Night Heron – Nycticorax nycticorax
Recorded on 7 dates with a daily maximum of 10 on the 11th.
White Backed Night Heron - Gorsachius leuconotus
An early highlight to the trip when a near-adult was found at its day time roost at Abuko on the 7th, followed by 2 juveniles at Farasuto Forest on the 16th.
Little Bittern – Ixobrychus minutus
An adult male was flushed from some reeds at Marakissi River Camp on the 16th.
Hammerkop – Scopus umbretta
Recorded on 8 dates in small numbers with a daily maximum of 12 on the 10th.
Yellow Billed Stork – Mycteria ibis
Just recorded on 2 dates with 3 on the journey to Tendaba on the 9th, and 8 seen on the 10th.
Black Stork – Ciconia nigra
An adult flew past us at close range at the swamp near Brumen Bridge on the 9th. Considered to be a rare bird in the Gambia with just the odd records seen annually.
Barlow considers it to be a rare/scarce migrant to West Africa.
Woolly Necked Stork – Ciconia episcopus
Three seen on the 9th on the swamp near Brumen Bridge on the 9th, with 6 seen on the river boat trip from Tendaba on the 10th.
Marabou Stork – Leptoptilos crumeniferus
Just a single bird seen flying high over Jahally Swamp on the 12th.
White Faced Whistling Duck – Dendrocygna viduata
Recorded on 4 dates with 50 on the 9th, 3 on the 12th, 12 on the 13th, and 12 on the 16th.
Spur Winged Goose – Plectropterus gambensis
Recorded on 3 dates with 4 on the 10th, 12 on the 11th & 2 on the 12th.
Knob Billed Duck – Sarkidiornis melanotos
Our only sighting was of 3 birds on the 9th on the marsh near Brumen Bridge.
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Recorded on four dates with a daily maximum of 4 on the 10th.
Black Shouldered Kite – Elanus caeruleus
Singles seen on the 7th & 15th.
Black Kite – Milvus migrans
Recorded daily in variable numbers with a daily maximum of 100 on the 13/11 which were mainly birds seen over the river as we were waiting for the ferry to Georgetown. No attempt was made to identify any of the races but probably most related to the African Yellow Billed race parasitus.
African Fish Eagle – Haliaeetus vocifer
Just a single adult seen on the river boat trip out of Tendaba on the 10th.
Palm Nut Vulture – Gypohierax angolensis
Singles recorded on 3 dates with 4 on the 7th.
Hooded Vulture – Necrosyrtes monachus
Very common and seen daily.
African White Backed Vulture – Gyps africanus
Only seen up river and not on the coast, with 4 on the 9th, and singles on the 11th & 12th.
Rueppell’s Griffon Vulture – Gyps rueppellii
Recorded on 3 dates but again only inland, with two on the 9th and singles on the 11th and 14th.
Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle – Circaetus beaudouini
This recently split species was recorded from inland sites with 2 on the 10th, and singles on the 11th & 13th.
Brown Snake Eagle – Circaetus cinereus
Singles recorded on the 8th, 11th, and 13th.
Bateleur – Terathopius ecaudatus
Two single adults were seen on the 9th & 14th both from inland sites.
Marsh Harrier – Circus aeruginosus
Recorded on 4 dates with a daily maximum of 4 on the 12th.
African Harrier Hawk – Polyboroides typus
Recorded on 6 dates with a daily maximum of 4 on the 8th.
Lizard Buzzard – Kaupifalco monogrammicus
Singles recorded on 6 dates.
Dark Chanting Goshawk – Melierax metabates
Recorded on 6 dates chiefly singles but with 2 on the 8th & 12th.
Gabar Goshawk – Micronisus gabar
A sighting of a melanistic form seen well on the 12th at the Bamsang Quarry, and a normal form seen on the 16th at Marakissi.
African Goshawk – Accipiter tachiro
Good views were had of a single adult in the Farasuto Forest on the 16th.
Shikra – Accipiter badius
Recorded on 7 dates with a daily maximum of 4 on the 12th chiefly at the Bamsang Quarry.
Grasshopper Buzzard – Butastur rufipennis
This attractive raptor was recorded as follows: 2 on the 8th, singles on the 9th, 11th, & 13th, with 2 again on the 14th.
Tawny Eagle – Aquila rapax
A single pale morph bird was seen on the 13th at an inland site.
Wahlberg’s Eagle – Aquila wahlbergi
Singles seen on the 10th and 14th, with 2 sat on a palm tree on the 11th on the river boat trip around Georgetown.
