Welcome to Birdquest
Tuesday 4th August - Saturday 15th August 2015
This new, shorter Madagascar itinerary proved a great success. We concentrated on three of the ornithologically richest areas of this dramatically diverse and fascinating island: the eastern rainforest, the stunning spiny forest in the south-west and the dry deciduous forest of the north. We had no trouble finding representatives of each endemic Malagasy bird family, seeing Madagascan Cuckoo-Roller, two species of Mesite, three species of Ground Roller, numerous examples of Malagasy Warblers and Vangas and three species of Asity, of which the sensational Schlegel's Asity was voted bird of the trip. The amazing Couas, perhaps themselves deserving of an upgrade to family status, were very well represented too with seven species seen, often exceptionally well with Blue and Running Couas especially popular. Further highlights included a nesting pair of Madagascan Fish Eagles, numerous Madagascan Nightjars and a stunning Collared Nightjar at a day roost, all three Madagascar Accipiter species, both endemic kingfishers, Banded Kestrel, Madagascan Plover (plus the likely to be split 'Madagascan' Three-banded Plover), Madagascan Ibises, Meller's Ducks and Madagascan Little Grebes. In addition we found eleven species of Lemurs including members of most groups, from wailing Indris and bouncing Sifakas to diminutive Mouse Lemurs. Overall the tour logistics ran fairly smoothly, though we had to endure one frustrating flight cancellation that cost us some time in the west. The weather throughout was very good apart from a few short showers in the eastern rainforest.