27 January - 12 February 2023

by Nik Borrow

Our seventh Senegal ‘only’ tour (earlier tours combining with either The Gambia or Cape Verde) continued the run of success we have previously enjoyed and firmly establishes the country as a premier West African birding destination for those wishing to see some very special Sahelian endemics. Senegal is less than six hours away from Brussels or Paris by plane and a popular destination with Europeans trying to escape the miserable winter weather in search of sun, sea and sand. For the birdwatcher Senegal holds an impressive number of specialties, most of which are relatively easy to see in this comfortable and trouble-free country. The two most-wanted birds for our group were probably the truly enigmatic Quail-plover and the beautiful Golden Nightjar both of which surrendered to our quest and allowed amazing closeup views. For the Golden Nightjar we headed up to the northern border of the country with Mauritania where we found a pair after dark illuminated by the torch beam. The tiny Quail-plover rose up from under our feet after some 20 minutes searching and we were soon able to relocate it as it consequently froze in front of us, allowing prolonged views. Also, in the far north we hunted out Little Grey Woodpecker and Sennar Penduline Tit as well as the exquisite little Cricket Warbler. Horus Swifts (a recently discovered new bird for the country) were seen at a small colony and a visit to the Djoudj National Park with its numerous waterfowl and flamingos astounded us and we successfully tracked down the highly desirable Arabian Bustard. The unassuming River Prinia, Allen’s Gallinule and Savile’s Bustard were also found whilst in the area. In the south-east of the country, we easily found small numbers of Mali Firefinch. A fine supporting cast in the area included Fox Kestrel and Sun Lark and a Dybowski’s Twinspot was a ‘write-in’. A stay at Wassadou along the Gambie River on the edge of Niokolo Koba National Park allowed for fine views of the sublime Egyptian Plover as well as Adamawa Turtle Dove, the bizarre Oriole Warbler and African Finfoot. Finally, we visited the incredible Scissor-tailed Kite roost on Kousmar Island near Kaolack followed by a stay in the Saloum Delta where a superb White-crested Tiger Heron, Bronze-winged Courser and Yellow Penduline Tit were ultimately the icing on the cake. Other notable or restricted range species seen included; Stone Partridge, Double-spurred Spurfowl, Standard-winged Nightjar, Violet Turaco, Four-banded Sandgrouse, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, West African Crested Tern, White-backed Night Heron, Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, Western Red-billed Hornbill, Blue-bellied Roller, African Green Bee-eater, Vieillot’s and Bearded Barbets, Willcocks’s Honeyguide, Fine-spotted Woodpecker, Yellow-crowned Gonolek, West African Swallow, Iberian Chiffchaff, Dorst’s Cisticola, Fulvous Babbler, Chestnut-bellied Starling, White-crowned Robin-Chat, Pygmy Sunbird, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Heuglin’s Masked Weaver, Lavender Waxbill, Dybowski’s Twinspot, Black-bellied and Black-faced Firefinches, Sahel and Exclamatory Paradise Whydahs, White-rumped Seedeater and Gosling’s and Brown-rumped Buntings.

Our tour began in Dakar arriving at the trouble-free airport in the evening and were transported swiftly along a new highway to a small hotel in Thiès some thirty minutes away for a short night’s sleep for we were up before dawn watching a Greyish Eagle-Owl on the rooftops surrounding our hotel. We breakfasted at seven (sunrise wasn’t until half past!) and set off as quickly as we could because we had a long drive ahead of us towards Podor for a three nights stay.

The other-worldly, flat Sahelian landscape cannot really be described as ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’ and a steadily increasing layer of plastic detritus seems to be coating the land. However, the street life and culture certainly are fascinating and there is always something to look at although the innumerable shreds of black plastic bags caught on vegetation are what most often catches the eye whilst in search of roadside birds! The crazy stick nests of White-billed Buffalo Weavers loaded onto the bare skeletal Baobab limbs were a natural feature of the scenery and our first Western Red-billed Hornbills were seen alongside spectacular Long-tailed Glossy and Chestnut-bellied Starlings whilst other commonplace species regularly spotted along the way included beautiful Abyssinian Rollers, huge numbers of doves and pigeons and of course, ubiquitous Yellow-billed Kites.

Our first stop was at a stake out for the Little Grey Woodpecker (a Sahelian specialty) and we were pleased to find that the bird was still present in the same area that we had discovered it in last year and once again, we enjoyed some excellent views. As the countryside became even more arid, we noticed groups of vultures gorging themselves on the frequent roadside casualties along the way. By stopping several times, we added Hooded, White-backed, Rüppell’s, Griffon and enormous Lappet-faced Vultures but never in particularly large numbers.

As we passed the historic town of Saint-Louis located on the Senegal River, we noted large numbers of waterbirds but these would have to wait until our return as our final destination today was further east. We did however stop for a delicious fish lunch at a hotel by the banks of the Senegal River in the historic town of Richard Toll. The word ‘Toll’ means ‘garden’ in the Wolof language and is named after experimental agricultural gardens laid out by Claude Richard for the Chateau de Baron Roger in the 1820’s.

Immediately after lunch we birded an area on the outskirts of town where a pair of Little Grey Woodpeckers were watched at their nest hole and shortly after we added another Sahel target to the list in the form of the diminutive Sennar Penduline Tit. Large flocks of small birds in this region often proved to be Sudan Golden Sparrows which held many decently plumaged male birds. Senegal is a wintering ground for a number of Palearctic migrants and in particular featured Western Bonelli’s, Western Olivaceous, Western Orphean and Western Subalpine Warblers all of which were seen during this first day of travel.

