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Field Guides Tour Report
Ghana 2013
Mar 23, 2013 to Apr 8, 2013
Phil Gregory & James Ntakor

This is a great tour for raptors, with about 25 species seen, including this beautiful Dark Chanting-Goshawk. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

Ghana has really come to the fore in recent years with some outstanding birds and the chance to see many of the Upper Guinea endemics that are unavailable elsewhere at this time, so it was great to return to West Africa once again in 2013. Ghana is a vibrant, lively country that looks to be doing well; the roads are passable and the country is clearly keen to develop tourism, so you don't get hassled at the numerous police roadblocks. Its big birding attraction is some sizeable blocks of the greatly threatened Upper Guinea forest that are still fairly intact, and access to the Guinea savana and the edges of the Sahel zone in the far north.

Being in West Africa, Ghana is of course a hot and often humid country, and the group coped well with no longer being in Kansas as it were, dealing with several power outages, tepid water, and a vehicle breakdown which meant we had to shuttle into Ankasa using one Land Rover and not two. Still it all worked out and we ended up with an impressive list and some truly memorable sightings and experiences. This year was much greener than normal in the north and east due to early rains, so we had quite a few unexpected sightings and Phil added some 20 species to his Ghana list on what was his fourth tour here.

The Accra/Tema area offers a fine introduction, with some nice  species at Shai Hills, including the much sought-after Blue-bellied Roller, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Vieillot's Barbet, and White-crowned (Mocking) Cliff-Chat. We saw migrant Palearctic shorebirds at Sakumono lagoon, as well as African Spoonbill and both Black Heron and Western Reef Heron. Winneba Plains gave us Senegal Plover, African Hobby, a very obliging Guinea Turaco and Red-winged Warbler, whilst a nearby small lily pond had a bonus Lesser Moorhen. Winneba Lagoon was a new stop for us and we had several scarce Palearctic shorebirds there including Bar-tailed Godwit and Eurasian Curlew, whilst the distinctive West African race of Royal Tern was a nice find. The whole group had come in a day early and we were able to use this recovery time to go birding at Shai Hills and Sakumono, and free up extra time for the next day at Winneba, a useful amendment to the itinerary and thanks to James for setting it up for us.

Kakum Walkway is quite an experience in itself, and a super way
to see many forest species including Fire-bellied Woodpecker,
Forest Wood-hoopoe, Rosy Bee-eater, Large-billed (Sabine's)
Puffback, Sharpe's Apalis, Golden Greenbul, and Violet-backed
Hyliota. Other great birds nearby included Cassin's Spinetail, Black Spinetail, Black Bee-eater, Chestnut-bellied Helmetshrike, Red-vented Malimbe and Buff-throated, Blue-throated Brown, Fraser's, Olive-bellied, Tiny, and Johanna's sunbirds. We also saw Melancholy Woodpecker plus a fine male African Piculet, whilst barbets included Red-rumped, Speckled, and Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, and Naked-faced Barbet. An afternoon at Ebekawopa Forest gave us Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, White-crested and Piping Hornbill, Sabine's Spinetail, Chestnut-bellied Helmetshrike, and our first Rufous-sided Broadbill in display.

Our next stop was over at Ankasa NP in the far west, and this was memorable for great views of Hartlaub's Duck, unexpected African Pygmy Goose, White-bellied Kingfisher, Yellow-billed and Great Blue Turaco, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Bristle-nosed Barbet, Yellow-bearded and Swamp Palm greenbuls, and for some of us a very skulking Rufous-winged Illadopsis, plus Mouse-brown and Reichenbach's sunbirds nearby and several Carmelite Sunbirds at our hotel. The Pan sisters saw a Long-tailed Hawk, and a couple of us got a Congo Serpent Eagle as we were leaving.

White-necked Picathartes (Rockfowl) is the flagship species, and there is a terrific site that is being looked after by the local villagers and where your chances of seeing this legendary bird are very good. Our tour this year had just under an hour's wait on the newly constructed benches, then a Picathartes hopped in on the rock edge above, vanished and reappeared several times before hopping down over the boulders to work on its mud nest in the gloom of the rock overhang. In the end, we had great views of at least 2 birds, a wonderful experience for those of us who made the trek, though Phil still needs a photo!

Heading up-country we got into a much drier habitat from Kumasi northwards, with Mole NP a very diverting stop for two nights. En route we stopped at a new forest site for Blue-headed Bee-eater, which eventually showed really well (and saved us much trouble at Atewa later!) Star birds here included Long-tailed Nightjar and a marvellous Grayish Eagle Owl at the airstrip, Stone Partridge, White-throated Francolin, the much desired and hard to find Forbes's Plover (plus a million sweat bees!), Fine-spotted Woodpecker, Oriole Warbler, the elusive Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, and Lavender Waxbill. African Elephants bathing were also again very nice.

Heading still further north we got Fox Kestrel and Rock-loving Cisticola at the striking granite boulder country of the Tongo Hills sacred shrine area, then got into some far-northern species like Chestnut-bellied and Long-tailed Starling, Yellow-billed Oxpeckers on cattle, White-billed Buffalo-Weaver and best of all, the great prize: Egyptian Plover right on the Burkina Faso border, where there were at least 7 fine adults on a sandbar in the White Volta.

Going back south, the fascinating Bobiri butterfly sanctuary gave us a wonderful view of the elusive Long-tailed Hawk, a fine adult sat up for scope views and showing nicely in flight too, also Red-thighed Sparrowhawk, African Grey Parrot, Blue Cuckooshrike, Forest Wood-hoopoe, plus some fantastic butterflies--this tiny site has over 420 species recorded, an astonishing diversity. Nearby Atewa gave us the rare Yellow-throated Cuckoo as our last trip addition just as we were leaving, a very nicely staged finale. There was also an elusive Red-cheeked Wattle-eye which a few of us finally saw, plus Western Bluebill, Red-headed Quelea, Compact and Grosbeak weavers, and the nomadic Magpie Mannikin.

It was again a memorable Ghana tour, and thanks to James, Andrew, and Appiah from Ashanti African Tours for their hard work and good humor. Also to Sharon at FG HQ for her hard work, and many thanks as well to an entertaining group who had a great introduction to this terrific West African destination! Thanks to John for being generous with his scope, and to Marge for her butterfly enthusiasm, which added another dimension to the trip. I hope to share adventures with you again, and already look forward to Ghana 2014.

