Ghana - 18th Febuary to 6th March 2013

Published by Jon Hornbuckle (jonhornbuckle AT

Participants: Jon Hornbuckle, David Adkin, Marc Brew, Victor Owusu


This report was extensively edited by JH from Ashanti’s original version written by Victor.

The trip, well organised and run by Ashanti African Tours, covered the Upper Guinea rainforest and Northern Guinea savanna habitats. The main sites visited were Kakum National Park, Ankasa Conservation Area, Mole National Park, Bobiri Forest and Butterfly Sanctuary, and the Atewa Range Forest. Ankasa and Atewa, which should have been two of the best sites, were rather disappointing, but the rarely visited Offinso forest was very worthwhile. In retrospect I would add Shai Hills to the start of the trip and have an extra day at Mole NP.

Victor Owusu was an excellent guide, especially for identification of all species except raptors. He was sometimes handicapped by having only one small ipod with a short battery life, so it could be useful to take play-back facilities loaded with recordings.

The weather was hot and dry except for a little rain on three days and a wet afternoon at Ankasa.

We arrived at Accra on the evening of 18th February and were met by Victor. After a 30+ min wait for a vehicle, we were taken to the relatively cheap Pink Hostel in order to start the tour early the following morning. Some of the trip highlights were at least 4 Yellow-headed Picathartes, Akun and Fraser’s Eagle-Owls, Black-billed and Red-billed Dwarf-Hornbills, Egyptian Plover, White-throated and Ahanta Francolins, Brown Nightjar and Black, Blue-moustached and Rosy Bee-eaters, and the rarely seen Capuchin Babbler and Olivaceous Flycatcher. We did miss several important but difficult birds, eg White-backed Night-Heron, Nkulenga Rail, Yellow-footed Honeyguide, and Tessman’s and Nimba Flycatchers. We belatedly learnt that a visit before Christmas would probably have been better for such species. Butterflies were often numerous and we were fortunate in having Ashanti’s butterfly expert Phillip with us to identify them – 50 butterfly and moth photos can be seen on my website, along with bird photos


Day 1. Accra, Ebekawopa forest am, travel to Rain Forest Lodge, Ebekawopa pm.
2. Kakum NP canopy walkway, night at Rain Forest Lodge.
3. Antwikwaa Park, Pra River, Kakum NP, Antwikwaa, night at Rain Forest Lodge.
4. Abrafo forest, Cape Coast, Sekondi forest pm, night at Rain Forest Lodge.
5. Sekondi forest all day, night at Rain Forest Lodge.
6. Sekondi forest, travel to Ankasa NP, camping in Ankasa.
7. Ankasa, camping.
8. Ankasa, Brinu Beach, Brimsu Dam, Rain Forest Lodge.
9. Aboabo (NE border of Kakum NP), Bonkro for Picathartes, night at Kumasi.
10. Kumasi, Offinso Forest, drive to Mole NP, early evening at airfield, night at Mole Lodge.
11. Mole NP (Samole Loop and Brugbani), night at Mole Lodge.
12. Mole to Tamale to Bolgatanta, Tongo Hills, night at Sira Lodge, Bolga.
13.Tono Dam, Sapleja (White Volta River) for Egyptian Plover, night at Sira Lodge
14. Bolga to Kumasi with stop at Offinso Forest, night at Kumasi.
15. Bobiri Forest Reserve, Atewa farmbush pm, night at Koforidua.
16. Atewa Forest Reserve, drive to Accra pm.

Details of the daily itinerary Day 1 – Feb 19:

We left Accra in our air conditioned bus at 4:00 am, and drove to Rain Forest Lodge via Cape Coast town. After breakfast at the Lodge we headed to Ebekawopa, a large patch of secondary forest with some big trees unlogged, in Kakum NP. It was quiet at first but the birds started to show and we built up a good list with Tambourine Dove, African Grey, Brown-necked and Red-fronted Parrots, Yellow-billed Turaco, Sabine’s Spinetail, Blue-throated Roller, Naked-faced and Hairy-breasted Barbets, and a variety of greenbuls, including Golden and Honeyguide, and Sunbirds such as Fraser’s, Tiny and Johanna’s, amongst other species. After the morning session we returned to the hotel for lunch, then went back in the afternoon to the same forest. White-crested Hornbill, Blue-headed/moustached and Rosy Bee-eaters, Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Fanti Saw-wing, Green Crombec, Finch’s Flycatcher-Thrush, Copper-tailed Glossy and Forest Chestnut-winged Starlings, and Chestnut-breasted and Grey-headed Negrofinches were seen, with the rare Olivaceous Flycatcher for some. Before dusk, we drove to a small forest patch to try for owls and were rewarded with a Fraser’s Eagle-Owl. Satisfied with the day, we drove back to the comfortable Rain Forest Lodge for the night.

Day 2:

We visited the Canopy Walkway in Kakum National Park, from 06.00 am till 11.30, and had good views of birds from 40 meters above the forest floor. Highlights were Thick-billed Cuckoo, Ayre’s Hawk-Eagle, White-headed Wood-Hoopoe, Sabine’s Puffback, Black-winged and Western Black-headed Orioles, Blue Cuckooshrike, Red-tailed Greenbul, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Green and Buff-throated Sunbirds, while Yellow-mantled Weavers were busy nesting. After a lunch-break back at the lodge, we returned to the Canopy Walkway. The afternoon session was not so productive but we did see the Upper Guinea endemic Brown-cheeked Hornbill, a displaying Rufous-sided Broadbill, Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, and Cassin’s and Black Spinetails. Brown Nightjars called below the walkway at dusk but could not be seen.

Day 3:

We visited Antwikwaa Park, a different section of Kakum National Park, and walked along the forest edge and through a plantation. We saw Blue-headed Coucal, Fire-bellied Woodpecker, Little Grey Greenbul, Grey Longbill, Olive-bellied Sunbird and Vieillot’s Black Weaver. White-spotted Flufftail was calling and eventually seen by MB. We drove to the Pra River for White-throated Blue Swallow, Rock Pratincole, African Finfoot and White-headed Lapwing, then returned to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon we went back to Antwikwaa and visited another section of Kakum forest, seeing Red-billed Helmet-shrike, Forest Robin, Icterine Greenbul, Yellow-browed Camaroptera and the shy Black-throated Coucal. Brown Nightjar was called in by play-back, nearly hitting Victor on the head, and Plain Nightjar seen on the road. It was 8.30 pm by the time we reached Rain Forest Lodge for dinner.

Day 4:

We started in Abrafo forest with African Emerald Cuckoo, Red-billed Dwarf-Hornbill, Puvel’s Illadopsis, Leaflove, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Pale Flycatcher, Violet-backed Starling, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Red-headed Malimbe, and Western Bearded, White-throated and Red-tailed Greenbuls. En route to the next birding destination, we visited Cape Coast castle, one of more than 20 such castles built along the shoreline of the Gold Coast - the former name of modern-day Ghana. It is believed that more enslaved Africans passed through this castle than any other in West Africa, 100s often spending months shackled in a single room awaiting the arrival of a ship to take them to America - treated worse than animals. From there, we drove to the Western Region, stopping for Orange Weaver, and visited Sekondi (also known as Shama) forest in late afternoon. The few sightings included Black Bee-eater, Piping Hornbill and Square-tailed Saw-wing but we failed to find the hoped-for Akun Eagle-Owl.

Day 5:

After an early breakfast, we returned to Sekondi forest for the whole day. New birds were African Hobby, Yellow-spotted and Bristle-nosed Barbets, Cassin’s Honeyguide, Forest Wood-Hoopoe, Melancholy Woodpecker, Swamp Palm Bulbul, Superb Sunbird, Olive-green Camaroptera, Fraser’s/African Forest-Flycatcher, Narrow-tailed Starling, Maxwell’s Black and Preuss’s (Golden-backed) Weavers and Crested Malimbe. We also had good views of the elusive Forest Penduline-Tit at last and finally called in the highly desirable Akun Eagle-Owl in the dark.

Days 6 & 7:

We returned to Sekondi forest for 3 hours, seeing Yellow-billed Barbet, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Olive-green Camaroptera, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird and Spotted Greenbul but only hearing Congo Serpent-Eagle calling, before heading to the pristine rain-forest of Ankasa National Park. We elected to camp here rather than make the long drive back and forth to the nearest hotel outside the forest. Our two days in the park were disappointing, considering how many good birds occur here, but we did see Hartlaub’s Duck, White-bellied, Shining-blue and Blue-breasted Kingfishers, Dwarf Bittern, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Great Blue Turaco, Little Green Woodpecker, Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Pale-breasted Illadopsis and Grey-throated Flycatcher. Unfortunately, Spot-breasted Ibis, Nkulengu Rail, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher and Black-casqued Hornbill remained heard only and we failed to find White-crested Bittern and White-breasted Guineafowl, sometimes seen by others.

