29 January - 14 February 2024

by Nik Borrow

Our eighth 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 up to three birds at dusk illuminated by the torch beam. The tiny Quail-plover rose up from under our feet after some 10 minutes searching and we were soon able to relocate it as it consequently froze in front of us, allowing prolonged, walk-away 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, colourful Allen’s Gallinule and secretive Savile’s Bustard were also found whilst in the area as well as a ‘first’ for the country with no less than two Terek Sandpipers discovered near St Louis. In the south-east of the country, we easily found small numbers of Mali Firefinch and Neumann’s Starlings. A fine supporting cast in the area included Fox Kestrel and Sun Lark. A stay at Wassadou along the Gambie River on the edge of Niokolo Koba National Park allowed fine views of the sublime Egyptian Plover as well as Adamawa Turtle Dove, the bizarre Oriole Warbler and African Finfoot whilst a Pel’s Fishing-Owl in broad daylight was a spectacular find. Up to three Preuss’s Cliff Swallows here were a second record for the country. 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, and Yellow Penduline Tit were ultimately the icing on the cake. Other notable or restricted range species seen during our amazing tour included; Marbled Duck, Stone Partridge, Double-spurred Spurfowl, Standard-winged Nightjar, Violet Turaco, Four-banded Sandgrouse, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Black Crowned Crane, West African Crested Tern, Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle, Grasshopper Buzzard, Western Red-billed Hornbill, Blue-bellied Roller, African Green Bee-eater, Vieillot’s and Bearded Barbets, Fine-spotted Woodpecker, Barbary Falcon, Yellow-crowned Gonolek, West African Swallow, Iberian Chiffchaff, Dorst’s and Rufous Cisticolas, Oriole Warbler, Fulvous Babbler, Chestnut-bellied Starling, White-crowned Robin-Chat, Atlas Wheatear, Pygmy Sunbird, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Olive-naped and Heuglin’s Masked Weavers, Lavender Waxbill, Red-winged Pytilia, Black-faced Firefinch, Sahel Paradise Whydah, 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 looking for a Greyish Eagle-Owl on the rooftops surrounding our hotel which sadly never materialised this year. This was perhaps not the most auspicious start to the tour but we need not have worried! We breakfasted at seven (sunrise wasn’t until half past!) and set off as quickly as we could because we faced 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 are certainly fascinating to watch 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.

As the countryside became even more arid, we noticed groups of vultures gorging themselves on the frequent roadside casualties along the way and we stopped to watch a gaggle of these ungainly birds that included Hooded, White-backed, Rüppell’s and Griffon Vultures and ultimately a single enormous Lappet-faced Vulture.

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. However, we did stop for a delicious fish lunch at a hotel by the banks of the Senegal River in the historic town of Richard Toll and gazed over the river to get a few species onto our Mauritanian list! 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 female Little Grey Woodpecker (a Sahelian specialty) was quickly discovered 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 whilst birding the far north.

From here we completed the drive to Podor and arrived at the nightjar site in the late afternoon where a Palearctic migrant Short-toed Snake Eagle was there to greet us. We began a walk into the scrub to see if we could find a Golden Nightjar before dark but were not successful this year probably because the area has sadly been ‘developed’ for agricultural purposes thus much reducing their favoured habitat. However, at dusk a pair appeared on cue and we had great close looks in the half-light before illuminating the male with the torch beam when both a female and a third bird was seen!

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. No sooner had we arrived at our destination than a family group of Fulvous Babblers put in an appearance as they ran or flew towards us, low to the ground on stiff, whirring wings and happily flaunted themselves in front of us. Neither did it take us long to find our next target, the delightful Cricket Warbler and we had close views of several birds as they foraged in the sparse vegetation wiggling their long tails. 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. Our first African Collared Doves were seen and other goodies included large numbers of Black-crowned Sparrow-Larks, three White Storks and an Atlas Wheatear with an unusually white throat.

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. A pair of Red-throated Bee-eaters was also present one of which was of the rare ‘yellow-throated’ variant. In the afternoon we returned to the same areas where Black Scimitarbill, four Little Grey Woodpeckers and another Atlas Wheatear were found and of course, we couldn’t resist another look at the Golden Nightjar with several Long-tailed Nightjars also caught in the torch beam.

After our stay at Podor we headed back westwards and our third male Atlas Wheatear was found along with a female ‘British’ Pied Wagtail (apparently the second record for Senegal and sub-Saharan Africa). A morning birding in the Richard Toll area produced a daytime roost of up to 16 Long-tailed Nightjars alongside a female Standard-winged Nightjar, no less than 38 Spotted Thick-knees and good numbers of Eurasian Stone-curlews. 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. A Barbary Falcon dashed overhead, two Isabelline Wheatears were found and a surprise Blue Rock Thrush was scoped. After this eventful morning we celebrated with another superb fish lunch at Richard Toll before continuing westwards.

