Trip Report: The Gambia, October 27 - November 3, 1999

Johan Waldemarsson, Kaemnaersvaegen 2:279, 226 45 Lund, Sweden & Nils Waldemarsson, Skaanegatan 6, 295 32 Bromoella, Sweden;


Sometime in the spring of 1999 I found out that I was going to have a break from my studies in the end of October. I spoke to my father about this and he suggested a one-week trip to the Gambia. Since he's been there once before (February 1999), he was familiar with the fauna and also had made contact with two bird guides (see below), something which I later learned was a necessity.

The timing of the trip was governed by my studies at the University of Lund. I reckoned I just couldn't skip a whole week of studies, so this break was very welcome indeed. In retrospect, most of the weavers, widowbirds, sunbirds etc. were in full breeding plumage, so I really couldn't complain!

When we planned the contents of our trip we decided to travel upstream to Basse and Tendaba. My father was keen on visiting these places because he only visited coastal sites in February. For myself, as a first-time visitor in the Gambia, I reckoned I was going to see many new species wherever I went, so I decided to go for it. Besides, such species as the Egyptian Plover loomed at Basse...

Some of the trip reports we read before our departure expressed doubt about whether a trip inland would be a waste of time or whether it's time well spent. Despite this concern we decided to go upriver. Note that the people who wrote these reports did not travel upstream. Anyway, we found that this little adventure of ours not to be a waste of time. We did see a lot of nice birds up-country!

Bird Guides

As previously noted, my father knew two bird guides whom he hired during his first visit, in February 1999. The guides, Gib and Seedy Saidy, were recommended to us by Mr Gruff Dodd, whose thoroughly written trip report my father read in preparation for his first stay in the Gambia. Our guides took care of all the arrangements; planning the contents of the trip, transportation (driver plus gas), accommodation at Tendaba Camp and Fulladou Camp at Basse, lunch (day 2-6), breakfast and dinner (day 4 and 5), the creek tour at Tendaba and ferry crossings.

We really can recommend Gib and Seedy as bird guides. They have an extremely good ability of spotting birds. Moreover, we made two very nice friends in Gib and Seedy. In short, we had the most wonderful time with these very friendly chaps.

Gib can be contacted at P.O. Box 2239, Serekunda, The Gambia.

Perhaps some of you ask: Is it necessary to spend money to hire a bird guide? Well, it's possible to proceed from trip reports and books about birdwatching in the Gambia. But you will miss quite a few species and most of all, you don't have a clue of all the different calls and sounds (at least I hadn't!). Moreover, you will also encounter a lot of people trying to sell different things to you (mostly a problem at sites located near cities, hotels etc.). When you're with a bird guide you tend to be left alone. But I must emphasise that most of the people are very friendly. They're just curious and want to know where you're from etc.

But to take the best advantage of the trip I think it's necessary to hire a bird guide because of their superior knowledge about the local birds and sites as well. In short, they know where to look.


We stayed at the African Village in Bakau the first four nights. My father stayed here during his stay in February and found it to be a nice hotel, something which I agreed with. We ordered a room with view of the Atlantic Ocean. This was quite useful, as we had great views of Grey-headed Gulls and Pied Kingfishers from our balcony.

When we travelled up-country we stayed one night at Fulladou Camp at Basse and one night at Tendaba Camp, both nicely situated along the Gambia River. The quality of these camps were quite satisfying. Both had water and electricity, although they turned off the generator during the night at Fulladou Camp, so unfortunately we couldn't use the fan in our room.

Books and Trip Reports

Birds of the Gambia by Clive Barlow, Tim Wacher and Tony Disley is a must. Overall, it's an excellent book with very accurate drawings.

Two trip reports were used for the preparation of the trip:


October 27thFlight from Copenhagen to Banjul, via Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. Arrival around 3 p.m.
October 28thMorning: Fajara Golf Course, Kotu Stream, Bridge and Sewage Ponds. Afternoon: Camalou Corner and Bund Road. Evening at Palma Rima Hotel.
October 29thMorning: Abuko. Lunch at Lamin Lodge. Afternoon at Brufut Woods and Bridge.
October 30thMorning: Marakissa. Lunch in the village of Brikama. Afternoon at Yundum Woods.
October 31thTransportation to Basse. Stops at Pirang, Brumen Bridge, Bansang Quarry and a few other sites.
November 1stTransportation to Tendaba. Stops at Sami Bridge and Kaur Wetlands. Evening walk around Tendaba Camp.
November 2ndMorning creek tour to Tunku Bulong. Lunch at Tendaba Camp. Transportation back to Bakau with a stop at Kanpanti. Dinner at Gib's house.
November 3thMorning birding at Bijilo and Casino Cycle Track. Flight back to Copenhagen, again via Gran Canaria, in the evening after a 2 hour delay.

Trip Log

October 27th

Left Copenhagen airport at 8.45 a.m. (1.5 hour late). Arrived at Banjul International Airport around 3 p.m. The Gambia greeted us with a temperature of 40°C - quite a contrast compared with the chilly weather back in Sweden! Since we were the first Scandinavian tourists for the season, about 10 dancers performed outside the airport terminal - a touch of Africa!

En route to our hotel in Bakau, a lot of the commoner species were seen, e.g. Long-tailed Glossy Starling, Vinaceous Dove, Pied Crow and Hooded Vulture.

