Wednesday, 31 January 2018

GHANA 2018, HANS COTTAGE

Hans Cottage is a holiday resort close to Kakum where a lot of birders base themselves to visit the national park. The actual resort is excellent for wildlife too- mainly opportunist species but there's also species like Orange Weaver, Giant Kingfisher and Black Crake that can be tricky to see elsewhere. 

Also the garden and permaculture type habitats within this nature friendly resort are great for butterflies. 

 Green Heron 
 Piping Hornbill 
 Nile Crocodile 
 Long-tailed Cormorant
 Orange Weaver 
 Common Dotted Border 
 Common False Tiger 
 Dark Blue Pansy 
 Dark Grass Blue 
 View from Hans Cottage over farm bush (and wealthy Ghanaian manor house building) 
 Had the moth trap out at Hans Cottage- most striking moth was this tiny Emerald sp. 
 Tiny Grass Blue 
White Banded Balbul Blue (female) 

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Ghana 2018, BOBIRI

Spent a couple of days at Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary where over 450 species of butterfly have been recorded. We only had a couple of days and number of species is lowest through the middle of the dry season (now), peaking in the main fruiting season which is April and May (late dry season) with good numbers through the wet season. 

Had a couple of bird lifers; Brown-cheeked Hornbill and Forest Wood Hoopoe. 

 African Map
 Common False Head 
 Common Palm Forester 
 Common Ciliate Blue 
 Ornate Green Charaxes 
 Red-billed Helmet Shrike 
 Forest Wood Hoopoe 
 Red-tailed Greenbul 
 Herp sp 

The Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary Centre 

Monday, 29 January 2018

Ghana 2018, ANKASA

Here's a few highlights from our time at Ankasa.

Chocolate-backed Kingfisher- one of my most wished for birds in Ghana
Nkulengu Rail on the road in the evening- a fortuitous sighting of this generally very elusive species 
Icterine Greenbul 
Ethiopian Swallow
Western Fantasia 
Le Doux's Glassy Acraea 
Common Chalk Blue (left) and African Spirit 
Common Chalk Blue 
 Chocolate-backed Kingfisher sonogram with recording below


The forest ponds near the campsite 
Me waiting for Shining Blue Kingfisher 
Isaac and I 

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Ghana 2018, Kakum National Park

What a fantastic week in Ghana thanks to Isaac, Charles and Junior from Birding Tour Adventures, a local based company to go direct to for tailor made trips for the best prices, best guides and biggest impact for local conservation. WEBSITE HERE. If wanting to join a group tour then none better than WISE BIRDING who work in partnership with Birding Tour Adventures and a percentage of the trip cost is donated to conservation too.

The purpose of my trip was to looking into setting up a regular winter rain forest project out there, so we did a tour of some of the key forest sites trying to get more familiar with the forest species, get to grips with the calls and also making a start on getting to know some of the butterfly species (there are 950 different species in Ghana).

We looked at several areas  and honed in on a couple of forest areas near Kumasi- the famous Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary and an upland area where I used to work 20 years ago (in gold exploration) at Manso Nkwanta- seems like a relatively easily accessible area with plenty to explore and there is also little information currently available on the Manso Nkwanto area so a good place to focus some exploration effort.

We also visited the famous Kakum National Park and the relatively recently opened up Ankasa Forest. There was little internet access available so rather than a day to day account I'll just do some blog posts on the areas we visited starting off with Kakum National Park, famous for it's canopy walkway and great birds.

KAKUM NATIONAL PARK



View from the canopy walkway over the rain forest 
Green Turaco 
Yellowbill 
White-throated Bee-eater 
Velvet-mantled Drongo 
Honeyguide Greenbul 
Slender-billed Greenbul 
Little Grey Flycatcher 
Green Hylia 
Blue Cuckooshrike
Blue-headed Wood Dove 
Hairy-breasted Barbet 
Osprey over the canopy walkway- presumably not a common forest bird but a migratory individual?
Lesser Spot-nosed Monkey. Both this species and Black-and-white Colobus were present from the walkway 
Slender-tailed Squirrel 
 Brown Nightjar calling- there were at least three birds calling but frustratingly we didn't see them


Honeyguide Greenbul calling- a distinctive call of the Ghana forests 


Isaac Ntakor and myself on the canopy walkway- a must visit birding destination.