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THE COMOROS & NORTHERN MADAGASCAR

Thursday 20th September - Monday 8th October 2018

János Oláh

Anjouan Scops Owl (János Oláh)

Anjouan Scops Owl (János Oláh)

This was our fourth tour to explore some of the more remote areas of Northern Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. We were pioneers in the area back in 2008 but even nowadays very few birders visit the Comoros, and even fewer birding companies offer such a comprehensive tour. After completing the first three tours we had plenty of experience to find the birds though the main concern on island-hopping tours is always the flights. We were pretty lucky this time and only had to modify our itinerary slightly due to flight changes. We had an unexpected short visit to Anjouan and had extended long stay on Mayotte. But overall this did not affect the final results! The Comoros has several endemic birds and certainly the four very different looking and sounding scops owls are major targets as well as the unique Humblot’s Flycatcher, the distinctive Comoros Thrush and a good selection of drongos, white-eyes, sunbirds and brush warblers. We managed to see all our target species on the Comoros! We also tried hard to see all possible subspecies as well, and we did come close by only missing the moheliensis race of the Comoro Cuckooshrike and the Malagasy Brush Warbler. So it was a very successful tour to these islands! On the Madagascar leg of the tour (extension) we target some special endemics in the remote corners of the island, which is not really possible to incorporate into our main Madagascar tour. The main targets are the Slender-billed Flufftail, Sakalava Rail, Red Owl and the critically endangered Madagascan Pochard and we saw them all on the tour. Depending on logistics some other goodies can be incorporated to the itinerary and this year we added Bernier’s Teal, Meller’s Duck, Humblot’s Heron, Madagascan Fish Eagle, Torotoroka and Rainforest Scops Owls, White-breasted Mesite, Schlegel’s Asity and Sickle-billed and Van Dam’s Vangas to our fine list. In these remote places we had some rough travelling and also a few days camping, but overall, I think it’s fair to say that the trip was a great success. We recorded a total of 172 species out of which 31 (18%) listed as globally threatened species. The Madagascan Pochard and the Madagascan Fish Eagle being listed as critically endangered while the Karthala, Anjouan and Mohéli Scops Owls have just been moved to endangered category (they were formerly critically endangered). We saw plenty of other great wildlife too including a few fabulous species of lemurs, reptiles and amphibians.

Madagascar Red Owl (János Oláh)

Madagascar Red Owl (János Oláh)