October 28th

Gib, Seedy and the driver (also named Seedy!) met us outside the hotel at 8.00 a.m with a Land Rover 4WD, a jeep with its best days behind. According to Seedy, it was used by a Swedish(!) farmer, before it was shipped down to the Gambia.

At Fajara Golf Course many new species were seen. This site is a very good introductory site to the Gambian birds. Among the more interesting birds were three Pearl-spotted Owlet, responding to Seedy's and Gib's whistling sounds. Very nice views in the scope indeed. The two fake eye-patches in the neck were clearly visible. The only Lanner Falcons of the trip were seen here, one of them with a Black-headed Plover in its claws! Also, a splendid male African Golden Oriole was seen, sitting in top of a bush. Other new birds included Bearded Barbet, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Black-billed Wood Dove, Wire-tailed Swallow, Green Wood Hoopoe, Bronze-tailed, Greater and Lesser Blue-eared Glossy Starling and Northern Black Flycatcher.

We then moved on to Kotu Bridge. Here, a Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, a Malachite Kingfisher, a flock of Bronze Manakin and a Western Harrier Hawk were seen. But the most interesting species of this site, the Yellow-throated Longclaw, was unfortunately not seen.

Next, we visited the near-by Sewage Ponds. This area produced a flock of White-faced Whistling Ducks, Fork-tailed Drongo and Squacco Heron.

Gib and Seedy dropped us outside our hotel for a few hours of siesta. In the hotel garden, two White-crowned Robin Chats were seen.

At 3.30 p.m. Gib picked us up for an afternoon trip to Bund Road. Our first stop was however at the numerous ponds along the Old Cape Road. New birds included Splendid Sunbird and Levaillant's Cuckoo. We also took a brief stop at Camalou Corner to look at a colony of White-billed Buffalo Weavers. Then we headed for Bund Road, where a huge flock of Lesser Crested Terns were seen, but no Royal Terns. Other new birds were Pink-backed Pelican, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Sacred Ibis and an African Mourning Dove. Next, we headed to the Palma Rima Hotel, where 2-3 Long-tailed Nightjars beautifully performed at dusk.

October 29th

Gib picked us up at 7.30 a.m. for a morning excursion to Abuko. Here we saw some good birds; Violet and Green Turaco, Blue-breasted and Giant Kingfisher, African Thrush, Common Wattle-eye, Yellow-throated Leaflove, Little Green Bulbul, Snowy-crowned Robin-chat, African Pied Hornbill, Black-headed Heron, Fanti Saw-wing, Black-shouldered Kite, African Jacana (with 4 small chicks), African Darter, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher and Red-billed Firefinch.

Although we did see quite a lot of species, I found Abuko somewhat a bit hard to to overlook. The forest is very dense and the trees are very high. To obtain maximum yield of Abuko you must, as noted in other trip reports, visit the site several times.

After lunch at Lamin Lodge, where a Gull-billed Tern was seen, we headed for Brufut Woods. Brufut is more "birdwatching-friendly" than Abuko, mostly due to its open wood land character. Nevertheless, both sites are worth visiting, preferably more than once. We didn't, however, because of our tight schedule.

Birds seen here included Pin-tailed Whydah, Rufous-crowned Roller, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Scarlet-chested, Western Violet-backed and Variable Sunbird, Klaas's Cuckoo, Stone Partridge, Vieillot's Barbet and Black-crowned Tchagra.

Next, we moved to Brufut Bridge, where we were looking for the African Green Pigeon, but we only heard it. Also, a Little Weaver was seen. Just as we were to jump up on the jeep two Four-banded Sandgrouses flew by. On the way back to the hotel (about 20 min drive from Brufut Bridge), a White-faced Scops Owl was heard. To start the jeep again we had to push it. This was the first time we did this, but not the last...

October 30th

Gib picked us up at 6.45 a.m. Our destination for this morning was Marakissa Woods. En route to this site, we saw Tawny-flanked Prinia, Village Indigobird and Yellow-fronted Canary.

Marakissa is a very nice woody area scattered with a few ponds. The first kilometer we walked through an area with open woodland, which produced quite a few new species; White-crowned Helmet Shrike, Northern Puffback, Northern Crombec, Green-backed Eremomela and Lavender Waxbill. We also had good views of Grey-backed Camaroptera, African Golden Oriole, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, African Green Pigeon (after yesterday's "miss") and Bearded Barbet.

We then walked another kilometer until we reached a small wetland. The species we were looking for here was the Black Crake, which we didn't see. Instead another species of kingfisher was added to our growing list - Woodland Kingfisher, sitting in top of a small tree, where it could be studied very well. Also, a singing Siffling Cisticola and flock of Lavender Waxbills were seen.

Next stop was Marakissa Bridge where the "target" species was the African Pygmy Kingsfisher. No matter how much we looked into every tiny bush along the stream we didn't manage to see it. Well, we didn't leave completely empty-handed, having a close but short view of a splendid male Western Violet-backed Sunbird.

Gib had planned lunch at a restaurant at Jahsu River Camp near the Senegal border, but both the restaurant and the camp had been closed. But the trip was not in vain, when we turned the jeep around to head back when I discovered an Intermediate Egret, clearly showing its diagnostic yellow upper-legs.

On the way back we made another try on the Pygmy, but failed once again. Gib now decided to eat lunch in the village of Brikama, where we had a delicous shrimp sandwich.