From here we completed the drive to Podor and arrived at the nightjar site in the late afternoon. We began a walk into the scrub to see if we could find a Golden Nightjar before dark but were not successful this year. However, at dusk a pair appeared on queue and we had great close looks in the half-light. Just before we were about to light them up with the torch they took off and we never managed to get close to them again so we vowed to try again the next day.

It was another sunny day as we headed out the following morning to an area near Podor where we set out across the sparsely vegetated sandy wastes to search for our next target, the delightful Cricket Warbler. The characterful Black Scrub Robin flaunted itself but rarely allowed very close approach. A number of Great Grey Shrikes of the race elegans and senator Woodchat Shrikes were dotted around and it didn’t take too long to track down the first family of Cricket Warblers which performed beautifully for us allowing some very close views as they foraged in the sparse vegetation wiggling their long tails. Hot on their heels was another target species which isn’t always at all easy to track down. A pair of Fulvous Babblers put in an appearance as they flew towards us, low to the ground on stiff, whirring wings and happily flaunted themselves in front of us. Our first African Collared Doves were seen and other goodies included a Singing Bush Lark which was an unusual record for the area.

Nearby, we visited a site where Horus Swifts (a recently discovered ‘new’ species for Senegal) have been found breeding. We were pleased to find them apparently still at home alongside Little Swifts in the cliffs overhanging the river where attractive African Green Bee-eaters put on a good show. In the late afternoon we returned to the Golden Nightjar area which has sadly been ‘developed’ for agricultural purposes thus reducing their favoured habitat and despite searching all afternoon we couldn’t find any in daylight hours although an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler was a good bonus and Palearctic migrant Short-toed Snake and Booted Eagles were seen. However, as dusk fell the pair from the previous evening once again emerged from their hiding place and this time, we were able to approach them quite closely for superb torchlit views.

After our stay at Podor we headed back westwards and a morning birding in the Richard Toll area produced a daytime roost of up to 15 Long-tailed Nightjars alongside good numbers of Eurasian Stone-curlew and Spotted Thick-knees. Out on the sandy wastes we found small numbers of Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse and obliging pairs of Temminck’s Courser put on a great show at the end of the morning after which we celebrated with another superb fish lunch at Richard Toll.

In the afternoon we made our first visit to the Trois Marigots on the outskirts of St Louis and it was only five minutes into our search when we found a pair of Savile’s Bustards and with time and patience, we enjoyed some excellent views of this Sahel specialty. Marigots are side streams or tributary rivulets whose water levels are often seasonal and here they are surrounded by tamarisk and tall stands of phragmites. The open waters and inundated flats are home to a wealth of birds and we soon picked out our first River Prinias; a Sahelian specialty that had hidden in plain sight until as recently as 1974 when it was described by Claude Chappuis who noticed the substantially different song of these water-loving prinias. Greater Swamp Warblers making their guttural cries, skulked in the reeds but allowed good views whilst Black Crakes scattered everywhere, ‘Spanish’ Yellow Wagtails were common and pretty little African Pygmy Geese, hulking African Swamphens and ultimately the highly desirable Allen’s Gallinule all showed well.

The Djoudj is an important wetland staging post and wintering area for migratory birds that lies in the Senegal delta. As we drove along the dirt roads Crested Larks scattered everywhere from the open wastes and dry fields that were dissected by waterways and flooded land. Arriving at the park entrance we found that this fantastic wetland area was absolutely heaving with birds. Whirling flocks of ducks and Great White Pelicans filled the distant skies along with Greater and Lesser Flamingos, herons, storks, ibises and wildfowl that included vast numbers of White-faced Whistling Duck mixed with smaller numbers of Fulvous Whistling Ducks alongside rafts of Palearctic migrant Garganey, Northern Shoveler and Northern Pintail. At the park entrance, we quickly found some marvellous Greater Painted-snipe in the muddy margins to the lagoons and from the main road through the park, we made sure that we had good looks at the interesting moptanus race of African Stonechat that frequents the tamarisk bushes along the margins of the lagoons and two Iberian Chiffchaffs that proved their identity by singing strongly.

The park is well-known for its huge breeding colony of Great White Pelicans and a boat trip into the heart of the area was an absolutely unforgettable experience. The young were quite well grown by this time of year and the frenzied flapping and exercising of the wings of birds, eager to fly whipped up the guano and dust into the air so that the stench of fish and ammonia was quite overpowering but the sights and sounds were indeed something to see. Flotillas of fishing adults diving in unison were wondrous to behold and the whole experience was simply awesome! To add to this of course there was a fine selection of other birds to be seen along the reedy margins of the waterway where majestic African Fish Eagles perched up and close looks were obtained of African Darter and Reed and White-breasted Cormorants whilst Whiskered and Caspian Terns followed our boat.

In the afternoon, as we drove across the barren flats, we saw a number of Common Warthogs and a couple of African Golden Wolves. Black Crowned Cranes were a much-wanted species that we saw well and ultimately, we managed two sightings of the highly desirable Arabian Bustard. As the species can be very elusive in the park with numbers of individuals probably numbering no more than six, to say that the day was a success is probably something of an understatement!

