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Gambia Kartong Bird Observatory Day 23

January 26th 2020

I managed to spend two hours with 5 Northern Carmine Bee-eater at Kartong

I thought i would head south to the Senegal border to Kartong bird observatory and hopefully see the Northern Carmine Bee-eaters that Chris Lamsdale was telling me about two days ago. From Sanyang to Carjung, where I changed Bus taxi, to Kartong, it took nearly 30 minutes to get to the village and only 24 dalasi (15p) By accident I came across the ringing group who were busy ringing weavers. Chris Collins, who lives on site, introduced me to how it all works. Then I spotted Roger, who visits Scilly and was lucky to see a Long-tailed Nightjar and Western Olivacious Warbler in the hand. Roger drove me the mile down road with a guide leading two other birders and put me in the direction of the bee-eaters.

The guide said the Carmine Bee-eaters won’t be up for another hour. It was now 09.00, It’s already in it’s mid-30’s, why wouldn’t they be up? After an hour of searching all there was were some 30 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. I moved into the acacias further inland, east of where the bee-eaters are meant to be and here the only birds of note included Western Orphean, Western Bonell’s, Reed and Sedge Warbler, Senehgal Batis, Great-spotted Cuckoo and 3 african Harrier Hawk. The cuckoo performed superbly at close range and was like a new species to me as the only other one that I’ve seen was a fly through while in Palestine. After seeing the White-fronted Plover with Kentish Plover on the beach nearby, I returned to where the bee-eaters were hanging out and there with them were the Northern Carmine Bee-eater. Where had they been? I spent a good 30 minutes in the area where the Blue-cheeks were hawking only twenty minutes ago and I know for a fact that the bird guide from earlier didn’t see them. He was right, they’re late risers. Two hours went fast while I sat in shade observing all the bee-eaters feeding.

The only other Great-spotted Cuckoo that ever seen was a fly through while in Palestine

Senegal batis

There were up to 6 White-fronted Plover on the beach

With this single Kentish Plover and 6 Ringed Plover

The area where the plovers were hanging out with a cow

Looking over towards Senegal

Then I found the Northern Carmine Bee-eater hanging out with Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters

Stunning birds bee-eaters! If only the sun was out like it is every day.

Returning along the track back to the village, 2 African Spoonbill flew over with a flock of White-faced Whistling Duck, 2 Senegal Thicknee were on the deck and there were 3 Red-billed Oxpecker on the backs of two donkeys. I decided to leave at 14.00 as I needed to get to Tanji to use the Wifi. No Wifi, so I ended up at Turntable and here it was only working for ten minutes as the electric went off. This is something you have to expect in all parts of Gambia. Try again tomorrow.

Namaqua Dove

Abyssinian Roller

Zitting Cisticola

These 2 Senegal Thicknee showed well next to one of the pools


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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