African Hawk Eagle – Aquila spilogaster
Two seen on the 12th at an inland site, with a single on the 13th. This last bird was initially considered to be a Ayres Hawk Eagle, although we were somewhat confused when the field guide plate didn’t show the two obvious pale patches in the centre of the upper-wings and the under-parts streaking also appeared less striking than the field guide plate showed. On reference to Ferguson-Lees he states the main confusion species is the African Hawk Eagle which has more lightly streaked under-parts and in flight has pale windows and grey panels on the upper-wings lacking in Ayres Hawk Eagle. As our bird clearly had the two pale panels on the upper-wings and fairly light streaking on the under-parts. The field guide also states that Ayres is very rare in the Gambia whereas African Hawk Eagle is frequent throughout.
Booted Eagle – Aquila pennatus
Single light morphs were seen on the 12th at Bamsang Quarry and on the 13th.
Martial Eagle – Polemaetus bellicosus
An adult and a juvenile were seen soaring over the road and gave excellent flight views on the 10th on the drive to Georgetown.
Long Crested Eagle – Lophaetus occipitalis
An adult was seen on the 13th.
Grey Kestrel – Falco ardosiaceus
Recorded on 5 dates only with a daily maximum of 3 on the 11th.
Red Necked Falcon – Falco chicquera
Our first showed well in the trees on the 9th at Brumang Bridge, our second was on the 12th at the Bamsang Quarry, and finally our third was on the 13th. A very fine looking falcon with heavy barring on the under-parts and a red head and nape.
Lanner Falcon – Falco biarmicus
Three seen soaring high on the 9th with 2 soaring high on the 14th.
Barbary Falcon – Falco pelegrinoides
A single bird carrying prey flew around the Tendaba River Camp on the 10th.
Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus
One sat in a tree at Tujereng Woods on the 15th.
Ahanta Francolin – Francolinus ahantensis
As we were sat in the hide overlooking a small water-hole in Brufut Woods on the 15th two birds walked out of the forest and wandered around the back of the water-hole at 16.30 hrs and stayed out for a good 5 minutes before disappearing back into the forest. They did not attempt to drink at the water-hole.
Recorded on 4 dates with a daily maximum of 3 on the 10th.
Stone Partridge – Ptilopachus petrosus
A party of 4 were flushed from scrub towards the end of our drive to Tendaba River Camp on the 9th.
Black Crake – Amaurornis flavirostris
Just recorded on two dates with one on the 11th, and 2 on the 16th.
Black Bellied Bustard – Lissotis melanogaster
A single bird was flushed on two occasions on the 13th.
African Jacana – Actophilornis africanus
Recorded on 5 dates with a daily maximum of 6 on the 11th.
Greater Painted Snipe – Rostratula benghalensis
Three seen feeding out in the marsh during the late afternoon at the Marakissi River Camp on the 16th.
Black Winged Stilt – Himantopus himantopus
Recorded on 7 dates with a daily maximum of 10 on the 10th.
Avocet – Recurvirostra avosetta
A small party of 5 flew over the marsh on the 11th.
Sengal Thick-knee – Burhinus senegalensis
Common and seen virtually daily. On the 11th, two flocks totalling about 100 birds were seen at Kaur marsh.
Egyptian Plover – Pluvianus aegyptius
The star bird of the trip. 12 birds seen at 3 different sites and they gave excellent views. On the 13th we were passing one of these marshy areas and saw four birds ie probably 13 in total. Simply better than expected!!
Collared Pratincole – Glareola pratincola
A single bird seen at one of the Egyptian Plovers sites on the 11th. On the 13th, when we were waiting for the North Bank ferry a good size flock flew high over the river and after we had crossed the river and was heading back to our lodge and second flock flew over high, probably in the region of 60+ birds seen.
Spur Winged Plover – Vanellus spinosus
Very common, seen daily in good numbers.
Black Headed Plover – Vanellus tectus
Only seen inland, with 4 on the 10th, 10 on the 11th, 4 on the 12th, & 10 on the 13th.
Wattled Plover - Vanellus senegallus
Recorded on 7 dates with a daily maximum of 12 on the 12th.
Grey Plover – Pluvialis squatarola
Recorded on 4 dates with a daily maximum of 30 on the 10th.
Ringed plover - Charadrius hiaticula
Single birds on the mud by the Koto stream on the 6th and 7th.
Common Snipe – Gallinago gallinago
Just seen on 2 dates with 1 on the 9th, and 4 on the 12th.
Black Tailed Godwit – Limosa limosa
Just 2 seen on the 9th.
Bar-tailed godwit - Limosa lapponica
A single at Kuloro Wetlands on the 9th.
Whimbrel – Numenius phaeopus
Recorded on 7 dates in fair numbers and one of the commonest waders seen.