Pre-breakfast the next day, our hotel garden came up trumps with a very fine Northern White-faced Owl with a mouse in its talons! We spent the morning combining birds and ‘culture’ by visiting the historical town of Saint-Louis which was once not only the capital of Senegal but also of the whole of French West Africa and is built on a sandy spit battered by the Atlantic Ocean. It is a bustling fishing town connected to the mainland by the distinctive arches of the historical Faidherbe Bridge and like most towns in Senegal is coated with a layer of plastic detritus! The mudflats and lagoons helped us add to our wader list and a brick red full breeding plumaged Curlew Sandpiper was a bit of a surprise at this time of year! We drove across the famous bridge and onto the island where the decaying colonial buildings hinted at a bygone era of wealth and elegance. Crossing another bridge took us through the fascinating fish market where the colourful boats were hauled up delivering their catch. Our vehicles crawled through the crowds and market places teeming with people coming and going amongst the old colonial buildings and enabled an engrossing fly on the wall look at the bustling life there. Once free of the town where Red-chested Swallows were breeding, we scanned the gulls and terns for something more interesting. West African Crested Tern was seen well and Slender-billed and Grey-headed Gulls were plentiful as they breed in the nearby Langue de Barbarie National Park but we also spotted a Yellow-legged Gull of the race atlantis and out at sea were a couple of Northern Gannets.

The time had come to relocate to a different part of the country but today’s travel day was a highly anticipated event for it was going to be our only real chance to find the truly enigmatic Quail-plover. During the course of the morning, we traversed many miles through prime territory for vultures and came across a few small gatherings and also some Yellow-billed Oxpeckers on the cattle. During a stop at a waterhole, we watched thirsty Mottled Spinetails coming to drink along with a juvenile Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle that drifted overhead. Cut-throat Finches and White-rumped Seedeater were also seen.

It wasn’t until after lunch that we reached prime habitat for the aforementioned Quail-plover and we set off in a regimented line under the blistering afternoon sun across seemingly never-ending habitat in what felt like a search for the proverbial needle in the haystack. This diminutive bird measures no more than 13 centimetres in length and is cryptically coloured and patterned to the point that it is rarely picked up on the ground before it is flushed. We must have walked for no more than twenty minutes before we thankfully flushed up three birds from our feet which splayed out in separate directions. We focused on one in particular which looked something like a cross between a butterfly, a lark and a quail as it flapped lazily away settling nearby. It was initially frozen to the spot but after a while relaxed and performed its strange chameleon-like walk but kept to cover apparently even ‘dozing off’ every now and then! We watched this peculiar little bird for as long as we wished but eventually left it to feed or shelter in peace. Sightings of Singing Bush Lark and Desert Cisticola added to the day’s tally but then it was a heads-down drive to Kaolack for an overnight stop where the lagoon by the hotel held huge numbers of Slender-billed Gulls performing their evening ablutions and a very fine spot for a well-deserved sundowner!

The next day the drive was even longer as we headed to Kedougou in the far south-east of the country and it is surprising that we saw any new birds at all but indeed we did and the day started watching a stream of Lesser Kestrels leaving their roost from an island in the Saloum River. Further on our journey we found a spectacular male Sahel Paradise Whydah in full breeding plumage which was much appreciated. We stopped for lunch in Tambacounda and the afternoon was taken driving through the enormous Niokolo Koba National Park to reach Kedougou. It is not allowed to stop in the park but on the way, we had good looks at Abyssinian Ground Hornbill and our first Purple Starlings as well as some Defassa Waterbuck. It was also a good drive for raptors and during the course of the day we had added Brown and Western Banded Snake Eagles, Bateleur, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Gabar and Dark Chanting Goshawks, Shikra and Grasshopper Buzzard to the list.

The next day we headed along rough roads down towards the border with Guinea and the area around Dindefelo situated in the foothills of the Fouta Djallon mountains. From the open Sahel of the north, we had now arrived in the wooded Sudanian-Guinea savannas and as a result there was quite a difference in the avifauna. We started in the darkness and although nightbirds were sadly lacking as the dawn broke the dry bush came alive. Our first gaudy Violet Turacos were seen as well as colourful Bruce’s Green Pigeons, marvelously grotesque Bearded Barbets, ‘rolling’ Blue-bellied Rollers, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Fine-spotted Woodpecker, screeching Senegal Parrots, Grey-headed Bushshrike and a flock of confiding White-crested Helmetshrikes.

With all of these new birds we were somewhat later arriving at Dindefelo itself than we had hoped but the walk to one of the cascades that tumble down the high, craggy cliffs was mainly undercover and it was cooler in the shade of the lush vegetation. The area was kept moist by a rushing stream that attracted the washerwomen from the village so that many of the available branches were bedecked with drying laundry! In this place Blackcap and Brown Babblers squabbled from the tangles, we heard Guinea Turacos and watched a male Narina Trogon sitting quietly in the shadows. The recently discovered population at Dindefelo has greenish facial wattles and are thus more likely to be the race brachyurum than the listed constantia, which has large, fleshy yellow wattles. The male Willcocks’s Honeyguide first discovered for Senegal at Dindefelo by Birdquest in 2019 was also still present and a pair of Dybowski’s Twinspots was another great find and a ‘write-in’! The change of habitat brought a rush of new birds for the trip and included Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike, African Paradise Flycatcher, African Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Northern Yellow White-eye, African Thrush, White-crowned Robin-Chat, Familiar Chat, Green-headed Sunbird and Black-necked Weaver (sometimes split as Olive-naped Weaver). We stayed until after lunch at a small campement and after lunch a productive stop gave us a pair of Dorst’s Cisticola feeding on the ground as well as Moustached Grass Warbler and an ‘estrildid-fest’ with Magpie Mannikin, Lavender Waxbill, Black-bellied Firefinch, Black-faced Firefinch and miraculously our first Mali Firefinch!

