PART 2 I had not intended to wait a year as per Ian’s comment for Part 2, but somehow here we are a year on!! We stayed for four days at Bird safari Camp in our en-suite tent along with a number of other travellers wanting to escape the Christmas hype and do some birding instead.  The camp was everything that we had hoped for with wonderful friendly staff, fantastic food all overseen by the boss lady Binta. Mornings were spent on early walks at 7am with our guide Lamin who was expertly knowledgeable on all of the birds by sight and sound.  A number of good species were viewed including Pearl Spotted Owlet, Verreaux's Eagle Owl, Shikra, Grey Kestrel, Lizzard Buzzard, Yellow Crowned Gonolek and Grey Backed Camaroptera.  From the Bird Safari Camp we made a couple of outings by boat and by road.  One of these outings was an afternoon boat trip on the Gambia River where we had some superb views of numerous kingfishers including Grey Headed Kingfisher, Malechite Kingfisher and Blue Breasted Kingfisher.  Views of Chimpanzee and Baboon on some of the islands in the river were also had along with some glimpses of Hippo – thankfully not too close as our boat was not particularly big! Another afternoon trip was to Bansang Quarry where a colony of Red Throated Bee-Eaters nested.  In addition to the bee-eaters we had some good views of Pygmy Sunbirds, White Backed Vulture, Vielliot’s Barbet and Cutthroat Finch – a great we bird with a scarlet throat as the name indicates. After our four days at bird safari camp we headed back down river on Christmas day via the Wasu stone circles; a quick stop at some wetland ponds by the roadside allowed us some good views of Egyptian Plover, one of the birds that I had particularly wanted to see on the trip.  We arrived at our lodgings for the night at Tendaba camp where we were given our Christmas dinner – I opted for the wild boar rather than turkey! The next morning we had an early start with a canoe trip into the mangroves of the Baobolong Wetland Reserve, which is Gambia’s largest protected area and an important RAMSAR site.  Slipping quietly through the mangrove channels afforded some fantastic close views of some great birds including Pink Backed Pelican, African Darter, African Finfoot and White Backed Night Heron; the latter two which our guide told us we were lucky to see as they were generally elusive. After Tendaba we headed back the coast where we stayed for two nights at Footsteps Eco Lodge (http://footstepsinthegambia.com).  These last two days were spent relaxing and a couple of birding walks which added a few more new species including Red Necked Falcon, Orange Cheeked Waxbill and Sulphur Breasted Wood Shrike.

2 Responses to “Christmas Birding in the Gambia (2)”

  1. March 19, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Great report , I really enjoyed reading it, just one thing, since the report was written the website for Footsteps Eco Lodge has changed, its new URL is http://footstepsinthegambia.com

  2. August 18, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Hello materialsman, just another reminder that since youpublished this , our website address has changed and is now http://footstepsinthegambia.com.
    Please amend. Thanks David..

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