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Scot Harvarth
Reply with quote  #1 
Part 2 continuation of the article in the first post:

Species List


Bold type denotes a lifer for PG,  * is heard only


Olive (Green) Ibis *    Bostrychia  olivacea

Ibis calling loudly at dawn on Tiwai Is. on the last day there sounded like the tape of Green Ibis to me.


Hadeda Ibis                Bostrychia hagadesh

Just two sightings, near Kenema and at Tiwai.


Woolly-necked Stork              Ciconia episcopus

Three birds perched by the creek at the entrance to the trail at Gola East and one at Tiwai.


Grey Heron                 Ardea cinerea

Two sightings of 5 birds near Freetown.


Great Egret                 Egretta alba

Just a single seen near Kenema.


Western Reef Heron   Egretta gularis gularis

This nominate subspecies was a new taxon for me, I’ve only seen the Middle East schistacea otherwise. There were 8 at Guma # 1 in the river estuary, all dark phase, with a single there on Jan. 7.


Little Egret                  Egretta garzetta

A few near Freetown and Kenema.


Cattle Egret                 Bubulcus ibis

Small numbers seen most days, max. 30.


Long-tailed Cormorant                       Phalacrocorax africanus

A flying over couple on the Guma R.


Eurasian Honey-Buzzard                    Pernis apivorus

One soaring over at Regent Town on Jan. 7 was unexpected.


Yellow-billed Kite                  Milvus (migrans) parasiticus

Seen in small numbers most days, max. 10.


Palm-nut Vulture                    Gypohierax angolensis

Two were at Guma Dam and singles at Gola East and Tiwai.


Hooded Vulture                      Necrosyrtes monachus

Still fairly common, I wonder for how much longer? Seen on most days, maxima were about 40 around Freetown on the first day, we had about 15 around Magburaka and a dozen at Bo.


Western Marsh Harrier                        Circus aeruginosus

One was at the Bumbuna SL Prinia site.


African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene)              Polyboroides typus

Two seen near Magburaka, 3 near Zimmi and 1 near Freetown.


Lizard Buzzard                       Kaupifalco monogrammmicus

Three seen from Kenema to Zimmi and two en route to Bo.


Red-chested Goshawk                      Accipiter toussenelii

One at Guma Dam was perched and gave quite a good view; the chestnut flanks were a good feature. Curiously, Borrow does not split this taxon from African Goshawk.


Shikra              Accipiter badius

One was at the Kenema Pastoral Centre and one near Bo.


Red-thighed Sparrowhawk              Accipiter erythropus

One tiny bird over the Moa R. at Tiwai, looking very like Little Sparrowhawk on shape. Another flew over the camp calling at dawn next day.


Black Goshawk                       Accipiter melanoleucus

One flew over at our final breakdown spot not too far out of Bo in farmbush country.


Red-necked Buzzard Buteo auguralis

Just one was seen, soaring over the peninsula hills near Guma Dam Village # 1.


Steppe Buzzard                       Buteo (buteo) vulpinus

One was at Lagos Airport in the harmattan dust on Jan. 8.


Long-crested Eagle                 Lophaetus occipitalis

Just a single seen near Magburaka.


Eurasian Kestrel                      Falco tinnunculus

A female perched near Regent Town.


Lanner Falcon             Falco biarmicus

Joan found us two soaring over a village near Bumbuna.


Double-spurred Francolin *                Francolinus bicalcaratus

Heard near Kenema on one date.


White-spotted Flufftail *        Sarothrura pulchra

One was calling early morning at the Turati’s Boubou site at Bumbuna.


African Jacana            Actiphilornis africanus

Singles near Kenema on two dates.


Egyptian Plover                      Pluvianus aegyptius

This stunner was seen on rocks by the river near Kenema en route to Zimmi, with 4 birds dotted about and watched from the girder bridge, my first since Nigeria in 1980! Also 3 from the boat on the Moa River on Jan 5.


Rock Pratincole                       Glareola nuchalis liberiae

We saw 30 on Jan. 4 flying at dusk on the river with the ferry en route to Tiwai. Then 6 + on Jan. 5 and 42 on Jan. 6 on rocks in the Moa river, Tiwai Is. This is the chestnut collared subspecies liberiae, a new taxon for me.


White-crowned Lapwing                    Vanellus albiceps

Two on the Moa R. at Tiwai on Jan 5 were a surprise, a species I’d not seen since Zambia in 1988.


Little Ringed Plover               Charadrius dubius

Two on rice fields near Kenema and 3 there next day.


Forbes’ Plover             Charadrius forbesi

Singles on the rice fields near Kenema on Dec. 30 and 31. Great views, I had only seen this species once previously at Mwinilunga. The brown forehead is a good character.


Eurasian Curlew                      Numenius arquata

Six at Guma River Dec 28 and one near Freetown next day.


Common Greenshank             Tringa nebularia

One at Guma R and one at Moa R.


Green Sandpiper *                  Tringa ochropus

I heard one call from the Zimmi GH on Jan. 2, it must have been overflying.


Common Sandpiper                Actitis hypoleucos

One on a river near Freetown and singles on the Moa R.


