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The Gambia 29th Nov - 6th Dec 2002

272 Species of Birds seen ( 1 week )

Steve Bird
Solomon Jallow
Nick Bray
Dembo Sonko

Day 1   29th Nov

Yellow-crowned Gonolek

Snowy-crowned Robin-chat

Thankfully the threatened airport strike never happened and everyone got to Gatwick at the appropriate time which was early morning. Soon on our way the uneventful flight saw us arrive at Banjul Airport later in the afternoon. After leaving cold, rainy Britain it was quite a change to be hit with a blast of hot air as we left the plane. The baggage collection as normal took ages but once through we went outside and found the coach that would take us to our hotel the Senegambia. Along the way many of the commoner species were seen by different people from their various window positions. Pied Crows, Cattle Egrets and Hooded Vultures were the most obvious and we soon added to these Red-billed and African Grey Hornbills, Yellow-billed Shrikes, Speckled Pigeons, African Mourning and Red-eyed Doves, and even Spur-winged Lapwing. Once we reached the hotel and the formalities of sorting the rooms out was done, some of the group met up in the hotel gardens for a little introductory birding. The luscious grounds always hold a good variety of species and it wasn't long before a nice little list was made. Snowy-crowned Robin-chats were easily found then Brown and Blackcap Babblers, Common Bulbul, Grey Woodpecker, Senegal Coucal, African Thrush, a Grey-backed Cameroptera, Northern Black Flycatcher, several beautiful Yellow-crowned Gonoleks, Bronze-tailed Glossy Starling, Village and two Black-necked Weavers, Lavender Waxbill and Grey-headed Sparrows. A few of the group also saw Wattled Plover and Broad-billed Roller, what a start! Later we met for our first evening meal together, a quick log call was made and then everyone retired to their beds.

Day 2   30th Nov

Feeling slightly refreshed we met for the first sitting of breakfast after which we went to the front of the hotel where our air-conditioned coach and local guide Solomon was waiting. Once aboard we drove to the nearby Kotu Sewerage Pools. As we made our way through the scrub to the first pool we soon familiarised ourselves with Vinaceous Dove, Speckled Pigeons and Spur-winged Plovers. Looking onto the pool we found that the edges were full of Black-winged Stilts. As we worked through them we spotted Wood, Green and Common Sandpipers, Bar and Black-tailed Godwit. On the far bank were a group of White-faced Whistling Duck, several Little Grebes and an African Jacana were easily seen. Noisy Western Grey Plantain-eaters constantly flew over showing their obvious white wing patches and we scoped several sat in the tree tops. The first of what will be many Pied Kingfishers showed well, an Intermediate Egret flew in and landed and allowed us to point out the differences between this and it's more common larger cousin the Great Egret. One or two Black Crakes could be seen walking on the Water Hyacinths on the next pool over.

Malachite Kingfisher

We moved on a few yards and saw a male Shikra sat in a tree top, several Senegal Parrots and Rose-ringed Parakeets, and then we got superb views of a Double-spurred Francolin calling out loud while stood on a sandy mound. African Palm Swifts then appeared overhead and on a distant tree we noted Bronze-tailed and Greater Blue-eared Glossy Starlings as well as a group of noisy Green Wood-hoopoes. Moving on to the last pool a couple of immature Malachite Kingfishers posed nicely for us as did a small Monitor Lizard. We then walked into a scrubby area and soon found the huge colonial nests of some White-billed Buffalo Weavers with several of the owners present. Nearby were two Western Bonelli's Warblers, and both Melodious and Olivaceous Warbler. Grey-headed Sparrows were present and then we found Beautiful Sunbird, Northern Crombec, Grey-backed Cameroptera and good views of a selection of doves that included Red-eyed, Vinaceous, African Mourning, Laughing and a Black-billed Wood-dove. Continuing down towards the muddy Kotu creek we found a delicately marked Fine-spotted Woodpecker, a group of Bronze Mannikins and a gorgeous Blue-bellied Roller which flew around harassed by a Pied Crow. Looking down onto the creek we could see a Western Reef Heron and Black Egret stood beside each other and several waterbirds that included Senegal Thick-knee, Wattled Plover and Whimbrel. Moving closer to the muddy edges we found more of the birds just mentioned and added Spur-winged Plovers, some very close Little Bee-eaters, an Osprey and then a Lizard Buzzard which was sat in a small palm. Crossing over the Kotu Bridge we then drove to a nearby super market and got some cool drinks. Refreshed, we then went onto the Fajara Golf Course. Here we were soon treated to excellent views of two Yellow-crowned Gonoleks a couple of African Grey Hornbills and then several Black-headed Plovers. Looking at the more open area of mud and water we saw lots of Western Reef Herons, Grey Heron, a good selection of wading birds and a flock of Grey-headed Gulls.

