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SENEGAL

Sunday 4th February - Tuesday 20th February 2018

Chris Kehoe

Golden Nightjar (Chris Kehoe)

Golden Nightjar (Chris Kehoe)

Our second Senegal only tour (earlier tours combining with either The Gambia or Cape Verde) was a huge success in which all of our top targets, particularly several Sahelian endemics, were found and showed extremely well. Bird of the trip was the amazing Quail-Plover and we chanced upon four of these enigmatic birds at a single site where they gave amazing close views. Golden Nightjars were found at day roosts to allow perfect looks of their exquisitely intricate markings while both Saville’s and Arabian Bustards showed well. Further highlights included the diminutive Little Grey (or Sahelian) Woodpecker, perky Cricket Warblers and Sennar Penduline Tits and sublime Scissor-tailed Kites, a large post-roost gathering of which held us quite spellbound. Close to the Guinea border we found the very localised Mali Firefinch, plus a group of Black-faced Firefinches for good measure, along with the likes of Sun Lark, Dorst’s Cisticola and Gosling’s Buntings. Stunning Egyptian Plovers and White-crowned Lapwings were along the Gambie River where several African Finfoots and a bonus Pel’s Fishing Owl were much appreciated. On top of all this we witnessed the very impressive spectacle of tens of thousands of wildfowl and other waterbirds at Djoudj National Park where the very localised River Prinia showed well. Those who remained for the extension to the Saloum Delta were rewarded with the hoped-for but never quite expected White-crested Tiger Heron while, amongst many other choice species, amazing fully-plumed Standard-winged Nightjars stole the show. Some of the less expected finds among a very long list of more generally distributed West African species and Palearctic migrants included three Grey Herons of the very pallid Mauretanian race (a potential split) plus wintering Seebohm’s Northern Wheatears (another likely split) and a large gathering of European Storm Petrels, many of which fed just metres from the fish landing area at St. Louis. All in all, an excellent tour to a wonderfully varied region.

Scissor-tailed Kite (Chris Kehoe)

Scissor-tailed Kite (Chris Kehoe)