Its worth a visit

First morning in the Gambia on 17th Nov2013

04/12/2013 14:42

After a late flight into Banjul arriving at 21:00 the previouse night and a fairly restless sleep due to the heat.The morning was better spent in my compound where to my surprise there was a dripping tap left overnight.

The first bird I spotted in my compound in Lamin was surprise surprise a Malachite Kingfisher sitting on the washing line gazing down upon this dripping tap and the tiny pool of water that was forming as a result

TYhere was obviousely a well organised qeuhoo for the littyle pond the first of which seemed to be a pair of Beautiful Sunbirds dangling acrobatically on to the tap in turn.Also on the washing line awaiting their turn to the tap single Red Eyed Dove and 2 Laughing Doves(the Red Eyed Dove breaking off occassionaly to gather up the odd twig and carrying it off as its mind was obviousely on the subject of nest building whenever the opportunity presented itself.Yellow Crowned Gonolek was constantly calling from one of the large mango trees and 4 Spurr Winged Plovers flew across the compound flyin North totheir feeding grounds.

4 Wire Tailed Swalows were hawking in the compound and there is at least 3 pairs of Lavender Waxbills building nests also in the large Mango trees in betwen dropping down for a quick slurp whenever the opportunity presented itself.

3 Specled Pigeons arrived on the washing line around 08:20 and each made a quick visit to the tap keping a watchful eye on one of the many cats patroling the compound.

5 very vocal Common Bulbuls joined the queue at the drinking place and there was 3 Grey Backed Cameroptera calling noisily from the undergrowth.Several Palm Swifts were over the compound most of the morning appearing to be steadily making their way North.

Hooded Vultures did not begin to appear over the compound until around 08:45 firstly with a party of some 18 birds accompanied by some 5 Black Kites.The Vulture numbers quicly increased to around 42 birds all of which appeared to be moving slowly Northwards at first but returning some 30 minutes later as if patrolling the variouse compounds in Lamin before returning to their original location.

A single Lanner Falcon was with a party of some 22 Hooded vultures just a few hundred yards to the North of our compound and seemed to be giving its attention to a well populated cous cous patch.This patch contained around 15 Black Necked Weavers,6 Northern Red Bishops,some 22 Bronze Winged Manikins,around a dozen Red Eyed Doves and several Speckled Pigeons all feeding on the ground.

Back in the compound some 14 Red Billed Firefinches were feeding on the ground some frequently flying off with mouthfulls of nesting material

2 Senegal Parrots flew across the compound at 09:55 calling loudly.A single Shikra was a constant prescence in the evergreen trees at the Southern end of the compound.Bird numbers quickly fell away at around 13:00 as the temperature rose above the 30 degrees mark