The aim of the following morning our target was to find some more Mali Firefinches and rather than face a steep climb at Dindefelo, we headed for another area where the ascent to the top of the escarpment was more manageable. Bantam-like Stone Partridges were seen en route but the aim was to reach the area while it was still cool and the firefinches would still be active. The plan worked out well as we found several birds sporting a variety of plumages and everyone enjoyed excellent views. We spent the rest of the morning exploring the area. An angry Pearl-spotted Owlet upset the local birds and we saw African Hawk Eagle, Fox Kestrel and our first Gosling’s Buntings. The afternoon was spent in some other areas nearer to Kedougou where we were successful in finding Sun Lark and in the late afternoon we lucked upon a pair of Brown-rumped Buntings.

Our time in the Kedougou area was drawing to a close but one last early morning visit to some productive bush added our first Four-banded Sandgrouse, African Golden Oriole, White-shouldered Black Tit, Red-winged Prinia and Exclamatory Paradise Whydah. It was then time to retrace our steps for our next stay at Campement de Wassadou on the edge of Niokolo Koba National Park, a lodge picturesquely placed overlooking the River Gambie. We arrived in time for sundowners and settled in to watch over the river as the day drew to a close.

We had two full days to explore the area around the camp and our activities involved scanning from the watchpoint, walking in the surrounding bush and exploring the river. The small boat only took a few people at a time so we took it in turns to cruise up and down the river during the course of our stay. The birds along the river seemed oblivious to the engine noise which meant that we were able to get up close to the sublime Egyptian Plover and we gained some intimate views of several pairs of these beautifully marked birds. Several African Finfoot were seen both during our mini cruises and from terra firma as did good numbers of the localised Adamawa Turtle Dove. An adult and a juvenile White-backed Night Heron was seen during the boat trips and as was to be expected kingfishers were a feature of the waterways. As well as the commonplace Malachite and Pied Kingfishers we noted Grey-headed, Blue-breasted, Woodland and Giant Kingfishers. Numerous Red-throated Bee-eaters were busy at their nests in the sandy banks of the river and other waterside birds included White-crowned, Spur-winged and African Wattled Lapwings, Hadada Ibis, Striated Heron, Swamp Flycatcher and African Pied Wagtail. Northern Carmine Bee-eaters were seen from the boats in the afternoons and performed ‘murmuration’ flights over the roost areas at dusk. Some bush walks produced a resident pair of Red-necked Falcon as well as an adult Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle, Broad-billed Roller, Greater Honeyguide and Black-rumped and Orange-cheeked Waxbills whilst at night we saw a fantastic little African Scops Owl.

It was a long, fairly uneventful drive back to Kaolack which was enlivened by the sighting of a juvenile Martial Eagle but after lunch we visited a site in order to search out a roosting Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl in the sparse trees dotted over vast open flats of the Saloum Delta. A little further on we arrived at a small village where we met up with a boatman who was willing to ferry us across to Kousmar Island in the delta which has become famous as the site that hosts up to 28,000 wintering Lesser Kestrels and 36,000 Scissor-tailed Kites although on the day of our visit far fewer were present. We drove out over the dry mud flats as far as we could until we met the river channel that separated us from the island. The transport across was to be by a rather wobbly, leaky wooden pirogue and the only way of boarding it was to wade through the sticky estuary mud but everyone opted to make the effort and we soon found ourselves on the island and hiked the remaining distance to the roosting trees. We had arrived in good time but it was a little longer before the first Scissor-tailed Kites were spotted as tiny specks high in the skies above us. Gradually more and more were seen wheeling in now joined by some Lesser Kestrels and as the temperature dropped so they began to make their descent until at a given time, with wings folded back the first ones came hurtling down to land in the trees around us. Now that the first had taken this bold step more and more joined until the trees were bedecked by kites. Needless to say, the spectacle was awe-inspiring and really could only be appreciated from the island itself so it seemed totally worthy to have made the crossing. As the light faded, we hiked back to the river where the boat was waiting and made our way back to the minibuses as the sun sank below the horizon. We were rather late reaching our hotel that night but the experience had been totally worthwhile.

Our last two full days in Senegal were spent in the Saloum Delta exploring the waterways and surrounding country on foot and by boat and minibus. Our first boat trip was timed for the morning when a low tide would be in our favour for finding the elusive White-crested Tiger Heron that spends most of its time inside the dense mangrove swamps that line the convoluted waterways of the Saloum Delta. The huge Goliath Heron was found easily although the tiny, warbler-like Mangrove (or Brown) Sunbird was trickier to see but was successfully searched out as we diligently scanned every mangrove root for the heron and our time seemed to be fast running out as the tide rose. Carlos spotted one but sadly it could not be relocated so it was a great relief when a little later Lynn spotted another in a good position perched low down on the mangrove roots. The boatman skillfully manoeuvred the boat and ultimately everyone saw it quite clearly. We simply could not believe our luck! We thought that we had done well but in fact our luck had only just begun because a walk on a nearby island not only produced the hoped for Yellow Penduline Tit showing at close range but also a pair of Bronze-winged Coursers was found. It had certainly been a morning to remember! In the afternoon we visited an area of scrub and flooded pools where we found Yellow-throated Leaflove and everyone got onto a pair of superb Oriole Warblers (another West African specialty).

