5 Gambia November 2014

GAMBIA – 12TH – 26th november 2014

 

Introduction

This was our fourth trip to The Gambia. Our previous trips were in November 2005 , March 2007/2008

Arrangements

We stopped at Farakunku Lodges this time, this was mainly due to change in diet since 2008 (Gluten intolerance) and we can not praise Heather, Moses and the staff enough for sorting this out for us the food was excellent, stopping at the Lodges for the duration of our holiday. The Lodges are spacious and well looked after and have a great shower. I am glad we made the decision to stay here and I can galdly say this has been our best Gambian holiday to date.

The flights we booked through Thomas Cook at a cost of £975.96 and flew from Manchester on a Wednesday

GUIDES

Lamin K Njie

Was the guide we hired thru Farakunku Lodge for our days birding at Abuko and Lamin rice Fields. An excellent guide no hesitation in recommending this guy to anyone, and he was the guide most people at the lodge used for their trips out

Muttar Barry

We also hired Muttar Barry for a couple of days out, mainly due to a friend, but Muttar was good, knows his birds, pleasure to be with and is the only guide so far who has said they would supply cold drinks for the day and has actually delivered as part of the days cost, so a plus to him and always on time.

Colin Cross [Kartong]

An enthusiastic guy, patient this was evident whilst I tried to get to grips with a juv Audouins Gull he didn’t give up until I was sure in what I was seeing and when he re-found the Hudsonian Whimbrel well I think he might still be dancing now. A very knowledge guy and it was great to have spent sometime with him.

 

Health

Just Malarone at a cost of £33 from Tesco for 24 tablets = £1.375 per tablet these were (Generic tablets ATOVAQUONE/PROGUANIL). See report for November if you are going for the first time

Flights

Flying to the Gambia took us about 6 to 6 1/2 hours. Flight was on a 757-200. The car was left at Flight Shuttle Services at a cost of £61 for the two weeks with no problems

Money

We decided on taking cash and exchanging to Dalasi in the Gambia where we were getting 70 Dalasi to the pound, the highest we’ve known it.

Sites and Highlights

Farakunku Lodge area (Inc. local Beach)

A great place to see the birds and wildlife most of our birding was done around Farakunku, with a day at the beach. Stopping over for two weeks we managed to knock up a species list of 94, adding 3 birds to the Lodges already impressvie list of around 227 species

The Birds around Farakunku inc. Beach: Long Tailed Cormorant, African Darter, Great White Pelican, Pink Backed Pelican,Squacco Heron, Cattle Egret, Western Reef Heron, Great White Egret, Purple Heron, White Faced Whistling Duck, Hooded Vulture, African Harrier Hawk, Osprey, Pied Crow, Wahlbergs Eagle, Booted Eagle, Black Shouldered Kite, Black Kite “YB”, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Gabar Goshawk, Shikra, Lizzard Buzzard, Grey Kestrel, Lanner Falcon, Red Necked Falcon, Double Spurred Francolin, African Jacana, Senegal Thick Knee, Wattled Plover, Spur Winged Plover, Whimbrel, Greenshank, Grey Headed Gull, Caspian Tern, Royal Tern, Speckled Pigeon, Laughing Dove, African Mourning Dove, Red Eyed Dove, Blue Spotted Wood Dove, Levaillant’s Cuckoo, Senegal Coucal, Piapiac, Mottled Spinetail, African Palm Swift, Pallid Swift, Little Swift, Green Woodhoopoe, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Abyssinian Roller, Broad Billed Roller, Blue Bellied Roller, Blue Cheeked Bee eater, Senegal Parrot, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Violet Turaco, Western Grey Plaintain Eater, Red Billed Hornbill, African Grey Hornbill, Beadred Barbet, Fine Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Woodpecker, Crested Lark, Red Chested Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Fork Tailed Drongo, Yellow Throated Leaflove, Brown Babbler, Blackcap Babbler, Common Bulbul, Olivaceous Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Tawny Flanked Prinia, Western Violet Backed Sunbird, Variable Sunbird, Beautiful Sunbird, Yellow Billed Shrike, Yellow Crowned Gonolek, Purple Glossy Starling, Greater Blue Eared Glossy Starling, Lesser Blue Eared Glossy Starling, Long Tailed Glossy Starling, Grey Headed Sparrow, Black Winged Red Bishop, Northern Red Bishop, Black Necked Weaver, Village Weaver, Red Billed Firefinch, Lavendar Waxbill, Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu, Village Indigobird, Grey Headed Bush Shrike,

Abuko and Lamin Rice Fields 14.11.14

Bird Guide for the day Lamin K Njie

[Trip run thro Farakunku Lodges at £75 for full day not including lunch]