Around 3.00 p.m. we drove to Yundum, after a short and very warm stop at Kabafita, where we had a good view of 2 Stone Partridges. This afternoon had to be one of my warmest in my life. One may think that the later in the afternoon it is, the cooler it gets, but no. This was an exception above the normal. It just kept getting hotter and hotter! Ever Gib complained...! Futhermore, the relative humidity was approaching 100%...

Despite the immense heat we managed to spot a few new birds: Yellow-shouldered Widow-bird, Striped Kingfisher and the first Dark-chanting Goshawk of the trip. Later that afternoon we positioned ourself by the pool, where the Four-banded Sandgrouse are supposed to drink. But since the raining season just had ended there were a lot of newly formed pools, and unfortunately they chose to drink at one of those. Nevertheless, we had great views of a singing Snowy-crowned Bush-chat - normally a notorious skulker.

When our driver cruised through the chaotic traffic of Serekunda, Gib and I managed to see two Barn Owls flying at dusk.

October 31st

Today we started our long journey upstream. According to the itinerary the Saidy brothers had planned, Seedy would guide us during the rest of the trip.

The distance between Bakau and Basse is 375 kilometers, a distance you travel in 4-5 hours with Swedish road conditions. But the conditions of the Gambian roads are far from the Western standards. The average speed with which you travel seldom exceeds 35 km/h, with the exception of the road between Brumen Bridge and Basse on the South Bank where the road is paved and has almost no holes, which allowed us to drive at the breathtaking speed of 60 km/h.

Our first stop was Pirang. No Black-crowned Cranes, but instead two species of Bee-eaters: Blue-cheeked and White-throated. Other new birds included Pied-winged Swallow and Palm-nut Vulture. Seedy spotted three species of white egrets sitting in the same tree: Great White, Intermediate and Cattle Egret. Very educational! The Intermediate is much more closer to Cattle in size.

When passsing through the village of Faraba N'Ding just a few kilometers from Pirang, Seedy spotted a flock of Mottled Spinetails.

After this stop it was time to resume our journey. A few short stops along the road produced Wahlberg's Eagle, Gabar Goshawk, Yellow-billed Oxpecker and Brown Snake Eagle.

Next in line of sites to be visited was Brumen Bridge, an excellent site. It began when Seedy discovered 3 Bruce's Green Pigeons. Then, within 10 magic minutes, we saw an adult African Fish Eagle, White-backed Vulture, Woolly-necked Stork, Tawny Eagle, Yellow-billed Stork, the only Black Egrets of the trip and an immature Bateleur.

A few kilometer further on, Seedy spotted another Bateleur, this time an adult one - a real beauty! I don't know how many times I've been looking in bird guides dreaming about seeing an adult Bateleur and now it finally has happened!

Next stop was the village of Fulabantang for a close view of a colony of breeding Marabou Storks.

We then proceeded to a site I unfortunately don't know the name of. This area of open woodland along the road was very productive. Species seen here included Namaqua Dove, White-fronted Black Chat and Brubru (only heard). I managed to discover a male Green-winged Pytilia, a quite rare species. It was only the second time Seedy had seen this species.

In Bansang Quarry we stopped to look at colony of breeding Red-throated Bee-eaters. This must be the most beautiful bee-eater I ever seen. The combination of so many warm colors makes it hard to stop looking at it. The plate in the book doesn't do it justice, it is much more beautiful in reality. At this site we also saw a Cinnamon-breasted Bunting.

Around 6.45 p.m., 12 hours since our departure from Bakau, we reached Basse. In the town(!) along a small stream we saw 2 Egyptian Plovers. Then we headed to the ferry berth only to find that the last ferry across the river had left. But after the evening prayer and a bribe from Seedy the ferryman started the ferry again. Money talks...

November 1st

At 6.45 p.m. we had breakfast at the camp, listening to a White-faced Scops Owl. After the breakfast we checked out and started our long journey towards Tendaba. The road on the north bank, as previously noted, is far from good.

Along the road we had a three new species; Grasshopper Buzzard, Paradise Whydah (what an enormous tail!) and a pair of Red-winged Pytilia. Also, there seemed to be an Abyssinian Roller in every tree. They were very common along the road.

Next stop was Sami Bridge, where a brief walk along the stream produced Lead-coloured Flycather, African Paradise Flycatcher (only seen by my father and Seedy), Spur-winged Goose and Purple Heron. Other good birds included a flock of Red-throated Bee-eaters.

Back on the road we had quite a few "quick-ticks" from the jeep; White-headed Vulture, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Grey-headed Kingfisher and a Black Coucal. We also saw two Little Green Bee-eater, 5 Egyptian Plovers and a light-morph Tawny Eagle, which caused us some trouble to identify at first.

Kaur Wetlands, the next site we visited, proved to be an excellent site. Here we had a flock of over 500 Red-winged Pratincoles and also about ten White-crowned Plovers. According to Seedy this is the only site in the Gambia where you can see these two species. Kaur also proved to be an excellent site for Egyptian Plover. We saw about 20 at this site. Other good birds here were Yellow-crowned Bishop and Kittlitz's Plover.

The remaining distance to Tendaba was fruitless, with the exception of two Yellow-backed Weavers seen from the Farafenni ferry and another 2 Egyptian Plovers at Soma Bridge (according to Seedy they seldom are observed this far west).