Black-headed Plover

In the mud were hundreds of Fiddler Crabs and some Mudskippers while further on as we got back into the scrub we found an African Golden Oriole which initially proved very elusive. It was now lunch time so we drove to a nearby beach restaurant and relaxed a little. Afterwards we returned to our hotel and took an hours rest before setting off towards the capital city of Banjul. Along the way we made a couple of brief roadside stops for both Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers perched on telegraph wires. Our coach then got a puncture so while Aladdin, our driver and some very convenient and helpful local boys fixed it, we walked across the road and down to the seashore. Out on a sandy spit in front of us were quite a few Slender-billed Gulls including a couple with beautiful pink flushes to their breasts. We then spotted Gull-billed and huge Caspian Terns a single Sandwich and a lone Royal Tern. With Oystercatcher, Sanderling and another Osprey added to our list we quickly walked back and found our coach all set to go with its new wheel on! We then drove through the hustle and bustle of Banjul until we reached the edge of the river Gambia. As local life went on all around us we scanned across the water and soon found lots of Black Terns, Royal and Caspian Terns and then several very scruffy Pomarine Skuas. Leaving this area we next tried an area of mangrove behind some very unpleasant buildings. Here we got good views of a selection of waders that mainly consisted of Black-winged Stilts. In the trees were Long-tailed Cormorants and many Pink-backed Pelicans but it took us a while for everyone to see the Marsh and Curlew Sandpipers hiding at the back. An African Darter was seen sat in a dead tree and then four African Spoonbills flew over. We then left and drove slowly along the Bund Road and on to Camalou an area of open semi dry mangrove. Here we watched as forty or more Sacred Ibis came into roost. A wonderful site! A group of Curlew Sandpipers were then seen and as we were leaving a stunning pair if Red-necked Falcons perched on a tree above us. What a great first day! We returned for our evening meal and log call.

Day 3   1st Dec

Nile Crocodile

Giant Kingfisher

After an early breakfast we met the coach and Solomon and set off towards the famous Abuko Nature Reserve. This small, but fine tract of original forest is the last remaining habitat for several species that are found nowhere else within The Gambia. Once here we entered into the woodland and slowly walked the trail that passed through a thick tangle of trees. A Yellow-breasted Apalis was one of the first birds to be seen soon followed by a group of Black-necked Weavers and a Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher. At the Crocodile pools we first watched from the upper level of the information centre. Looking over the pool we were soon treated to excellent views of Giant Kingfisher, several African Jacana and amazingly four Black Crakes. In an overhanging tree a roost of five or so Black-crowned Night-herons were seen while further away in some palms were Grey and Black-headed Herons. A stunning Violet Turaco then appeared while two Shikras circled overhead and a Fanti Saw-wing occasionally flew the length of the pool. Some very posy Pied Kingfishers sat in front of us but the ever elusive Ahanta Francolins were only heard. Moving down to the open area in front we watched up to four Nile Crocodiles haul themselves up onto the bank and show us their teeth. Only a few people in the group got brief views of a Green Turaco and a Lesser Honeyguide. Solomon and the local guides then got us to see a very well hidden immature White-backed Night-heron roosting in a nearby tree and then we found an immature Blue-breasted Kingfisher.

African Cuckoo

Moving on into the forest we saw more Red-bellied Paradise Flycatchers a White-crowned Robin-chat flew by and after a while we all got to see Little Greenbul. A Buff-spotted Woodpecker unfortunately eluded most of the group but a Common Wattle-eye showed very well to everyone. The heat got up very quickly this morning and as we walked on through the rest of the forest it became decidedly quiet. Once we got to the animal orphanage a few of us had a cold drink while others looked at some of the captive animals here. We then got onto our coach and drove out of the forest to our lunch time stop at the nearby Lamin Lodge. This lodge was a rustic wooden structure built on stilts in the mangrove overlooking the river Gambia. A superb meal was laid on for us while we relaxed and spotted a few species from our elevated dining area.

