Welcome to Birdquest
Tuesday 26th November - Tuesday 10th December 2013
Our 2013 Birdquest tour to Gambia and Senegal served up a splendid selection of regional specialities plus a wealth of more widespread Afrotropical species and Palearctic winter visitors. Particular highlights amongst the more localised or tricky species included delightful Cricket Warblers, exquisite Scissor-tailed Kites, showy Quail-plovers, Arabian and Saville's Bustards, localised River Prinias, confiding Ahanta Francolins, Western Bluebills, Grey-headed Bristlebill, Pied-winged Swallows, Fanti Saw-Wings, Blue-bellied Rollers, Audouin's Gulls, Beaudouin's Snake Eagles, Adamawa Turtle Dove, Sennar and Yellow Penduline Tits, numerous Pygmy Sunbirds and Chestnut-bellied Starlings, abundant Sudan Golden Sparrows, White-rumped Seedeaters, White-fronted Black Chats, Brown-breasted Buntings, White-backed Night Herons, Four-banded Sandgrouse, Sahel and Exclamatory Paradise Whydahs and absolutely stunning Egyptian Plovers - the latter winning the bird of the tour prize by a large margin. Although rather widespread, African Finfoot can often be a difficult species to catch up with so we were amazed to see no fewer than six different individuals one morning. Visiting coastal sites in Gambia and Senegal as well as travelling well inland and north right up to the Mauretania border gave us a broad cross section of species from the Guinea Savannah and Sahelian biomes including eight species of Kingfisher, seven Bee-eaters, four Rollers and 31 species of birds of prey including Lappet-faced and White-headed Vultures Gabar Goshawk and Lanner Falcon. At Djoudj National Park in northern Senegal we witnessed the spectacle of huge numbers of wintering wildfowl and shorebirds plus a busy colony of close packed White Pelicans and several majestic Black Crowned Cranes. Throughout the tour the weather was fine, a little hot in the middle of the day at times, but always tolerable, and often very pleasant. New roads now span the full length of Gambia on both sides of the river so travel there is now a pleasure compared to just a few years ago.