Day 8:

After a further few unproductive hours in Ankasa, the only notable bird being Brown-eared Woodpecker, we drove back to Kakum, stopping at mangroves to see Reichenbach’s and Brown Sunbirds. We spent the afternoon in a productive scrubby area at Brinu (Beach), seeing Senegal Thick-knee, African Cuckoo-Hawk, Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Green-headed, Copper and Splendid Sunbirds, Plain-backed Pipit, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Orange-cheeked and Black-rumped Waxbills, and Yellow-mantled Widowbird. The final stop was at Brimsu Dam for Long-tailed Nightjar before we reached the mis-named Rain Forest Lodge in the evening for our last night there.

Day 9:

We spent the morning at Aboabo forest, another part of Kakum National Park, on the way to the Picathartes nesting site. It was very productive as we saw good birds such as Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Long-tailed Hawk, Black Dwarf-Hornbill, Kemp’s Longbill, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike, Black-capped Apalis, Rufous-crowned Eremomela and Ussher’s Flycatcher. Then we drove to Bonkro village and walked for an hour to the nesting site of the bizarre-looking Yellow-headed Picathartes. After a lengthy wait, during which we hoped to see the rare Western Wattled (or Ghana) Cuckooshrike that Victor had found there, the Picathartes appeared. We enjoyed good views of at least 4 on and off for some 20 minutes before walking back to the village in dim light. We then drove from 7 till 9.30 pm to the large city of Kumasi where we spent the night.

Day 10:

This was mainly a driving day to the north to visit Mole National Park but we stopped for 3 hrs in Offinso forest 1 hr 40 mins north of Kumasi. Good birds here were Afep Pigeon, Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike, African Shrike-Flycatcher, Grey-headed Bristlebill, Ansorge’s Greenbul and Sharpe’s Apalis. We continued to Mole where the habitat is open dry savannah with some broad-leaved woodland. Late afternoon we visited the airstrip for the superb Standard-winged Nightjar, and had a surprisingly close view of the difficult White-throated Francolin. The lodge was beautifully positioned on a ridge overlooking a large waterhole favoured by mammals including Elephants, and birds such as Northern Black Flycatcher, Familiar Chat, Pygmy Sunbird, Yellow-fronted Canary, Little Weaver and Lavender Waxbill.

Day 11:

We spent the full day in Mole, the morning on the Samole floodplain in the vicinity of the waterhole and the afternoon in Brugbani savanna, seeing good birds like Saddle-billed Stork, White-headed Vulture, Bateleur, Red-necked Falcon, Forbes’ Plover, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Violet Turaco, African Cuckoo, Red-throated Bee-eater, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Black Scimitarbill, Vieillot’s and Bearded Barbets, Fine-spotted, Brown-backed and Golden-tailed Woodpeckers, the much sought after Spotted Creeper, Oriole Warbler, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Lead-coloured and Swamp Flycatchers, White-fronted Black Chat, Scarlet-chested and Beautiful Sunbirds, Wilson’s Indigobird, Black-faced and Black-bellied Firefinches and Sun Lark. We also had great views of Stone Partridge, Grasshopper Buzzard and, at dusk, African Scops Owl.

Day 12:

Birding at 0600-0900 near the river 10km from the lodge was very productive with Senegal Parrot, Red-headed Lovebird, Black Cuckoo, Giant Kingfisher, Greater Honeyguide, African Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Leaflove, Rufous Cisticola, Senegal Eremomela, Beautiful, Pygmy and Scarlet-chested Sunbirds, White-shouldered Black-Tit, White-crowned Robin-Chat, and Square-tailed Drongo amongst other species. The best birds seen, after some effort, were Brown-rumped Bunting and Ahanta Francolin. We left Mole reluctantly for the 6 hour drive further northwards to Tongo Hills, after a quick look at the 14th century mud and stick mosque at Larabanga, along with a pair of Red-chested Swallows on the wires. On arrival at Tongo we had good views of Fox Kestrel, Rock-loving Cisticola, White-crowned Cliff-Chat, Cinnamon-breasted Rock-bunting, and Orange-cheeked and Black-rumped Waxbills. Birding was curtailed by rain so we continued to our fine hotel just beyond Bolgatanga.

Day 13:

This morning we visited Tono Dam, near the border with Burkina Faso, a very dry savanna habitat with a few scattered baobab trees around a very large reservoir serving the locals. We enjoyed good views of Gabar Goshawk, Chestnut-bellied Starling, Four-banded Sandgrouse, Northern Red-billed Hornbill, Blue-bellied Roller, Yellow-billed Shrike, Bearded Barbet, African Mourning Dove, Speckled Pigeon, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark, flocks of Spur-winged Goose, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Cut-throat, and Black-backed Cisticola after some effort. After an early lunch in Bolga, we had a long drive to Bawku on the wide White Volga River, passing a village whose 83 year old chief was said to have 18 wives and at least 100 children and grandchildren. The purpose of going to Bawku was to see the beautiful Egyptian Plover, and great views were had of 5. A party of Piapiac was seen as we returned to Bolga for the night.

Day 14:

Today we headed back to the south with several short birding stops to pick-up Abyssinian Roller, African Moustached Warbler, Dorst’s Cisticola and African Silverbill. A longer stop was made at Offinso Forest where we were able to see the elusive Capuchin Babbler and Western Nicator before proceeding to Kumasi for the night.

Day 15:

Another early start was made to visit Bobiri butterfly sanctuary, back in the Upper Guinea forest. The few new birds were Honey Buzzard, African Piculet, Thick-billed Honeyguide, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike and Magpie Mannikin. We also watched a Bristle-nosed Barbet colony in a dead tree. We stayed till 11.00 before setting off for the Atewa farmbush, stopping en route to enjoy classic views of many Preuss’s Cliff-Swallows nesting under a low bridge. We birded Atewa farmbush from 3.00 to 5.50 pm seeing Dideric Cuckoo, Vieillot’s Barbet, Red-faced Cisticola, Simple Greenbul, Blue-throated Brown Sunbird and Black-and-White Mannikin. A tape duel with a greenbul responding initially to a recording of the rare Baumann’s was very frustrating as the bird was too skittish to identify. Finally we drove to our guesthouse at Koforiduo some distance away for a pleasant evening.

Day 16:

We spent the final morning of the trip, from 0600-1230, at the Atewa Range, a forested ridge site with a prodigious list. Unfortunately, several chainsaws were active most of the morning, which seemed to have scared many of the birds away. Flocks are often seen here but we were unlucky. We tried hard to find the rare Nimba Flycatcher, a speciality here, but to no avail. We did have good views of Little Grey Flycatcher and Western Bluebill, and saw some old friends such as Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Western Bearded Greenbul and Shining Drongo, but little else of note. We then descended the range and drove to Accra where DA and MB were taken to the airport for their flight home, while JH stayed overnight in a simple room prior to flying north to Tamale, the start of a week’s adventure exploring Burkina Faso.