In the afternoon we made our first visit to the Trois Marigots on the outskirts of St Louis. Our aim was to find Savile’s Bustard which appears to be common in the area but habitat loss is threatening the ease with which they can be found. Eventually we tracked down two males and a female and although the birds were very wary, we all had great 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 views whilst Black Crakes scattered everywhere, ‘Iberian’ Yellow Wagtails were common and hulking African Swamphens and pretty little African Pygmy Geese delighted.

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, a family of the highly desirable Allen’s Gallinule showed extremely well and we quickly found some marvellous Greater Painted-snipe in the muddy margins to the lagoons. Along 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 Iberian Chiffchaffs were tentatively identified.

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 Crane was a much-wanted species that we saw well albeit distantly and ultimately, we managed a sighting of a pair 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!

We spent the following 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 the discovery of a ‘first’ for the country by Nevil in the form of no less than two Terek Sandpipers was very exciting. 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. 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.

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. During a stop at a waterhole, we watched thirsty birds coming to drink and enjoyed good views of the resident minor form of Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin.

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 ten minutes before we thankfully flushed up a single bird from our feet 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 and apparently even ‘dozed 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, stopping briefly for a pair of Red-necked Falcon and then onwards 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 and birdwatch in the park without a permit but on the way, we still managed good looks at Abyssinian Ground Hornbill and our first Purple Starlings. It was also a good drive for raptors and during the course of the day we had added Brown Snake Eagle, Bateleur, Wahlberg’s Eagle, African Hawk Eagle and Shikra to the list.

The aim of the following morning our target was to find Mali Firefinch and rather than face a steep climb at Dindefelo, we headed for an area where the ascent to the top of the escarpment was more manageable. Bantam-like Stone Partridges and Double-spurred Spurfowls 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 at least two pairs and everyone enjoyed excellent views. We spent the rest of the morning exploring the area. A splendid Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle drifted overhead, colourful Bruce’s Green Pigeons were seen and an angry Pearl-spotted Owlet was watched upsetting the local birds that included our first Gosling’s Buntings. The afternoon was spent in some other areas nearer to Kedougou where we found Dorst’s Cisticola and a surprise Flappet Lark whilst a visit to a rocky outcrop gave us gaudy Violet Turacos, marvelously grotesque Bearded Barbets, a small flock of the desirable Neumann’s Starling and a Fox Kestrel.

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 although the construction of a new road had destroyed a broad swathe of habitat. We stopped to enjoy some ‘rolling’ Blue-bellied Rollers and screeching Senegal Parrots before continuing to the end of the road where we prepared for the 1.5 km walk to the cascades that tumble down the high, craggy cliffs. The walk was mainly completed undercover and it was refreshingly cooler in the shade of the lush vegetation. The area was kept moist by a rushing stream that often attracts the washerwomen from the village so that many of the available branches were bedecked with drying laundry but today they were mostly absent. In this place Blackcap and Brown Babblers squabbled from the tangles and thirsty birds came to drink finding relief from the hot sun. The change of habitat brought a rush of new birds for the trip and included Guinea Turaco, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike, African Paradise Flycatcher, African Blue Flycatcher, Red-winged Prinia, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Northern Yellow White-eye, African Thrush, White-crowned Robin-Chat, Familiar Chat, Orange-breasted Bushshrike, Western Violet-backed and Green-headed Sunbird and Heuglin’s Masked and Olive-naped Weavers. A shy Red-chested Goshawk was seen briefly by some several times and a Red-necked Buzzard floated low overhead. We stayed until after lunch at a small campement and afterwards we made our way slowly back watching intensely coloured Red-throated Bee-eaters, a Magpie Mannikin and a flock of confiding White-crested Helmetshrikes at the end of the day.

Our time in the Kedougou area was drawing to a close but one last early morning visit to some productive bush added a family of Sun Lark, a pair of beautiful Brown-rumped Buntings and Rufous Cisticola. 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. On the way we stopped to watch a donkey covered with blood thirsty Yellow-billed Oxpeckers and 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 a number of pairs of these beautifully marked birds. Several African Finfoot were seen both during our mini cruises and from terra firma as were small numbers of the localised Adamawa Turtle Dove. As was to be expected kingfishers were a feature of the waterways and as well as the commonplace Malachite and Pied Kingfishers we noted Grey-headed, Blue-breasted 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 whilst at night we saw a fantastic Northern White-faced Owl and the little African Scops Owl alongside leaping Northern Lesser Galagos.