When we reached the camp I looked at myself in the mirror. My pants and my t-shirt were completely stained of all the dust that we encountered on the road. Furthermore, my skin was all red, this not due to the sun but again from the dust.

After a quick installation, we took an evening walk to the adjacent airfield. Seedy managed to spot a pair of Greater Honeyguides sitting in a tree. Also, a Cardinal Woodpecker and a hunting African Hobby were seen. One the way back to the camp - it was dark by then - a White-faced Scops Owl was heard. Seedy whistled in order for us to see it. The bird did come closer but unfortunately I was the only one who got a (very) short glimpse of it. Back at the camp we took a well needed shower.

In the evening we had dinner together with a party of German "ordinary" tourists. They too were going to take the creek tour the following morning, and worse, at the same time as we!! But Seedy knew the boat man and rescheduled our trip to 7.00 instead of 7.30 a.m.

November 2nd

Morning creek tour to Tunku Bulong, situated on the opposite side of the River Gambia. This was a very comfortable way of birdwatching, moving slowly deeper into the mangrove marshes. We spent almost 4 hours in this area and had fantastic views of many, many birds: Mouse-brown Sunbird, African Spoonbill, Subalpine Warbler and Hadada Ibis. But the highlight of the trip was when saw two nesting White-backed Night Herons, at a distance of 2 meters! Absolutely breath-taking! We also saw some "old" species such as Woolly-necked Stork, Yellow-billed Stork, Spur-winged Goose and Grey-headed Kingfisher.

After this fantastic creek tour, we took a warm and quite empty walk west of the camp, the best birds seen here was European Roller and European Bee-eater, thus completing both the "Bee-eater" and the "Roller lists". We had now seen all 8 species of Bee-eaters and all 5 species of Rollers that occur in the Gambia!

After lunch we packed and headed west again. After a while on the road Seedy told the driver to stop. We went back about hundred meters and saw a family group of five Abyssinian Ground Hornbill sitting in a tree. Fantastic! Really huge birds.

The next stop was the small village of Kanpanti where we stopped to look at raptors. A Palm-nut Vulture was immediately seen, and after a while I discovered a pair of African Hawk Eagles. We also had "road-side views" of two immature Bateleurs further along the road.

Then we visited Gib and Seedy's father's home in Faraba N'Ding for some peanuts directly from the harvest. The father wasn't home, but we bumped into him later on the main street. He wore a beautiful, long, blue dress. After a short conversation with his father, Seedy decided it was time to head back to Bakau.

At 8.30 p.m. Gib and his brother Seika picked us up for dinner. They served Beef Domada, a spicy, excellent dish. After a great evening with our guides, we took a sentimental goodbye of Gib, since Seedy was going to guide us on our last morning in the Gambia.

November 3rd

Seedy & Seedy picked us up at 7.30 a.m. for a walk in the Bijilo. Empty at first, but at the end of the track we had fantastic views of the otherwise skulking Oriole Warbler - four of them. Back at the jeep, we had an hour before we had to be back at the hotel so we decided to take a walk along the Casino Cycle Track. This proved to be wise, since we saw an immature Red-winged Warbler here.

Around 11 a.m. we said goodbye to Seedy and Seedy. The rooms were to be left no later than 12 a.m., and since the bus to airport didn't leave until 6 p.m. (the plane was delayed 2 hours) we spent the afternoon at the hotel's restaurant with view over the ocean. A Black-headed Gull was seen here, the last species of the trip, number 224. While waiting for the flight at the airport restaurant a Barn Owl flew over our heads.

Species List

Please observe that the number of birds noted aren't always the exact numbers. Some of the more common species might be observed more than noted below.

The nomenclature and phenology used below follows the one used in A Field Guide to the birds of the Gambia and Senegal.

  1. Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens): 25 Bund Road 28/10, 1 Brumen Bridge - Basse 31/10, 50 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  2. Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta): Quite common, seen at most wetland sites visited (i.e. Abuko, Tendaba).

  3. Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo): 1 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  4. Long-tailed Cormorant (Phalacrocorax africanus): Common wetland species.

  5. African Darter (Anhinga rufa): 1 Abuko 29/10, 1 Marakissa Bridge 30/10. Also seen at Pirang and Brumen Bridge 31/10, Tendaba 1-2/11 (no numbers noted).

  6. White-backed Night Heron (Gorsachius leuconotus): 3 seen at two different nests Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  7. Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax): 1 Abuko 29/10.

  8. Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis): One of the more common Egret species.

  9. Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides): 1 Kotu Stream 28/10, 5 Marakissa Bridge 30/10, 5 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  10. Striated Heron (Butorides striatus): 1 Kotu Stream 28/10.

  11. Black Egret (Egretta ardesiaca): 10 Brumen Bridge 31/10.

  12. Intermediate Egret (Egretta intermedia): 1 Jahsu River Camp 30/10, 2 Pirang 31/10.

  13. Western Reef Heron (Egretta gularis): 20 Kotu Stream 28/10.

  14. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta): 5 Kotu Stream 28/10.

  15. Great White Egret (Egretta alba): Common wetland species.

  16. Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala): 5 Abuko 29/10.

  17. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea): Common; almost seen on a daily basis.

  18. Purple Heron (Ardea pururea): 3 Sami Bridge 1/11.

  19. Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus): 2 Brumen Bridge 31/10, 10 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  20. Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus): 10 Fulabantang 31/10, 1 Kaur - Tendaba 1/11.

