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FORESTS OF GHANA

Wednesday 17th April - Friday 26th April 2013

Nik Borrow

Shining Blue Kingfisher (Nik Borrow)

Shining Blue Kingfisher (Nik Borrow)

This was the twelfth BirdQuest tour to Ghana, once known as the Gold Coast and situated in the very heart of West Africa. The country’s growing tourist industry has much to offer to visitors with its colourful and vibrant culture, a turbulent history and a coast lined with beautiful beaches and numerous slave forts still left standing to remind visitors of a grim past. However we were here to discover the countries avian riches and this short and sweet tour focused on a great selection of Upper Guinea forest endemic birds and one very special species in particular, the strange and bizarre Yellow-headed Picathartes or ‘rockfowl’. Although we had to wait for a little over one hour before the birds appeared our success at seeing this often elusive and furtive creature was absolute with prolonged views of posing individuals at remarkably close range and this event was undoubtedly the highlight of the tour! Our itinerary included the savannas of Shai Hills and Winneba Plains and the forests of Kakum National Park and its famous canopy walkway, Ankasa, the butterfly sanctuary at Bobiri and the hills of the Atewa range. It was very hot and humid as the rains had not yet really begun in earnest and sadly the only real rain of the tour was during lunch at Ankasa and our last morning at Atewa. An event that frustrated us in our attempts to see the Blue-moustached Bee-eater and brought the tour to a very damp and somewhat dismal end. However despite this loss we still managed to amass a very respectable 344 species of birds of which all but 18 were seen. We also managed to record 21 species of mammal.

Yellow-headed Picathartes (Nik Borrow)

Yellow-headed Picathartes (Nik Borrow)