The rest of our time in the region was spent exploring the surrounding bush country and we managed good views of Variable and Western Violet-backed Sunbirds, Yellow-crowned Gonoleks were at their most obvious, Mosque and West African Swallows were seen and we flushed two Common Buttonquail. An afternoon boat trip visited a small island where large numbers of Great Egrets and Reed Cormorants were coming into roost but no more tiger herons were found.

The final day started as the first day had begun with another Greyish Eagle-Owl in our hotel garden and then it was time to pack and head back to the airport near Dakar. Our West African adventure had finally come to an end and what an experience it had been! This long road trip had taken us through the Sahel, down into the Sudanian-Guinea savannahs and finished on the wide open Saloum estuary and everywhere, from the fishing market in St Louis to the crowds around the Grand Mosque at Touba we had been fascinated by the colourful street life. We had tasted some great Senegalese cuisine, particularly some fine fish and of course the Chicken Yassa! A variety of boat trips had brought us close-up and personal with a number of amazing species such as the delightful Egyptian Plover and we had seen some of the most iconic of the Sahelian birds including the highly desirable Golden Nightjar, Quail-plover and Cricket Warbler. We had witnessed some spectacular bird behaviour with the enormous coordinated wheeling flocks of wildfowl, queleas and bishops to the grace of the Scissor-tailed Kite roost in the Saloum. Senegal is a West African gem and surely set to become a classic destination. Many thanks to our guide Carlos and the tireless drivers who kept it all together!



White-faced Whistling Duck  Dendrocygna viduata

Fulvous Whistling Duck  Dendrocygna bicolor

Knob-billed Duck  Sarkidiornis melanotos

Egyptian Goose  Alopochen aegyptiaca

African Pygmy Goose  Nettapus auritus

Garganey  Spatula querquedula

Northern Shoveler  Spatula clypeata

Northern Pintail  Anas acuta

Helmeted Guineafowl  Numida meleagris

Stone Partridge ◊  Ptilopachus petrosus

Double-spurred Spurfowl ◊ (D-s Francolin)  Pternistis bicalcaratus

Golden Nightjar ◊  Caprimulgus eximius

Long-tailed Nightjar  Caprimulgus climacurus

Standard-winged Nightjar ◊  Caprimulgus longipennis

Mottled Spinetail  Telacanthura ussheri

African Palm Swift  Cypsiurus parvus

Pallid Swift  Apus pallidus  Presumably this species but views distant.

Little Swift  Apus affinis

Horus Swift  Apus horus

Western Plantain-eater (W Grey P-e)  Crinifer piscator

Violet Turaco ◊  Tauraco violaceus

Guinea Turaco (Green T)  Tauraco persa  Heard only

Arabian Bustard ◊  Ardeotis arabs

Savile’s Bustard ◊  Lophotis savilei

Senegal Coucal  Centropus senegalensis

Great Spotted Cuckoo  Clamator glandarius

Klaas’s Cuckoo  Chrysococcyx klaas

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse  Pterocles exustus

Four-banded Sandgrouse ◊  Pterocles quadricinctus

Rock Dove  Columba livia  Domestic birds only

Speckled Pigeon  Columba guinea

European Turtle Dove  Streptopelia turtur

Adamawa Turtle Dove ◊  Streptopelia hypopyrrha

African Collared Dove  Streptopelia roseogrisea

Mourning Collared Dove (African M D)  Streptopelia decipiens

Red-eyed Dove  Streptopelia semitorquata

Vinaceous Dove  Streptopelia vinacea

Laughing Dove  Spilopelia senegalensis

Black-billed Wood Dove  Turtur abyssinicus

Blue-spotted Wood Dove  Turtur afer

Namaqua Dove  Oena capensis

Bruce’s Green Pigeon ◊  Treron waalia

African Finfoot  Podica senegalensis

Common Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus

Allen’s Gallinule  Porphyrio alleni

African Swamphen  Porphyrio madagascariensis

Black Crake  Zapornia flavirostra

Black Crowned Crane  Balearica pavonina

Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis

Greater Flamingo  Phoenicopterus roseus

Lesser Flamingo  Phoeniconaias minor

Common Buttonquail  Turnix sylvaticus

Quail-plover ◊  Ortyxelos meiffrenii

Eurasian Stone-curlew (E Thick-knee)  Burhinus oedicnemus

Senegal Thick-knee  Burhinus senegalensis

Spotted Thick-knee  Burhinus capensis

Eurasian Oystercatcher  Haematopus ostralegus

Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus

Pied Avocet  Recurvirostra avosetta

Spur-winged Lapwing  Vanellus spinosus

Black-headed Lapwing  Vanellus tectus

White-crowned Lapwing (W-headed L)  Vanellus albiceps

African Wattled Lapwing  Vanellus senegallus

Grey Plover (Black-bellied P)  Pluvialis squatarola

Common Ringed Plover  Charadrius hiaticula

Little Ringed Plover  Charadrius dubius

Kittlitz’s Plover  Charadrius pecuarius

Kentish Plover  Charadrius alexandrinus

Egyptian Plover ◊  Pluvianus aegyptius

Greater Painted-snipe  Rostratula benghalensis

African Jacana  Actophilornis africanus

Eurasian Whimbrel  Numenius phaeopus

Eurasian Curlew  Numenius arquata

Bar-tailed Godwit  Limosa lapponica

Black-tailed Godwit  Limosa limosa

Ruddy Turnstone  Arenaria interpres

Ruff  Calidris pugnax

Curlew Sandpiper  Calidris ferruginea

Temminck’s Stint  Calidris temminckii  Non-leader.