  21. Yellow-billed Stork (Mycteria ibis): 3 Brumen Bridge 31/10, 1 Kaur - Tendaba 1/11, 9 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11, 5 Tendaba - Brikama 2/11.

  22. African Spoonbill (Platalea alba): 1 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  23. Black-crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina): 1 heard Brumen Bridge 31/10.

  24. Spur-winged Goose (Plectropterus gambensis): 3 Sami Bridge 1/11, 15 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  25. White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata): 25 Kotu Sewage Ponds 28/10, 50 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  26. Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus): 4 Bund Road 1/11.

  27. Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedesh): 2 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  28. Osprey (Pandion haliaetus): 1 Old Cape Road 28/10. Once we've seen one we didn't bother to note it, since it's breeding in Sweden.

  29. African Harrier Hawk (Polyboroides typus): 1 Kotu Bridge 28/10, 3-4 Marakissa Woods 30/10. 1 Yundum 30/10. Also noted on a daily basis upstream 31/10 - 2/11.

  30. Palm-nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis): 2 Pirang 31/10, 1 Kanpanti 2/11.

  31. Pied Crow (Corvus albus): Very common at the coast, but never seen east of Pirang.

  32. Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus): Extremely common, seen in large numbers every day. If you go to the Gambia without seeing this species, you might consider changing hobby!

  33. White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus): 1 Brumen Bridge 31/10.

  34. White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis): 1 Sami - Kaur 1/11.

  35. African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer): 1 Brumen Bridge 31/10, 1 Tendaba 2/11.

  36. Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax): 1 Brumen Bridge 31/10, 1 light morph Sami - Kaur 1/11.

  37. Wahlberg's Eagle (Aquila wahlbergi): 1 Pirang - Brumen Bridge 31/10, 1 Brumen Bridge 31/10, 1 Tendaba 2/11.

  38. African Hawk Eagle (Hieraaetus spilogaster): 2 Kanpanti 2/11.

  39. Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus): 1 imm. Brumen Bridge 31/10, 1 ad. Brumen Bridge 31/10, 1 imm. Sami - Kaur 1/11, 2 imm. Tendaba - Brikama 2/11.

  40. Brown Snake Eagle (Circaetus cinereus): 1 Pirang - Brumen Bridge 31/10, 1 Brumen Bridge - Basse 31/10, 1 Tendaba - Brikama 2/11.

  41. Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus): 1 Kaur - Tendaba 1/11.

  42. Black Kite (Milvus migrans): 1 Pirang 31/10.

  43. Grasshopper Buzzard (Butastur rufipennis): 1 Basse - Sami 1/11, 1 Tendaba 2/11.

  44. Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus): 1 Abuko 29/10, 1 Brufort Woods 29/10, 1 Marakissa Woods 30/10.

  45. (Eurasian) Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus): 1 Brumen Bridge - Basse 31/10.

  46. Dark-chanting Goshawk (Milierax metabates): 1 Yundum 30/10, 2 Brumen Bridge - Basse 31/10, 2 Sami Bridge 1/11.

  47. Gabar Goshawk (Micronisus gabar): 1 Pirang - Brumen Bridge 31/10, 1 melanistic Brumen Bridge 31/10, 1 Sami Bridge 1/11.

  48. Shikra (Accipter badius): 3 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 1 Brufort Woods, 29/10, 3 Marakissa Woods 30/10, 1 Pirang 31/10, 1 melanistic Sami Bridge 1/11.

  49. Lizard Buzzard (Kaupifalco monogrammicus): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 1 near Palma Rima Hotel 28/10, 1 Brufort Woods 29/10, 3-4 Marakissa Woods 30/10.

  50. Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus): 2 Fajara Golf Course 28/10 (1 with a captured Black-headed Plover).

  51. African Hobby (Falco cuvierii): 1 Tendaba 1/11.

  52. Red-necked Falcon (Falco chicquera): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, seen after that but not noted.

  53. Grey Kestrel (Falco ardosiaceus): 2 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 2 with nest Bijilo 3/11.

  54. Double-spurred Francolin (Francolinus bicalcaratus): 10 Fajara Golf Course 28/10.

  55. Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus): 1 heard Brufort Woods 29/10, 2 Kabafita 30/10, 2 Basse - Sami 1/11, 2 Tendaba - Brikama 2/11, 3 Bijilo 3/11.

  56. Four-banded Sandgrouse (Pterocles quadricinctus): 4 Brufort Bridge 29/10, 2 Bansang Quarry 31/10, 1 Tendaba 1/11.

  57. African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus): 1 with 4 chicks Abuko 29/10, 3-4 Marakissa Bridge 30/10, 1 Sami Bridge 1/11.

  58. Egyptian Plover (Pluvianus aegyptius): 2 Basse 31/10, 5 Sami - Kaur 1/11, 20 Kaur 1/11, 2 Soma Bridge 1/11.

  59. Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola): 500+ Kaur 1/11.

  60. Senegal Thick-knee (Burhinus senegalensis): 4 Kotu Bridge 28/10, 10 Pirang 31/10, 10 Basse 1/11. Also seen at other sites (i.e. Kaur) but no numbers noted.

  61. Black-headed Plover (Vanellus tectus): 25 Fajara Golf Course 28/10.

  62. Spur-winged Plover (Vanellus spinosus): 20 Fajara Golf Couse 28/10.

  63. Wattled Plover (Vanellus senegallus): 20 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 100 Kaur 1/11.

  64. White-crowned Plover (Vanellus albiceps): 10 Kaur 1/11.

  65. Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola): 5 Kotu Stream 28/10.