Species Lists

Ghana South of Tamale

Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis 4 at lagoon near Cape Coast
Long-tailed Cormorant, Phalacrocorax africanus 3 at Cape Coast, 2 at Brimsu Dam
Great Egret, Ardea alba singles at Cape Coast, mangroves and Brimsu Dam
Squacco Heron, Ardeola ralloides 1 at Brimsu Dam
Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis common
Striated Heron, Butorides striatus singles at Cape Coast
Dwarf Bittern, Ixobrychus sturmii 2 singles at Ankasa
Spot-breasted Ibis, Bostrychia rara heard in flight at dawn and dusk on 3 occasions at Ankasa
Hartlaub's Duck, Pteronetta hartlaubii up to 5 at Ankasa
African Cuckoo-Hawk, Aviceda cuculoides 1 or 2 at Brinu Beach and Aboabo.
European Honey-buzzard, Pernis apivorus 2 at Kakum and 1 at Bobiri
Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus migrans parasitus common
Palm-nut Vulture, Gypohierax angolensis 1 or 2 at 4 sites
Hooded Vulture, Necrosyrtes monachus Common
Congo Serpent-Eagle, Dryotriorchis spectabilis 1 heard at Sekondi forest.
Ayres's Hawk-Eagle, Hieraaetus ayresii 1 at Kakum
African Harrier-Hawk, Polyboroides typus 1 or 2 most days
Lizard Buzzard, Kaupifalco monogrammicus 1 near Offinso
African (Red-chested) Goshawk, Accipiter tachiro macroscelides singles at Antwikwaa Park, Kakum and Sekondi forest.
Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, Accipiter erythropus singles at Kakum and Bobiri
Long-tailed Hawk, Urotriorchis macrourus 1 at Aboabo, heard at Sekondi forest.
Red-necked Buzzard, Buteo auguralis 1 or 2 on 4 days.
Cassin's Hawk-Eagle, Spizaetus africanus singles at Kakum and Antwikwaa Park
Grey Kestrel, Falco ardosiaceus singles on 4 days.
African Hobby, Falco cuvierii 1 at Sekondi forest.
Peregrine Falcon/Lanner, Falco sp. MB saw a large falcon en route.
Forest (Latham's) Francolin, Francolinus lathami 1 at Sekondi forest (DA)
Ahanta Francolin, Francolinus ahantensis a roosting bird flushed from a bush at Antwikwaa Park, heard at Abrafo forest.
Double-spurred Francolin, Francolinus bicalcaratus 1 at Brinu Beach.
White-spotted Flufftail, Sarothrura pulchra 1 calling at Antwikwaa Park was only seen by MB.
Nkulengu Rail, Himantornis haematopus heard several times at Ankasa, very close, and at Antwikwaa Park.
African Finfoot, Podica senegalensis 1 at Pra River
African Jacana, Actophilornis africanus a few at Brimsu Dam and while traveling.
Rock Pratincole, Glareola nuchalis 6 at Pra River
Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus 3 at Brinu Beach
Senegal Thick-knee, Burhinus senegalensis 2 at Brinu Beach, 15 near Kakum on 9th and 2 while travelling
White-headed Lapwing, Vanellus albiceps 2 at Pra River
African Wattled Lapwing, Vanellus senegallus 2 near Kakum
Common Redshank, Tringa totanus 1 at Pra River
Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos 2 at Pra River and Brinu Beach
Sandwich Tern, Sterna sandvicensis 1 at Cape Coast
Royal Tern, Sterna maxima several at Cape Coast
Afep Pigeon, Columba unicincta 1 at Offinso forest.
Bronze-naped Pigeon, Columba iriditorques heard at Atewa Range
Red-eyed Dove, Streptopelia semitorquata 4 singles noted and 2 at Bobiri
Laughing Dove, Streptopelia senegalensis common
Black-billed Wood-Dove, Turtur abyssinicus 1 at Brinu Beach
Blue-spotted Wood-Dove, Turtur afer 1 at Offinso
Tambourine Dove, Turtur tympanistria common
Blue-headed Wood-Dove, Turtur brehmeri 1 Abrafo forest(JH) and heard at Kakum
African Green-Pigeon, Treron calva common
Grey Parrot, Psittacus erithacus fairly common
Brown-necked Parrot, Poicephalus robustus 4 at Ebekawopa, Kakum NP
Red-fronted Parrot, Poicephalus gulielmi 2 at Ebekawopa and Sekondi Forest
Great Blue Turaco, Corythaeola cristata 1 at Ankasa and heard at Abrafo forest
Guinea (Green) Turaco, Tauraco persa heard only at Brinu Beach
Yellow-billed Turaco, Tauraco macrorhynchus at least 6 at Ebekawopa and heard widely
Western Plantain-eater, Crinifer piscator 2 at Brinu Beach
Levaillant's Cuckoo, Clamator levaillantii 1 or 2 on 4 days
Thick-billed Cuckoo, Pachycoccyx audeberti 1 in display flight at the Kakum NP canopy walkway
Red-chested Cuckoo, Cuculus solitarius heard at Atewa
Black Cuckoo, Cuculus clamosus heard at Offinso
Dusky (Guinea) Long-tailed Cuckoo, Cercococcyx mechowi poor view at Ankasa
Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Cercococcyx olivinus heard at Ebekawopa
Yellow-throated Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx flavigularis 1 at Aboabo forest
Klaas' Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx klaas singles at Antwikwaa Park and Offinso
African Emerald Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx cupreus 1 at Abrafo forest, 2 at Sekondi forest and heard elsewhere
Dideric Cuckoo, Chrysococcyx caprius 1 at Atewa farmbush
Yellowbill/ Blue Malkoha, Ceuthmochares aereus a few on 4 days
Black-throated Coucal, Centropus leucogaster commonly heard but only 2 singles seen at Antwikwaa and 1 in Atewa farmbush.
Blue-headed Coucal, Centropus monachus 1 at Antwikwaa and heard at Kakum
Senegal Coucal, Centropus senegalensis a few
Fraser's Eagle-Owl, Bubo poensis 1 near Ebekawopa at dusk and 1 briefly at dawn at Kakum canopy walkway entrance
Akun Eagle-Owl, Bubo leucostictus 1 at Sekondi forest
African Wood-Owl, Strix woodfordii commonly heard
Red-chested Owlet, Glaucidium tephronotum 1 heard at Atewa
Brown Nightjar, Caprimulgus binotatus 1 near Antwikwaa and 4 heard at Kakum
Plain Nightjar, Caprimulgus inornatus 2 near Antwikwaa
Long-tailed Nightjar, Caprimulgus climacurus 1 at Brimsu Dam
Black-shouldered Nightjar, Caprimulgus nigriscapularis poor view of 1 at Sekondi forest
Black Spinetail, Telacanthura melanopygia 4 at Kakum, 1 at Shama forest and 2 at Aboabo
Sabine's Spinetail, Rhaphidura sabini 7 at Ebekawopa and a few at Aboabo
Cassin's Spinetail, Neafrapus cassini 4 at Kakum, 1 at Shama forest, 3 at Ankasa and 2 at Aboabo
African Palm-Swift, Cypsiurus parvus 1 or 2 on 5 days
Common Swift, Apus apus a few at Kakum
Little Swift, Apus affinis fairly common
Shining-blue Kingfisher, Alcedo quadribrachys 1 at Ankasa
White-bellied Kingfisher, Alcedo leucogaster 1 at Ankasa
African Pygmy-Kingfisher, Ispidina picta singles at Abrafo forest, Aboabo and Offinso
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Halcyon badia sadly, heard only on 5 days
Woodland Kingfisher, Halcyon senegalensis a few singles
Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Halcyon malimbica singles at Ankasa and Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary
Giant Kingfisher, Megaceryle maxima heard at Ankasa
Pied Kingfisher, Ceryle rudis heard at Ankasa
Black Bee-eater, Merops gularis 3 at Sekondi forest
