Friday, 11 November 2016

Ghana Day 3

We birded the Antikwa section of Kakum NP first thing this morning. Once again (as everyday is) it was very hot and humid, but there were more clouds and mist than on previous days but the rain kept off until we were back at the hotel for lunch. So we began with an adult African Hawk-Eagle before Paul called in a skulky Puvell’s Illadopsis in a roadside thicket. Not everyone saw it well but it gave brief views to most of us. Then we crossed the road and walked to a small swampy area underneath the bushes and called in a White-spotted Flufftail. This showed reasonably well as it walked under the tangle of vines and creepers hanging over the water. A Grey-headed Bristlebill was also at the same spot but wasn’t very obliging, although the Blue-billed Malimbe Ron spotted posed nicely. As we walked back to the road a Lowland Sooty Boubou began calling and this too skulked in the densest section of some bushes but despite this we managed to see it sufficiently well to tick it! Then we drove a little further before walking a short distance during which we found a pair of Green Crombecs displaying and feeding in an area of low bushes close to the track, as well as Diederik Cuckoo, Olive-bellied Sunbird, Viellot’s Black Weaver, Black-necked Weaver and a flyover Red-chested Goshawk. Another short drive took us further into this farmbush habitat but this area also had some much taller trees. Around a fruiting tree were numerous Bristle-nosed and a few Naked-faced Barbets, plus a couple of showy Swamp Palm Bulbuls. However a soaring Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle showed wonderfully well right over our heads and was on view for several minutes so we could study its plumage in full. 

Cassin's Hawk-Eagle

There was also a few Orange-cheeked Waxbills feeding with a flock of Black-and-white Mannikins beside the track, a Red-vented Malimbe at the top of a tree and another pair of Blue-billed Malimbe’s. We then walked back to the coach and set off towards the Pra River, stopping along the way to have a look at a large colony of Preuss’s Cliff Swallows. These pretty little birds were nesting underneath a road culvert and gave point-blank views as they flew in and out. Down at the river I was rather relieved to find a few White-bibbed Swallows feeding over the water, as they hadn’t been seen here recently due to the high water levels. A couple of pairs of Rock Pratincoles were also here, a Cassin’s Spinetail flew over and a Mangrove Sunbird was also here.

In the afternoon we went to another section of open forest and this turned out to be a rather productive session. We found Blue-headed Coucal, Simple Leaflove, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Brown-crowned Tchagra and Red-bellied Paradise-Flycatcher. We then saw a Black Sparrowhawk flying over, quickly followed by a Guinea (Green) Turaco. Another abortive owling session followed and we were happy to return to the hotel for some nice cold Star beers and another decent dinner.

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