  66. Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula): 4 Kotu Bridge 28/10.

  67. Kittlitz's Plover (Charadrius pecuarius): 2 Kaur 1/11.

  68. Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus): Seen in few numbers 28/10-31/10.

  69. Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa): 1 Kotu Stream 28/10.

  70. Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica): 1 Kotu Stream 28/10.

  71. Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia): 2 Kotu Stream 28/10.

  72. Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos): 1 Hotel African Village, Bakau 28-31/10.

  73. Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola): 5 Kotu Sewage Ponds 28/10.

  74. Common Redshank (Tringa totanus): 3 Kotu Stream 28/10.

  75. (Eurasian) Oystercatcher (Heamotopus ostralegus): 2 Old Cape Road 28/10.

  76. Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus): 10 Kotu Sewage Ponds 28/10.

  77. Ruff (Philomachus pugnax): 3 Kotu Sewage Ponds 28/10.

  78. Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago): 1 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  79. Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres): 1 Bund Road 28/10, 2 Kaur 1/11.

  80. Sanderling (Calidris alba): 1 Bund Road 28/10.

  81. Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus): 1 Hotel African Village, Bakau 3/11.

  82. Grey-headed Gull (Larus cirrocephalus): 50 Hotel African Village, Bakau 28/10, 3/11.

  83. Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus): 1 Hotel African Village, Bakau 28/10.

  84. Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia): 3-5 Hotel African Village, Bakau 27-28/10, 3/11, 15 Bund Road 28/10.

  85. Lesser Crested Tern (Sterna bengalensis): 1-5 Hotel African Village, Bakau 27-28/10, 500+ Bund Road 28/10.

  86. Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis): 1-4 Hotel African Village, Bakau 27-28/10.

  87. Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica): 1 Lamin Lodge 29/10, 1 Pirang 31/10.

  88. Common Tern (Sterna hirundo): 1-2 Hotel African Village, Bakau 27-28/10, 3/11.

  89. Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis): Only noted 27/10, but most probably seen the other days as well. This goes for most of the doves below as well.

  90. Blue-spotted Wood Dove (Turtur afer): 1 Abuko 29/10.

  91. Black-billed Wood Dove (Turtur abyssinicus): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10.

  92. Speckled Pigeon (Columba guinea): Common.

  93. Bruce's Green Pigeon (Treron waalia): 3 Brumen Bridge 31/10, 3 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/10.

  94. African Green Pigeon (Treron calva): 1 heard Brufort Bridge 29/10, 3 Marakissa Woods 30/10.

  95. Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis): 1 female Brumen Bridge - Basse 31/10, 1 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/10.

  96. Red-eyed Dove (Streptopelia semitorquata): Quite common.

  97. African Mourning Dove (Streptopelia decipiens): Separated from the similar Vinaceous Dove at Old Cape Road 28/10 and Yundum 29/10.

  98. Vinaceous Dove (Streptopelia vinacea): Very common.

  99. Piapiac (Ptilostomus afer): Seen from the bus en route to our hotel 27/10, 5 Fajara Golf Course 28/10.

  100. Black Coucal (Centropus grillii): 1 Sami - Kaur 1/11.

  101. Senegal Coucal (Centropus senegalensis): The most common Coucal of the trip; seen in few number most days.

  102. Levaillant's Cuckoo (Clamator levaillantii): 2 Old Cape Road 28/10, 3 Sami - Kaur 1/11.

  103. Klaas's Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx klaas): 1 Brufort Woods 29/10.

  104. Barn Owl (Tyto alba): 2 Serekunda 30/10, 1 Banjul International Airport 3/11.

  105. White-faced Scops Owl (Otus leucotis): 1 Brufort Woods - Serekunda 29/10, 1 Basse 1/11, 1 Tendaba 1/11.

  106. Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum): 3 Fajara Golf Course 28/10.

  107. Long-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus climacurus): 2-3 Palma Rima Hotel 28/10.

  108. Little Swift (Apus affinis): Locally common, e.g. 100 Brumen Bridge 31/10.

  109. Mottled Spinetail (Telacanthura ussheri): 15 Faraba N'Ding 31/10.

  110. African Palm Swift (Cypsiurus parvus): Fairly common.

  111. Green Wood Hoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus): Quite common at suitable woody areas, e.g. Marakissa Woods, Brufort Woods.

  112. Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima): 2 Abuko 29/10.

  113. Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis): 1 Marakissa Bridge 30/10, 1 Yundum 30/10, 1 Sami Bridge 1/11, 1 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  114. Blue-breasted Kingfisher (Halcyon malimbica): 1 Abuko 29/10, 2 Marakissa Bridge 30/10, 1 Tendaba 1/11, 20 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  115. Striped Kingfisher (Halcyon chelicuti): 2 Yundum 30/10.

  116. Grey-headed Kingfisher (Halcyon leucocephala): 2 Sami - Kaur 1/11, 1 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  117. Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis): Common at wetland areas.

  118. Malachite Kingfisher (Alcedo cristata): 1 Kotu Bridge 28/10, 3 Marakissa Bridge 30/10, 2 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  119. Broad-billed Roller (Eurystomus glaucurus): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 1 Bijilo 3/11.

