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ULTIMATE GHANA

Sunday 19th November - Saturday 9th December 2017

János Oláh

Yellow-headed Picathartes (János Oláh)

Yellow-headed Picathartes (János Oláh)

Ghana has a wide range of habitats and special birds as well as being a safe place to visit, where tourism is much encouraged. The combination of these factors makes it the ideal West African birding destination at the moment with a good number of available Upper Guinea specialities. The undisputed highlight of a tour and the main reason why most birders visit nowadays is the possibility to see White-necked Rockfowl (or Yellow-headed Picathartes). It was no different on our tour and we had excellent looks at this superb and enigmatic bird, hence it was voted bird of the trip. However, the other birds that made it into the top five were just as exciting, such as the shy Latham’s Forest Francolin in second place then Nkulengu Rail and Red-billed Helmetshrike third and fourth and finally the superb Egyptian Plover also made it into the top five! Our tour was exciting and highly successful, with a wide range of special and range restricted birds. We could not visit the far north owing to unforeseen circumstances - two bridges were closed - so we had to alter the ititnerary slightly. This turned out to be fortunate as we saw several rarely encountered species on those extra days elswhere. We recorded a total of 451 species, which included several sought-after birds like Hartlaub’s Duck, White-throated and Ahanta Francolins, Spot-breasted Ibis, Congo Serpent Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Bat Hawk, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, White-spotted Flufftail, African Finfoot, Allen’s Gallinule, White-crowned Lapwing, Forbes’s Plover, Blue-headed Wood Dove, Yellow-billed Turaco, Black-throated Coucal, Thick-billed and Yellow-throated Cuckoos, Fraser’s and Akun Eagle Owls, Red-chested Owlet, Brown, Standard-winged, and Black-shouldered Nightjars, Black Spinetail, Blue-bellied Roller, Blue-moustached, Black and Rosy Bee-eaters, Black Dwarf, Red-billed Dwarf, White-crested, Brown-cheeked and both Yellow-casqued and Black-casqued Wattled Hornbills, Spotted Honeyguide, African Piculet, Fine-spotted, Melancholy and Fire-bellied Woodpeckers, Grey and Brown-necked Parrots, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Red-billed Helmetshrike, Many-colored and Fiery-breasted Bushshrikes, White-breasted and Blue Cuckooshrikes, Baumann’s Olive Greenbul and both Green-tailed and Grey-headed Bristlebills, White-bibbed and Pied-winged Swallows, Kemp’s Longbill, Sharpe’s Apalis, Oriole Warbler, Rufous-winged Illadopsis, Capuchin Babbler, Finsch’s Rufous Thrush, Western Forest Robin, Black-bellied Seedcracker and Black-faced Firefinch. Interesting family totals included 10 species of hornbills, 13 species of barbets, 21 species of modestly clad greenbuls, 11 species of hirundines, a staggering 8 species of Muscicapa flycatchers and 21 species of sunbirds including Reichenbach’s, Carmelite and the superb Buff-throated Sunbirds. Mammal highlights were African Elephant, Lowe’s and Lesser Spot-nosed Monkeys and Common Genet while notable reptiles included African Dwarf Crocodile, Puff Adder, Western Green Mamba and Forest Cobra. It was a fantastic tour indeed!

Egyptian Plover (János Oláh)

Egyptian Plover (János Oláh)