Blue-moustached Bee-eater, Merops mentalis 1 of this recent split from Blue-headed at Ebekawopa
Little Bee-eater, Merops pusillus 2 at Brinu Beach
White-throated Bee-eater, Merops albicollis common
Rosy Bee-eater, Merops malimbicus a few at Ebekawopa, Kakum and Antwikwaa
Blue-throated Roller, Eurystomus gularis quite common
White-headed Woodhoopoe, Phoeniculus bollei 2 at Kakum and 4 at Aboabo
Forest Woodhoopoe, Phoeniculus castaneiceps 1 at Sekondi forest
White-crested Hornbill, Tockus albocristatus 3 at Ebekawopa
Black Dwarf Hornbill, Tockus hartlaubi a pair at Bobiri forest
Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Tockus camurus 2 at Abrafo forest and Sekondi forest
African Pied Hornbill, Tockus fasciatus common
Piping Hornbill, Ceratogymna fistulator several at Abrafo and Sekondi forests, heard at Ankasa
Brown-cheeked Hornbill, Ceratogymna cylindricus 3 at Kakum and Abrafo forest
Black-casqued Hornbill, Ceratogymna atrata heard at Ankasa
Naked-faced Barbet, Gymnobucco calvus singles at at Ebekawopa and Aboabo, 2 at Antwikwaa Park
Bristle-nosed Barbet, Gymnobucco peli 3+ at Sekondi forest and a colony of 20 in dead tree at Bobiri
Speckled Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus scolopaceus a few on the first 4 days
Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus atroflavus only 1 seen at Sekondi forest, heard at Ebekawopa and Kakum
Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus subsulphureus singles at Ebekawopa and Sekondi forests
Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus bilineatus 1 at Ankasa, heard at Antwikwaa Park
Yellow-spotted Barbet, Buccanodon duchaillui 1 at Sekondi forest, heard at Kakum
Hairy-breasted Barbet, Tricholaema hirsuta 2 at Ebekawopa and 1 at Aboabo
Vieillot's Barbet, Lybius vieilloti 2 at Atewa farmbush
Yellow-billed Barbet, Trachyphonus purpuratus singles at Sekondi, and Antwikwaa Park(MB), a few at Atewa farmbush.
Thick-billed Honeyguide, Indicator conirostris 1 at the Bobiri Bristle-nosed Barbet colony
Least Honeyguide, Indicator exilis heard at Bobiri
Cassin's Honeyguide, Prodotiscus insignis 2 at Sekondi
African Piculet, Sasia africana 1 at Bobiri, heard at Abrafo forest
Little Green Woodpecker, Campethera maculosa 2 at Ankasa
Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Campethera nivosa 1 at Ebekawopa
Brown-eared Woodpecker, Campethera caroli 1 at Ankasa
Melancholy Woodpecker, Dendropicos lugubris singles at Sekondi, Aboabo and Offinso
Fire-bellied Woodpecker, Dendropicos pyrrhogaster singles at Antwikwaa, Offinso and Aboabo, 2 at Bobiri, heard at Kakum
Rufous-sided Broadbill, Smithornis rufolateralis I displaying at Kakum, heard elsewhere
Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica common
Ethiopian Swallow, Hirundo aethiopica a few
White-throated Blue Swallow, Hirundo nigrita 2 at the Pra River bridge
Lesser Striped-Swallow, Hirundo abyssinica 2 at Rain Forest Lodge, a few at Kakum and Obiri
Rufous-chested Swallow, Hirundo semirufa a poor view of 4 in flight at Rain Forest Lodge
Preuss' Swallow, Hirundo preussi many nesting under a low bridge en route to Atewa
Square-tailed Sawwing, Psalidoprocne nitens a few at Sekondi and Ankasa
Fanti Sawwing, Psalidoprocne obscura several at Ebekawopa, Kakum and Sekondi
African Pied Wagtail, Motacilla aguimp a few
Plain-backed Pipit, Anthus leucophrys 2 at Brinu Beach
Tree Pipit, Anthus trivialis 1 at Ankasa
Blue Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina azurea singles at Kakum and Bobiri, heard at Aboabo and Offinso
Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Campephaga phoenicea 1 at Offinso forest, surprisingly.
Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Campephaga quiscalina 1 female at Aboabo and a male at Bobiri
Common Bulbul, Pycnonotus barbatus common
Little Greenbul, Andropadus virens only heard at Atewa Farmbush
Little Grey Greenbul, Andropadus gracilis 2 at Antwikwaa
Ansorge's Greenbul, Andropadus ansorgei 1 at Offinso
Plain Greenbul, Andropadus curvirostris 1 at Ebekawopa
Slender-billed Greenbul, Andropadus gracilirostris a few throughout
Yellow-whiskered Bulbul, Andropadus latirostris heard only at Atewa
Golden Greenbul, Calyptocichla serina singles at Ebekawopa and Kakum
Honeyguide Greenbul, Baeopogon indicator singles at Ebekawopa and Bonkro
Spotted Greenbul, Ixonotus guttatus 2+ at Sekondi
Simple Greenbul, Chlorocichla simplex singles at Antwikwaa, Ebekawopa, Ankasa and Atewa Farmbush
Swamp Palm Greenbul, Thescelocichla leucopleura at least 1 both days at Sekondi, heard at Aboabo
Leaf-love, Phyllastrephus scandens 1 at Abrafo forest
White-throated Greenbul, Phyllastrephus albigularis 2 at Abrafo forest, heard at Kakum, Aboabo and Offinso
Icterine Greenbul, Phyllastrephus icterinus fairly common
Red-tailed Bristlebill, Bleda syndactyla heard at Ebekawopa and Atewa Range
Green-tailed Bristlebill, Bleda eximia heard at Atewa
Grey-headed Bristlebill, Bleda canicapilla 1 at Offinso, heard at Kakum and Antwikwaa
Red-tailed Greenbul, Criniger calurus singles at Kakum and Abrafo forest
Western Bearded-Greenbul, Criniger barbatus 2+ at Abrafo forest, singles at Ankasa and Atewa, heard at Kakum
Yellow-bearded Greenbul, Criniger olivaceus singles at Ankasa
Western Nicator, Nicator chloris singles at Offinso and Atewa, widely heard
Finsch's Flycatcher-Thrush, Neocossyphus finschii 1+ at Ebekawopa and Sekondi, widely heard
White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Neocossyphus poensis heard only at Kakum
African Thrush, Turdus pelios 1 at Brinu Beach
White-tailed Alethe, Pseudalethe diademata heard at Abrafo forest
Red-faced Cisticola, Cisticola erythrops 1 at Atewa Farmbush, heard at Rainforest Lodge and Brinu Beach
Whistling Cisticola, Cisticola lateralis 1 at Antwikwaa, heard at Atewa Farmbush
Red-winged Warbler/Prinia, Heliolais erythroptera 2 at Sekondi forest
Black-capped Apalis, Apalis nigriceps 1 at Aboabo
Sharpe's Apalis, Apalis sharpii 2 at Offinso, heard at Kakum and Abrafo forest
Grey-backed Camaroptera, Camaroptera brevicaudata heard only
Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Camaroptera superciliaris 1 at Antwikwaa, heard at Kakum and Sekondi
Olive-green Camaroptera, maroptera chloronota 1 or 2 at Sekondi and Offinso
Rufous-crowned Eremomela, emomela badiceps 1 at Aboabo
Green Crombec, lvietta virens singles at Ebekawopa and Antwikwaa, heard at Sekondi
Lemon-bellied Crombec, lvietta denti singles at Aboabo and Offinso
Kemp's Longbill, crosphenus kempi 1 at Aboabo, heard at Abrafo and Offinso
Grey Longbill, crosphenus concolor 2 at Antwikwaa and 1 at Atewa, heard widely
Green Hylia, Hylia prasina 1 or 2 at Kakum, Antwikwaa, Sekondi and Aboabo
