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SIERRA LEONE

Friday 5th February - Saturday 20th February 2010

Nik Borrow

Even though new roads had been built and accommodation standards had improved since our last visit, our second tour to Sierra Leone was still pretty tough going at times but certainly pulled a few goodies out of the bag! We built upon the successes from our previous tour and notched up a higher and very respectable total of 328 species of which all but 18 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. We also saw the restricted range Crimson Seedcracker, Turati’s Boubou and no less than five 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 what appears to be a rare Lesser Anomalure. Other specialties included Congo Serpent Eagle, Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle, Red-chested Goshawk, Forbes’s Plover, Great Snipe, Black-throated Coucal, Black-shouldered and Standard-winged Nightjars, White-bellied Kingfisher, Blue-bellied Roller, Yellow-casqued Hornbill, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Spotted Honeyguide, Little Green and Melancholy 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, Lowland Akalat, White-tailed Alethe, Finsch’s Flycatcher Thrush, Sharpe’s Apalis, Kemp’s Longbill, Ussher’s Flycatcher, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Puvel’s Illadopsis, Brown Sunbird, Red-billed Helmet-shrike, Copper-tailed Glossy and Emerald Starlings, Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Red-vented Malimbe, Dybowski’s Twinspot and Cameroon Indigobird.