Time 09:30am to 1:oopm

The Birds [In no Particular Order] : Giant Kingfisher, Pygmy Kingfisher, African darter, Fanti-saw Wing, Hammerkop, Palm Nut Vulture, Hooded Vulture, Blue Cheeked Bee-Eater, Squacco heron, Pied Winged Swallow, Black necked Weaver, Common Wattle Eye, Yellow Breasted Apalis, Little Greenbul, Snowy Crowned Robin Chat, African Thrush, African Paradise Flycatcher, Grey Woodpecker, Black crake, Bronze Mannakin, Red Eyed Dove, Blue Spotted Wood Dove, African Jacana, Western Grey Plaintain Eater, Red Billed Hornbill, Beautiful Sunbird, Collard Sunbird, Blue Cheeked Cordon Bleu, Red Billed Firefinch, Piapiac, Common Bulbul, Broad Billed Roller, Violet Turaco, Green Turaco, Oriole warbler, African Palm Swift,Northern Puffback, Laughing Dove, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Village Weaver, Pied Crow

Dinner at Lamin Lodge [Birds seen here] : Little Bee-Eater, Sandwich tern, Common Wattle Eye, Beautiful Sunbird, Western Reef Heron, Black Kite, Hooded Vulture, Grey Headed Gull, Royal Tern,

Lamin Rice Fields [Time 3:30pm – 5:30pm]

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Squacco Heron, Western Reef Heron, Striated [Green Backed] Heron, Cattle Egret, Great White egret, Senegal Thick Knee, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, African Jacana, Long tailed Cormorant, Malachite Kingfisher, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Shikra, Lizzard Buzzard, Hooded Vulture, Red Necked Falcon, Splendid Sunbird, Beautiful Sunbird, Red Billed Hornbill, Senegal Parrot, Norther Black Flycatcher, Piapiac, Blue Cheeked Bee-eater, Black egret, Pied Kingfisher, Double Spurred Francolin, Black Crake, Blue Spotted Wooddove, Black Billed Wooddove, Laughing Dove, Mourning Dove, Vinaceous Dove, Red Eyed Dove, Senegal Coucal, Fine Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Blue Eared Glossy Starling, Long Tailed Glossy Starling, White Billed Buffalo Weaver, Pied Crow, African Harrier Hawk, Western Grey Plaintain eater, Little bee-Eater, Purple Heron, Osprey

 

Kotu Creek/Cycle Track/Golf Course 19.11.14

Bird Guide for the day Muttar Barry

[Half days Birding at £60]

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: Black Shouldered Kite [Seen on route], White faced whistling Duck, Hooded Vulture, Pied Crow, Yellow Billed Black Kite, Shikra, Double Spurred Francolin, African Jacana, Senegal Thick Knee, Spur Winged Plover, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Whimbrel, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Redshank, Black Winged Stilt, Grey Headed Gull, Laughing Dove, Red Eyed Dove, Mourning Dove, Piapiac, Senegal Coucal, Green Woodhoopoe, Woodland Kingfisher, Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Striped Kningfisher, Broad Billed Roller, Blue Bellied Roller, Blue Cheeked Bee-eater, Little Bee-eater, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Voilet Turaco, Western Grey Plaintain Eater, Beared Barbet, Grey Hornbill, Red Billed Hornbill, Fine Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Woodpecker, Wire Tailed Swallow, African Golden Oriole, Common Bulbul, Oriole Warbler (heard), Brown Babbler, White Crowned Robin Chat, Olivaceous Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Willow Warbler, Grey Backed Camaroptera, Northern Crombec, Common Wattle Eye, Beautiful Sunbird, Splendid Sunbird, Variable Sunbird, Lesser Blue eared Glossy Starling, Long Tailed Glossy Starling, White Billed Buffalo Weaver, Little Weaver, Village Weaver, Bronze Mannikin, red Billed Firefinch, Namaqua Dove, Hammerkop, Long Tailed Cormorant, African Darter, Cattle Egret, Squacco Heron, Striated (Grenn Backed) Heron, Balck Egret, Western Reef Heron (Inc White Morph), Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Litte Grebe, Sedge Warbler

 

Kartong 20.11.14

Bird Guide for the day Colin Cross

[Trip run thro Farakunku Lodges at £125 for full day including lunch with a river trip on the Alleheins River]

