Birding Trip report from the Gambia
10th to 24th January  2011

Author: Conor Foley
Photos by Philip Clancy and Vincent Hall


10th January:  Senegambia Hotel, Western Division

A half day on arrival in the Gambia. 1st bird seen was Yellow Billed Kite. A few hours were spent in the grounds of the Senegambia Hotel.  Species of interest seen here included:

Cattle Egret
Palm Nut Vulture
Hooded Vulture
Black and Yellow Billed Kite
Shikra, Wattled Plover
Laughing Dove
Speckled Pigeon
Red Eyed Dove
African Mourning Dove
Vinaceous Dove
Senegal Coucal
African Palm Swift
Blue-breasted Kingfisher
Broad Billed Roller
Rose Ringed Parakeet
Senegal Parrot
Western Grey Plantain Eater
Yellow Fronted Tinkerbird
Red Billed Hornbill
African Grey Hornbill
Grey Woodpecker
Wire Tailed Swallow
African Golden Oriole
Common Bulbul
Blackcap Babbler
White Crowned robin Chat
African Thrush
Northern Black Flycatcher
Red Bellied Paradise Flycatcher
Beautiful Sunbird
Yellow Crowned Gonolek
Yellow Billed Shrike
Pied Crow
Lesser Blue Eared Glossy Starling
Purple Glossy Starling
Long Tailed Glossy Starling
Grey Headed Sparrow
Village Weaver
Black Necked Weaver
Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu
Red Billed Firefinch
Bronze Mannikin 

Shikra (Photo by Vincent Hall)

Senegal Coucal (Photo by Philip Clancy)

Blue-breasted Kingfisher (Photo by Philip Clancy)

Red-billed Hornbill (Photo by Vincent Hall)

Beautiful Sunbird (Photo by Philip Clancy)

11th January: Koto Bridge and Surrounding Area

A full day around the Koto Bridge and Kiolo areas. Species of interest seen along the bridge walks, sewage farm and wetland area were:

Long Tailed Cormorant
Squacco Heron
Black Egret
Western Reef Egret
Great White Egret
Black Headed Heron
White Faced Whistling Duck
Sacred Ibis
Lizard Buzzard
Lanner Falcon
Red Necked Falcon
Grey Kestrel
Double Spurred Francolin
Black Crake
Greater Painted Snipe
African Jacana
Senegal Thickknee
Black Headed Plover
Spur Winged Plover
Green Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Blackwinged Stilt
Grey Headed Gull
Caspian Tern
White Faced Scops Owl
Little Swift
Green Wood Hoopoe
Grey Headed Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher
Malachite Kingfisher
Blue Bellied Roller
Rufous Crowned Roller
Abyssinian Roller
Blue Cheeked Bee-Eater
Little Bee-Eater
Greater Honey Guide
Fork Tailed Drongo
Western Olivaceous Warbler
Tawny Flanked Prinia
Northern Crombec
Variable Sunbird
Splendid Sunbird
Northern Puffback
White Billed Buffalo Weaver
Village Indigo Bird
Purple Gallinule
Allen's Gallinule

Hamerkop (Photo by Philip Clancy)

Red Necked Falcon (Photo by Philip Clancy)

Pied Kingfisher (Photo by Philip Clancy)

Grey-headed Kingfisher (Photo by Philip Clancy)

Malachite Kingfisher (Photo by Philip Clancy)

White-faced Scops Owl (Photo by Vincent Hall)

12th January: Abuko National Park and The Bund Road

A full day between Abuko and the Bund Road coastal strip. Species seen from both sites were:

Pink Backed Pelican
African Darter
Black Crowned Night Heron
Striated Heron
Purple Heron
African Harrier Hawk
Curlew Sandpiper
Audoin's Gull
Slender Billed Gull
Lesser Crested Tern
Gull Billed Tern
Black Billed Wood Dove
Namaqua Dove
Giant Kingfisher
Swallow Tailed Bee-Eater
Violet Turaco
Green Turaco
Bearded Barbet
Pied Winged Swallow
Red Chested Swallow
Little Greenbul
Snowy Crowned Robin Chat
Yellow Breasted Apalis
Common Wattle Eye
African Paradise Flycatcher
Collared Sunbird
Lavender Waxbill
Pin Tailed Whydah
Western Bluebill

Black Crowned Night Heron (Photo by Vincent Hall)

Giant Kingfisher (Photo by Philip Clancy)

Bearded Barbet (Photo by Vincent Hall)

13th January: Mandinaba, Pirang and Faraba Banta Bush Track

A full day spent between these 3 sites and a quick stop at Farrasuto Forest. Species seen were:

White Backed Night Heron
Yellow Billed Stork
African Spoonbill
European Spoonbill
Black Crowned Crane
Tawny Eagle
Wahlberg's Eagle
Long Crested Eagle
Beaudoin's Short Toed Eagle
Grasshopper Buzzard
Black Shouldered Kite
Western Marsh Harrier
Dark Chanting Goshawk
Marsh Sandpiper
Little Stint
Bruce's Green Pigeon
African Green Pigeon
Pallid Swift
Striped Kingfisher
African Pied Hornbill
Fine Spotted Woodpecker
Crested Lark
Red Rumped Swallow
Green Backed Eremomela
Grey Backed Camaroptera
Yellow White Eye
Scarlet Chested Sunbird
White Crested Helmet Shrike
Woodchat Shrike
Greater Blue Eared Glossy Starling
Yellow Fronted Canary
Northern Red Bishop
Quail Finch
Greater Flamingo