Common Sandpiper – Actitis hypoleucos
Recorded on 7 dates with a daily maximum of 15 on the 10th from the Tendaba river boat trip.
Green Sandpiper – Tringa ochropus
One on the 9th, 2 on the 10th & 2 on the 12th.
Common Greenshank – Tringa nebularia
Recorded on 8 dates with a daily maximum of 80 seen on the Tendaba river boat trip on the 10th.
Wood Sandpiper – Tringa glareola
Recorded on 4 dates with a daily maximum of 5 on the 13th.
Common Redshank – Tringa tetanus
Recorded on 3 dates with the daily maximum of 8 on the 9th.
Ruddy Turnstone – Arenaria interpres
10 found on the 9th at the Kuloro Wetlands.
Ruff – Philomachus pugnax
A party of 15 were seen on the 11th.
Grey Phalarope – Phalaropus fulicaria
One of the surprises of the trip when a single winter plumage bird showed down to a few yards on the 12th in rice fields at Jahally Swamp. Would appear to be only 2 other inland records (per Barlow), and none listed by Borrow & Demey.
Slender Billed Gull – Chroicocephalus genei
As we did not spend any time birding at the coast, only 4 were seen on the 13th.
Grey Headed Gull – Chroicocephalus genei
Just recorded on 5 dates with a maximum of 60 on the 15th.
Gull Billed Tern – Gelochelidon nilotica
Just seen on two dates with 1 on the 9th, & 4 on the 13th. All 5 were in full winter plumage.
Caspian Tern – Hydroprogne caspia
Singles recorded on 3 dates with 2 on the 10th.
White Winged Black Tern – Chlidonias leucopterus
Our only marsh tern was a single winter plumage White Winged Black feeding over a marsh on the 13th.
Sandwich Tern – Thalasseus sandvicensis
Just a single bird seen on the 9th at the Quloro Wetlands.
Royal Tern – Thalasseus maximus
Four flew past the Kombo Beach Hotel during the early morning of the 16th.
Four Banded Sandgrouse – Pterocles quadricinctus
Six seen on the 9th near the Tendaba Lodge, 2 seen on the 11th, and 12 were seen very well feeding on a dusty track during the evening of the 12th near the Georgetown lodge.
Speckled Pigeon – Columba guinea
Recorded on 9 dates in good numbers.
African Morning Dove – Streptopelia decipiens
Red Eyed Dove – Streptopelia semitorquata
Vinaceous Dove – Streptopelia vinacea
Laughing Dove – Streptopelia senegalensis
All four of these doves were very common and seen daily.
Black Billed Wood Dove – Turtur abyssinicus
Recorded in small numbers on 8 dates, with a daily maximum of 6 on the 7th & 15th.
Blue Spotted Wood Dove – Turtur afer
Two seen on the 7th at Abuko, with 3 on the 8th in the Farasuto Forest, and 1 on the 17th again in Abuko.
Namaqua Dove – Oena capensis
Recorded on 4 dates with a daily maximum of 25 on the 11th at a water-hole.
Bruce’s Green Pigeon – Treron waalia
Seen on four dates at inland sites, with a daily maximum of 3 on the 11th and 14th.
Rose Ringed Parakeet – Psittacula krameri
Recorded on 4 dates with a maximum of 30 on the 10th on the Tendaba river boat trip.
Brown Necked Parrot – Poicephalus robustus
Just a single individual flew over the pools at Farasuto Forest on the 8th.
Senegal Parrot – Poicephalus senegalus
Recorded on 5 dates chiefly in flight with a daily maximum of 6 on the 7th.
Green Turaco – Tauraco persa
One seen on the 15th with 5 on the 17th at Abuko.
Violet Turaco – Musophaga violacea
Four seen well in Abuko on the 7th, 2 seen in the Farasuto Forest on the 8th, and 6 again seen in Abuko on the 17th.
Western Grey Plantain Eater – Crinifer piscator
Common recorded virtually daily with a day maximum of 15 on the 16th.
Levaillant’s Cuckoo – Clamator levaillantii
Singles seen on the 12th, and the 13th near the Ferry terminal at Georgetown.
Klaas’s Cuckoo – Chrysococcyx klaas
An adult male seen on the 7th, with singles on the 13th & 14th.
Dideric Cuckoo – Chrysococcyx caprius
Singles seen on the 7th & 14th, strangely in the same area as 2 of the Klaas’s Cuckoo seen above.
African Black Coucal – Centropus grillii
Five seen on the 15th at the Tanji Bird Reserve.
Senegal Coucal – Centropus senegalensis
Recorded in small numbers on eight dates with a daily maximum of 6 on the 12th.