  120. Blue-bellied Roller (Coracias cyanogaster): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 10 Marakissa Woods 30/10.

  121. Rufous-crowned Roller (Coracias naevia): 2 Brufort Woods 29/10, 1 Marakissa Woods 30/10.

  122. Abyssinian Roller (Coracias abyssiniica): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 25+ Basse - Sami 1/11.

  123. European Roller (Coracias garrulus): 1 Tendaba 2/11.

  124. Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (Merops hirundineus): 5 Brufort Wood 29/10.

  125. Northern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicus): 1 Sami - Kaur 1/11.

  126. Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus): 15 Pirang 31/10.

  127. European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster): 25 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  128. Little Bee-eater (Merops pusillus): 1 Kotu Bridge 28/10, 15 Bijilo 3/11.

  129. White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis): 15 Pirang 31/10.

  130. Red-throated Bee-eater (Merops bullocki): 100+ (breeding colony) Bansang Quarry 31/10, 10 Sami Bridge 1/11.

  131. Little Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis): 1 Sami - Kaur 1/11.

  132. Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri): Seen the first three days. No large numbers.

  133. Senegal Parrot (Poicephalus senegalus): 2 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 2 Yundum 30/10, 2 Bansang Quarry 31/10.

  134. Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea): 5 Abuko 29/10, 2 Marakissa Woods 30/10, 1 Tendaba - Brikama 2/11.

  135. Western Grey Plantain-eater (Crinifer piscator): Common throughout.

  136. Green Turaco (Tauraco persa): 2 Abuko 29/10.

  137. Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus chrysoconus): 1 Kotu Bridge 28/10, 1 Tendaba - Brikama 2/11.

  138. Bearded Barbet (Lybius dubius): 2 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 1 Marakissa Woods 30/10.

  139. Vieillot's Barbet (Lybius vieilloti): 2 Brufort Woods 29/10.

  140. African Pied Hornbill (Tockus fasciatus): 2 Abuko 29/10, 4 Brufort Woods 30/10.

  141. Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus erythorhynchus): The most common hornbill; seen in most woodland areas.

  142. African Grey Hornbill (Tockus nasatus): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 2 Brufort Woods 30/10.

  143. Abyssian Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus): 5 Tendaba -Brikama 2/11.

  144. Grey Woodpecker (Mesopicos goertae): 2 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 1 Marakissa Woods 30/10, 1 Casino Cycle Track 3/11.

  145. Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens): 1 Tendaba 1/11.

  146. Fine-spotted Woodpecker (Campethera punctuligera): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 1 Palma Rima Hotel 28/10.

  147. Greater Honeyguide (Indicator indicator): 2 Tendaba 1/11.

  148. Crested Lark (Galerida cristata): 1 Pirang 31/10.

  149. Fanti Saw-wing (Psalidoprocne obscura): 10 Abuko 29/10.

  150. Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica): 10 Brumen Bridge - Basse 31/10.

  151. Pied-winged Swallow (Hirundo leucosoma): 1 Pirang 31/10.

  152. Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii): 25 Fajara Golf Course 28/10.

  153. Red-chested Swallow (Hirundo lucida): 3 Banjul International Airport 27/10, 5 Fajara Golf Course 28/10.

  154. African Golden Oriole (Oriolus auratus): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 1 Brufort Woods 29/10, 2 Marakissa 30/10.

  155. Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis): 2 Kotu Sewage Ponds 28/10.

  156. Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava): 3 Kaur 1/11.

  157. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba): 1 Kaur 1/11.

  158. Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus): Seen in small numbers the first three days.

  159. Yellow-throated Leaflove (Chlorocichla flavicollis): 1 heard Abuko 29/10.

  160. Little Greenbul (Andropadus virens): 5 Abuko 29/10.

  161. Oriole Warbler (Hypergerus atriceps): 4 Bijilo 3/11.

  162. Blackcap Babbler (Turdoides reinwardtii): 2 Fajara Golf Couse 28/10, 5 Bijilo 3/11.

  163. Brown Babbler (Turdoides plebejus): 2 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 10 Bijilo 3/11.

  164. Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra): 1 Yundum 30/10.

  165. White-fronted Black Chat (Myrmecocichla albifrons): 1 Brumen Bridge - Basse 31/10.

  166. White-crowned Robin-chat (Cossypha albicapilla): 2 Hotel African Village, Bakau 28/10.

  167. Snowy-crowned Robin-chat (Cossypha niveicapilla): 1 Abuko 29/10, 1 Yundum 30/10, 3-4 Bijilo 3/11.

  168. African Thrush (Turdus pelios): 5 Abuko 29/10, 1 Yundum 30/10.

  169. Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans): 1 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  170. Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus): 1 Marakissa Bridge 30/10.

  171. Siffling Cisticola (Cisticola brachypterus): 1 Marakissa Woods 30/10, 1 Yundum 30/10.

  172. Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis): 2 Kotu Bridge 28/10. Also noted along the road in small numbers.

  173. Red-winged Warbler (Heliolais erythroptera): 1 Casino Cycle Track 3/11.

  174. Tawny-flanked Prinia (Prinia subflava): 2 Marakissa Woods 30/10, 1 Casino Cycle Track 3/11.

  175. Green-backed Eremomela (Eremomela pusilla): 1 Marakissa Woods 30/10, 1 Brumen Bridge 31/10.

  176. Northern Crombec (Sylvietta brachyura): 2 Marakissa Woods 30/10.

  177. Grey-backed Camaroptera (Camaroptera brachyura): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 1 Abuko 29/10, 1 Marakissa Woods 30/10, 1 Sami Bridge 1/11, 2 Bijilo 3/11.