Temminck's Courser

White-faced Scops-owl

Broad-billed Rollers sat on the tops of the mangrove while below Fiddler Crabs waved at us and Mudskippers did what ever Mudskippers do! Several distant Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters hunted over the river and we also spotted Western Marsh Harriers and a Black-shouldered Kite. After a short siesta we left the lodge and then had a quick look in the scrub along the approach road outside. A flurry of activity found us a couple of showy Red-winged Warblers, a Yellow-fronted Canary, a beautiful Pygmy Sunbird, Olivaceous and Western Bonelli's Warbler, and Red-billed Firefinches. A short distance on we stopped beside a small walled area of trees and after a short search here everyone got to see a White-faced Scops-owl in its daytime roost. Moving on we went to Lamin rice fields and here we took a short walk out to the edge of some reed fringed, muddy and rather smelly pools. Lots of wading birds were present including Wood, Green and Common Sandpipers, Redshank, Whimbrel and Greenshank. African Jacanas were easily seen and a skulky Black Crake was also spotted. Other birds seen here included Blue-bellied Roller; Black Heron a single Curlew Sandpiper and then a Jack Snipe which flew low overhead. Nick then found our target species a male Painted Snipe which typically was hiding really well in the edge of the reeds. This is one of those unusual species where the male is actually a lot duller than the female. We got the best views we could of this partially obscured bird and then made our way back to the waiting coach. Our next stop was in the vast arable fields around Yundum. We stopped and got out to search a large scrubby field, here we walked slowly amongst the scattered weeds until we found and enjoyed fantastic views of no less than ten Temminck's Coursers running around and feeding together. What beautiful birds these were! Our last stop of the day was in an open of scrub and scattered trees. Here we soon got into a hectic session of good birds that started with a very obliging African Cuckoo which sat nicely for everyone to see, then Green-backed Eremomelas, Striped kingfisher, Dark-chanting Goshawk, Black-crowned Tchagra, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Rufous Cisticola, a Woodland Kingfisher, Grey Kestrel and a pair of superb Senegal Batis. What an excellent end to the day. 

Day 4   2nd Dec

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Black-crowned Crane

This morning we had an extra early breakfast and then with a few overnight things packed into a bag we all set off on our journey to Tendaba camp 150 km inland. Our first stop was beside some rice fields where we soon located our target species a pair of Hadada Ibis. A Wahlberg's Eagle was then spotted sat in a tree, a Long Crested Eagle flew past and Yellow-billed Shrikes and Lizard Buzzard were seen. Moving on it wasn't long before we arrived at Pirang shrimp farm. This farm was no longer working although it may well be in the near future. Several areas are now very overgrown with reeds and plants and hold a good amount of water, these spots are havens for wildlife and could well become protected as a reserve. Lets hope! A walk around these pools firstly found us Plain-backed Pipits and an immature African Harrier-hawk. Beside a ditch we watched Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, Yellow-billed Kites, Blue-bellied Rollers, a Northern Red Bishop and several Quail Finch flew over giving their distinctive calls. Black-shouldered Kites were easily seen and a lone Spur-winged Goose was watched with a small group of White-faced Whistling-duck.

While we walked one of the embankments the distant honking calls of Black-crowned Cranes could be heard and as we watched their huge shapes appeared on the horizon from where they flew in our direction until they came very close, giving us the most wonderful views imaginable. They landed nearby and we were able to scope these majestic birds. Fantastic! Moving on we spotted two Quailfinch land, but as we positioned ourselves to get views of these incredibly skulking birds two dogs came along and scared them off. Nearby huge Mosque Swallows dwarfed the Rufous-chested Swallows and House Martins they flew around with. Odd looking Palm-nut Vultures were seen flying past as was a Gull-billed Tern and an adult Slender-billed Gull. On another pool we found a mix of waders that included a single Temminck's Stint, lots of Little Stint a single Knot, several Ruff, Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey Plover and a Little Ringed Plover. Hoping around a small bush a Subalpine Warbler was seen very well by everyone. Walking to a far pool beside the mangrove we found it to be full of birds. Nine Yellow-billed Storks fed alongside Greater Flamingos, African and Eurasian Spoonbills, Avocet, and Black Herons doing the Black Heron thing - where they turn themselves into umbrellas! Other birds in the pool included many Great Egrets, Western Reef Egrets and Curlew Sandpipers. Leaving here we continued on our coach to an area called Bamakuno forest. A brief search of this wood found us Scarlet-chested Sunbird and a group of African Yellow White-eyes while above us flew a nice Lanner Falcon. Our next stop was a roadside lunch break. In between sandwiches and cool drinks we found a female Greater Honeyguide, a group of Black-rumped Waxbills and another Scarlet-chested Sunbird. Further on we made more impromptu stops for roadside Grasshopper Buzzards, Striped Kingfishers, Rufous-crowned Rollers and a superb male Greater Honeyguide. Another stop added White-backed Vulture, Booted Eagle and Village Indigobird. Nearing Tendaba as we passed by an open area of grasslands, two large black shapes walking along suddenly took on the unmistakable profiles of the much sought after Abyssinian Ground Hornbills.