Willow Warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus 2 at Antwikwaa and 1 at Atewa
Pale Flycatcher, Bradornis pallidus singles at Abrafo forest and Atewa Farmbush
African Forest-Flycatcher, Fraseria ocreata 2 at Abrafo forest and Aboabo, 1 at Sekondi and Offinso
Spotted Flycatcher, Muscicapa striata 1 at Ankasa
Ussher's Flycatcher, Muscicapa ussheri singles at Aboabo, Bobiri and Offinso
Olivaceous Flycatcher, Muscicapa olivascens 1 of this rarely seen sp. at Ebekawopa
Little Grey Flycatcher, Muscicapa epulata 1 at Atewa
Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Muscicapa comitata 2 at Antwikwaa and Sekondi
Cassin's Flycatcher, Muscicapa cassini 1 at Brinu Beach
Grey-throated Tit-Flycatcher, Myioparus griseigularis 1 at Sekondi
Forest Robin, Stiphrornis erythrothorax singles at Antwikwaa and Ankasa, heard elsewhere
Forest Scrub-Robin, Cercotrichas leucosticte heard at Aboabo and Bobiri but very elusive
Whinchat, Saxicola rubetra 2 at Brinu Beach
African Shrike-flycatcher, Megabyas flammulatus a pair at Offinso, 1 at Atewa
Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher, Bias musicus heard at Atewa Farmbush
Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Platysteira cyanea 1 at Ankasa
West African (Chestnut) Wattle-eye, Platysteira castanea fairly common, max of 4 at Kakum
Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Platysteira blissetti 1 at Abrafo forest
West African Batis, Batia occulta 1 at Akewa
Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Erythrocercus mccallii 1 at Kakum
Blue-headed Crested-Flycatcher, Trochocercus nitens heard only
Red-bellied Paradise-Flycatcher, Terpsiphone rufiventer singles at 5 sites
African Paradise-Flycatcher, Terpsiphone viridis singles at Atewa and Bobiri
White-necked Rockfowl, Picathartes gymnocephalus at least 4 at Bonkro
Blackcap Illadopsis, Illadopsis cleaveri heard at Sekondi
Rufous-winged Illadopsis, Illadopsis rufescens heard at Ankasa
Puvel's Illadopsis, Illadopsis puveli 1 at Abrafo forest
Pale-breasted Illadopsis, Illadopsis rufipennis 1 or 2 at Ankasa
Capuchin Babbler, Phyllanthus atripennis 5+ in a flock at Offinso forest
Forest Penduline-Tit, Anthoscopus flavifrons 2+ at Sekondi
Tit-hylia, Pholidornis rushiae 3 at Antwikwaa, 1 at Sekondi, heard elsewhere
Fraser’s (Scarlet-tufted) Sunbird, Deleornis fraseri 2 at Ebekawopa
Mangrove (Brown) Sunbird, Anthreptes gabonicus 1 at a nest in the mangroves
Little Green Sunbird, Anthreptes seimundi 2 at Ebekawopa, 1 at Offinso
Green Sunbird, Anthreptes rectirostris 1 at Kakum
Collared Sunbird, Hedydipna collaris 1 or 2 at 6 sites
Reichenbach's Sunbird, Anabathmis reichenbachii 2 at the mangroves
Green-headed Sunbird, Cyanomitra verticalis 1 at Brinu Beach
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird, Cyanomitra cyanolaema 1 at Sekondi, 2 at Atewa Farmbush
(Western) Olive Sunbird, Cyanomitra olivacea obscura 1 or 2 at 5 sites
Buff-throated Sunbird, Chalcomitra adelberti singles at Ebekawopa, Kakum, Sekondi and Offinso
Olive-bellied Sunbird, Cinnyris chloropygius 2 at Antwikwaa and Abrafo forest
Tiny Sunbird, Cinnyris minullus singles at Ebekawopa and Aboabo
Splendid Sunbird, Cinnyris coccinigaster 6 at Brinu Beach
Johanna's Sunbird, Cinnyris johannae 2+ at Ebekawopa, 1 at Kakum
Superb Sunbird, Cinnyris superbus 3 at Ekondi, 1at Atewa Farmbush
Copper Sunbird, Cinnyris cupreus 2 at Brinu Beach
African Yellow White-eye, Zosterops senegalensis 1 at Atewa Farmbush
Western Black-headed Oriole, Oriolus brachyrhynchus fairly common
Black-winged Oriole, Oriolus nigripennis 1 at Kakum, 2 at Offinso
Northern Fiscal, Lanius collaris 2 at Rainforest Lodge and 1 at Offinso
Northern Puffback, Dryoscopus gambensis 1 at Atewa Farmbush
Sabine’s Puffback, Dryoscopus sabini 2 at Kakum, 1 at Offinso, heard at Ebekawopa and Sekondi
Black-crowned Tchagra, Tchagra senegala 1 at Ankasa
Sooty Boubou, Laniarius leucorhynchus heard at Abrafo forest
Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Laniarius barbarus 2 at Brinu Beach
Chestnut-bellied/Red-billed Helmetshrike, Prionops caniceps 5 at Antwikwaa Park, 4 at Abrafo forest, 2 Sekondi and a few at Offinso.
Shining Drongo, Dicrurus atripennis 2 at Antwikwaa, Abrafo and Ankasa, 1 at Atewa, heard at Ebekawopa.
Velvet-mantled Drongo, Dicrurus modestus fairly common
Pied Crow, Corvus albus common
Splendid Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis splendidus fairly common
Copper-tailed Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis cupreocauda 2 at Ebekawopa, 4 at Sekondi
Violet-backed Starling, Cinnyricinclus leucogaster 10 at Ebekawopa, Antwikwaa and Abrafo, a few at Sekondi
Forest Chestnut-winged Starling, Onychognathus fulgidus 2 at Ebekawopa, Kakum and Offinso
Narrow-tailed Starling, Poeoptera lugubris poor view of 10 at Sekondi forest
Grey-headed Sparrow, Passer griseus fairly common
Black-necked Weaver, Ploceus nigricollis 1 or 2 at Ebekawopa, Antwikwaa, Ankasa and Offinso
Orange Weaver, Ploceus aurantius 10 near Cape Coast
Vitelline Masked-Weaver, Ploceus velatus 1 at Abrafo forest
Village Weaver, Ploceus cucullatus fairly common
Vieillot's Black Weaver, Ploceus nigerrimus 2 at Antwikwaa, several at Sekondi and Atewa Farmbush, 1 at Brinu Beach
Yellow-mantled Weaver, Ploceus tricolour a few nesting at Kakum and Atewa Farmbush
Maxwell's Black Weaver, Ploceus albinucha colonies at Sekondi, Aboabo and Atewa
Preuss's/Golden-backed Weaver, Ploceus preussi 2 at Sekondi
Red-vented Malimbe, Malimbus scutatus 1 or 2 at Antwikwaa, Abrafo and Sekondi, 5 at Ankasa
Blue-billed/Gray's Malimbe, Malimbus nitens fairly common
Crested Malimbe, Malimbus malimbicus singles at Sekondi and Aboabo, 2 at Atewa
Red-headed Malimbe, Malimbus rubricollis a few singles
Black-winged Bishop, Euplectes hordeaceus 1 at Brinu Beach
Yellow-shouldered Widowbird, Euplectes macrourus 3 at Brinu Beach
White-breasted Negrofinch, Nigrita fusconota 2 at Abrafo forest and Antwikwaa
Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch, Nigrita bicolor singles at Ebekawopa, Kakum and Offinso
Grey-headed Negrofinch, Nigrita canicapilla 1 or 2 at most sites
Western Bluebill, Spermophaga haematina 1 at Atewa, heard at Antwikwaa
Bar-breasted Firefinch, Lagonosticta rufopicta a few at Sekondi and Brinu Beach
Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Estrilda melpoda singles at Antwikwaa (DA) and Brinu Beach
Black-rumped Waxbill, Estrilda troglodytes a few at Brinu Beach
Bronze Mannikin, Lonchura cucullata a few
Black-and-white Mannikin, Lonchura bicolor 10 en route and at Antewa Farmbush
Magpie Mannikin, Lonchura fringilloides a few at Bobiri
Pin-tailed Whydah, Vidua macroura 1 at Rainforest Lodge

