Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Ghana Day 9: Bobiri Forest

Just a short 45 minute drive from our hotel in Kumasi was Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary, an excellent patch of lowland forest. We walked along the wide track through excellent habitat notching up our first Forest Chestnut-winged Starlings. Then we took quite  a while but eventually tracked down a calling Red Dwarf-Hornbill that had been so good at eluding us, but we got it. As soon as we had scored this cracker, a Red-chested Owlet called from behind us and there it was, perched in the open underneath the canopy of a low tangle of leaves and vines. What a delightful little bird and we were able to watch it at leisure. 

Red-chested Owlet

Walking further along the track and at long last, the much-wanted Long-tailed Hawk flew across in front of us, before circling us a few times. It only gave flight views but what an exquisite bird with an extraordinarily long tail as its name suggests! We also had Cameroon Sombre Greenbul, African Cuckoo-Hawk and White-crested Hornbill. We also came across a few mixed feeding flocks, with old friends such as Sabine’s Puffback, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Yellow-mantled and Preuss’s Weavers, Western Black-hooded Oriole etc. We also tried calling in Brown Illadopsis without luck, and also only heard Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Magpie Mannikin and Afep Pigeon. Diving out of the forest a Blue-billed Firefinch, Pin-tailed Whydah, Bronze Mannikin and Wilson’s Indigobird were seen.

After lunch we returned to the forest in the late afternoon and turned up a few corkers. We saw a couple of Brown-necked Parrots flying low over the canopy and a fine African Grey Parrot flying past us as well. Then, as we were walking along the track at about 5pm a large bird walked across in front of us in a shady section under some bamboo – Nkulengu Rail..!!! I think it was true to say everyone was stunned, when we realised what we had just seen. A mega tick! And then at dusk we spotlighted a surprisingly small Brown Nightjar flying through the trees and over our heads to round off a quality afternoon session.

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