Sanderling                   Calidris alba

Twenty on the Guma R. sandbanks on Dec. 28 and one there on Jan. 7.


Temminck’s Courser               Cursorius temminckii

Three flushed off the airstrip at Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos on Jan 8.


Sandwich Tern                        Sterna sandvicensis

Singles at the Guma R. on Dec 28 and Jan 7 with Royal Terns.


Royal Tern                  Sterna maxima albididorsalis

This was a good bird for me being an African continent tick and a new subspecies, the very white forehead and orange bill being notable. There were about 300 in a roost at Guma R on Dec 28 and 500 there on Jan 7.


African Skimmer                     Rhynchops flavirostris

Two unexpectedly flew upriver at the big bridge near Kenema en route to Zimmi.


Feral Pigeon                Columba livia

Seen in Freetown.


Bronze-naped Pigeon Columba iriditorques

Heard much more than seen, but a great view of one at Gola East.


Red-eyed Dove                       Streptopelia semitorquata

Quite common and widespread.


Laughing Dove                       S. senegalensis

A few around the Freetown area.


Blue-spotted Wood-Dove                  Turtur afer

Quite common.


Tambourine Dove                   T. tympanistra

Quite common.


Blue-headed wood-Dove                   T. brehmeri

This was heard quite often but was hard to get into view, apart from a great responsive one at Kambui Hills North on Dec. 31.


African Green Pigeon             Treron calva

Widespread in small numbers, max. 8 at Kambui North.



Senegal Parrot             Poicephalus senegalus

Two near Zimmi and 2 over at Tiwai were all we saw.


Great Blue Turaco       Corythaeola cristata

Frequently heard and quite often seen in rain forest, with 9 visiting a fruiting tree on the edge of Gola East forest.


Guinea Turaco                      Tauraco persa

Only 3 seen, in a riparian forest patch at Bumbuna.


Yellow-billed Turaco                        Tauraco macrorhynchus

Quite often heard and seen well at Guma Dam on Dec 28 after a fly-by the previous day. Three at Kambui North on Jan. 1.


Western Plantain-eater                        Crinifer piscator

I saw 4 from the car as we were rushing to get to Magburaka before dark, and thought they’d be easy, then we saw no more until a single near Freetown on Jan 7, a late save for Joan for whom this was a lifer.


Levaillant’s Cuckoo                Clamator levaillantii

One at Tiwai.


Common Cuckoo                    Cuculus canorus

One at Tiwai was unexpected.


Klaas’s Cuckoo                       Chrysococcyx klaas

Heard quite often and one seen near Magburaka.


African Emerald Cuckoo                    C. cupreus

One heard at Kambui south, and a great view of a male at Kambui North on Jan 1.


Senegal Coucal                       Centropus senegalensis

Singles near Kenema.


Black-throated Coucal *                     Centropus leucogaster

Calling distantly on Tiwai Is. but as with Semliki no chance to see the damn thing.


Rufous Fish-Owl  *                Scotopelia ussheri

Two mobile owls calling distantly on Tiwai about 2000 came in to my recording of the unfamiliar calls, a double low prolonged hoot, only to remain frustratingly close but out of view. I even saw a branch waving in a bamboo thicket as one took off. Kenneth swore blind this was Rufous Fishing Owl; the calls have a similar tone to the CD of that species but are a different cut. I suspect this is what they are as none of the other West African owls species fits. Damn. I tried again at 0500 and got one answering but again would not come in, very frustrating.


Pearl-spotted Owlet                Glaucidium perlatum

Two watched at length at Bumbuna appear to be a range extension as seemingly not present in Sierra Leone according to all the books? It seems odd not to be recorded, as the habitat looks ideal.


Black-shouldered Nightjar               Caprimulgus nigriscapularis

One was singing in the farmbush on the way back from Kambui South and proved very tape responsive, we had it fly right past several times. This was a long overdue tick, and the voice is distinct to that of Fiery-necked Nightjar, being higher pitched.


Long-tailed Nightjar               Caprimulgus climacurus

At least 7 on the Zimmi-Tiwai Is. road on Jan 4 gave really good looks. A nightjar in the road at Guma Village on Dec 28 had a churring song and was probably this species.


African Palm Swift                 Cypsiurus parvus

Fairly common around the Freetown and Bumbuna area.


Common Swift                       Apus apus

Small flocks of 30-40 were quite widespread around Zimmi and Kenema.


Little Swift                             Apus affinis

A few around Freetown and Zimmi.


Malachite Kingfisher              Alcedo cristata

Quite common, seen at Guma, Kenema etc.


African Pygmy Kingfisher                  Ispidina picta

One at Bumbuna and one at Kambui North.


Grey-headed Kingfisher                     Halcyon leucocephala

A few sightings, max 3 near Kenema.


Woodland Kingfisher             Halcyon senegalensis

Four sightings, first at the shanty-town at East Freetown.


Blue-breasted Kingfisher                    Halcyon malimbica

One at Kambui South and a fantastic one on the Moa R. from the boat (and me sans camera of course!), with another on Tiwai.



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