A couple of shouts to the driver soon had the coach stop and all of us out viewing these superb birds through our scopes. Although these birds are huge they can often be very difficult to find, so we were very happy with this showy pair. It wasn't long after that we arrived at Tendaba Camp, a basic but clean settlement perfectly situated beside the river Gambia. We put our luggage into our rooms and then met up, ready for our afternoon creek-crawl!

River Gambia

Once aboard our large motorised dug-out canoe we cruised across the river and entered one of the creeks that went deep into the mangrove. When the motor was cut we drifted silently and peacefully along this narrow river-let. Amongst the first birds we saw were Blue-breasted Kingfishers, and several Mouse-brown Sunbirds including one which came to its penduline type nest hanging low over the river. A Fairy Blue Flycatcher was then heard, but this one and several others later on proved very difficult and the views we got were brief. Malachite Kingfishers and African Darters were a lot easier as was a Spur-winged Goose and several roosting Senegal Thick-knees. As we quietly moved on many more Blue-breasted and Pied Kingfishers were spotted, two Brown-necked Parrots flew off and then Woolly-necked Storks and the giant of the swamps an enormous Goliath Heron was seen. As dusk began to fall we returned to the mouth of river where the silhouette of a White-crested Tiger-heron flying away was decided just not good enough to be counted on our trip list!

Heading back across the river towards the lights of Tendaba Camp we were now ready for our evening meal and a good nights rest.

Day 5   3rd Dec

We had an early breakfast this morning and then drove the short distance to an area known as Tendaba airfield. Here we walked through the scrub to a more open grassy area. A Dark-chanting Goshawk was seen perched on a tree and then later it was seen chasing a much smaller Gabar Goshawk allowing us great comparisons. Nearby some Stone Partridges were very vocal but they never showed themselves. Further on we set our scopes up to look at a distant African Fish Eagles nest, luckily there was an adult bird stood on top. Amongst the grass in front of us a couple of Quailfinch kept flying up and then back down into thick cover. Nearby we watched Senegal Coucals and Abyssinian Rollers and after searching for and seeing a couple of Zitting Cisticolas a small flock which appeared in some scattered trees held White-rumped Seedeaters and Bush Petronia. A male Pygmy Sunbird looked very smart, Green-backed Eremomelas moved through and then we had superb views of a pair of Brubru.

Northern Carmine Bee-eater


As we made our back towards the coach a group of non breeding Northern Red Bishops filled a small bush, a Vieillott's Barbet showed well and then a Hoopoe was spotted. On the open disused airfield a Red Patas Monkey was seen and just as we were about to board the bus five White-crested Helmet-shrikes flew overhead and landed in some trees where we soon got good views of these very impressive birds. It was time to move so we drove out of the airfield and headed east towards the town of Farafenni. The normal impromptu roadside stops found us lots of European Bee-eaters and to our amazement a group of four Northern Carmine Bee-eaters flew over, well out of their normal range.

