Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Ghana Day 19: Shai Hills

For our final morning’s birding we visited the Shai Hills, a drive of around an hour from the hotel. Of course, breakfast was at the usual time of 5am – as it has been every morning, apart from one we had at 5.30am!. This is a nice, easy way to end the tour as its along a level, wide trail through the grassland and bushes. The first bird of note was Blackcap Babbler, followed by brief views of Buff-spotted Woodpecker. At some cliffs we saw 4 White-crowned Cliff-Chats, Lead-coloured Flycatcher, Bearded Barbet, Lesser Honeyguide, Siffling Cisticola and Cardinal Woodpecker. Moving on to the grassland there were many Croaking Cisticolas, but our views of a pair of Red-necked Buzzards take some beating as they displayed right over our heads. 

Red-necked Buzzard - at last!

Chris had a brief view of Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat, whilst a Yellow-throated Longclaw flew into a nearby tree and posed very nicely indeed - but not close enough for my little pea-shooter of a camera to get a decent image... 

Yellow-throated Longclaw

There was also a flock of White-crested Helmet-Shrikes moving through and Yellow-mantled Widowbird. At the bat caves Anthony spotted a Barn Owl roosting high up in some tall trees and we spent some time admiring this fine bird. 

Western Barn Owl

As we drove back out a random stop produced Greater Honeyguide and Plain-backed Pipit to wrap up proceedings here. And that was it, our final birding in fabulous Ghana. We'd notch up 442 species during our action-packed ride across most of the currently known birding hot-spots. Our success was mainly down to our cracking local guide, Paul Mensah, whose extremely sharp eyes, keen hearing and local bird knowledge are hard to beat. We'd also had a great group as well, which always helps! I'm really looking forward to returning next year!

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