Sanderling  Calidris alba

Dunlin  Calidris alpina

Little Stint  Calidris minuta

Common Snipe  Gallinago gallinago

Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos

Green Sandpiper  Tringa ochropus

Common Redshank  Tringa totanus

Marsh Sandpiper  Tringa stagnatilis

Wood Sandpiper  Tringa glareola

Spotted Redshank  Tringa erythropus

Common Greenshank  Tringa nebularia

Temminck’s Courser  Cursorius temminckii

Bronze-winged Courser ◊ (Violet-tipped C)  Rhinoptilus chalcopterus

Collared Pratincole  Glareola pratincola

Slender-billed Gull  Chroicocephalus genei

Black-headed Gull  Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Grey-headed Gull  Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus

Yellow-legged Gull  Larus michahellis

Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus fuscus

Gull-billed Tern  Gelochelidon nilotica

Caspian Tern  Hydroprogne caspia

West African Crested Tern ◊ (A Royal Tern)  Thalasseus albididorsalis

Sandwich Tern  Thalasseus sandvicensis

Whiskered Tern  Chlidonias hybrida

Yellow-billed Stork  Mycteria ibis

Black Stork  Ciconia nigra

White Stork  Ciconia ciconia  Non-leader

Northern Gannet  Morus bassanus

African Darter  Anhinga rufa

Reed Cormorant (Long-tailed C)  Microcarbo africanus

White-breasted Cormorant  Phalacrocorax lucidus

African Sacred Ibis  Threskiornis aethiopicus

Hadada Ibis  Bostrychia hagedash

Glossy Ibis  Plegadis falcinellus

Eurasian Spoonbill  Platalea leucorodia

African Spoonbill  Platalea alba

White-crested Tiger Heron ◊  Tigriornis leucolopha

White-backed Night Heron ◊  Gorsachius leuconotus

Black-crowned Night Heron  Nycticorax nycticorax

Striated Heron (Green-backed H)  Butorides striata

Squacco Heron  Ardeola ralloides

Western Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis

Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea

Black-headed Heron  Ardea melanocephala

Goliath Heron  Ardea goliath

Purple Heron  Ardea purpurea

Great Egret  Ardea alba

Intermediate Egret  Ardea intermedia

Black Heron  Egretta ardesiaca

Little Egret  Egretta garzetta

Western Reef Heron (W R Egret)  Egretta gularis

Hamerkop  Scopus umbretta

Great White Pelican  Pelecanus onocrotalus

Pink-backed Pelican  Pelecanus rufescens

Osprey  Pandion haliaetus

Black-winged Kite  Elanus caeruleus

Scissor-tailed Kite ◊ (African Swallow-t K)  Chelictinia riocourii

African Harrier-Hawk  Polyboroides typus

Palm-nut Vulture  Gypohierax angolensis

Hooded Vulture  Necrosyrtes monachus

White-backed Vulture (African W-b V)  Gyps africanus

Rüppell’s Vulture  Gyps rueppelli

Griffon Vulture (Eurasian G V)  Gyps fulvus

Lappet-faced Vulture  Torgos tracheliotos

Short-toed Snake Eagle  Circaetus gallicus

Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle ◊  Circaetus beaudouini

Brown Snake Eagle  Circaetus cinereus

Western Banded Snake Eagle  Circaetus cinerascens

Bateleur  Terathopius ecaudatus

Martial Eagle  Polemaetus bellicosus

Wahlberg’s Eagle  Hieraaetus wahlbergi

Booted Eagle  Hieraaetus pennatus

Tawny Eagle  Aquila rapax

African Hawk-Eagle  Aquila spilogaster

Lizard Buzzard  Kaupifalco monogrammicus

Gabar Goshawk  Micronisus gabar

Dark Chanting Goshawk  Melierax metabates

Shikra  Accipiter badius

Western Marsh Harrier  Circus aeruginosus

Pallid Harrier  Circus macrourus

Montagu’s Harrier  Circus pygargus

Black Kite  Milvus migrans

Yellow-billed Kite  Milvus aegyptius

African Fish Eagle  Haliaeetus vocifer

Grasshopper Buzzard ◊  Butastur rufipennis

Western Barn Owl  Tyto alba

Pearl-spotted Owlet  Glaucidium perlatum

African Scops Owl  Otus senegalensis

Northern White-faced Owl  Ptilopsis leucotis

Greyish Eagle-Owl  Bubo cinerascens

Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl  Bubo lacteus

Blue-naped Mousebird  Urocolius macrourus

Narina Trogon  Apaloderma narina

Eurasian Hoopoe  Upupa epops

Eurasian Hoopoe  Upupa [epops] senegalensis

Green Wood Hoopoe  Phoeniculus purpureus

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill  Bucorvus abyssinicus

Western Red-billed Hornbill ◊  Tockus kempi

African Grey Hornbill  Lophoceros nasutus

Purple Roller (Rufous-crowned R)  Coracias naevius

Abyssinian Roller  Coracias abyssinicus

Blue-bellied Roller ◊  Coracias cyanogaster

Broad-billed Roller  Eurystomus glaucurus

