Welcome to Birdquest
Sunday 16th November - Friday 5th December 2014
Mark Van Beirs
The undisputed highlight of the tour and the main reason why several (most) participants had joined the Ultimate Ghana tour was the White-necked Rockfowl (or Yellow-headed Picathartes), that we saw so very well at what must be the easiest and most accessible place in the world to see this truly amazing species. We obtained fantastic looks at this immaculate looking, enigmatic bird as it performed so very well on the rocky outcrop which it favours. But the supporting cast also held several high quality species that were seen at length and in depth, like Egyptian Plover, Long-tailed Hawk, Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle, Forbes’s Plover, Akun Eagle Owl and Blue-moustached Bee-eater. A good number of Upper Guinea specialities was seen while we travelled the length and width of Ghana. The lowland rainforests in the south and the bushy savanna in the north were the main habitats visited and other much appreciated goodies included Hartlaub’s Duck, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Fox Kestrel, White-spotted Flufftail, African Finfoot, Black-throated Coucal, Thick-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Turaco, Fraser’s Eagle Owl, Brown and Black-shouldered Nightjars, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Blue-moustached, Black, Northern Carmine and Rosy Bee-eaters, Black Dwarf, Red-billed Dwarf, White-crested and Black-casqued Wattled Hornbills, Yellow-footed and Wilcock’s Honeyguides, Fine-spotted, Little Green, Melancholy and Fire-bellied Woodpeckers, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Red-billed Helmetshrike, Many-coloured and Lagden’s Bushshrikes, Blue Cuckooshrike, White-bibbed and Pied-winged Swallows, Kemp’s Longbill, Sharpe’s Apalis, Capuchin Babbler, Western Forest Robin, Forest Scrub Robin, Red-fronted Antpecker, Black-bellied Seedcracker, Black-faced Firefinch and Wilson’s Indigobird next to a fine assortment of modestly-clad Greenbuls, Cisticolas and colourful Sunbirds. Geoffroy’s Pied Colobus, Beecroft’s, Lord Derby and Pel’s Anomalures, Common Cusimanse and Central Bushbuck were some of the better mammals of the tour and notable reptiles included African Dwarf Crocodile, Puff Adder and Forest Cobra.