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SIERRA LEONE

Saturday 9th February - Sunday 24th February 2008

Our first exploratory tour to Sierra Leone was pretty tough going at times but certainly pulled a few goodies out of the bag! A respectable total of 305 species were recorded of which all but 12 were seen. The notable major highlights had to be the wonderful views of the amazing Yellow-headed Picathartes preening and posing at their nest site before going to roost, the restricted range Turati’s Boubou and no less than four stunning Gola Malimbes for everyone! Singing Brown Nightjars were discovered, sublime Egyptian Plovers enjoyed, colourful Buff-throated Sunbirds enthralled and secretive Capuchin Babblers were tracked down. Mammals were sparse but we had great looks at the beautiful Diana Monkey and Olive Colobus and we even almost saw a Pygmy Hippo that crashed away from us through the undergrowth! Other specialties included Red-chested Goshawk, Latham’s Forest Francolin, Black-shouldered and Standard-winged Nightjars, Blue-headed Bee-eater, Brown-cheeked and Yellow-casqued Hornbills, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Spotted Honeyguide, Little Green, Melancholy and Fire-bellied Woodpeckers, Fanti Saw-wing, Preuss’s Cliff Swallow, Pied-winged Swallow, Green-tailed and Grey-headed Bristlebills, Western Bearded Greenbul, Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Western Forest Robin, White-tailed Alethe, Finsch’s Flycatcher Thrush, Forest Scrub Robin, Sharpe’s Apalis, Kemp’s Longbill, Olivaceous and Ussher’s Flycatchers, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Rufous-winged and Puvel’s Illadopsis, Red-billed Helmet-shrike, Copper-tailed Glossy and Emerald Starlings, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Red-vented Malimbe, Yellow-winged Pytilia and Dybowski’s Twinspot