--Phil Gregory, Accra April 2013

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – 200 seen at Sakumono Lagoon, a few in Mole NP and then over 500 at Tono Dam.
HARTLAUB'S DUCK (Pteronetta hartlaubii) – A wonderful pair on a small lily pond en route to Half Assini, most unexpected and giving great flight views as well as they circled around us.
SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (Plectropterus gambensis gambensis) – A flock of 7 and then 17 up at Tono Dam were the only sightings.
AFRICAN PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus auritus) – Great views of a male and a female of this little gem on a small farmbush lily pond near Ankasa, always a terrific bird to get.
Numididae (Guineafowl)
HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris galeatus) – Common in Mole NP.
CRESTED GUINEAFOWL (CRESTED) (Guttera pucherani verreauxi) – 7 adults and 5 babies gave very nice looks on the track at Ankasa.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
WHITE-THROATED FRANCOLIN (Francolinus albogularis buckleyi) – Once again this year we were able to lure one in at a site James had at Mole NP, it walked very close and showed quite well.
FOREST FRANCOLIN (Francolinus lathami) – This was heard from the walkway at Kakum late one afternoon. [*]
AHANTA FRANCOLIN (Francolinus ahantensis) – Heard from the walkway at Kakum, and also out in the farmbush areas nearby. [*]
DOUBLE-SPURRED FRANCOLIN (Francolinus bicalcaratus) – The common spurfowl in the bush areas, with small numbers at Mole NP.
STONE PARTRIDGE (Ptilopachus petrosus) – Heard at Shai Hills, and seen nicely at Mole NP in the early morning by the camp.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (LITTLE) (Tachybaptus ruficollis ruficollis) – We saw 9 at Sakumono Lagoon.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax africanus) – Seen at Sakumono Lagoon and a few at Tono Dam and the White Volta wetlands only.
Scopidae (Hamerkop)
HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta) – Small numbers in the drier regions, and a couple of their huge nests were seen in Mole NP.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Fifteen at Sakumono, then a couple at the White Volta wetlands.
BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala) – One at Sakumono and a single at the White Volta wetlands.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – One at Sakumono was the only sighting.
GREAT EGRET (AFRICAN) (Ardea alba melanorhyncha) – 15 at Sakumono and a single at the White Volta wetlands. Curiously scarce.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia brachyrhyncha) – Very few, just singles at Sakumono and one near the White Volta.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Just 7 at Sakumono.
WESTERN REEF-HERON (WESTERN) (Egretta gularis gularis) – Just 4 at Sakumono, all dark phase birds with white chins, and one at Winneba Lagoon.
BLACK HERON (Egretta ardesiaca) – Only seen at Sakumono, where we saw just 4 birds.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Seen almost every day of the trip, this is the western taxon which is split by the IOC from the Eastern birds.
SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides) – 14 at Sakumono, a couple at the pygmy goose ponds and a few singles in the north.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – Singles at Ankasa and at Tono Dam.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash) – 9 at Mole NP were the only records.
AFRICAN SPOONBILL (Platalea alba) – Two at Sakumono were the first we have seen on our Ghana tours.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Just two day records from near Mole and at Tono Dam.
AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus) – Six day records, with an adult and a juv on several occasions.

Another of our impressive list of raptors, this one a Grasshopper Buzzard; they are so named because they feed primarily on grasshoppers, though other large insects are also eaten. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

PALM-NUT VULTURE (Gypohierax angolensis) – Only one sighting, from Atewa at the end of the trip.
EUROPEAN HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis apivorus) – Just one seen by John at Bobiri.
AFRICAN CUCKOO-HAWK (Aviceda cuculoides) – Three day records, with one at Antikwaa, then one at Bobiri and two at Atewa next day.It is obviously a Baza, strange that this name has not been used (it used to be called the even worse Cuckoo Falcon)
HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus) – Small numbers, they have crashed from their former abundance but you still see a handful most days, probably not for much longer given what is happening to vultures planet-wide. Around 15 at Mole was the day maximum.
WHITE-BACKED VULTURE (Gyps africanus) – Sadly only seen in Mole NP with just 2 on one day, the future does not look bright for them.
BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus) – Another striking raptor that is in steep decline, we saw one immature in Mole NP, and an adult and an imm near Tamale.
CONGO SERPENT-EAGLE (Dryotriorchis spectabilis) – Heard calling quite close by at Antikwaa in thick mist one morning, then Harlan and I saw what I think must be this species in thick forest at Ankasa, where it flushed and perched way back in the trees.
BEAUDOUIN'S SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus beaudouini) – One at Shai Hills, then a very nice one twice by the road near the White Volta wetlands, surely the same bird on both days.
WAHLBERG'S EAGLE (Hieraaetus wahlbergi) – A single at Shai Hills.
BOOTED EAGLE (Hieraaetus pennatus) – At least one was soaring over high up at the Tongo Hills late afternoon, another first for our Ghana tours.
LIZARD BUZZARD (Kaupifalco monogrammicus) – A couple of sightings from roadside wires, starting at Winneba.
DARK CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax metabates) – Great views of two singles by the road near Mole on two dates.
GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar) – Three day records, with a nice perched one at Shai Hills and a good view of one at Tono Dam.
GRASSHOPPER BUZZARD (Butastur rufipennis) – Four day records starting as we neared Kintampo, with 8 birds in Mole the max day total. One snatched up a quaifinch at Nasia Pond.
EURASIAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus aeruginosus) – Four day records, with singles at Sakumono, in Mole NP and 2 at Nasia Pond.
SHIKRA (Accipiter badius) – Four day records of singles.
RED-THIGHED SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter erythropus erythropus) – A very good look at one at Bobiri, where it or another was seen again late that day. This was a Ghana tick for Phil too.
OVAMPO SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter ovampensis) – One came soaring over at Mole Np, we had a fine view of the tail bars, slightly rounded tail and small whitish rump. A first for our Ghana tours and very uncommon.
BLACK GOSHAWK (Accipiter melanoleucus) – One at Brimsu Reservoir was unexpected, it was a dark morph and the black underwing coverts were quite striking.
LONG-TAILED HAWK (Urotriorchis macrourus) – At last, Phil nailed his Ghana bogey bird with a fine responsive adult at Bobiri that came in to check out the tape. We had two great perched views and an excellent fly by of this strange species. I was surprised to see 4 irregular narrow white bars on the rufous underparts, and a greyish cere contrasting with the bright yellow eyes and grey head. A fabulous bird, one I'd wanted to see ever since the the publication of the Brown and Amadon "Eagles Hawks and Falcons" volumes of the 1960's.
BLACK KITE (YELLOW-BILLED) (Milvus migrans parasitus) – Now split by all bar Clements, we saw this almost every day of the trip.
RED-NECKED BUZZARD (Buteo auguralis) – A good trip for this species, we saw them at Shai Hills and Winneba, then again near Ankasa, at Brenu Beach and in Mole NP.
Otididae (Bustards)
BLACK-BELLIED BUSTARD (Lissotis melanogaster) – A fine male was Shai Hills and showed very nicely.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-SPOTTED FLUFFTAIL (Sarothrura pulchra) – Heard at various sites but none responsive this year. [*]
BLACK CRAKE (Amaurornis flavirostra) – Two at Mankessim pond and one at Nasia Pond.
PURPLE SWAMPHEN (AFRICAN) (Porphyrio porphyrio madagascariensis) – One at Sakumono, this whole complex needs breaking up into 5 or 6 species.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – Five at Mankessim pond were the only sighting.
LESSER MOORHEN (Gallinula angulata) – One at Mankessim pond was unexpected and a first for our Ghana tours. Nice comparisons with Common Moorhen too.
Heliornithidae (Finfoots)
AFRICAN FINFOOT (Podica senegalensis) – This was a real piece of luck, as a fine female was swimming about on the Amunsure River near Axim during a heavy rain storm, and we saw it well from the bus!
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
SENEGAL THICK-KNEE (Burhinus senegalensis) – Seen at Sakumono, Winneba and Mole NP, also on the Pra River. Odd how Water Thick-knee seems to be rare here and this one occupies its habitat.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SPUR-WINGED PLOVER (Vanellus spinosus) – Seen at Sakumono, Mole NP and the White Volta, max. 5 birds.
BLACK-HEADED LAPWING (Vanellus tectus tectus) – Three at Tono Dam were a useful find of an attractive species.
SENEGAL LAPWING (Vanellus lugubris) – Three birds at Winneba were a very exciting find of an uncommon and elusive migrant.
WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus senegallus) – A few at Sakumono and Mole, also on the riverine wetlands.
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – One at Sakumono and 3 at Winneba Lagoon.
COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula) – 70 at Sakumono on the shingle there, and 3 at Winneba Lagoon.
FORBES'S PLOVER (Charadrius forbesi) – A single at Mole after a bad afternoon beset by sweat bees in the favourite plover area, we got one bird as we were driving out!
WHITE-FRONTED PLOVER (Charadrius marginatus mechowi) – A couple at Winneba Lagoon, the first time we have seen this species on the tour. I think the bird I initially thought was Kentish Plover was also this species in non-breeding dress, it seemed too orange above for KP.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – About 90 at Sakumono and 5 at Winneba Lagoon were the only record.
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – Three with the stilts at Sakumono were a nice find, a new bird for Phil in Ghana.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus) – Widespread in small numbers in the wetlands.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – Four at Sakumono and three other single sightings.
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus) – One flew over at Sakumono, and there was one on the Pra River too.
SPOTTED REDSHANK (Tringa erythropus) – A lovely flock of 9 of this most elegant of shorebirds at Sakumono, with one coming into the dusky breeding plumage.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – 9 at Sakumono, 3 at Winneba Lagoons and a flock of 30 at the Egyptian Plover site.
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – Three at Winneba Lagoon.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – 7 at Sakumono were the only record.
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus) – Two at Winneba Lagoon were the only sighting.
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – One at Sakumono and 2 at Winneba Lagoon.
EURASIAN CURLEW (Numenius arquata) – One at Winneba Lagoon was the first we have seen on our Ghana tours.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica) – One at Winneba Lagoon was the first we have seen on our Ghana tours.

