Welcome to Birdquest
Thursday 4th July - Friday 26th July 2013
Birdquest first visited Gabon in 1995 and this was our twelfth tour to the country and our thirteenth visit to the far-flung islands of São Tomé and Príncipe. We managed to see most of the generally accepted endemic species on São Tomé and Príncipe and these included marvellous views of rarities such as Dwarf Olive Ibis, São Tomé Short-tail, the superb Giant Sunbird and for the first time in the history of our tours, even the recently split Príncipe Thrush! During our time in Gabon, we were fortunate to see many of the most spectacular of all Western African birds including the delightful Grey Pratincole, a pair of Vermiculated Fishing Owls, Sjöstedt’s Barred Owlet, Brown and Bates’s Nightjars, Bare-cheeked Trogon, Black-headed and Rosy Bee-eaters, Lyre-tailed Honeyguide, Gabon Batis on the nest, Black-collared Bulbul, Congo Moor Chat, Violet-tailed Sunbird, Black-chinned and Loango Weavers and Red-crowned, Cassin’s and Rachel’s Malimbes. Other specialities seen included Black Guineafowl, Finsch’s Francolin, Hartlaub’s Duck, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Barrow’s Bustard, Forbes’s Plover, Black-collared Lovebird, Gabon Coucal, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Bates’s Swift, Black Dwarf and White-thighed Hornbills, Spotted Honeyguide, Elliot’s Woodpecker, West African Batis, White-spotted Wattle-eye, Rufous-bellied Helmetshrike, Fiery-breasted Bushshrike, Lowland Sooty and Swamp Boubous, Petit’s Cuckooshrike, Souza’s Shrike, Rufous-vented and Bates’s Paradise Flycatchers, Yellow-throated Nicator, Malbrant’s (split from Rufous-naped) Lark, Xavier’s, Eastern Bearded and White-bearded Greenbuls, Yellow-lored Bristlebill, Red-throated Cliff Swallow, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Ja River Scrub Warbler, Dambo and ‘Teke’ Cisticolas, Gosling’s Apalis, Salvadori’s Eremomela, Forest White-eye, Violet-backed Hyliota, Yellow-footed Flycatcher, Reichenbach’s, Carmelite and Bates’s Sunbirds, Preuss’s Weaver, Woodhouse’s Antpecker, Pale-fronted Nigrita, Black-bellied Seedcracker, Black-headed Waxbill, Black-chinned Quailfinch, Locust Finch, Magpie Mannikin, Long-legged and Short-tailed Pipits and Black-faced Canary to name but some. Of the 409 species of birds recorded during this tour 394 were seen, we also identified 36 species mammals.