Monday, 5 October 2015

Bobiri Forest

My last morning’s birding was at nearby Bobiri Forest and as soon as I stepped out of the minibus a Blue Cuckooshrike was calling and we had good scope views as it sat calling from a tall tree. The surrounding area was very active and we also had great looks at the superb Buff-throated Sunbird, which is a really rubbish name for such a stunning bird. Also seen here was a pair of Little Green Woodpeckers, a flock of Red-billed Helmet-Shrikes, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Yellow-mantled Weaver, Slender-billed Greenbul and a pair of Tit Hylias. Working our way slowly along the forest track I think the low cloud, mist and drizzle was literally dampening down bird activity as we saw not a lot else for quite a while until entering a clearing where we had the first Green Sunbird of the trip, along with a Hairy-breasted Barbet and Grey-headed Negrita. So we decided to retrace our steps and along the way a burst of activity produced Sharpe’s Apalis, West African Wattle-eye, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, and best of all a pair of African Piculets. And that was a fitting end to an all too brief six and a half days birding of Ghana’s forests that had given me 88 lifers amongst 233 species seen but above all that some much needed and valuable experience. 

To sum up, I think Ghana is a fantastic birding destination with many potential lifers even if you've visited The Gambia and Kenya before. My visit to Kakum canopy walkway was awesome, the Yellow-headed Picathartes experience was also awesome and the potential of Ankasa Forest was mind-blowing! Yes it's hot and humid, but the accommodation and food were both much better than I expected and I didn't get crowds of kids following me around when out birding like in The Gambia. Overall, the birding is excellent, of course there are some tough skulking species, and it would be difficult for an individual to see 100% of the species seen on a bird tour. But you'd see most of them with a little effort. 

So what's to come back for? Well how about Capuchin Babbler, Congo Serpent-Eagle, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike, Egyptian Plover, Forbes's Plover, Pel's Fishing Owl, Nkulengu Rail, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Akun Eagle Owl, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Rosy Bee-eater, Blue-Moustached Bee-eater, Yellow-footed Honeyguide, Black-Casqued Hornbill, Many-coloured Bush-Shrike, Green-tailed Bristlebill and so much more. I can't wait...!

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