The White Volta River at Bawku, where we had super looks at 7 Egyptian Plovers! (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Two at Winneba Lagoon, odd to see this here in West Africa.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – Just 3 at Winneba Lagoon.
LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta) – 24 at Sakumono were the only record.
COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago) – A single at Nasia Pond on April 5 was the only sighting.
Turnicidae (Buttonquail)
SMALL BUTTONQUAIL (Turnix sylvaticus lepurana) – One was flushed at Tono Dam and we got a pretty good flight view, another first for our Ghana tour.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
EGYPTIAN PLOVER (Pluvianus aegyptius) – One of the trip megas, we had great looks at at least 7 of them on the White Volta at Bawku, feeding and resting on the sandbars there. Split out by most as a separate family these days and they are certainly very distinctive, a terrific bird which surely made Harlan's trip.
COLLARED PRATINCOLE (Glareola pratincola) – Just one at Sakumono Lagoon.
ROCK PRATINCOLE (RUFOUS-NAPED) (Glareola nuchalis liberiae) – Very nice looks at 2 of them on the rocks at the Pra River at Twifo Praso, this is the chestnut-collared West African taxon.
Rostratulidae (Painted-Snipes)
GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE (Rostratula benghalensis) – A single flew across at Nasia Pond, and some folks saw another later there.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons) – Just a single at Sakumono.
BLACK TERN (EURASIAN) (Chlidonias niger niger) – Ten at Sakumono.
WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus) – Two subadults at Sakumono Lagoon were the first we have seen on our Ghana tours.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – A single at Sakumono.
ROYAL TERN (AFRICAN) (Thalasseus maximus albididorsalis) – One at Winneba Lagoon was a pleasing addition to the trip, and quite a distinctive taxon.
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – John saw one at Winneba Lagoon.
Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)
FOUR-BANDED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles quadricinctus) – Five birds at Tono Dam were a very nice trip addition, and they showed very well.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – A few in the urban areas. [I]
SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea guinea) – Only seen in the far north from Nasia Pond on, and in small numbers.
MOURNING COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decipiens) – A couple at Tono Dam and one by a bridge near Nasia.
RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata) – Six day records of ones and twos, and only in the south.
VINACEOUS DOVE (Streptopelia vinacea) – First at Shai Hills, then common from Mole northwards.
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) – Seen on most days of the tour.
BLACK-BILLED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur abyssinicus) – A few sightings in the north from Mole onwards.
BLUE-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur afer) – Three day records from Shai Hills, then Ankasa and Aboabo.
TAMBOURINE DOVE (Turtur tympanistria) – Widespread and vocal in the forest zones.
BLUE-HEADED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur brehmeri) – As ever, tough to see well, we got one at Ebekawopa for a few, then one off the track at Ankasa.
NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis) – A few around Tono Dam.
BRUCE'S GREEN-PIGEON (Treron waalia) – Seen at Mole NP then at Tono Dam.
AFRICAN GREEN-PIGEON (Treron calvus) – Five day records, the most being 8 at Bobiri.
Musophagidae (Turacos)
GREAT BLUE TURACO (Corythaeola cristata) – Two seen nicely at Ankasa, an amazing species, just looking and sounding so bizarre.
GUINEA TURACO (Tauraco persa) – A great scope view of one at Winneba Plains, and heard at Kakum and Apro FR. [E]
YELLOW-BILLED TURACO (Tauraco macrorhynchus) – Tough this trip, we got them several times at Ankasa but hard to see well. [E]
VIOLET TURACO (Musophaga violacea) – A great look at 3 of them from the lodge at Mole, an important trip bird.
WESTERN PLANTAIN-EATER (Crinifer piscator) – Four day records from the south, starting at Shai Hills.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
LEVAILLANT'S CUCKOO (Clamator levaillantii) – Two single records in the south.
GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO (Clamator glandarius) – A fine adult was by a school near the prison not far from Brenu Beach.
BLACK CUCKOO (Cuculus clamosus) – One was heard at Bobiri. [*]
AFRICAN CUCKOO (Cuculus gularis) – A fine view of a calling bird at Mole NP.
DUSKY LONG-TAILED CUCKOO (Cercococcyx mechowi) – Heard at Ankasa but stayed out of sight. [*]
OLIVE LONG-TAILED CUCKOO (Cercococcyx olivinus) – Heard at the Picathartes site. [*]
YELLOW-THROATED CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx flavigularis) – A superb male eventually responded to my tape trolling just as we were leaving Atewa, and it came through nicely for excellent scope views. A rare and little-known bird, with the host still unknown.
KLAAS'S CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx klaas) – Seen at several sites and about the only cuckoo that was calling a lot this tour.
AFRICAN EMERALD CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx cupreus) – A female at Bobiri and a brief look at a male at Atewa, and only heard at these sites.
DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius) – Just one at Atewa, and the only place we heard it calling this tour.
YELLOWBILL (Ceuthmochares aereus) – Great views from Kakum and at Bobiri, often now split as Blue Malkoha, distinct from the Kenyan and South African species.

