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Gambia Brufut Forest Day 19

22nd January 2020

Up to 5 African Green Pigeon showed well just minutes from where we are staying at Mamuda

Late this morning we made a slow walk south to Sanyang where we were getting a shared bush taxi to Brufut Village. We had only walked less then five minutes from our digs when Graham spotted 5 African Green Pigeon in, where else, but our Favored crossroads, where we seem to see most of our more interesting species than any other area close to where were living. Yesterday, a quick look here produced a pair of Common Wattle-eye, a male Redstart, cardinal woodpecker, Western Olivacious Warbler, African Paradise Flycatcher, 2 Red-necked Falcon and briefly, a Greater Honeyguide. After observing the pigeons for a good fifteen minutes, we moved on and saw the usual suspects, Woodchat Shrike, Abyssinion and Blue-fronted Rollar, Namqua Dove and another Common Wattle-eye.

5 African Green Pigeon only a few minutes from our digs in the dull weather. We even had spits of rain last night..

This Namaqua Dove was busy collecting nest material

Male Common wattle-eye

Digging out a well near Mamuda

This the one of the village shops just a stones throw away from where we live. It mainly sells, mayonnaise, butter, palm oil, onions and big bags of rice from America. And this is what is sold in all the shops in the area and further afield.

We’ve got a pair of Yellow-fronted Canary that regularly visit the garden

Tawny-flanked Prinia

Black-crowned Tchagra

The twenty minute drive to Brufut was only 14p each and as always, it was choc-a-bloc inside but fortunately for a change, Graham and I were both in the front. I thought the driver asked me to hold his foot long tuna bap while he was driving when really he was offering to share it with me instead. I snapped it in half but when I leveled the two halves side by side, one was a fraction over than the other. No problem, I bit off a mouth full, measured them again and bingo! Then I gave him the smallest piece.

We reached Brufut and quickly found some cheap apartments (Afroco Apartments) for £10 a night. Pretty good for the pair of us at that price included fridge, cooker, TV and it was very clean. Later I was told by a guy, whose been in Gambia for over a year, that he’s discovered that ‘Afroco’ is the best price to stay for what you get. We dropped our stuff off in the room and after getting lost, we finally found the sign ‘Brufut Reserve’ after walking through the center of house hold waste that has just been dumped there by the local villagers. However, we couldn’t find the entrance, the bar, the drinking pools, that are all mentioned in the Goosney book. We couldn’t even find the forest!! We followed a dusty track from the tip and immediately saw a single African Green Pigeon, African Paradise Flycatcher, 4 Little Bee-eater and 2 Northern Black Flycatcher. Good start but where was the forest? It just didn’t feel right with buildings on the other side of the track and the trees and cover had been cleared to a large scale. We continued until we found some paths leading in a wooded area where villagers were coming out with stacked wood balanced high on their heads. The path was parallel with the dusty track and when we came across a tiny hut with benches facing, what looked like a car park, we decided to return to the track as we didn’t see anythin of note. We had a break where the trees ended and it was more scrubby and here we saw 2 Scimtarbill, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Palm-nut Vulture and a Four-banded Sandgrouse zoomed past. Not bad in ten minutes but where is the forest?

I’ve noticed that cows, sheep, donkey’s and goats eat the rubbish that’s thrown in the street including paper, plastic and polythene. On my first day, I was trying to pull away a bin bag from a cow that had already swallowed half of it!

There were 2 Northern Black Flycatcher in the built up area

This very friendly struggling family wanted me to take a photo of them

While just across the road, these two came out looking much better off and coming out from a fancy house and also asked for a photo to be taken

In the garden of the Afroco apartments where we were staying, this Beautiful Sunbird was displaying in the dull light.

Author: Kris Webb 10

I love to throw sticks at trees! I also can’t get enough of music! I also blog about my observations on Scilly and wherever I go around the world and what’s sometimes on my mind. I’ve visited over 30 countries and some more times than once. I’ve worked and volunteered in Nepal, USA, Peru, Gambia, Costa Rica, 3x Australia, and refugee camps in Palestine The profile image is one I took while in Palestine of a brave Israeli holding high the Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli Offensive Forces during protests in Belin

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