Ghana North of Tamale

Long-tailed Cormorant, Phalacrocorax africanus 1 or 2 Tono Dam
Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea 1 White Volga River
Black-headed Heron, Ardea melanocephala 1 Mole, 4 White Volga River
Little Egret, Egretta garzetta singles Tono Dam and White Volga River
Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis common
Hamerkop, Scopus umbretta a few at Mole, 1 Tono Dam
Saddle-billed Stork, Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis 1 Mole
Hadada Ibis, Bostrychia hagedash a few at Mole
Spur-winged Goose, Plectropterus gambensis 200 Tono Dam
Black-shouldered Kite, Elanus caeruleus 1 en route on 18.3.13 (JH)
Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus migrans parasitus common
Palm-nut Vulture, Gypohierax angolensis 1 at Mole
Hooded Vulture, Necrosyrtes monachus common
White-backed Vulture, Gyps africanus 4 at Mole
White-headed Vulture, Trigonoceps occipitalis 2 Mole
Bateleur, Terathopius ecaudatus 2 Mole
Western Marsh-Harrier, Circus aeruginosus 3 White Volga River
Lizard Buzzard, Kaupifalco monogrammicus 1 Mole
Gabar Goshawk, Micronisus gabar 1 Tono Dam
Shikra, Accipiter badius 2 Mole and Tono Dam
Grasshopper Buzzard, Butastur rufipennis fairly common
Red-necked Buzzard, Buteo auguralis 2 singles at Mole
Wahlberg's Eagle, Aquila wahlbergi 1 at Mole
Fox Kestrel, Falco alopex 2 at Tondo Hills
Grey Kestrel, Falco ardosiaceus singles at Mole and Tono Dam
Red-necked Falcon, Falco chicquera 1 Mole
African Hobby, Falco cuvierii 1 White Volga River
White-throated Francolin, Francolinus albogularis 1 Mole airstrip
Ahanta Francolin, Francolinus ahantensis 1 Mole
Double-spurred Francolin, Francolinus bicalcaratus common
Stone Partridge, Ptilopachus petrosus 3 Mole
Helmeted Guineafowl, Numida meleagris common Mole
African Jacana, Actophilornis africanus 2+ Mole, 6+ en route
Senegal Thick-knee, Burhinus senegalensis 5 Tono Dam
Egyptian Plover, Pluvianus aegyptius 5 Bawku
Spur-winged Plover, Vanellus spinosus several Tono Dam
African Wattled Lapwing, Vanellus senegallus several at Mole and Tono Dam
Forbes' Plover, Charadrius forbesi 1 Mole
Common Redshank, Tringa totanus 1 Tono Dam
Wood Sandpiper, Tringa glareola 2 Tono Dam, 1 White Volga River
Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos 2+ Tono Dam
Four-banded Sandgrouse, Pterocles quadricinctus 2 Tono Dam
Speckled Pigeon, Columba guinea a few at Mole, 5 at Tono Dam
African Mourning Dove, Streptopelia decipiens a few at Tono Dam
Vinaceous Dove, Streptopelia vinacea a few at Mole and Tono Dam
Laughing Dove, Streptopelia senegalensis common
Black-billed Wood-Dove, Turtur abyssinicus 2+ at Mole and 4 at Tono Dam
Namaqua Dove, Oena capensis 2 at Mole
Bruce's Green-Pigeon, Treron waalia a few
Rose-ringed Parakeet, Psittacula krameri a few at Mole and Tono Dam
Red-headed Lovebird, Agapornis pullarius 2 at Mole
Senegal Parrot, Poicephalus senegalus 3 at Mole, 2 at Tono Dam
Violet Turaco, Musophaga violacea 1 or 2 at Mole
Western Plantain-eater, Crinifer piscator 1 or 2 daily at Mole, a few at Tono Dam
Thick-billed Cuckoo, Pachycoccyx audeberti 1 at Mole
Black Cuckoo, Cuculus clamosus 2 at Mole
African Cuckoo, Cuculus gularis 1 at Mole
Senegal Coucal, Centropus senegalensis up to 3 daily at Mole, 1 at Tono Dam
African Scops-Owl, Otus senegalensis 1 seen at Mole with at least 2 others calling
Greyish Eagle-Owl, Bubo cinerascens 1 briefly at Mole Lodge (JH)
Pearl-spotted Owlet, Glaucidium perlatum 1 at Mole
Standard-winged Nightjar, Macrodipteryx longipennis 2 at Mole airstrip
African Palm-Swift, Cypsiurus parvus several
Little Swift, Apus affinis a few en route
Malachite Kingfisher, Alcedo cristata 2 singles White Volga River
Grey-headed Kingfisher, Halcyon leucocephala a few
Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Halcyon malimbica 1 at Mole
Striped Kingfisher, Halcyon chelicuti 2 singles at Mole
Giant Kingfisher, Megaceryle maxima 1 at Mole
Pied Kingfisher, Ceryle rudis 2 Tono Dam, 1 White Volga River
Red-throated Bee-eater, Merops bulocki a few
Little Bee-eater, Merops pusillus a few
White-throated Bee-eater, Merops albicollis common en route
Abyssinian Roller, Coracias abyssinica 2 White Volga River
Rufous-crowned Roller, Coracias naevia a few at Mole and Tono Dam
Blue-bellied Roller, Coracias cyanogaster 2 at Tono Dam
Broad-billed Roller, Eurystomus glaucurus 1 at Mole
Green Woodhoopoe, Phoeniculus purpureus 10 at Mole
Black Scimitar-bill, Rhinopomastus aterrimus 3 at Mole
Northern Red-billed Hornbill, Tockus erythrorhynchus 2 at Mole, common at Tono Dam
African Grey Hornbill, Tockus nasutus fairly common
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus chrysoconus singles at Mole and Tono Dam
Vieillot's Barbet, Lybius vieilloti 1 at Mole
Bearded Barbet, Lybius dubius 2 singles at Mole, 2 at Tono Dam
Greater Honeyguide, Indicator indicator 2 at Mole, 1 at Tono Dam
Fine-spotted Woodpecker, Campethera punctuligera 1 at Mole
Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Campethera abingoni 1 at Mole
Grey Woodpecker, Dendropicos goertae 2 at Mole
Brown-backed Woodpecker, Dendropicos obsoletus 1 at Mole
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark, Eremopterix leucotis several at Tondo Hills
Sun Lark, Galerida modesta 4 at Mole
Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica common
Red-chested Swallow, Hirundo lucida 2 at the mosque outside Mole
Wire-tailed Swallow, Hirundo smithii a few throughout
Red-rumped Swallow, Hirundo daurica 1 at Mole
African Pied Wagtail, Motacilla aguimp !+ en route
Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla flava 1+ at Tono Dam
White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina pectoralis 1 at Mole
Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike, Campephaga phoenicea I at Mole
Common Bulbul, Pycnonotus barbatus, common
Yellow-throated Greenbul/Leaflove, Chlorocichla flavicollis 3 at Mole
African Thrush, Turdus pelios 1 at Mole
Singing Cisticola, Cisticola cantans 3 at Tono Dam
Rock-loving Cisticola, Cisticola aberrans 1+ at Tondo Hills
Dorst's Cisticola, Cisticola dorsti White Volga River
Rufous Cisticola, Cisticola rufus 2 at Mole
Black-necked/backed Cisticola, Cisticola eximius 1 at Tono Dam
Tawny-flanked Prinia, Prinia subflava 1 at Mole
Yellow-breasted Apalis, Apalis flavida 2 at Mole
Oriole Warbler, Hypergerus atriceps up to 5 at Mole
Grey-backed Camaroptera, Camaroptera brevicaudata
Moustached Grass-Warbler, Melocichla mentalis White Volga River
Sedge Warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus 1+ at Tono Dam
Melodious Warbler, Hippolais polyglotta 1 at Tono Dam
Senegal Eremomela, Eremomela pusilla 2 at Mole
Northern Crombec, Sylvietta brachyura 1 at Mole
Willow Warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus 2 at Mole
Northern Black-Flycatcher, Melaenornis edolioides 2+ daily at Mole
Swamp Flycatcher, Muscicapa aquatica 1 at Mole
Lead-coloured/Fan-tailed Flycatcher, Myioparus plumbeus 2 at Mole
Pied Flycatcher, Ficedula hypoleuca 2 at Mole
White-crowned Robin-Chat, Cossypha albicapilla 2 at Mole
Familiar Chat, Cercomela familiaris JH at Mole Lodge
Mocking Cliff-Chat, amnolaea cinnamomeiventris 1 at Tondo Hills
White-fronted Black Chat, \myrmecocichla albifrons 1 at Mole
Senegal Batis, tis senegalensis 2 singles at Mole
African Blue-Flycatcher, Elminia longicauda 2 singles at Mole
African Paradise-Flycatcher, Terpsiphone viridis 1 at Mole
Blackcap Babbler, Turdoides reinwardtii 2+ at Mole
White-winged Black-Tit, Melaniparus leucomelas up to 4 at Mole
Spotted Creeper, Salpornis spilonotus 2 at Mole
Western Violet-backed Sunbird, Anthreptes longuemarei 1 at Mole
Pygmy Sunbird, Hedydipna platura 1 at Mole
Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Chalcomitra senegalensis 2 at Mole, a few at Tono Dam
Beautiful Sunbird, Cinnyris pulchellus 2+ at Mole, a few at Tono Dam
African Yellow White-eye, Zosterops senegalensis 2 at Mole
African Golden Oriole, Oriolus auratus 2 singles at Mole
Yellow-billed Shrike, Corvinella corvina 10+ at Tono Dam
Northern Puffback, Dryoscopus gambensis 1 or 2 daily at Mole
Black-crowned Tchagra, Tchagra senegala singles at Mole and Tono Dam
Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Laniarius barbarus 1 or 2 at Mole and Tono Dam
Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike, Telophorus sulfureopectus 1 at Mole
Grey-headed Bushshrike, Malaconotus blanchoti 1 at Mole
Square-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus ludwigii 1 at Mole
Fork-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus adsimilis 1 or 2 at Mole and Tono Dam
Piapiac, Ptilostomus afer a few en route to the Egyptian Plover site, 2 when driving south
Pied Crow, Corvus albus common
Purple Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis purpureus 1 at Mole, a few at Tono Dam
Long-tailed Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis caudatus 6 at Mole, a few at Tono Dam
Chestnut-bellied Starling, Lamprotornis pulcher a few at Tono Dam
Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling, Lamprotornis chalybaeus a few Tono Dam (DA)
Yellow-billed Oxpecker, phagus africanus 2 Tono Dam
Grey-headed Sparrow, sser griseus a few
Bush Petronia, tronia dentata a few at Mole
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, ocepasser superciliosus 3 at Tono Dam
White-billed Buffalo-Weaver, balornis albirostris 1 en route South
Little Weaver, Ploceus luteolus a few at Mole
Black-necked Weaver, Ploceus nigricollis a few at Mole
Village Weaver, Ploceus cucullatus several
Red-billed Quelea, Quelea quelea Mole and White Volga River
Black-winged Bishop, Euplectes hordeaceus a few at Mole
Red-billed Firefinch, Lagonosticta senegala a few throughout
Black-bellied Firefinch, Lagonosticta rara 2 Mole
Black-faced Firefinch, Lagonosticta larvata 2 Mole
Red-cheeked Cordonbleu, Uraeginthus bengalus a few throughout
Lavender Waxbill, Estrilda caerulescens fairly common at Mole
Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Estrilda melpoda a few throughout
Black-rumped Waxbill, Estrilda troglodytes a few at Tongo Hills, Tono Dam and White Volga River
African Silverbill, Lonchura cantans 3 Tono Dam, 1 White Volga River
Bronze Mannikin, Lonchura cucullata common
Cut-throat, Amadina fasciata 2 Tono Dam
Wilson’s Indigobird, Vidua wilsoni 1 Mole, 5 Tono Dam
Yellow-fronted Canary, Serinus mozambicus 2 at Mole Lodge and White Volga River
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Emberiza tahapisi common at Tondo Hills
Brown-rumped Bunting, Emberiza affinis a pair at Mole.