African Scops Owl - Otus senegalensis
Two seen at Baobolong camp, Georgetown on the 12th.
Northern White Face Owl – Ptilopsis leucotis
Singles seen on the 8th in Farasuto Forest and on the 15th in Brufut Wood.
Greyish Eagle Owl – Bubo cinerascens
Two seen roosting on the 14th at Farabo scrub.
Verreaux’s Eagle Owl – Bubo lacteus
One seen on the 8th in Pirang Forest.
Pearl Spotted Owlet – Glaudicium perlatum
Singles seen on the 6th, 9th & 12th.
Long Tailed Nightjar – Caprimulgus climacurus
Two seen very briefly near Koto stream on the 7th.
Mottled Spinetail – Telacanthura ussheri
Seen on 3 dates with a daily maximum of 40 on the 11th.
African Palm Swift – Cypslurus parvus
Recorded on 7 dates in fair numbers with a daily maximum of 40 on the 6th.
Little Swift – Apus affinis
Good numbers recorded on 6 dates with a daily maximum of 100 on the 9th.
Grey Headed Kingfisher – Halcyon leucocephala
One seen on the 10th in the Tendaba river boat trip and 2 on the 11th.
Striped Kingfisher – Halcyon chelicuti
Just 2 seen on the 9th were our only sighting of the trip.
Blue Breasted Kingfisher – Halcyon malimbica
One seen briefly in flight over the pools at Farasuto Forest on the 8th, an amazing 16 with several pairs displaying on the river boat trip out of Tendaba on the 10th, and finally 1 on the 12th.
Woodland Kingfisher – Halcyon senegalensis
Singles recorded on 4 dates with 2 on the 11th.
African Pygmy Kingfisher – Ceyx pictus
After missing two earlier sightings, I saw 2 on the 16th including 1 coming into the pool at Brufut Woods to wash on the 16th.
Malachite Kingfisher – Alcedo cristata
Four seen on the 10th on the Tendaba river trip, 2 on the 11th and 2 on the 16th.
Giant Kingfisher – Megaceryle maxima
One seen briefly on the 9th at Koto bridge, and another at Marakissa on the 16th.
Pied Kingfisher – Ceryle rudis
Common and widespread. Recorded on 8 dates with a daily maximum of 8 on the 9th.
Swallow Tailed Bee-eater – Merops hirundineus
Recorded on 5 dates in small numbers with a daily maximum of 4 on the 7th in Abuko.
Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus
Just seen on 2 dates with 10 on the 7th & 2 on the 15th.
Red Throated Bee-eater – Merops bulocki
Five seen on the evening boat trip around Georgetown on the 11th and then 50+ seen at their breeding site at Bamsang Quarry on the 12th. Superb!!
White Throated Bee-eater – Merops albicollis
Six seen in flight on the 10th.
Little Green Bee-eater – Merops orientalis
Three seen on the 11th, 4 on the 12th and 1 on the 13th.
Blue Cheeked Bee-eater – Merops persicus
Only seen in flight with a party of 5 on the 8th & 2 on the 13th.
European Bee-eater – Merops apiaster
A superb flock of 80 birds past over us during the late afternoon of the 9th close to Tendaba, 6 seen on the 10th & 14th.
Carmine Bee-eater – Merops nubicus
Six seen very well once we managed to get the sun on our backs on the 13th.
Rufous Crowned Roller – Coracias naevius
Surprisingly, only 2 seen with the first on the 8th & the second on the 14th.
Abyssinian Roller – Coracias abyssinicus
Common & widespread. Recorded on 8 dates with 15 seen on the 11th and 12th.
Blue Bellied Roller – Coracias cyanogaster
Recorded on 5 dates with 4 seen on the 14th, 15th & 16th.
Broad Billed Roller – Eurystomus glaucurus
Chiefly an evening time bird. Recorded on 6 dates with 40 seen on the evening boat trip around Georgetown on the 11th.
Green Woodhoopoe – Phoeniculus purpureus
Recorded on 5 dates with a daily maximum of 5 on the 8th.
Black Woodhoopoe – Rhinopomastus aterrimus
One seen briefly but well sat on top of a dead tree on the river boat ride out of Tendaba on the 10th.
African Pied Hornbill – Tockus fasciatus
Only seen on 2 dates with 3 on the 8th and 2 on the 16th both days in Farasuto Forest.
African Grey Hornbill – Tockus nasutus
Common & widespread and seen virtually daily with a daily maximum of 30 on the 11th.
Red Billed Hornbill – Tockus erythrorhynchus
Recorded on 8 dates with a daily maximum of 12 on the 15th.