Africa has more than its fair share of gorgeous kingfishers; we saw 9 species, including this lovely Blue-breasted Kingfisher. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

BLACK-THROATED COUCAL (Centropus leucogaster) – Heard at Kakum and Aboabo, where John got a brief glimpse of one.
BLUE-HEADED COUCAL (Centropus monachus) – A nice look near Kakum and at Aboabo.
SENEGAL COUCAL (Centropus senegalensis) – Heard at Shai Hills and some saw it at Winneba.
Strigidae (Owls)
GRAYISH EAGLE-OWL (Bubo cinerascens) – A tremendous bird at Mole airstrip, my best view in some years.
AKUN EAGLE-OWL (Bubo leucostictus) – We heard this at Kakum, where it responded briefly but did not come in. When John and I stayed back at Ankasa during the Land Rover shuttle we eventually got one to respond with some deep grunts, and it flew high overhead to vanish into the woods. A nice reward for a late night.
RED-CHESTED OWLET (Glaucidium tephronotum tephronotum) – James was whistling for this at Bobiri and amazingly one responded and actually flew right in for some tremendous looks, another first for our Ghana tour.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
BROWN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus binotatus) – Once again heard at Kakum walkway late afternoon, but they seem to call then go quiet and non-responsive. Usually now placed in Veles too as it's an odd forest species unlike most other nightjars. [*]
LONG-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus climacurus) – A fine bird on the Mole airstrip.
Apodidae (Swifts)
BLACK SPINETAIL (Telacanthura melanopygia) – One from the Kakum walkway was a good find. [E]
SABINE'S SPINETAIL (Rhaphidura sabini) – A good tour for them, with sightings from Kakum, Ebekawopa and Aboabo, 2 birds each time.
CASSIN'S SPINETAIL (Neafrapus cassini) – Two singles from Kakum and Ebekawopa, a large oddly shaped spinetail which is always elusive.
COMMON SWIFT (Apus apus) – Three day records with 3 at Ebekawopa, 5 at Mole and 1 at Tono Dam.
LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis) – Widespread and common by road culverts.
WHITE-RUMPED SWIFT (Apus caffer) – Just two on the way out from Mole, a scarce species in Ghana.
AFRICAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus) – Widespread.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
NARINA TROGON (Apaloderma narina) – Heard at Apro Forest this trip. [*]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus) – Two day records, seen at Brimsu and Nasia.
WHITE-BELLIED KINGFISHER (Corythornis leucogaster) – A great view of one at the pond at Ankasa, a very tough species to get.
AFRICAN PYGMY-KINGFISHER (Ispidina picta) – Some nice views of this little gem, best at Antikwaa and Mole.
DWARF KINGFISHER (Ispidina lecontei) – One was near pond 3 at Ankasa, a new Ghana bird for the tour, it seems very local here, much as in Uganda!
CHOCOLATE-BACKED KINGFISHER (Halcyon badia) – A great view of one at Ebekawopa, the lovely mournful call is very evocative.
GRAY-HEADED KINGFISHER (Halcyon leucocephala) – A few from the Mole area, where some were doing a high circling aerial display.
WOODLAND KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegalensis) – Small numbers along roadsides and again at pond 3 at Ankasa, this form fuscopileus has a very grey head compared to central African birds.
BLUE-BREASTED KINGFISHER (Halcyon malimbica) – One at Ankasa pond 1, and then seen in circling display and calling high above the canopy at Mole!
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – Ten at Sakumono and one on the White Volta at Sapeliga.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
BLACK BEE-EATER (Merops gularis gularis) – Nice views at Antikwaa, then a brief look at Ebekawopa and Aboabo.
BLUE-HEADED BEE-EATER (Merops muelleri mentalis) – James has a new site for this and we eventually got a terrific look at one sat by the track, it is surely one of the most subtly beautiful of all the family. It is also split as Blue-moustached Bee-eater by the IOC, this taxon has elongated tail feathers and a blue facial patch.
RED-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops bulocki) – Some nice looks in Mole NP.
LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus) – We saw one at Brenu Beach, and some saw it at Tongo Hills.
SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops hirundineus chrysolaimus) – A real beauty at Shai Hills on the first morning.
WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops albicollis) – They were migrating this season and we had odd records throughout the drier zones, with 30 at Tono Dam and 30 at Winneba..
EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster) – Heard at Mole. [*]
ROSY BEE-EATER (Merops malimbicus) – Frustrating, we saw them flying over and calling from Kakum walkway but none were perched this trip. [E]
Coraciidae (Rollers)
ABYSSINIAN ROLLER (Coracias abyssinicus) – Seen very well at Mole, Tongo Hills and Tono Dam, there seems to be a bit of a movement going on.
RUFOUS-CROWNED ROLLER (Coracias naevius) – Nice views at Shai Hills, then again in Mole and finally one up by the Egyptian Plover site.
BLUE-BELLIED ROLLER (Coracias cyanogaster) – We had great looks at Shai Hills, with 3 together and calling at one stage and a total of 5 that morning, the only ones we saw.
BROAD-BILLED ROLLER (Eurystomus glaucurus) – Only seen at the Alexis Hotel, where a pair showed well.
BLUE-THROATED ROLLER (Eurystomus gularis) – Fine views of two at Kakum, calling nicely, and a single at Ankasa.
Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitar-bills)
GREEN WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus) – Three by the Alexis Hotel, and one at Winneba.
WHITE-HEADED WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus bollei) – Lovely views of 2 at Kakum walkway.
FOREST WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus castaneiceps) – A very vocal bird at Bobiri gave terrific looks, with another seen later.
BLACK SCIMITAR-BILL (Rhinopomastus aterrimus) – A brief glimpse in flight at Mole was it for the trip.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
WHITE-CRESTED HORNBILL (Tockus albocristatus) – One of my favourites and always a challenge to get, the weird vocals are a giveaway but seeing them is tough. We got 2 very well at Ebekawopa, with very fine flight views as well.
RED-BILLED DWARF HORNBILL (Tockus camurus) – Unco-operative this tour, we did get 2 at Ebakawopa but they were very flighty and did not sit for long. Great vocals though.
NORTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus erythrorhynchus) – About 10 at Tono Dam and near the White Volta, our only sites for it on the tour.
AFRICAN PIED HORNBILL (Tockus fasciatus) – Common in the forested zones of the south.

