Its worth a visit
Taking a break in the Gambia
Its nice to get away for a few days away from the mist and damp mid November climate to relax here in the Gambia.
It would be idle to pretend that the birding here is as good as it has ever been.On too many occassions now we have visited previousely good sites to find them devoid of birds.Areas such as Terreujay once an excellent site has now been developed to include a large area of rice fields and much of the bush areas have been cleared to accomodate this.
I visited my friend Clive Barlow on Thursday of last week and was just in time to hear the first Olivaceouse Warbler singing in his garden.Also on the same day the first Subalpine Warbler arrived a much overlooked species here.
I was able to spend much time alone in the garden whilst Clive got on with his work particulary an upcoming project on Aduins Gulls for Bird Life International and a project concerning Baboons and their DNA.
The garden yielded good photographic opportunities?ALittle Weaver was busy feeding around my feet for most of the time.Also African Thrush,Black Headed Weaver,Red Cheeked Cordon Bluer,Firefinch,Lavender Waxbill male and female,Village Weaver.Meanwhile in the sky above small numbers of Pallid Swifts,Little and Palm Swifts as well as the usual Raptors displaying Shikra andsmall numbers of Hooded Vultures drifting slowly North.
A trip to my family compound at Lamin Village on Sunday was photographically productive.Much of the village still bears large ponds of water from the heavy rains that happened some two and a half weeks ago and so access for cars in some areas is difficult.However once in the compound late morning it was getting very hot so a small tap was turned on to create a fresh water pond and it wasnt long before birds begsn to arrive.
Among the list coming to drink 3 Northern Red Bishops,Levaillants Cuckoo,Shikra,several Grey Headed Sparrow,Beautifull Sunbird male and female,Village Weaver,around 22 Bronze Winged Mannikins, lots of Lavender Waxbills and Firefinches and lots of none breeding/female Bishops.2 Gonoleks approached but where very cautiouse and didnt drink.
There are still small numbers of birds on the wires between Senna Gambia and Tanji but nowhere as many as in previouse years I didnt see any Abbassinian Rollers on my first drive to Lamin and only very few Blue Bellied Rollers and Red Billed Hornbills.No Lizard Buzzards yet either?