10th January 2020
Hadada Ibis at Badala Park Pools, Kuto Bridge
We had to be out of our room at 11.00 so we made the most of the morning. ‘Birders Breakfast’ and then out to search for Painted Snipe that’s a ten minutes walk away up road along the Casino cycle track from Kuto Bridge. However, it was hard work just finding water but when we did we got our first Hadada Ibis of the trip at Badala Park Pool, just a short walk east of the track . No sign of any of the snipe in the partially flooded rice fields and instead there was a Purple Heron trying to cool itself off from the now, intense heat.A pair Blue-fronted Roller were displaying nearby . We will have to try for the snipe elsewhere while were in The Gambia as we had to move on.
The Casino cycle track looking north and south
This Purple Heron trying to cool off
Up to 2 Giant Kingfisher were on wires above Kotu Bridge
Pied Kingfisher shared the same wires
This man climbed the palm with ease to collect the juices out from the tree while 100s of Black and Yellow-billed Kite swirled around him from being fed by the bird guides below.
Black and Yellow-billed Kite taking on a Hooded Vulture
We arrived at the village of Mamuda mid-afternoon, thanks to the main man, Mustaffo, who taxied us to the site where we will be working with a local family. If those who visit Gambia and you don’t know where Mamuda is, it’s a small village thirty minutes walk NW of the town Banjanjelly. What we discovered was that it was two step brothers, 15 and 16 years old and a brother, 27 and an uncle who was 26. They told us that their mother had passed away not long ago and one of the fathers was in Seniagal and the other was in the UK. They seemed like a good bunch of lads and their friends came out to welcome us as well. We slept the afternoon away and then went out to look what our surroundings were like for birding. It was mostly dirt ground for miles from slash and burn to make way for building or platations of Cashew Trees. There were pockets of more mature Cashew Trees and here we found most bird species that we had already seen including African Paradise Flycatcher . The only new additions were Senegal Eremomela and just before dark, a small flock of Mottled Spinetail came in and joined the already present Palm Swifts with a Lanner Falcon going to roost. Were looking forward to start working with the guys in two days time where we will be doin construction work, building houses so we believe.
Some 20 Mottled Swift came in just before dark
Kids playing foootball in the next village from Mamuda