Monday, 5 December 2016

Ghana Day 17: Atewa Forest and Ridge

This was the day of the big hike up to Atewa ridge, a walk of around 3 miles uphill. This turned out to be one of our best day’s birding of the entire tour as the forest, especially once we reached the ridge at around 740m, as we found quite a few new birds as well as some special species we’d seen earlier in the tour. It was a relatively gentle uphill walk and we began with Cameroon Sombre Greenbul before reaching the ‘quarter way’ point where rather surprisingly we found a pair of Blue-moustached Bee-eaters this low down the hill. And what a superb bird, showing amazingly close to begin with before relocating into the higher tree above us. 

Blue-moustached Bee-eater

We then struggled to see Black-capped and Brown Illadopsis, with only Chris seeing the former species and nobody getting on the latter. A White-tailed Ant-Thrush showed briefly before we reached the top, where a superb Little Grey Flycatcher posed along the track. 

Little Grey Flycatcher

The forest was very good up here with some huge trees and dense lower understorey where Golden-backed Weavers, Rufous-crowned Eremomela were present and we all saw a Pale-breasted Illadopsis quite well. A Crowned Eagle flew over but we only heard a Many-coloured Bush-Shrike and Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo. At lunch Ron found a flock with Little Green Woodpecker and Narina Trogon, although the rest of us searched we couldn’t relocate the same flock. However we did find a couple other flocks with Little Green Woodpecker, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike and Rufous Flycatcher Thrush being the best birds. Walking back took several hours but along the way we had nice looks at Olive Long-tailed CuckooSharpe’s Apalis, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Black-capped Apalis and a West African (formerly Bioko) Batis

Black-shouldered Nightjar

Upon reaching the coach we only had a short wait until dusk, when we spotlighted a superb Black-shouldered Nightjar that perched on a stump right next to the track. What a great way to end a fantastic day.

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