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Tuesday 15th January - Tuesday 29th January 2008

Nik Borrow

We returned to The Gambia and Senegal this year once again in what turned out to be a highly successful tour! An impressive, total of 360 species were recorded of which all but six were seen. Notable highlights included dainty Swallow-tailed Kites, hundreds of Lesser Kestrels, several Beaudouin’s Snake Eagles, the shy Ahanta Francolin, the elusive Arabian Bustard, five Savile’s Bustards, beautiful Egyptian Plovers, sublime Cream-coloured and Temminck’s Coursers, cryptic Four-banded Sandgrouse, Egyptian and Long-tailed Nightjars, Brown-necked Parrot, beautiful Blue-bellied Rollers, Western Red-billed Hornbill, Bearded Barbet, Fine-spotted Woodpecker, the diminutive Little Grey Woodpecker, Fanti Saw-wing, West African and Pied-winged Swallows, Grey-headed Bristlebill, White-crowned Robin Chat, African Scrub Robin, White-fronted Black Chat, River Prinia, the delightful Cricket Warbler, Iberian Chiffchaff, the wonderful Oriole Warbler, Fulvous Babbler, both Yellow and Sennar Penduline Tits, exotic Pygmy Sunbirds and Yellow-crowned Gonoleks, Chestnut-bellied Starling, thousands of Sudan Golden Sparrows, Western Bluebill, Black-faced Quailfinch, White-rumped Seedeater, Brown-rumped Bunting and both Sahel (in breeding plumage) and Exclamatory Paradise Whydahs. To top it all, the sights, sounds (and smells!) of the avian spectacle of the Djoudj with its huge numbers of Lesser and Greater Flamingos, whirling flocks of wildfowl that hid four Marbled Ducks in their midst, White-breasted Cormorants and breeding Great White Pelicans were marvellous and totally unforgettable.