The Birds [In no Particular Order]: White Pelican, Pink Backed Pelican, Hammerkop, Cattle Egret, Squacco Heron, Intermediate Egret, Western Reef Heron, Great White Egret, Black Headed Heron, Grey heron, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Striated (Green Backed) Heron, Northern Pintail, White Faced Whistling Duck, Osprey, African Harrier Hawk, Palm Nut Vulture, Pied Crow, Hooded Vulture, African Fish Eagle, Beaudoins Snake Eagle, Booted Eagle (Dark), Yellow Billed Black Kite, Marsh Harrier ♀, Lanner Falcon, Grey Kestrel, Purple Swamphen, Allens Gallinule, African Jacana, Senegal Thick Knee, Spur Winged Plover, Grey Plover, Wattled Plover, Ringed Plover, White Fronted Plover, Whimbrel, Hudsonian Whimbrel, Black Tailed Godwit, Bar Tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Black Winged Stilt, Common Snipe, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, Audouins Gull, Grey Headed Gull, Slender Billed Gull, Lesser Black backed Gull, Caspian Tern, Royal Tern, Common Tern, Gull Billed Tern, Laughing Dove, Mourning Dove, Black Billed Wood Dove, Vinaceous Dove, Red Eyed Dove, Namaque Dove, Speckled Pigeon, Piapiac, African Palm Swift, Grey Headed Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Abyssinian Roller, Rufous Crowned Roller, Blue Cheeked Bee eater, Little Bee eater, Western Grey Plaintain eater, Red Billed Hornbill, Grey Woodpecker, Crested Lark, Wire Tailed Swallow, Red Chested Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Willow Warbler, Grey Backed Camaroptera, Beautiful Sunbird, Black crowned Tchagra, Splendid Glossy Starling, Grey Headed Sparrow, Northern Red Bishop, Black Necked Weaver, Village weaver, Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu, Red Billed Firefinch, Bronze Mannikin, Village Indigobird, African Spoonbill, Double Spurred Francolin, Bronze Tailed Glossy Starling, Yellow Crowned Gonolek,

 

 

Mandina Ba/Farasoto/Bonto Woods 24.11.14

Bird Guide for the day Muttar Barry

[A full days birding at £120 including lunch/ cold drinks supplied]

The Days Birds [In no Particular Order]: Stone Partridge, Giant Kingfisher, Whimbrel, Grey Headed Gull, Kelp Gull, Rufous Crowned Roller, Black Kite “YB”, Short Toed Eagle, Western Grey Plaintain Eater, Lavender Waxbill, Senegal Coucal, Red Bill Hornbill, Red Eyed Dove, Fork Tailed Drongo, Bronze Mannikin, Beautiful Sunbird, Great White Egret, Squacco Heron, Hooded Vulture, Speckled Pigeon, Grey Woodpecker, Yellow Throated Leaflove, Yellow Billed Shrike, PInk Backed Pelican, Black Necked Weaver, Shrika, Senegal Parrot, Grey Kestrel, Long Tailed Glossy Starling, Lesser Blue Eared Glossy Starling, Greater Blue Eared Glossy Starling, Ring Necked Parakeet, Long Crested Eagle, Wahlsberg Eagle, Blue Cheeked Bee eater, Mottled Spinetail, Yellow Breasted Apalis, Melodious Warbler, African Green Pigeon, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Red Bellied Paradise Flycatcher,  African Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow Billed Oxpecker, Pied Crow, Wattled Lapwing, Striated (Green Backed) Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Black Billed Wood Dove, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Abyssinian Roller, Yellow Crowned Gonolek, Yellow Fronted Tinkerbird, African Palm Swift, Black Rumped Waxbill, White Crowned Robin Chat, Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu, African Thrush, African Golden Oriole, Senegal Thick Knee, Common Sandpiper, Palm Nut Vulture, Fanti Saw Wing, Blue Bellied Roller, African Wood Owl, Tawny Eagle, Green Woodhoopoe, Pied Hornbill, White Backed Night Heron ♂, Greyish Eagle Owl, Red Billed Firefinch, Yellow Fronted Canary, Verreauxs Eagle Owl, Common Wattle Eye,

 

Total bird tally for the hols = 194 with 12 of those lifers

Miscellaneous

Take plenty of water with you when you are out and about.

The weather was hot and sunny during our 14 day stay in the Gambia with the occasional light hazy cloud and a couple hours of rain 20th. Plenty of sun cream was needed. It was pleasant to about 11:00am and then Hot till about 04:00pm. Anything between 81° F and 106° F

Field Guides

A Field Guide to the Birds of the Gambia and Senegal – Clive Barlow, Tim Watcher and Tony Disley. ISBN 1-873403-32-1

DVD’s

These are by Malcolm Rymer and are a must before you go a great introduction. There are three in all:

1. Sorties around the Smiling Coast
2. Forays Further afield
3. Upriver Odyssey

These can be bought through his web site http://www.wildlifevideos.net/

Reports

Try also http://www.birdtours.co.uk/

Useful Web Sites

www.nigelblake.co.uk
http://www.fatbirder.com/links_geo/africa/gambia.html
http://www.bsc.gm/birdlinks.htm
http://www.camacdonald.com/birding/africagambia.htm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s