The Shai Hills were good for rollers; both Rufous-crowned Rollers (like this one) and Blue-bellied Rollers were seen well at this site. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Tockus nasutus) – Common in the northern savannas.
PIPING HORNBILL (Ceratogymna fistulator) – Hard this time, we finally got 2 at Ebekawopa.
BROWN-CHEEKED HORNBILL (Ceratogymna cylindrica) – This rather rare endemic was seen well from the walkway with about 6 birds, then even better with 2 at Ebekawopa. [E]
BLACK-CASQUED HORNBILL (Ceratogymna atrata) – Another large, rare and spectacular hornbill, we had pretty good looks at 10 of them from the walkway late afternoon, a good count.
YELLOW-CASQUED HORNBILL (Ceratogymna elata) – Even rarer than the preceding, we had a nice look at a pair from the walkway with the Black-casqued Hornbills. [E]
Lybiidae (African Barbets)
YELLOW-BILLED BARBET (Trachyphonus purpuratus) – Heard at Ankasa. [*]
BRISTLE-NOSED BARBET (Gymnobucco peli) – Fantastic looks at one at the ranger station at Ankasa, the bristles on the nose are actually two small pinkish-orange tufts like tiny pipe cleaners either side of the culmen.
NAKED-FACED BARBET (Gymnobucco calvus) – A few at Kakum and Ebekawopa, and heard at Ankasa and Bobiri.
SPECKLED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus scolopaceus) – Three day records in the forest zones.
RED-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus atroflavus) – A great view of one from the Kakum walkway.
YELLOW-THROATED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus subsulphureus) – Three day records from the forest zones, seen well at Aboabo, Antikwaa and then Bobiri.
YELLOW-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus bilineatus) – A single at Brimsu was the only sighting.
YELLOW-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus chrysoconus) – One at Shai Hills was the only sighting and it was heard at Tono Dam.
YELLOW-SPOTTED BARBET (Buccanodon duchaillui) – Heard at Kakum on two dates. [*]
HAIRY-BREASTED BARBET (Tricholaema hirsuta) – A fine view of one at Ankasa ranger station, then another at Aboabo, this nominate race is sometimes split.
VIEILLOT'S BARBET (Lybius vieilloti) – Great looks at Shai Hills.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED BARBET (Lybius bidentatus) – Likewise, seen very well at Shai Hills and Winneba.
BEARDED BARBET (Lybius dubius) – Nice looks at Tono Dam.
Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)
THICK-BILLED HONEYGUIDE (Indicator conirostris) – Heard at Bobiri, it sure sounds like Lesser Honeyguide to me and I doubt these two are really distinct. [*]
GREATER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator indicator) – Heard at Mole airstrip. [*]
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
EURASIAN WRYNECK (Jynx torquilla) – One at Tono Dam was in much the same area as two years ago, I wonder if it is the same individual? A very good bird for the trip.
AFRICAN PICULET (Sasia africana) – A nice look at Aboabo and then a brief one at Bobiri, the quiet high-pitched trilling call is a good sign of them being present.
FINE-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Campethera punctuligera) – Very good looks at two birds in Mole this year, one a female.
BUFF-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Campethera nivosa) – Heard at Aboabo and seen flying by at Atewa.
BROWN-EARED WOODPECKER (Campethera caroli) – Harlan saw one at Ankasa, where it was calling.
MELANCHOLY WOODPECKER (Dendropicos lugubris) – Heard at Antikwaa and then seen flying over at Aboabo, with another heard at Atewa. [E]
FIRE-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Dendropicos pyrrhogaster) – Two seen quite well at Kakum and heard at Ankasa and Ebekawopa. [E]
GRAY WOODPECKER (Dendropicos goertae) – Good looks at Mole NP.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
EURASIAN KESTREL (EURASIAN) (Falco tinnunculus rufescens) – Just a few around the Accra area as usual.
FOX KESTREL (Falco alopex) – One at Tongo Hills was very well received.
GRAY KESTREL (Falco ardosiaceus) – A few from the drier areas, seen well.
AFRICAN HOBBY (Falco cuvierii) – A fine pair calling at Winneba were a good trip bird.
LANNER FALCON (Falco biarmicus) – Five day records this tour, from Shai Hills and Winneba to Mole, where one snatched up a chick from beside a village as we came out of the park.
Psittacidae (Parrots)
ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (Psittacula krameri) – Nice looks at 5 birds in Mole NP.
GRAY PARROT (Psittacus erithacus erithacus) – Two in flight at Kakum, then much better views at Bobiri with 2+ birds
BROWN-NECKED PARROT (BROWN-NECKED) (Poicephalus robustus fuscicollis) – Joe saw this near Twifo Praso, then we heard them calling at Bobiri.
RED-FRONTED PARROT (Poicephalus gulielmi) – 5 in flight at Antikwaa, 3 at Ebekawopa, 7 at Aboabo and then 2 perched up nicely at Bobiri.
SENEGAL PARROT (Poicephalus senegalus) – 5 at Shai Hills then 3 at Mole.
Calyptomenidae (African and Green Broadbills)
RUFOUS-SIDED BROADBILL (Smithornis rufolateralis) – One displaying at Ebekawopa in bad light one afternoon, then a silent bird that came in at Ankasa and showed very well.
Pittidae (Pittas)
AFRICAN PITTA (Pitta angolensis pulih) – Perhaps the unexpected sighting of the trip, James saw it fly and then hop off in the undergrowth on the bamboo loop at Ankasa, so i got the lads to go in and see if they could move it across the track. They saw it fly, so I got them to try again and amazingly it did flush and we got a quick flight view! Oddly two of our group were with me in Uganda when we saw one there too, this was again a very lucky find and a life bird for James. The status in Ghana is very poorly known.
Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)
BLACK-AND-WHITE SHRIKE-FLYCATCHER (Bias musicus) – Just one female at Aboabo this trip.
BROWN-THROATED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira cyanea) – Two at Shai Hills and one at Brenu Beach in scrub habitat.
CHESTNUT WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira castanea) – A pair with a juv from the walkway, this race hormophora is now split as West African Wattle-eye by the IOC, it has a big white collar and is genetically distinct. [E]
RED-CHEEKED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira blissetti) – Boy these things are hard, we heard it near Kakum on the Stingless Bee track, then had a 45 minute duel with two at Atewa, which kept flicking across and giving 'brrt' wing flaps but were as ever really hard to see perched. Finally about 3 of us got perched views but it was a lengthy effort, requiring younger eyes than ours! This was actually a lifer sighting for Phil though we have heard it every tour. [E]
SENEGAL BATIS (Batis senegalensis) – A few saw this at Shai Hills, then we had at least one male at Mole whilst beset by sweat bees! [E]
Prionopidae (Helmetshrikes and Allies)
WHITE HELMETSHRIKE (Prionops plumatus) – 5 at Shai Hills and then one at Mole.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED HELMETSHRIKE (Prionops caniceps) – Great views at Ebekawopa one afternoon, where one was eating a green katydid.
Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)
NORTHERN PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus gambensis) – Seen at Shai Hills and then at Atewa beside a Fiscal.