Grey-headed Kingfisher  Halcyon leucocephala

Striped Kingfisher  Halcyon chelicuti

Blue-breasted Kingfisher  Halcyon malimbica

Woodland Kingfisher  Halcyon senegalensis

Malachite Kingfisher  Corythornis cristatus

Giant Kingfisher  Megaceryle maxima

Pied Kingfisher  Ceryle rudis

Swallow-tailed Bee-eater  Merops hirundineus

Little Bee-eater  Merops pusillus

Red-throated Bee-eater  Merops bulocki

African Green Bee-eater ◊ (Little G b-e)  Merops viridissimus

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater  Merops persicus

European Bee-eater  Merops apiaster

Northern Carmine Bee-eater  Merops nubicus

Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird  Pogoniulus bilineatus

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird  Pogoniulus chrysoconus

Vieillot’s Barbet ◊  Lybius vieilloti

Bearded Barbet ◊  Lybius dubius

Willcocks’s Honeyguide ◊  Indicator willcocksi

Greater Honeyguide  Indicator indicator

Fine-spotted Woodpecker ◊  Campethera punctuligera

Little Grey Woodpecker ◊ (Sahelian W)  Dendropicos elachus

African Grey Woodpecker (Grey W)  Dendropicos goertae

Lesser Kestrel  Falco naumanni

Common Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus

Fox Kestrel ◊  Falco alopex

Grey Kestrel  Falco ardosiaceus

Red-necked Falcon  Falco chicquera

Lanner Falcon  Falco biarmicus

Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus

Senegal Parrot  Poicephalus senegalus

Rose-ringed Parakeet (Ring-necked P)  Psittacula krameri

Senegal Batis  Batis senegalensis

Brown-throated Wattle-eye (Common W-e)  Platysteira cyanea

Grey-headed Bushshrike  Malaconotus blanchoti

Black-crowned Tchagra  Tchagra senegalus

Northern Puffback  Dryoscopus gambensis

Yellow-crowned Gonolek ◊  Laniarius barbarus

Brubru  Nilaus afer

White-crested Helmetshrike (White H)  Prionops plumatus

Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike  Campephaga phoenicea

Yellow-billed Shrike  Corvinella corvina

Great Grey Shrike  Lanius excubitor

Woodchat Shrike  Lanius senator

African Golden Oriole  Oriolus auratus

Glossy-backed Drongo  Dicrurus divaricatus

African Paradise Flycatcher  Terpsiphone viridis

Piapiac  Ptilostomus afer

Pied Crow  Corvus albus

African Blue Flycatcher  Elminia longicauda

White-shouldered Black Tit  Melaniparus guineensis

Sennar Penduline Tit ◊  Anthoscopus punctifrons

Yellow Penduline Tit ◊  Anthoscopus parvulus

Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark  Eremopterix leucotis

Singing Bush Lark  Mirafra cantillans

Sun Lark ◊  Galerida modesta

Crested Lark  Galerida cristata

Yellow-throated Leaflove  Atimastillas flavicollis

Common Bulbul  Pycnonotus barbatus

Sand Martin (Common S M, Bank Swallow)  Riparia riparia

Rock Martin  Ptyonoprogne fuligula

Wire-tailed Swallow  Hirundo smithii

Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica

Red-chested Swallow  Hirundo lucida

Common House Martin  Delichon urbicum

Mosque Swallow  Cecropis senegalensis

West African Swallow ◊  Cecropis domicella

Moustached Grass Warbler  Melocichla mentalis

Northern Crombec  Sylvietta brachyura

Western Bonelli’s Warbler  Phylloscopus bonelli

Common Chiffchaff  Phylloscopus collybita

Iberian Chiffchaff ◊  Phylloscopus ibericus

Greater Swamp Warbler  Acrocephalus rufescens

Sedge Warbler  Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Common Reed Warbler  Acrocephalus scirpaceus  Possibility of ‘African’ Reed Warbler not eliminated.

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler  Iduna pallida

Western Olivaceous Warbler  Iduna opaca

Melodious Warbler  Hippolais polyglotta

Singing Cisticola  Cisticola cantans

Winding Cisticola  Cisticola marginatus

Dorst’s Cisticola ◊  Cisticola guinea

Zitting Cisticola  Cisticola juncidis

Desert Cisticola  Cisticola aridulus

Tawny-flanked Prinia  Prinia subflava

River Prinia ◊  Prinia fluviatilis

Red-winged Prinia (R-w Warbler)  Prinia erythroptera

Cricket Warbler ◊  Spiloptila clamans

Yellow-breasted Apalis  Apalis flavida

Oriole Warbler ◊  Hypergerus atriceps

Grey-backed Camaroptera  Camaroptera brevicaudata

Yellow-bellied Eremomela  Eremomela icteropygialis

Senegal Eremomela  Eremomela pusilla

Eurasian Blackcap  Sylvia atricapilla

Garden Warbler  Sylvia borin  Non-leader 1 at Wassadou.

