Its worth a visit

Our Road Trip to Tendaba Camp on Sunday 7th of November 2010.

23/11/2010 17:52

Allthough there is much development work going on in the Gambia and certain well known birding sites(eg the famous Nightjar site at Kololi) have been lost,generally it would appear that the number and variety of birds does not appear to have suffered much.Thyis can be seen when driving on the main highway towards the airport and heading towards Brikama.The telegraph wires are a good indication with good numbers of Yellow Billed Shrikes,Red Billed Hornbills,Plantain Eaters and Blue Bellied Rollers.All these species were present every few hundred yards and the numbers of Laughing and Red Eyed Doves if anything seemed to have increased.

Unfortunately the well known roadside raptor habitat just a couple of miles beyond Ferrabanta has this year being turned over to a rice growing area and we were unable to enter for fear of damaging the crops.

So our first main stop over was at Ferera Sotu.Here we were able to observe 2 pairs of Black Winged Red Bishops which were displaying at the road side(see photogallery)Around 12 pairs of Northern Red Bishops.2 Green Headed Sunbirds were feeding in a large tree were we sheltered our car from the sun and in the same tree 2 Mosque Swallows were resting.There was a fairly large colony of Buffalo Weavers with around 25 pairs of birds just beyond Ferrabanta on the roadside and a total of 7 Dark Chanting Goshawks were counted betweenYundum and Ferera Sotu.

Abbysinnian Rollers also were very numerous all the way from Sennegambia with a count of some 27 birds between Yundum and Ferera Sotu as well as 8 Broad Billed Rollers.

3 Grey Kestrels were on the electric pylons at Ferera sotu and there was 2 Grey Backed Cameroptera alarming as we stalked the Grey Kestrels.2 Village Indigo birds were at Ferrebanta on the wires by the mosque along with 2 more Mosque Swallows,4 Yellow Fronted Canaries and 2 soaring Pink Backed Pelicans.

One of the highlights of this trip has been the numbers of Bateleur Eagles observed.We got our first at Campanje with both an adult and an immature soaring over the car.When we stopped at the river side cafe at the iron bridge we observed another 3 soaring adults Bateleurs which came within a few hundred yards.And if this wasnt good enough as we were watching the Bateluers an Osprey dived and retrieved a large fish in front of our eyes as we were trying to photograph the Bateluers.At Dumbutu we came across both perched Brown Snake Eagle and a pair of Grasshopper Buzzards at the side of the roadas well as 2 more Green Headed Sunbirds.