Fortunately, not all of Ghana's roads are as rough as this one! (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

LARGE-BILLED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus sabini) – This is a wet forest special which we saw very nicely at Kakum, with a male and female there, then heard at Ankasa and seen again at Bobiri. One call is quite like that of Olive-green Camaroptera! [E]
BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra senegalus) – Quite widespread in the drier areas and showed very well.
BROWN-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra australis) – Phil finally got to see one along Stingless Bee track at Kakum after everyone had seen one earlier, a very nice look.
COMMON GONOLEK (Laniarius barbarus) – Often heard in the drier areas, but hard to see, we got them at Winneba and Brenu Beach.
SOOTY BOUBOU (Laniarius leucorhynchus) – Skulking, but eventually one hopped up into view along the Stingless Bee track, a very fine look of a real skulker.
SULPHUR-BREASTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus sulfureopectus) – Phil got to see one at Mole where we could hear it calling.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
WHITE-BREASTED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina pectoralis) – Just one at Mole NP, always uncommon.
RED-SHOULDERED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Campephaga phoenicea) – A pair at Shai hills then 4 birds from Mole.
PURPLE-THROATED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Campephaga quiscalina) – Seen well at Kakum then one at Atewa.
BLUE CUCKOOSHRIKE (Cyanograucalus azureus) – Great looks at Kakum walkway and then one at Bobiri.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
SOUTHERN FISCAL (Lanius collaris) – Uncommon, mostly single birds from Brimsu on. There was an adult with a very brown spotty juv. at Atewa.
YELLOW-BILLED SHRIKE (Corvinella corvina) – Small groups at Shai Hills, then again in the far north.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
AFRICAN GOLDEN ORIOLE (Oriolus auratus) – Just one by the roadside on the way into Mole NP.
WESTERN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus brachyrhynchus) – A few sightings from Ankasa.
BLACK-WINGED ORIOLE (Oriolus nigripennis) – Seen well at Kakum, Ankasa and then Bobiri, with a dark-billed yellow-throated juv. being fed at Kakum.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
SHINING DRONGO (Dicrurus atripennis) – Just a couple in the forest at Ankasa.
FORK-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus adsimilis) – Seen at Shai Hills, and then Mole NP and Tono Dam.
VELVET-MANTLED DRONGO (Dicrurus modestus) – A few at Ankasa and Bobiri.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLUE-HEADED CRESTED-FLYCATCHER (Trochocercus nitens) – Heard at Bobiri but did not respond. [*]
BLACK-HEADED PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone rufiventer) – Seen well in the wet forest sites, with one nesting in a vine right over the creek at Ankasa.
AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis) – Only seen at Mole where a white morph adult flew past, though John saw one at Atewa.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
PIAPIAC (Ptilostomus afer) – Seen at Shai Hills, Mole and near Bolgatanga.
PIED CROW (Corvus albus) – Seen every single day of the tour.
Picathartidae (Rockfowl)
WHITE-NECKED ROCKFOWL (Picathartes gymnocephalus) – Well, the star of the show did not disappoint, though it was a shame not everyone could make the trek in (Harlan practically ran!) This year it took just under an hour, we had great looks of one or two perched on the rock edge, and one spent some time working on the mud nest in the gloom of the rock overhang. The local guide told me there were 33 nests this year, just at the start of the season. Fantastic and of course a trip highlight. [E]
Nicatoridae (Nicators)
YELLOW-SPOTTED NICATOR (Nicator chloris) – Heard at all the wet forest sites and seen really well at Aboabo, more usually called Western Nicator these days and in its own family now.
Alaudidae (Larks)
FLAPPET LARK (Mirafra rufocinnamomea) – One at Tono Dam gave quite good looks and seemed quite pale.
SUN LARK (Galerida modesta) – Two at a laterite pan area in Mole NP as we endured the sweat bees.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Very few and mostly in the south.
RED-CHESTED SWALLOW (Hirundo lucida lucida) – Seen very nicely at Larabanga Mosque, then again at the plover site. Much paler brighter blue than Barn Swallow, with whiter underparts, smaller size and a largely reddish chin and throat lacking much of a black border.
ETHIOPIAN SWALLOW (Hirundo aethiopica aethiopica) – Four day records in the south, small numbers only.
WHITE-THROATED BLUE SWALLOW (Hirundo nigrita) – Great looks at two on the Pra River at Twifo Praso as usual, amazingly localized here.
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii smithii) – Just two at the waterhole in Mole NP.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (WEST AFRICAN) (Cecropis daurica domicella) – Seen briefly at Kakum walkway with a swallow flock, this race is sometimes split as West African Swallow.
LESSER STRIPED-SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica) – Widespread in small numbers.
RUFOUS-CHESTED SWALLOW (Cecropis semirufa gordoni) – Two at Stingless Bee track, and 2 at Aboabo, the first we have seen on a Ghana tour oddly enough.
PREUSS'S SWALLOW (Petrochelidon preussi) – Great looks at a roadside culvert near Twifo Praso, then another colony near Assin Fosso.
COMMON HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon urbicum) – Seen at Antikwaa and then a few at Mole.
SQUARE-TAILED SAWWING (Psalidoprocne nitens) – 6 at the bridge at Ankasa as we waited for the Land Rover, then 5 at Atewa on the last day, small and square-tailed.
FANTI SAWWING (Psalidoprocne obscura) – A couple of singles from Brimsu and Kakum, the deeply forked tail is distinctive.
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
AFRICAN BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Elminia longicauda) – Just one at Mole NP.
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)
WHITE-SHOULDERED BLACK-TIT (Melaniparus guineensis) – Seen at Shai hills and Mole, the yellow eye is distinctive and they are quite vocal.
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
FOREST PENDULINE-TIT (Anthoscopus flavifrons) – Good looks at this uncommon diminutive species at Aboabo which seems to be a good site for it.
TIT-HYLIA (Pholidornis rushiae) – Five day records, from Brimsu, Antikwaa, Aboabo, Bobiri and Atewa, usually in twos.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
SLENDER-BILLED GREENBUL (Stelgidillas gracilirostris) – Amazingly scarce this tour, we saw it at Kakum and Atewa only.
GOLDEN GREENBUL (Calyptocichla serinus) – One at Antikwaa, and one for some at Bobiri. [E]
COMMON BRISTLEBILL (Bleda syndactylus) – Heard at the wet forest sites and seen quite well at the ant swarm at Ankasa.
GREEN-TAILED BRISTLEBILL (Bleda eximius) – Heard at the Picathartes site, I have yet to see this species now the Ugandan bird is split. [E*]
GRAY-HEADED BRISTLEBILL (Bleda canicapillus) – Heard at Kakum and Ankasa and then glimpsed at Bobiri where 2 were chasing in a thicket. [E]
SIMPLE GREENBUL (Chlorocichla simplex) – Seen at Brimsu and then at Kakum.
HONEYGUIDE GREENBUL (Baeopogon indicator) – Great views of one at Kakum and then at Antikwaa.
YELLOW-THROATED GREENBUL (Atimastillas flavicollis) – Two at the Alexis Hotel were the only sighting.
SWAMP GREENBUL (Thescelocichla leucopleura) – A good trip for these, showing well at Kakum, Stingless Bee Road and then feeding in a fruit tree at Ankasa ranger station. Usually called Swamp Palm Greenbul.
RED-TAILED GREENBUL (Criniger calurus) – A good view of one at Kakum.
WESTERN BEARDED-GREENBUL (Criniger barbatus) – Tough to see, we heard them at Ebekawopa and Ankasa, also at Aboabo, but none wanted to show. [E*]
YELLOW-BEARDED GREENBUL (Criniger olivaceus) – An Ankasa special that actually showed well, creeping about on the trunk of a huge tree with the yellow chin and throat easily seen and the quite bright yellow-green upperparts. [E]
GRAY GREENBUL (Eurillas gracilis) – Seen at Ankasa and then Bobiri. not much to report except it's actually called Little Grey Greenbul!
ANSORGE'S GREENBUL (Eurillas ansorgei) – Glimpsed by some at Ankasa.
PLAIN GREENBUL (Eurillas curvirostris) – Heard at Aboabo and Bobiri, but stayed out of view. [*]
YELLOW-WHISKERED GREENBUL (Eurillas latirostris) – Three singles from Kakum and Ankasa.
LITTLE GREENBUL (Eurillas virens) – Heard at all wet forest sites, and finally seen well at Atewa. Phil saw one in scrub at Brenu Beach too.
ICTERINE GREENBUL (Phyllastrephus icterinus) – Nice views of a loose flock at Ankasa, foraging quite high in the trees.
WHITE-THROATED GREENBUL (Phyllastrephus albigularis) – This was heard at Kakum and might have been glimpsed by some.
COMMON BULBUL (Pycnonotus barbatus) – Widespread, folks tried to avoid getting caught looking at them......
Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)
GREEN CROMBEC (Sylvietta virens flaviventris) – Seen at Antikwaa and then at Bobiri.
LEMON-BELLIED CROMBEC (Sylvietta denti hardyi) – Seen briefly at Kakum then quite well at Aboabo, they seem quite bright yellow below here.
NORTHERN CROMBEC (Sylvietta brachyura brachyura) – Seen at Shai Hills and much better at Tono Dam.
KEMP'S LONGBILL (Macrosphenus kempi) – Heard at Antikwaa, then finally most folks got onto one in a thicket at Aboabo. [E]
GRAY LONGBILL (Macrosphenus concolor) – Seen at Kakum and Ankasa, often hard to see well.
Cettiidae (Bush-Warblers and Allies)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Erythrocercus mccallii) – Three day records from Antikwaa, then Aboabo and finally Atewa. Quite vocal and active in small flocks.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf-Warblers)
WILLOW WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochilus) – Only seen at Mole and Tono Dam this trip, very few around.
WOOD WARBLER (Phylloscopus sibilatrix) – Some saw this at Kakum and then there were 2 or 3 at Bobiri, no doubt about to head north.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
SHARPE'S APALIS (Apalis sharpii) – Elusive, heard at all the wet forest sites and eventually seen very well from the walkway where a male and a plain-throated juv. came close. [E]
GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata) – Widespread.
YELLOW-BROWED CAMAROPTERA (Camaroptera superciliaris) – Great looks at this striking bird at Aboabo, and some saw it at Kakum.
OLIVE-GREEN CAMAROPTERA (Camaroptera chloronota) – Heard in all the wet forest areas. [*]