Western Orphean Warbler  Curruca hortensis

Western Subalpine Warbler  Curruca iberiae

Common Whitethroat  Curruca communis

Northern Yellow White-eye (African Y W)  Zosterops senegalensis

Fulvous Babbler ◊  Argya fulva

Brown Babbler  Turdoides plebejus

Blackcap Babbler  Turdoides reinwardtii

Greater Blue-eared Starling  Lamprotornis chalybaeus

Lesser Blue-eared Starling  Lamprotornis chloropterus

Bronze-tailed Starling (B-t Glossy S)  Lamprotornis chalcurus

Purple Starling (P Glossy S)  Lamprotornis purpureus

Long-tailed Glossy Starling  Lamprotornis caudatus

Chestnut-bellied Starling ◊  Lamprotornis pulcher

Yellow-billed Oxpecker  Buphagus africanus

African Thrush  Turdus pelios

Black Scrub Robin  Cercotrichas podobe

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin (African S R)  Cercotrichas [galactotes] minor

Grey Tit-Flycatcher (Lead-coloured F)  Myioparus plumbeus

Northern Black Flycatcher  Melaenornis edolioides

Swamp Flycatcher  Muscicapa aquatica

White-crowned Robin-Chat ◊  Cossypha albicapillus

European Pied Flycatcher  Ficedula hypoleuca

Common Redstart  Phoenicurus phoenicurus

African Stonechat  Saxicola torquatus

Anteater Chat (Northern A C)  Myrmecocichla aethiops

Northern Wheatear  Oenanthe oenanthe

Familiar Chat  Oenanthe familiaris

Mangrove Sunbird (Brown S)  Anthreptes gabonicus

Western Violet-backed Sunbird  Anthreptes longuemarei

Pygmy Sunbird ◊  Hedydipna platura

Green-headed Sunbird  Cyanomitra verticalis

Scarlet-chested Sunbird  Chalcomitra senegalensis

Beautiful Sunbird  Cinnyris pulchellus

Variable Sunbird  Cinnyris venustus

Sahel Bush Sparrow (Bush Petronia)  Gymnoris dentata

Northern Grey-headed Sparrow  Passer griseus

House Sparrow (introduced)  Passer domesticus

Sudan Golden Sparrow ◊  Passer luteus

White-billed Buffalo Weaver  Bubalornis albirostris

Speckle-fronted Weaver  Sporopipes frontalis

Little Weaver  Ploceus luteolus

Black-necked Weaver  Ploceus nigricollis

Heuglin’s Masked Weaver ◊  Ploceus heuglini

Vitelline Masked Weaver  Ploceus vitellinus

Village Weaver  Ploceus cucullatus

Black-headed Weaver  Ploceus melanocephalus

Red-billed Quelea  Quelea quelea

Northern Red Bishop  Euplectes franciscanus

Bronze Mannikin  Spermestes cucullata

Magpie Mannikin  Spermestes fringilloides

African Silverbill (Warbling S)  Euodice cantans

Lavender Waxbill ◊  Glaucestrilda caerulescens

Orange-cheeked Waxbill  Estrilda melpoda

Black-rumped Waxbill  Estrilda troglodytes

Quailfinch  Ortygospiza atricollis

Cut-throat Finch  Amadina fasciata

Orange-breasted Waxbill (Zebra W)  Amandava subflava

Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu  Uraeginthus bengalus

Green-winged Pytilia  Pytilia melba

Dybowski’s Twinspot  Euschistospiza dybowskii

Red-billed Firefinch  Lagonosticta senegala

Mali Firefinch ◊ (Kulikoro F)  Lagonosticta virata

Black-bellied Firefinch ◊  Lagonosticta rara

Black-faced Firefinch ◊  Lagonosticta [larvata] vinacea

Village Indigobird  Vidua chalybeata

Pin-tailed Whydah  Vidua macroura

Sahel Paradise Whydah ◊  Vidua orientalis

Exclamatory Paradise Whydah ◊  Vidua interjecta

Western Yellow Wagtail (Yellow W)  Motacilla [flava] flavissima

Western Yellow Wagtail (Blue-headed W)  Motacilla [flava] flava

Western Yellow Wagtail (Spanish W)  Motacilla [flava] iberiae

White Wagtail  Motacilla [alba] alba

African Pied Wagtail  Motacilla aguimp

Tree Pipit  Anthus trivialis

White-rumped Seedeater ◊  Crithagra leucopygia

Yellow-fronted Canary  Crithagra mozambica

Gosling’s Bunting ◊  Emberiza goslingi

Brown-rumped Bunting ◊  Emberiza affinis



Common Rock Hyrax  Procavia capensis

Marsh Mongoose  Atilax paludinosus

Gambian Mongoose  Mungos gambianus

Banded Mongoose  Mungos mungo

African Golden Wolf  Canis lupaster

Common Warthog  Phacochoerus africanus

Red-flanked Duiker  Cephalophus rufilatus

Waterbuck (Defassa W)  Kobus [ellipsiprymnus] defassa

Bushbuck  Tragelaphus scriptus

Hippopotamus  Hippopotamus amphibius

African Straw-coloured Fruit-bat  Eidolon helvum

Gambian Epauletted Fruit Bat  Epomophorus gambianus

Northern Lesser Galago (Lesser Bushbaby)  Galago senegalensis

Green Monkey (Callithrix M)  Chlorocebus sabaeus

Patas Monkey  Erythrocebus patas

Guinea Baboon  Papio papio

West African Red Colobus  Piliocolobus badius

African Savanna Hare  Lepus victoriae

Gambian Sun Squirrel  Heliosciurus gambianus

Striped Ground Squirrel (Geoffrey’s G S)  Xerus erythropus

African Grass Rat (Unstriped G R)  Arvicanthis niloticus