Bush walks produced Fine-spotted Woodpecker, Grey-headed Bushshrike, Black-rumped and Lavender Waxbills and Black-faced Firefinch but perhaps the ultimate highlight of our stay was the discovery of a Pel’s Fishing Owl during the boat trip on the second morning. The boat is very small at Wassadou which means that while half of the group is enjoying the waters the other half is in the bush. The huge orange owl stood on a totally unobscured branch and stared back at us and although it eventually flew out it only moved to a slightly more secluded perch and remained in sight. The question now was how to get the remainder of the group to see it? Well thank goodness for mobile phones! A swift call from Nik to Carlos got his group running although he was so excited himself, he’d forgotten to tell them what they were running for! They followed regardless and scrambled through the bush on top of the steep river bank and slid down to the water’s edge where we swapped over places in the boat and the super cool boatman ferried them over to see the owl which had thankfully remained put. From the shore we could see that the air was being fist-punched with delight so we knew that everyone had scored massively and any breathlessness or scratches were forgotten in this totally exciting moment.

It was a long, fairly uneventful drive back to Kaolack 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 has hosted 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 squelched 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, white 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. We started our day with a pair of Greyish Eagle-Owls; an owl we had missed at the beginning of the trip and our seventh owl for the trip! The rest of the morning was spent searching for Yellow Penduline Tit (another West African specialty) which literally at the eleventh hour showed well.

Our first boat trip was timed for the afternoon when a falling tide would be in our favour for finding the elusive White-crested Tiger Heron; a species 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. It was a great relief when Nik spotted one in a good position perched low down on the mangrove roots. It flew across the river in front of our boat and perched deep in the shadows but 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 we went on to see no less than three more individuals! Surely something of a record!

The rest of our time in the region was spent exploring the surrounding bush country During our stay we also managed good views of African Golden Oriole, Variable and Western Violet-backed Sunbirds, Yellow-crowned Gonoleks were at their most obvious, Mosque and West African Swallows were seen and Quail-finches on the ground allowed close approach. An afternoon boat trip finally produced West African Crested Tern and we also visited a small island where large numbers of egrets and Reed Cormorants were coming into roost but no more tiger herons were found.

Our final morning allowed us to catch up with a few species that had up to now been a bit elusive and at last we managed to get everyone got onto the superb Oriole Warbler and Yellow-throated Leaflove and a nice male ‘white-spotted’ Bluethroat was a bonus. 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 charismatic Pel’s Fishing Owl 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 Modou and Issa, our tireless drivers who kept it all together!









Species marked with the diamond symbol (◊) are either endemic to the country or local region or considered ‘special’ birds for some other reason (e.g., it is only seen on one or two Birdquest tours; it is difficult to see across all or most of its range; the local form is endemic or restricted-range and may in future be treated as a full species).

The species names and taxonomy used in the bird list follows Gill, F., Donsker, D., & Rasmussen, P.(Eds). 2024. IOC World Bird List (v14.1) (this was the current version when the checklist for the tour report was created).



White-faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna viduata

Fulvous Whistling Duck Dendrocygna bicolor

Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis

Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca

African Pygmy Goose Nettapus auritus

Garganey Spatula querquedula

Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata

Northern Pintail Anas acuta

Marbled Duck ◊ Marmaronetta angustirostris

Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris

Stone Partridge ◊ Ptilopachus petrosus

Common Quail* Coturnix coturnix

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

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

Arabian Bustard ◊ Ardeotis arabs

Savile’s Bustard ◊ Lophotis savilei

Senegal Coucal Centropus senegalensis

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus

Four-banded Sandgrouse ◊ Pterocles quadricinctus

Rock Dove (Domestic/introduced) Columba livia

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 Green Pigeon Treron calvus

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

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

Sanderling Calidris alba

Dunlin Calidris alpina

Little Stint Calidris minuta

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago

Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus

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

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

Little Tern Sternula albifrons

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida

Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis

Black Stork Ciconia nigra

White Stork Ciconia ciconia

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

Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus

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

Yellow-billed Egret Ardea brachyrhyncha

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

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

Red-chested Goshawk Accipiter toussenelii

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 Icthyophaga vocifer

Grasshopper Buzzard ◊ Butastur rufipennis

Red-necked Buzzard Buteo auguralis

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 Ketupa lactea

Pel’s Fishing Owl ◊ Scotopelia peli

Blue-naped Mousebird Urocolius macrourus

Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops

Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa [epops] senegalensis

Green Wood Hoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus

Black Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus aterrimus

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

African Pygmy Kingfisher Ispidina picta

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

Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor

Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator

Fine-spotted Woodpecker ◊ Campethera punctuligera

Little Grey Woodpecker ◊ (Sahelian W) Dendropicos elachus

Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens

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

African Hobby Falco cuvierii

Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus

Peregrine Falcon ◊ (Barbary F) Falco [peregrinus] pelegrinoides

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

Orange-breasted Bushshrike (Sulphur-b B) Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus

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

African Golden Oriole Oriolus auratus

Fork-tailed Drongo (Glossy-backed D) Dicrurus [adsimilis] divaricatus

African Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis

Yellow-billed Shrike Lanius corvinus

Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator

Piapiac Ptilostomus afer

Pied Crow Corvus albus

African Blue Flycatcher Elminia longicauda

Sennar Penduline Tit ◊ Anthoscopus punctifrons

Yellow Penduline Tit ◊ Anthoscopus parvulus

Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix nigriceps

Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix leucotis

Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea

Singing Bush Lark Mirafra javanica

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

Western House Martin Delichon urbicum

Mosque Swallow Cecropis senegalensis

Preuss’s Cliff Swallow ◊ Petrochelidon preussi

West African Swallow ◊ Cecropis domicella

Northern Crombec Sylvietta brachyura

Western Bonelli’s Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita non-leader

Iberian Chiffchaff ◊ Phylloscopus ibericus

Greater Swamp Warbler Acrocephalus rufescens

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Common Reed Warbler Acrocephalus [scirpaceus] scirpaceus

Western Olivaceous Warbler Iduna opaca

Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta

Singing Cisticola Cisticola cantans

Winding Cisticola Cisticola marginatus

Dorst’s Cisticola ◊ Cisticola guinea

Rufous Cisticola ◊ Cisticola rufus

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

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

Neumann’s Starling ◊ Onychognathus neumanni

Yellow-billed Oxpecker Buphagus africanus

African Thrush Turdus pelios

Black Scrub Robin Cercotrichas podobe

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

Pale Flycatcher Agricola pallidus

Grey Tit-Flycatcher (Lead-coloured F) Fraseria plumbea

Northern Black Flycatcher Melaenornis edolioides

Swamp Flycatcher Muscicapa aquatica

White-crowned Robin-Chat ◊ Cossypha albicapillus

Bluethroat Luscinia svecica

European Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca

Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius

African Stonechat Saxicola torquatus

Anteater Chat (Northern A C) Myrmecocichla aethiops

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe

Atlas Wheatear ◊ (Seebohm’s W) Oenanthe seebohmi

Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina

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

Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser superciliosus

Speckle-fronted Weaver Sporopipes frontalis

Little Weaver Ploceus luteolus

Olive-naped Weaver ◊ Ploceus brachypterus

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

Yellow-mantled Widowbird Euplectes macroura

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

Red-winged Pytilia ◊ Pytilia phoenicoptera

Red-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta senegala

Mali Firefinch ◊ (Kulikoro F) Lagonosticta virata

Black-faced Firefinch ◊ Lagonosticta [larvata] vinacea

Village Indigobird Vidua chalybeata

Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura non-leader

Sahel Paradise Whydah ◊ Vidua orientalis

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 (Pied Wagtail) Motacilla [alba] yarrellii

White Wagtail Motacilla [alba] alba

African Pied Wagtail Motacilla aguimp

Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis

Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus

White-rumped Seedeater ◊ Crithagra leucopygia

Yellow-fronted Canary Crithagra mozambica

Gosling’s Bunting ◊ Emberiza goslingi

Brown-rumped Bunting ◊ Emberiza affinis



Marsh Mongoose Atilax paludinosus

White-tailed Mongoose Ichneumia albicauda

Banded Mongoose Mungos mungo

African Golden Wolf Canis lupaster

Pale Fox (Sand Fox) Vulpes pallida

Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus

Red-flanked Duiker Cephalophus rufilatus

Northern Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus

Common Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius

Yellow-winged False-vampire Lavia frons

African Straw-colored Fruit Bat Eidolon helvum

Gambian Epauletted Fruit Bat Epomophorus gambianus

Northern Lesser Galago (Lesser Bushbaby) Galago senegalensis

Green Monkey (Callithrix M) Chlorocebus sabaeus

Common Patas Monkey Erythrocebus patas

Guinea Baboon Papio papio

Upper Guinea Red Colobus Piliocolobus badius

African Savanna Hare Lepus victoriae

Gambian Sun Squirrel Heliosciurus gambianus

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

Northern Giant Pouched Rat Cricetomys gambianus