For many of us, starlings are not well-liked birds, but seeing the likes of Purple Glossy-Starling is sure to give anyone a new appreciation for the family. (Photo by guide Phil Gregroy)

RED-FACED CISTICOLA (Cisticola erythrops erythrops) – Good views at Brenu Beach.
SINGING CISTICOLA (Cisticola cantans swanzii) – Good views at Tono Dam after an elusive one at Brenu Beach.
WHISTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola lateralis lateralis) – Seen well at Antikwaa and heard at Atewa and Bobiri.
ROCK-LOVING CISTICOLA (Cisticola aberrans admiralis) – A nice look at one of these distinctive birds on the track at Tongo Hills, the rufous cap and nape showed well against the dark unstreaked back.
WINDING CISTICOLA (WINDING) (Cisticola galactotes amphilectus) – Seen and heard winding at Nasia Pond on both stops, one bird was lacking a tail!
CROAKING CISTICOLA (Cisticola natalensis strangei) – Seen at Shai Hills and Winneba.
SIFFLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola brachypterus brachypterus) – One at Winneba was it for the tour.
BLACK-NECKED CISTICOLA (Cisticola eximius) – James had a new site at Nasia Pond and we got quite good views of a non-breeding dress bird here, the rufous on the neck shows quite well.
ORIOLE WARBLER (Hypergerus atriceps) – One was singing well at Shai Hills but stayed out of view, then two showed very well at Mole, feeding on the ground in thickets.
TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava) – Small numbers in the drier areas.
RED-WINGED PRINIA (Prinia erythroptera erythroptera) – Two at Winneba were initially elusive but eventually showed well.
SENEGAL EREMOMELA (Eremomela pusilla) – A bad view at Shai Hills, then nice looks at Mole and Tono Dam.
RUFOUS-CROWNED EREMOMELA (Eremomela badiceps fantiensis) – Very nice views at Kakum and again at Aboabo for a few.
Sylviidae (Sylviids, Parrotbills and Allies)
GREEN HYLIA (Hylia prasina) – Heard in all the wet forests and seen well at Kakum.
Zosteropidae (Yuhinas, White-eyes, and Allies)
AFRICAN YELLOW WHITE-EYE (Zosterops senegalensis) – Seen at Ebekawopa and a few folks saw them at Mole and Atewa.
Pellorneidae (Fulvettas and Ground Babblers)
BLACKCAP ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis cleaveri cleaveri) – Heard at Ebekawopa, quite close but inaccessible. [*]
RUFOUS-WINGED ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis rufescens) – Calling well at the usual spot at Ankasa, and this time we went in and after some while managed to get a few people onto the bird foraging on the forest floor. A lifer sighting for Phil too. [E]
PALE-BREASTED ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis rufipennis extrema) – Heard at Ankasa. [*]
BROWN ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis fulvescens moloneyana) – Heard against a background of chainsaws at Atewa, presumably this is the race moloneyana of the east of Ghana? [*]
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes)
BLACKCAP BABBLER (Turdoides reinwardtii) – Seen at Mole NP, where it was calling well. [E]
Hyliotidae (Hyliotas)
VIOLET-BACKED HYLIOTA (Hyliota violacea nehrkorni) – Great looks from Kakum walkway, the male is really brightly coloured orangey below, then two more at Aboabo. Now in their own family too.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
PALE FLYCATCHER (Bradornis pallidus) – One at Atewa farmbush.
NORTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis edolioides edolioides) – A couple at Mole NP.
AFRICAN FOREST-FLYCATCHER (Fraseria ocreata prosphora) – Seen twice at Ankasa.
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata) – One at Shai hills and one at Atewa were all we saw.
USSHER'S FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa ussheri) – Seen at Kakum and Aboabo, they sure don't look like the plate in the Ghana Field Guide but the colour printing in that book is just awful. [E]
SWAMP FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa aquatica aquatica) – Two seen at Mole NP, one of which seemed to be lacking a breast band.
DUSKY-BLUE FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa comitata aximensis) – One at Antikwaa and then one at Atewa on both days.
CASSIN'S FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa cassini) – One on the river at Ankasa.
GRAY-THROATED TIT-FLYCATCHER (Myioparus griseigularis) – Heard at Aboabo and Bobiri, and seen in the shade at Atewa when we were looking for the Red-cheeked Wattle-eye.
GRAY TIT-FLYCATCHER (Myioparus plumbeus) – Two at Shai Hills.
FIRE-CRESTED ALETHE (WHITE-TAILED) (Alethe diademata diademata) – Heard quite a lot in the wet forests, and finally seen well at Atewa. Split by many as White-tailed Alethe. [E]
SNOWY-CROWNED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha niveicapilla) – A good view in Mole NP after a flyby at Winneba.
FOREST ROBIN (WESTERN) (Stiphrornis erythrothorax erythrothorax) – Hard as ever, a few folks managed to see one in Ankasa.
EUROPEAN PIED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula hypoleuca) – A male and female in Mole NP.
WHINCHAT (Saxicola rubetra) – Four day records, starting at Shai Hills, then 7 at Winneba, one at Brenu beach and one at Mole.
WHITE-FRONTED BLACK-CHAT (Myrmecocichla albifrons) – Good views at Mole whilst beset by sweat bees!
MOCKING CLIFF-CHAT (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris coronata) – Brief views at Shai hills, this form has a white crowned male and is sometimes split.
FAMILIAR CHAT (Cercomela familiaris) – Two at Tongo Hills were unexpected and actually a Ghana tick for Phil.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
FINSCH'S FLYCATCHER-THRUSH (Neocossyphus finschii) – A few folks saw it at Bobiri, then one showed much better for all at Atewa farmbush next day. [E]
