Friday, 2 October 2015

Ankasa - Brenu Beach

Must be getting acclimatised as last night felt a little cooler and had a really good sleep, but woken by the raucous calls of the fabled Nkulengu Rail from the forest behind the camp. Driving along the jeep track after breakfast we had nice looks at a Blue-headed Wood Dove walking in front of us, before reaching our drop-off point deep within the forest. We were on the lookout for flocks and we did encounter a few during our morning’s walk. At an open area we had a Black-throated Coucal, a cracking Western Nicator and the extremely localised Yellow-bearded Greenbul, with a pair of hulking Great Blue Turacos flying over. I was also pleased to get better looks at a flock of Red-vented Malimbe as my views from Kakum weren’t that good. So we meandered along a series of trails and I managed to find a lovely little Buff-throated Sunbird in a mixed flock coming in to the owlet call, and I enjoyed some nice views of an assortment of previously seen species such as Icterine and Swamp Palm Bulbul, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Western Olive Sunbird etc etc. We also heard Congo Serpent-Eagle, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill and had a fleeting glimpse of a Black-capped Illadopsis, oh and a Dusky Crested Flycatcher and Buff-spotted Woodpecker were new trip birds. And just as we were walking back to the pick-up point I managed to get the mega Red-fronted Antpecker to end my time in the fabulous Ankasa forest on a huge high!

So after a quick shower and then lunch, we loaded our gear back into the minbus and set off to Brenu Beach. Glorious air-con felt sooo good, but I have to say that Ankasa is a great birding destination and there’s just so much to see I only felt like I had just scratched the surface. Anyway, driving along a small roadside marsh held my first Orange Weaver before reaching Brenu Beach Road. This open habitat was a complete contrast to the dense forests I’ve been birding these past couple of days and we quickly added a few padders to the list such as Purple Heron, Senegal Coucal, Black-shouldered Kite, Grey Kestrel, Northern Fiscal, Bar-breasted Firefinch and Black-rumped Waxbill. We searched for Marsh Tchagra but didn’t get a response despite staying on site until quite late but eventually had to concede defeat and drive on to our last stop of the day. 

Long-tailed Nightjar

Along a dirt track a Long-tailed Nightjar showed well down to a few metres, and with potential other goodies here such as Plain and Black-shouldered Nightjars also possible I look forward to returning here on tour next year. From here it wasn’t too long before we pulled in to the Rainforest Lodge near Kakum and a welcoming hot shower – wonderful.

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