Thursday 19 March 2009

Gambia trip list - part 4

And now for some proper birds...

Come on, admit it. Ducks and herons are quite nice, but they can't really compete with soaring eagles, gliding hawks, hunting falcons and the rest of the raptors, can they? Our photos certainly don't do all of these justice, but believe me - the birds were absolutely superb, especially the eagle-fest on the Faraba Banta bush-track. Enjoy...

28. Martial Eagle. Wow - they don't get much bigger or better than this! This adult drifted slowly overhead at Faraba Banta, absolutely miles up, but still obviously massive.

29. Tawny Eagle. Had the misfortune to appear with the Martial Eagle, so we didn't really pay it much attention!
30. African Hawk Eagle. Also Faraba Banta.
31. Long-crested Eagle. Faraba Banta - very striking underwing pattern.

32. Brown Snake Eagle. Faraba Banta.
33. Short-toed Eagle. Yep, you've got the idea... Faraba Banta again. At least I recognised this one straight away!

34. Black / Yellow-billed Kite. Almost as common as Hooded Vulture, with plenty around the hotel at vulture feeding time. Don't remember taking this picture, but I'm quite pleased with it!

35. Grasshopper Buzzard. Just one at Faraba Banta.
36. Black-shouldered Kite. Couple seen around Kotu Creek / Fajara area.

37. Marsh Harrier. Several sites, over mangrove creeks.
38. Dark Chanting Goshawk. Several seen, including 2 or 3 at Tujering.
39. Shikra. Several seen, all behaving in typical Accipiter fashion like our Sparrowhawks. The best views were of this one bathing in the pool in front of the hide at Brufut.

40. Lizard Buzzard. Closest views of this bird perched briefly at Abuko, before lauching itself off into the forest.

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