Exclamatory Paradise Whydah

Car ferry

Continuing on we arrived at the car ferry which would take us across to the north side of the river and after wheeling and dealing we drove to the front of the queue and had just a fifteen minute wait. As we waited, a nearby area of reeds held Winding Cisticola - we heard but didn't see them. After crossing on the ferry it was only a short distance to the Senegal border. Here we arranged to have some fuel bought for the coach as The Gambia was having a fuel strike. While this was being done we had our picnic under a huge tree. A Mottled Spinetail flew over as did a Eurasian Griffon Vulture. We were soon on our way again along the dusty track that leads towards Kaur. Many roadside stops were made as this area was rich in bird life and each bird we found always led us to find another and another. An Exclamatory Paradise Whydah perched on a tree looked superb and while watching this we also found four more excellent Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, this time perched, and a skulking Spotted Thick-knee. Another stop had us check a tree where last years group found a pair of huge Verreaux's Eagle-owls sat on a nest. A quick scope view of the nest and sure enough a bird was sat there again this year, and beside it were several very small looking Cut-throats. A huge flock of Black Kites were attracted by a bush fire which was scaring up hundreds of locust and as we looked at these a pair of Lanner Falcons flew through them. Above us a thermal of around 80 Marabou Storks circled and then everyone got fantastic close views of a female Red-necked Buzzard a really rare species only seen by our local guide Solomon once before, seven years ago. We continued on getting very good views of Beaudouin's Snake-eagles, Red-necked Falcons and more!

Cinnamon-breasted Buntings

Egyptian Plover

Arriving at Kaur it wasn't long before everyone was out of the coach and admiring two stunning Egyptian Plovers, they really are the most beautiful of waders and the highlight of our trip here. A hundred yards further on we saw another eight, plus 32 Kittlitz's Plovers, 40 Collared Pratincoles, Little Stint, Comb Duck, and a selection of commoner waders. A group of four Montagu's Harriers were a bonus. As we left this superb site we next called in on a small drinking pool set in the dry scrub. Just like an oasis this pool attracted many small birds into drink. As we quietly watched Namaqua Doves came in, followed by Red-cheeked Cordon Bleus, Bush Petronias, Exclamatory Paradise Whydahs, Pygmy and Scarlet-chested Sunbirds and then four Cinnamon-breasted Buntings. Moving on we stopped when two Temminck's Coursers were spotted in a field and then shortly after Dave noticed a Sandgrouse close to the edge of the road we had just passed. We reversed back and got to see a couple of Four-banded Sandgrouse briefly before they flew off. Watching where they landed we then approached on foot and got to see several more of these exquisite birds walking around. With a couple of others flying a pair of Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse took flight and gave away their identity with an obvious white trailing edge to their wings. Before we reached the ferry we had more stops for Brown Snake-eagle, Double-spurred Francolin and a pair of Northern Anteater-chats. As is normal in The Gambia things do not run to time schedules and we had to wait for a long time before the return ferry would go. This put us way behind and a decision was made to spend an extra unforeseen night at Tendaba Camp.

Day 6   4th Dec

White-shouldered Black Tit

After breakfast we drove the short distance to the airfield where a roadside stop produced a Levaillant's Cuckoo and a Beaudouin's Snake-eagle. We then tried a nearby bush track and walking through the scrub here we soon found Vieillot's Barbet, Melodious Warbler and a couple of Four- banded Sandgrouse. As we searched the area we eventually found a small flock of birds which contained three White-shouldered Black Tits, Red-cheeked Cordon Bleu, Bush Petronia and Green-backed Eremomelas. In a dead tree we spotted two very attractive Bruce's Green Pigeons the bird we had earlier searched the airfield for. Just before we left a Black Scimitar-bill was also seen well. We had quite a journey to do to get back to our coastal hotel by lunch-time. It was inevitable that birds would be seen from the coach, and roadside stops had us looking at African Hawk-eagle, Wahlberg's and Tawny Eagles and on a roadside kill we had excellent views of a group of White-backed Vultures. While watching these we noticed that a close tree had a Ruppell's Griffon sat on top and then astonishingly beside it was a superb White-headed Vulture; what a good stop that was!

White-headed Vulture

Ruppell's Griffon Vulture

It was nearly lunch time and just a few miles from the hotel we stopped at a junction and then spotted three White Pelicans flying by.

Once we reached the Senegambia Hotel, lunch was ordered and then we went to our rooms and freshened up. After lunch we had a break before we met up with Solomon and the coach and drove to nearby Tanji Reserve. The first area we looked at overlooked a tidal pool and the sea. A gull and tern roost provided plenty of opportunities to study the differences between Royal and Lesser-crested Terns. We also saw Little, Common, Sandwich, Gull-billed and Caspian Terns, as well as Lesser Black-backed, Grey-headed and Slender-billed Gulls. On the far beach we found two White-fronted Plovers whose distinguishing details could be seen through our telescopes. Ospreys were seen flying back and forth all the time. We then walked through the open scrub that formed the majority of this reserves habitat. Variable Sunbirds were easily seen as were Yellow-crowned Gonoleks, Senegal Thick-knee and Bearded Barbets. A Black-crowned Tchagra however proved more difficult to see as it blended in with its background. Continuing through the scrub we reached another area of beach where more terns and gulls were congregated. A search revealed nothing different amongst them, though nearby several Kentish Plovers ran around energetically. It was time to leave so we made our way back through the scrub to the waiting coach.