POSTSCRIPT Burkina Faso, “the land of the honourable man” 6 – 13 March 2013

9% of the population is undernourished, 17% of children under 5 die, used to be Africa’s largest cotton producer but lost 12% of its export earnings due to the USA subsidizing its own production.

After a birding trip in Ghana with two friends, I spent a week by myself exploring French-speaking Burkina Faso, formerly known as Upper Volta. As it was expensive to fly to Burkina Faso, I took a cheap (US$71 one way) early flight from Accra, along the huge Lake Volta, to the town of Tamale, the capital of northern Ghana. The local paper reported a statement by the President that Ghana was a failed state with a major shortage of electricity and water, little industry, high imports and bickering politicians! I took a minibus from the airport to Bolgatanga, passing houses with palm-thatched roofs and timber-framed walls, plastered with clay, some elaborately decorated. There were lots of police check-points, mainly stopping lorries, and the road was badly pot-holed in places. In Bolga I found a “shared” taxi for the 30 min journey to the border town of Paga. Here I completed Ghana border formalities and crossed into Burkina Faso where there was no form to complete. As there was no bank or exchange office, I had to change Ghana cedis into CAF (Central African Francs) on the street. I boarded a bus to Ougadougou (pronounced waga-doo-goo), the delightfully named capital. We eventually got underway but soon stopped to pick-up an armed soldier and join a small convoy for some 20km through an area known for hold-ups by “highwaymen”! It was an interesting journey, but rather slow with numerous stops for passengers to buy water, fruit and snacks, and children to relieve themselves, etc, passing minibuses loaded with live chickens hanging on the back door, amidst many other items. The 3 hour journey ended at a busy bus and taxi station at the edge of the city (of approximately 1.5 million inhabitants). I took a taxi to the cathedral and booked into the Catholic mission there run by French nuns, then walked the city streets before having an excellent French-style dinner at the mission, with two French Canadian girls and an older French woman. My sim card from Ghana would not work but my British Tesco one did.

Next day, after a 6am breakfast of coffee and baguette, I walked to watch the weekly ceremony outside the Moro Naba's palace, attended by all the local Mossi dignitaries. I had hoped to photo the whole event but photography was strictly banned and I was severely rollocked for trying. I had to wait till after 7am before any of the chiefs showed up but the real action did not start till 8am. The only shots possible were of one of the chieftains, fully robed complete with sword, who gave me his permission after the ceremony – we walked through a football match then he posed graciously and asked for my email address! After returning to the mission to check-out, I went by taxi to another bus terminal where I booked a seat to Bobo-Dioulasso, and ate over a kg of tasty strawberries while waiting for the 11am departure. The journey took longer than expected as the coach broke down, and it took 45 mins to replace the fan-belt. This gave me chance to photo a picturesque village but it was rather hot in the open, reputably over 40 degrees C. Surprisingly, only one passenger smoked while we were waiting outside. We passed many small villages, similar to those in the northern savanna-zone in Ghana, but there was more evidence of agriculture and water for irrigation. The 6 hour journey to the SW was mainly through flat savanna until we neared Bobo where there were some rocky hills. It was interesting to see different styles of dwellings on the way.

After checking into a cheapish hotel, Teru 2 (8,500CAF for a single room with fan), I walked to the nearby old mosque, the largest in BF and a fine example of Sudanese mud-brick architecture, painted white. I toured the mosque with a guide, both inside and on the flat roof, then explored Dioulassoba, the old town huddled on the banks of a small dirty river flowing through the town. I was able to take photos but some of the locals refused permission. There were a few shops, selling local musical instruments, masks, iron statuettes and the like, a millet beer brewing house where a few men were hard drinking, but most of the town consisted of smooth, mud-brick walled houses in a maze of old streets, with many locals getting on with their lives. It was full of interest but rather depressing as there seemed to be no waste-disposal facility, with people throwing rubbish into the river, and no water other than from a few pumps and wells. I turned down the offer of accompanying two youngish guys to a music bar (Bobo is said to be the Music Capital of Burkina Faso) where girls were said to be plentiful, and retired to a local restaurant for a filling meal and delicious drink of tamarind juice.

My first stop early the next day was at the impressive railway station, built by the French some 80 years ago in Sudanese style. However the train timetable was not so impressive as only one train a week was listed, to the Ivory Coast. Photography was not allowed. I walked through the Grand Marché, renowned for being the crossroads of numerous tribes, “offering a great selection of tribal arts from all over west Africa”. May be it was too early in the day because all I really noticed were the 100s of men and women on motorbikes with stalls under preparation. Goats were everywhere, there were some specific lanes for cyclists and motorbikes, which you rarely see in Africa. Most of the men had short hair or shaved heads, many with moustaches, while the women mostly had long hair and only a few wore burkas, despite it being a mainly Moslem country.

I continued to a small museum, Musee Sogossira Sanon, holding statues, masks and clothes made by various tribal groups, and practical objects such as Lobi bowls used for mixing arrow poison. I was the only visitor and had an escorted tour of traditional Bobo and Fulani houses/homes that had been rebuilt in the main courtyard. It was notable that men and women had separate small rooms. After checking out of the hotel I took the 10am bus to the small town of Boromo, on the route back to Ougadougou, arriving at 12.30. I found a cheap, attractive lodge on the outskirts, with some difficulty. My room (4000CAF) had a fan and mozzie net but no water – available outside in buckets. I ate an omelette and warm bread with a young couple working for an NGO building simple houses. At 2.30 I walked through the town – very hot – and found a photogenic old mosque where the local kids were keen to be photo’d. I tried to hitch a lift further afield, and eventually persuaded a motorbike driver to take me along the main road, through a friendly police check-point to a wide river a few km out of town where many locals were bathing. Continuing along the old road, I found it surprisingly bird-less so crossed over to the new road and took a track leading into the woody savanna, at 4pm. This was quite birdy with Quelea, weavers, firefinches, doves, gonoleks, Northern Red Bishops and non-breeding whydahs. I flushed Four-banded Sandgrouse that then gave great views on the ground but the highlight was an Emin’s Shrike flying past, for some distance unfortunately so I could not relocate it. After some time I walked back to the main road and hitched a lift in the back of a pick-up. I shared supper with the French couple at the lodge, supplemented with a large natural yoghurt from a nearby shop.

At 06.00 the next morning I was granted a lift in a battered minibus back to the savanna site. A long walk gave a few new birds, including Dark Chanting-Goshawk, Senegal Parrot and Bruce’s Pigeon but no shrike or hoped-for Rufous-rumped Lark. After returning to the lodge on the back of a motorbike, I checked out and took a bus to Ouga where a taxi was needed to go to another bus station to catch the bus to Kaya in the north. This was as far north as I dared go, beyond here was said be under the influence of insurgents from Mali. I had to wait an hour as the first bus was full, but it was interesting to watch the roof of the bus being loaded with all sorts of luggage including motorbikes and house furniture. The scheduled one hour journey took 3 hours thanks to the driver stopping so many times for passengers to buy the multitude of items for sale in the numerous villages on the way, and a police check-post where 3 passengers were grilled for 20 mins before being released. My passport was checked twice on this 100km journey. Kaya was quite large and busy so I walked to the mission, described in the guidebook, near a large Catholic church on the edge of town. Here I drank 1.5litres of iced filtered water to assuage my dire thirst in the hot dry heat. I booked a cheap room then took a motorbike to the large Kaya Lake not far away. There were a few birds here including Black-headed Lapwing. Dinner consisted of plentiful soup and veg, with a rock-hard baguette, not quite up to Ouga standards. I was the only guest, and could have watched 24 hour French TV had I so wished.

