Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Ghana: Antekwa to Ankasa

This morning we headed to an area of forest called Antekwa, which consisted of farmbush interspersed with tall trees. A Red-chested Goshawk greeted our arrival and allowed us decent scope views before flying off. We then spent some time trying to call in a White-spotted Flufftail and Puvel’s Illadopsis, both of which just called back but some compensation came in the shape of a lovely little Red-cheeked Wattle-Eye – such as exquisite bird. We then drove on a little further and spent the remainder of the morning birding in an area of taller trees, but not before securing stunning views of a much more co-operative White-spotted Flufftail that hung around in its damp little corned for a full ten minutes but usually obscured by vines and branches.

White-spotted Flufftail

Continuing on a flock of Viellot’s Black Weavers perched up in the top of a tree, an Ashy Flycatcher was scoped, and a Black-throated Coucal gave the briefest of views. I really liked the lively Yellow-browed Cameroptera that fed beside the track giving its very distinctive call. We tried several times for Congo Serpent-Eagle without any joy, but had nice looks at Velvet-mantled Drongo, Red-rumped Tinkerbird and a pair of Hairy-breasted Barbets. And that was our lot this morning, with the drive back to the lodge enlivened by a pair of African Dwarf Kingfishers perched right out in the open on telegraph wires – never seen that before!

African Pygmy Kingfisher

Following lunch we set out on the 4 hour drive to Ankasa, stopping along Cape Coast to scope a few Hartlaub’s Duck in a roadside lagoon. The same area also had Brown Sunbird, Malachite Kingfisher, African Jacana and a stunning male Reichenbach’s Sunbird at point blank range. 

Reichenbach's Sunbird

Brown or Mangrove Sunbird

Hartlaub's Duck 

We reached Ankasa around 5pm and dropped our gear off at the campsite before driving for what felt like ages deeper into the forest to the first of a series of secluded pools. It was really quiet and apart from another Hartlaub’s Duck and a fast-moving flock of Red-billed Helmet-Shrikes we didn’t see anything else. Attempts at calling in Akun Eagle Owl only resulted in an African Wood Owl calling back, so we returned to the camp for dinner and a cool shower.

So 59 lifers in 3 days isn’t bad considering I’ve birding extensively in Gambia, as well as other places such as Ethiopia, Namibia and Kenya, which just goes to show what a top destination Ghana really is. And during the night an Akun Eagle Owl was calling from the surrounding forest.

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