Day 7   5th dec

Citris Swallowtail Butterfly

Variable Sunbird

After this morning's breakfast we drove to Marrakissa an area of woodland and surrounding farmland. Walking through the first area of woods we whistled in a Pearl Spotted Owlet. As we watched this bird it was constantly hassled by a Grey Woodpecker which got to within an inch or two of the owl and managing somehow to just miss its aggressive pecks. A little further along an African Hobby showed well, a Citris Swallowtail Butterfly posed for photographs and a couple of Pied Hornbills were spotted.

White-throated Bee-eaters

A Wahlberg's Eagle was then found sat in a palm tree while further on both Gabar Goshawk and two Red-necked Falcons were also seen sat on tree tops. As we scanned an open area African Harrier-hawk and Lizard Buzzard were seen and beside some small pools we had great views of Broad-billed and Blue-bellied Rollers.

Wattled Plover

Lizard Buzzard

A little activity in the woods here had us follow the call of a White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike. It never showed but we did see a good collection of other species including several Northern Puffbacks. Back at the coach a pair of Lanner Falcons circled low overhead. From here it was a very short drive to our lunch stop beside a shallow river. As we relaxed and waited for our food to be cooked, a look along the river found Giant Kingfishers, a Striated Heron, Black Crake, Lizard Buzzard and Wattled Plover. With lunch over it was only a short walk to a nearby river bridge. Here we watched as a Shikra flew through a large flock of Village Weavers and perched several times giving us excellent views. We then heard a Yellow-throated Leaflove but the bird kept deep in cover and would not show. Moving on to Dasalami a search of the grasslands beside the mangrove soon produced Zitting Cisticolas, Subalpine Warblers, Hammerkop, Purple Heron, some showy Little Bee-eaters and eventually our target bird, two Yellow-throated Longclaws. Leaving here we headed back to Marrakissa before driving back to Bujilo Reserve near to our hotel. We had an appointment at dusk so this was only going to be a quick visit aimed at trying to find one particular species. We walked through the woods to an open area and sure enough there were six White-throated Bee-eaters sat around, flycatching and looking good as bee-eaters always do! There were Little Bee-eaters here also and some of our group saw Snowy-crowned Robin-chat and Moho. Back to the hotel we picked up our torches and drove five minutes to an area of coastal scrub where we hoped to see some nightjars. We walked to a favourite spot and here as dusk fell the first Long-tailed Nightjars flew in and landed just ten feet away. We put the torch light on one of them and everyone had superb looks at this bird just before a fantastic male Standard-winged Nightjar came up and flew over some bushes backlight by the paler sky where the sun had just set. This bird had its "full standards" and came back for another great showing, albeit brief!  Wow!

Day 8   6th Dec

Swallow-tailed Bee-eater

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird

 Our last morning and we decided to visit the nearby Brufut Wood. A short journey in the coach and we arrived at a small footpath that led into the reserve. Before going in we spotted a Violet Turaco swiftly disappear through the tree tops and then above us a Swallow-tailed Bee-eater sallied back and forth. In the reserve we slowly walked the main trail. A distant Klass's Cuckoo was heard but it never came close enough to see.

We had superb views of Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird and several perched Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters.

Nearby Bronze Mannikins fed in the tall grasses while Pin-tailed Whydah was also seen. After seeing and enjoying a few more species we went back to the coach and then returned to the Hotel. Several of the group who never came out this morning informed us of their excellent birding around the gardens.

Well! As with all good things it had to come to an end and shortly after lunch I went with everyone to the airport. Having said our farewells to a wonderful group, myself and Nick prepared ourselves for the second group which were just arriving!

This tour was a great pleasure to lead, and we enjoyed some exceptional sightings.

Steve Bird   -   Nick Bray

Note: All photos in this report were taken by the leaders using a digital camera. The bird shots were of the actual birds we saw and the photos were taken by hand holding the camera to the telescope after everyone had had a look.

Bird List for the Gambia



birdseekers photos