  178. Common Wattle-eye (Platysteira cyanea): 5 Abuko 29/10.

  179. Northern Black Flycatcher (Melaenornis edolioides): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 1 Sami Bridge 1/11.

  180. African Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis): 1 Sami Bridge 1/11.

  181. Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone rufiventer): 1 Abuko 29/10, 1 Marakissa 30/10.

  182. Lead-coloured Flycatcher (Myioparus plumbeus): 1 Sami Bridge 1/11.

  183. Variable Sunbird (Nectarinia venusta): 2-3 Brufort Woods 29/10.

  184. Mouse-brown Sunbird (Anthreptes gabonicus): 4 Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  185. Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Nectarinia senegalensis): 2 Brufort Woods 29/10, 1 Yundum 30/10, 1 Basse - Sami 31/10.

  186. Western Violet-backed Sunbird (Anthreptes longuemarei): 2 Brufort Woods 29/10, 1 Marakissa Bridge 30/10.

  187. Splendid Sunbird (Nectarinia coccinigaster): 3 Old Cape Road 28/10.

  188. Beautiful Sunbird (Nectarinia pulchella): The most common sunbird; seen in some hotel gardens and at most woodland sites visited.

  189. Black-crowned Tchagra (Tchagra senagala): 1 Yundum 30/10.

  190. Brubru (Nilaus afer): 1 heard Brumen Bridge - Basse 31/10.

  191. Northern Puffback (Dryoscopus gambensis): 1 Marakissa 30/10.

  192. Yellow-crowned Gonolek (Laniarius barbarus): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10, 1 Old Cape Road 28/10.

  193. White-crested Helmet Shrike (Prionops plumatus): 4+ Marakissa Woods 30/10.

  194. Yellow-billed Shrike (Corvinella corvina): Common throughout.

  195. Greater Blue-eared Glossy Starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus): 10+ Fajara Golf Course 28/10.

  196. Lesser Blue-eared Glossy Starling (Lamprotornis chloropterus): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10.

  197. Purple Glossy Starling (Lamprotornis purpureus): 1 Brufort Woods 29/10.

  198. Bronze-tailed Glossy Starling (Lamprotornis chalcurus): 1 Fajara Golf Course 28/10.

  199. Long-tailed Glossy Starling (Lamprotornis caudatus): Very common throughout.

  200. Yellow-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus africanus): 1 Pirang - Brumen Bridge 31/10, 3 Faraba N'Ding 2/11.

  201. Yellow-fronted Canary (Serinus mozambicus): 2 Marakissa Woods 30/10, 6 Yundum 30/10.

  202. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus): 2 Bund Road 28/10.

  203. Grey-headed Sparrow (Passer griseus): Seen in few numbers the first four days.

  204. White-billed Buffalo Weaver (Bubalornis albirostris): 5 Palma Rima Hotel 28/10.

  205. Yellow-shouldered Widowbird (Euplectes macrourus): 1 Yundum 30/10.

  206. Northern Red Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus): Very common along the road.

  207. Black-winged Red Bishop (Euplectes hordeaceus): Common along the road; most easily separated from Northern Red Bishop by its red crown.

  208. Yellow-crowned Bishop (Euplectes afer): 1 Kaur 1/11, 10+ Tendaba (the creek tour) 2/11.

  209. Cinnamon-breasted Bunting (Emberiza tahapisi): 1 Bansang Quarry 31/10.

  210. Vitelline Masked Weaver (Ploceus velatus): 1 Kotu Bridge 28/11, 50+ Yundum 30/10.

  211. Village Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus): Very common throughout.

  212. Little Weaver (Plocues luteolus): 2 Brufort Bridge 29/11.

  213. Yellow-backed Weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus): 2 Farafenni ferry 1/11.

  214. Green-winged Pytilia (Pytilia melba): 1 Brumen Bridge - Basse 31/10.

  215. Red-winged Pytilia (Pytilia phoenicoptera): 2 Basse - Sami 1/11.

  216. Orange-cheeked Waxbill (Estrilda melpoda): 10 Marakissa Bridge 30/10.

  217. Lavender Waxbill (Estrilda caerulescens): 1 Marakissa Bridge 30/10, 1 Yundum 30/10.

  218. Black-rumped Waxbill (Estrilda troglodytes): 1 Bansang Quarry 31/10.

  219. Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu (Uraeginthus bengalus): 1 Abuko 29/10, 5 Marakissa Woods 30/10.

  220. Red-billed Firefinch (Laganosticta senegala): 10 Abuko 29/10.

  221. Bronze Mannikin (Lonchura cucullata): 25 Kotu Bridge 28/10, 10 Abuko 29/10.

  222. Exclamatory Paradise Whydah (Vidua interjecta): 3 Basse - Sami 1/11, 2 Tendaba - Brikama 2/11.

  223. Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura): 1 Brufort Woods 29/10, 3 Yundum 30/10.

  224. Village Indigobird (Vidua chalybeata): 1 en route Marakissa 30/10, 2 Brumen Bridge 31/10, 1 Sami Bridge 1/11.

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This page served with permission of the author by Urs Geiser;; February 27, 2000