A pre-booked motorbike arrived at 06.00 to take me to Lac de Dem, the site here recommended by Nigel Wheatley. We drove to a garage for fuel but had to buy it from a nearby bottled supply as the garage was shut. We then drove some 20km on the red dusty road, forking right to the huge Lac de Dem just before a substantial village. Now the habitat was very green with water being used for irrigation of crops. Land birds were plentiful but there were surprisingly few waterbirds, or fishermen on the lake. Stone Partridge, Hooded Vulture, Abyssinian Roller, Piapiac, Grey Woodpecker, White-fronted Black-Chat, Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark, Chestnut-bellied Starling and Cinnamon-breasted Bunting were seen. Leaving the lake at 09.30, I stopped at several places on the way back through scattered trees and the red sand of the Sahel, completely bare in places. I saw Grey Woodpecker, (but not the Little Grey I needed, “promised” by Wheatley), Vieillot's Barbet, Speckle-fronted Weavers feeding on dried cattle shit and Yellow-billed Oxpeckers on the cattle. Best of all was a pair of Kordofan Larks in the red sand. I walked around one small settlement and was hailed by three women, happy to be photo’d, one of whom was sieving grain. Back at Kaya, I ate a fresh baguette and 3 mangoes, accompanied by yoghurt and tamarind juice. I walked back to Kaya Lake along the abandoned railway line – the rails and station were still there but no trains. There were few birds except glossy-starlings and Cattle Egrets, and as it was so hot I returned to the mission, dripping with sweat. After a shower and snooze, I decided to leave and return to Ouga, to be sure of catching my flights home. There was the usual chaos at the bus station; the old bus destined for Ouga was being loaded up with a variety of items on the roof. The journey lasted from 2.30 to 5 pm, passing a large reservoir on the outskirts of Ouga, which held at least one party of ducks, and extensive parkland with thick vegetation and adjacent trees.

It was a 30 min walk to the mission, as I had run out of CAF, through the busy streets thronged with green taxis. One shop had hundreds of crash helmets for sale, the only ones I saw as nobody seemed to wear them. I changed Euros at the mission then had a good dinner of soup, egg-pie with a huge bowl of veg, crème caramel and fruit, with 2 small beers, accompanied by 5 middle-aged French women, one with 2 small black children. At 06.00 on the last morning I sat eating my croissant with butter and jam, the sweat running down my brow and back. I walked to the bus station for transport to the south, not far but tricky to find, for the last of my 7 long distance bus journeys. We left on time at 07.00 to Po, near the Ghana border, stopping first at the main bus station 10 mins away on the edge of town. It was packed with buses and lorries of all shapes and sizes, on the bumpy earthen ground covered in refuse. With a few new passengers aboard, the driver tore off, taking no prisoners. At every stop we were besieged by women selling plastic bags containing water, onions, tomatoes and snacks. No wonder plastic bags are such a scourge everywhere except in much of the ubiquitous savanna. Sitting at the front I was able to take photos through the cracked windscreen and note that the speedo was not working. We stopped at a Croisement Inderdit sign at 09.00. After 15 mins two buses arrived from Po, armed soldiers dismounted and boarded my bus, We were “guarded” for the next 20 km, but left to do the last 10km to Po alone. A sign pointing south to Ghana said 815km to Accra, 160km to Tamale and 40km to Paga. I took a shared taxi from Po to Paga, passing through both borders without issue but then the driver refused to go any further, contrary to what I’d been told before boarding. I walked to what was said to be the only lodging in Paga and took a room for 15 cedi = £5 with no facilities except a fan. A large bucket of water outside was available for washing. I bought some eggs from a nearby stall and asked the hotel cook to fry them but she’d run out of gas so couldn’t cook anything for me or the restaurant! I took a taxi to the main tourist attraction - Paga Pio’s Palace – and paid 10 cedi for an uninspiring “grand tour”. There were both square and rounded buildings, some elaborately decorated with black diamond patterns, and illustrations of snakes, crocodiles and other sacred animals.

Ignoring the crocodile ponds, I took another taxi to Tono Dam, the last site we had visited on the Ashanti birding tour of Ghana. This was much further than I thought it would be and cost 25 cedi. I walked some distance and saw similar birds to before including Four-banded Sandgrouse, Thick-knee, Greenshank, Yellow Wagtail, Common Whitethroat, Barbets and Yellow-billed Shrike, but no hoped for Whydahs. As I walked back by the dam wall hoping for a lift, I came to a junction and asked a group of local ladies which way to go. Unfortunately I had forgotten I was back in English-speaking Ghana so asked them in French which I had been using in BF. They did not understand me and it took me a few minutes to realize my mistake! I followed a motorbike round a corner and found 4 guys in the garden of a building that turned out to be housing an NGO helping to improve crop production. Asked if someone could take me to the town, I was told to wait. A pick-up soon arrived with a new motorbike in the back. The driver agreed to take me back after lifting out the bike. We soon left and then stopped at field of maize which he photo’d as it was said to be an experimental project. I was dropped at a football field where taxis awaited business and took one back to Paga. There I found a stall where omelettes were cooked with bread rolls, which suited me fine, and then had an early night.

I was up early, only to find there was a power-cut, so I went to the bus station and booked a seat in a shared taxi to Bolga. We left after waiting an hour for there to be enough passengers – time for drinking coffee and reading my Rebus book. The driver kindly stopped at the hotel on the outskirts of Bolga where I had left my bag of un-needed gear, soon collected, then continued to the bus station. I took the only bus going to Tamale, an old wreck with only a few people on board. It finally departed after an hour but 15 mins later we returned to the station as the clutch was defective. After transferring to a newer bus we took the Tamale road at 10.30 and reached the petrol station at the Tamale airport turn at 1pm. I was dropped here and rapidly downed 1.5 litres of lemonade to quench my dry throat. Leaving my rucksack in the bar, I walked through a small village into the open savanna. It was very hot with little sign of birdlife for some time but eventually I found parties of Red-billed Hornbill, Green Woodhoopoe and White Helmetshrike, along with Red-headed Weavers, Black-crowned Tchagra, Rollers, Hoopoe and warblers. Returning to the garage at 4pm, I consumed more liquid then took a taxi to the airport just as a thunder-storm and tropical downpour started. My 45 min flight to Accra was delayed by the bad weather, but made it in time for my KLM flight home via Amsterdam. I was the last to board as I watched the end of a key football match for Arsenal against a German team. A large cognac helped me to sleep most of the way but I awoke to see we were flying over the snow-covered Peak District before descending to Manchester airport. An interesting exploration of a part of Africa rarely visited by tourists.

List of birds seen in Bukina Faso - species in CAPITALS were not seen in Ghana

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Striated Heron Butorides striatus
Yellow-billed Kite Milvus migrans parasitus
Palm-nut Vulture Gypohierax angolensis
Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus
DARK CHANTING-GOSHAWK Melierax metabates
Grasshopper Buzzard Butastur rufipennis
EURASIAN KESTREL Falco tinnunculus
Double-spurred Francolin Francolinus bicalcaratus
African Jacana Actophilornis africanus
Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus
Four-banded Sandgrouse Pterocles quadricinctus
Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
Black-billed Wood-Dove Turtur abyssinicus
Bruce's Green-Pigeon Treron waalia
Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri
Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus
Western Plantain-eater Crinifer piscator
African Palm-Swift Cypsiurus parvus
Little Swift Apus affinis
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
White-throated Bee-eater Merops albicollis
Abyssinian Roller Coracias abyssinica
Northern Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus
African Grey Hornbill Tockus nasutus
Vieillot's Barbet Lybius vieilloti
Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator
Grey Woodpecker Dendropicos goertae
KORDOFAN LARK Mirafra cordofanica
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix leucotis
Crested Lark Galerida cristata
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Ethiopian Swallow Hirundo aethiopica
Lesser Striped-Swallow Hirundo abyssinica
Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus
Singing Cisticola Cisticola cantans
Rufous-crowned Eremomela Eremomela badiceps
White-fronted Black-Chat Myrmecocichla albifrons
Scarlet-chested Sunbird Chalcomitra senegalensis
EMIN'S SHRIKE Lanius gubernator
Yellow-billed Shrike Corvinella corvina
Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegala
Yellow-crowned Gonolek Laniarius barbarus
Piapiac Ptilostomus afer
Pied Crow Corvus albus
Purple Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis purpureus
Long-tailed Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis caudatus
Chestnut-bellied Starling Lamprotornis pulcher
Yellow-billed Oxpecker Buphagus africanus
Grey-headed Sparrow Passer griseus
Bush Petronia Petronia dentata
SPECKLE-FRONTED WEAVER Sporopipes frontalis
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser superciliosus
White-billed Buffalo-Weaver Bubalornis albirostris
Vitelline Masked-Weaver Ploceus velatus
Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus
Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea
Black-winged Bishop Euplectes hordeaceus
NORTHERN RED BISHOP Euplectes franciscanus
Bar-breasted Firefinch Lagonosticta rufopicta
Red-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta senegala
Black-bellied Firefinch Lagonosticta rara
Red-cheeked Cordonbleu Uraeginthus bengalus
ZEBRA WAXBILL Amandava subflava
Black-rumped Waxbill Estrilda troglodytes
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting Emberiza tahapisi