Striped Kingfisher (Photo by Philip Clancy)

Fine Spotted Woodpecker (Photo by Vincent Hall)

Black Kite (Photo by Vincent Hall)

14th January: Tujering Woods and Bush Land, Tanji Beach reserve, Bijilo Forest Park

A full day between these 3 sites. Species seen were:

Stone Partridge
Kelp Gull
Royal Tern
Blue Spotted Wood Dove
Diederik Cuckoo
Pearl Spotted Owlet
White Throated Bee-Eater
Vieillot's Barbet
Tree Pipit
Oriole Warbler
Melodious Warbler
Singing Cisticola
Whistling Cisticola
Red-Winged Warbler
Tawny Flanked Prinia
White Shouldered Black Tit
Black Crowned Tchagra
Bru Bru
White Fronted Black Chat
Vitelline Masked Weaver

Red-Winged Warbler (Photo by Philip Clancy)


15th January: Brufut Forest Park and farmland

A morning spent at this location. Species seen here were:

Long Tailed Nightjar
Woodland Kingfisher
African Pygmy Kingfisher
Brown Backed Woodpecker
Pied Winged Swallow
Senegal Batis
Pin Tailed Whydah
Green Headed Sunbird
Chestnut Crowned Sparrow Weaver

Woodland Kingfisher (Photo by Philip Clancy)

African Pygmy Kingfisher (Photo by Philip Clancy)

16th January: No Birding

17th January: North Bank Division - Heading inland

A day of travelling and birding along the north shore of the Gambia River. Species seen whilst travelling inland were:

Marabou Stork
Knob Billed Duck
African Pygmy Goose
White Backed Vulture
Brown Snake Eagle
Gabar Goshawk
Arctic Skua
Northern Carmine Bee-Eater
European Bee-Eater
Red Throated Bee-Eater
Little Green Bee-Eater
Abysinian Ground Hornbill
Chestnut Backed Sparrow Lark
Northern Ant Eater Chat
Western Subalpine Warbler
Zitting Cisticola
Pygmy Sunbird
Yellow Billed Oxpecker
Black Rumped Waxbill
Exclamatory Paradise Whydah
Cutthroat Finch
Red Billed Quelea
African Silverbill

Unfortunately didn't connect with Egyptian Plover

18th January: Kiang West National Park, Lower River Division

A full day around Kiang West and Tendaba. Birds seen in this area were:

Intermediate Egret
Montagu's Harrier
Gabar Goshawk
Four Banded Sandgrouse
Temminck's Courser
Collared Pratincole
Spotted Thickknee
Little Ringed Plover
Yellow Penduline Tit
Bru Bru
White Rumped Seed-Eater
Bush Petronia
A number of female and one male Standard Winged Nightjars with standards

Nightjar (Photo by Vincent Hall)

19th January: Tendaba and Faraba Banta Bush Track

A morning boat trip through the mangroves at Kissi Bolong and Tunko Creeks. Species seen were:

Goliath Heron
Wooly Necked Stork
Spur Winged Goose
Ruppel's Vulture
Martial Eagle
Temmincks Courser
Mottled Spinetail
Mosque Swallow
Western Bonelli's Warbler
African Blue Flycatcher
Mouse Brown Sunbird
Black Bellied Bustard
Greyish eagle Owl roosting at Faraba Banta.
No luck with African Finfoot

20th January: Brufut Forest and Bijol Island

A morning at Brufut and afternoon at Bijol Island. Species seen were:

Great White Pelican
White Fronted Plover
Pomarine Skua
Yellow Legged Gull
Klaas's Cuckoo
Diederik Cuckoo
Cardinal Woodpecker
Greater Honey Guide
Fanti Sawwing
Yellow Throated Leaflove
Little Greenbul
Western Violet Backed Sunbird

21st January: Brufut Forest and Marrakissa

A quick stop at Brufut where we saw two Verreaux's Eagle Owls.
At marrakissa species seen were:

Intermediate Egret
African Hawk Eagle
African Pygmy Kingfisher
Mosque Swallow
Yellow Crowned Bishop
Little Weaver
Orange Cheeked Waxbill
Yellow Bellied Hyliota

22nd January: Farasuto and Bonto Forests and Abuko Forest Park

A half day at Farasuto and Bonto and an evening in Abuko. Species seen were:

Ahanta Francolin
Little Greenbul
Western Bluebill
Buff Spotted Woodpecker
Simple Leaflove
Grey Headed Bristlebill
Yellow Breasted Apalis
Green Hylia
Pygmy Sunbird
Sulphur Breasted Bush Shrike
Green Crombec

23rd January: Bonto Forest

A morning here: No new species added but seen were:

Northern Black Flycatcher
Common Wattle Eye
Lanner Falcon
Black Rumped Waxbill

A highly enjoyable trip with a total number of species numbering 297 between all observers and most observers getting between 120 - 210 new species.

Also a number of interesting mammals and reptiles were seen:

Red Colobus Monkey
Green Vervot Monkey
Toad Species
2 species of bat
Moniter Lizard
Cobra species,
Sun Squirrel
Marsh Mongoose
Patas Monkey
Common Baboon
Dwarf Crocodile
Ground Squirrel





Copyright, Tolka Branch, Birdwatch Ireland 2006