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A Report from

The Gambia, Nov 2008,

Terry Bentley

A recent trip to the Gambia with my wife Jill, was to be a holiday taking in the sun and adding a little birding along the way.  We made contact with guides from the Bird Guides Association in their hut at Kotu Bridge and as we were staying at the Sunset Beach Hotel this could be likened to ´next door´.  Our guides were Saidou Barry (Barry) brother of Ebrima Barry and Yankuba Manngh (Janks), these guides knew their trade and were very good at finding birds and identifying them. Saidou Barry can be contacted on Mobile (+220) 7015628 or e-mail, Janks contact details are Mobile (+220) 7418690 or e-mail

We took three trips out with them, the first was a 31/2 hour trip around Kotu Creek, Kotu Rice Fields and the Sewage Ponds, where our list was 71 birds. The screen at the back of the Birds Guides hut gave us Orial Warbler and Snowy-crowned Robinchat. 

Our second trip a few days later was to Abuko National Park and the Abuko Rice Fields, this resulted in a list of 50 birds of which 21 were new birds.  At the Abuko rice fields we had good views of Red and Yellow-crowned Bishops, as well as a collection of other birds that included Black Headed Plover.

Our third trip was to start at a new reserve that is being created called Farasutu Forest. This is an area of forest in the Western Region, that has been given by Kuloro village to Kuloro Bird Guide Club for them to manage and develop into a quality reserve and a source of revenue.  Farasutu Forest had a good selection of birds including White-backed Night Heron, Red Bellied and African Paradise Flycatchers. Further down the track from the forest area at the far end of Kuloro village gardens we had good views of a Tawny Eagle and Pearl-spotted Owlet roosting.  On to Pirang Shrimp Farm  and Pink-backed Pelicans with good views of a pair of Long Crested Eagles flying overhead, then on to the Bush Track for raptors Wahlbergs Eagle, Dark Chanting Goshawk and the star bird in the area Greyish Eagle Owl. This third trip resulted in a list of 56 birds.

Kotu Creek, Rice Fields and Sewage Ponds- Little Grebe, African Darter, Long Tailed Cormorant, Hammerkop, Squacco Heron, Striated Heron, Cattle Egret, Western Reef Heron, Black Headed Heron, Grey Heron, Intermediate Heron, White-faced Whistling Duck, Osprey, Hooded Vulture, Black Kite, Shikra, Red-necked Falcon, Double Spurred Francolin, African Jacana, Senegal Thicknee, Spur-winged Plover, Grey Plover, Wattle Plover, Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Common Redshank, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Black Winged Stilt, Laughing Dove, Red Eyed-dove, Speckled Pigeon, Vinaceous Dove, Senegal Coucal, African Palm Swift, Green Wood Hoopoe, Little Swift, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Blue Bellied Roller, Broad Billed Roller, Senegal Parot, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Western Grey Plantain-eater, Little Bee-eater, Red Billed Hornbill, African Grey Hornbill, Wire Tail Swallow, Fork Tailed Drongo, Common Bulbul, Oriole Warbler, Black Cap Babbler, Brown Babbler, Snowy-crowned Robinchat, Olivaceous Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Beautiful Sunbird, Variable Sunbird, Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Northern Puff-back, Lesser Blue-eared Glossy Starling, Long-tailed Glossy Starling, Buffalo Weaver, Village Weaver, Red Billed Firefinch, Red-cheeked Cordon Bleu, Bronze Mannikin, Pied Crow, Long-tailed Nightjar.

Abuko Reserve and Rice Fields - Black-crowned Night Heron, Long Tailed Cormorant, Hammerkop, Squacco Heron, Striated Heron, Black Egret, Black Headed Heron, Grey Heron, Great White Egret, Osprey, Pied Crow, Hooded Vulture, African Harrier Hawk, Black Kite, Shikra, African Goshawk, Senegal Thicknee, Black Headed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Laughing Dove, Red Eyed-dove, Piapiac, Giant Kingfisher, African Pygmy Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Violet Turaco, Senegal Parot, Swallow Tailed Bee-eater, Western Grey Plantain-eater, Little Bee-eater, Grey Woodpecker, Fanti Saw-wing, Fork Tailed Drongo, Little Greenbul, Snowy-crowned Robinchat, Grey Backed Camaroptera, Northern Black Flycatcher, Common Wattle-eye, Beautiful Sunbird, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Splendid Sunbird, Northern Puff-back, Long-tailed Glossy Starling, Yellow-crowned Bishop, Northern Red Bishop, Village Weaver, Red Billed Firefinch, Red-cheeked Cordon Bleu, Bronze Mannikin.

Farasutu Forest, Pirang Shrimp Farm & The Bush Track- Pink Backed Pelican, Hammerkop, African Darter, White-backed Night Heron, Striated heron, Western Reef Heron, Black Headed Heron, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Cattle Egret, African Harrier Hawk, Osprey, Hooded Vulture, Tawny Eagle, Wahlberg´s Eagle, Long Crested Eagle, Black Kite, Grasshopper Buzzard, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Lizzard Buzzard, Grey Kestrel, Senegal Thicknee, Grey Plover, Spur-winged Plover, Wattle Plover, Bar Tailed Godwit, Avocet, Sanderling, Caspian Tern, Little Tern, African Green Pigeon, Greyish Eagle Owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Green Wood Hoopoe, Giant Kingfisher, Rufous Crowned Roller, Pied Kingfisher, Little Bee-eater, Senegal Parot, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Crested Lark, Wire Tail Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Zitting Cisticola, Singing Cisticola, Grey Backed Camaroptera, Wattle-eye, Red Bellied Paradise Flycatcher, African Paradise Flycatcher, Beautiful Sunbird, White-crested Helmit Shrike, Greater Blue-eared Glossy Starling, Purple Glossy Starling, Long-tailed Glossy Starling, Yellow-fronted Canary, Red-cheeked Cordon Blue.


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