WHITE-TAILED ANT-THRUSH (Neocossyphus poensis) – One was feeding in th gloom at an ant swarm in Ankasa, and one was by the road en route from Half Assini.
AFRICAN THRUSH (Turdus pelios) – Seen on three days starting at Shai Hills.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
LESSER BLUE-EARED GLOSSY-STARLING (LESSER) (Lamprotornis chloropterus chloropterus) – Ah yes, well James reckons the "blue-eared' starlings at Tono Dam are Greater, but I can't see why they are so much smaller than Purple Glossy, and I did not hear the distinctive "Mweeaa" call of Greater. I will look again next trip.....
BRONZE-TAILED GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis chalcurus) – Just one seen this trip, a fine view by the road on the Samole loop track at Mole, with the purple tail showing well.
PURPLE GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis purpureus) – A good trip for them, with the first at Shai Hills, then seen at Mole and Tono Dam.
LONG-TAILED GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis caudatus) – One of the most beautiful of the starlings, we saw 2 at Mole with the long purple tail showing amazingly well, then had 9 at Tono Dam.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED STARLING (Lamprotornis pulcher) – Great to see these at Tono Dam and en route to the plover site.
COPPER-TAILED GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis cupreocauda) – This distinctive short-tailed forest bird was seen at Antikwaa then in the scope at Ebekawopa. [E]
VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) – Small numbers at Mole including some lovely males.
CHESTNUT-WINGED STARLING (Onychognathus fulgidus) – Some saw this at Kakum and there were 2 flying by at Aboabo.
NARROW-TAILED STARLING (Poeoptera lugubris) – Just one seen at Ebekawopa, a scope view too. Thanks to the Hungarians.
Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)
YELLOW-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus africanus) – Great to see 5+ of these at Tono Dam and then 4 on the way to Sapeliga, with one on a donkey too. One was also seen next day.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
SCARLET-TUFTED SUNBIRD (Deleornis fraseri) – Fraser's Sunbird is an odd straight billed species which we saw at Kakum and then Bobiri. Scarlet-tufted Sunbird usually refers to the Malachite Sunbird of that name......
MOUSE-BROWN SUNBIRD (Anthreptes gabonicus) – Great looks by the Ebi River of what seems to be a riverine/mangrove specialist.
LITTLE GREEN SUNBIRD (Anthreptes seimundi) – A couple at Antikwaa, very small and nondescript!
GREEN SUNBIRD (Anthreptes rectirostris) – A terrific male seen at Ebekawopa, unusual to see it sat so well.
COLLARED SUNBIRD (Hedydipna collaris) – Widespread in all the wet forests.
PYGMY SUNBIRD (Hedydipna platura) – Seen well at Mole with a couple of males and females, despite the sweat bees.
REICHENBACH'S SUNBIRD (Anabathmis reichenbachii) – This one has become a fixture now, and we had great looks near Ankasa, a really odd sexually monomorphic sunbird in its own genus.
GREEN-HEADED SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra verticalis) – Some folks saw one at Kakum, and there was a female at Atewa farmbush in the afternoon.
BLUE-THROATED BROWN SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra cyanolaema) – A great male at Ebekawopa and then another at Ankasa, finally one at Bobiri for some.
WESTERN OLIVE SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra obscura) – A few seen or more usually heard in the forest areas. An incredibly dubious split too.
BUFF-THROATED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra adelberti) – A striking bird, we had four day records with the first at Ankasa, and ending with a fine pair at Atewa farmbush.
CARMELITE SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra fuliginosa) – Amazing this trip, we had at least 7 feeding in the flowering Bougainvilllaeas by our hotel at Half Assini. Males have odd grey buff crowns and the females look very pale above, the plumage seems to bleach very quickly.
SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis) – A pair at Shai hills and a few at Mole.
OLIVE-BELLIED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris chloropygius) – Just a couple at Antikwaa.
TINY SUNBIRD (Cinnyris minullus) – One at Ankasa was a nice bird to get.
BEAUTIFUL SUNBIRD (Cinnyris pulchellus) – A few at Mole then Tono Dam.
SPLENDID SUNBIRD (Cinnyris coccinigastrus) – Great views of a pair by the Alexis Hotel, then 3 males and a female at Shai Hills and finally a couple at Mole NP.
JOHANNA'S SUNBIRD (Cinnyris johannae) – A male at Kakum was the only sighting, this one is always elusive.
SUPERB SUNBIRD (Cinnyris superbus) – Only seen at Antikwaa this trip where we had 3 females.
COPPER SUNBIRD (Cinnyris cupreus) – Four day records starting at Shai Hills.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (Motacilla flava) – Heard at Nasia Pond, wagtails were very scarce this trip.
WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (BLUE-HEADED) (Motacilla flava flava) – A nice summer plumage bird at Sakumono was the only sighting.
AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp) – Amazingly scarce, I saw 5 near Winneba and one over in the west, it is really strange how some common African birds are for some reason so scarce in Ghana.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza tahapisi) – Seen well at Tongo Hills as usual.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY (Serinus mozambicus) – Just a few in Mole NP.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
NORTHERN GRAY-HEADED SPARROW (Passer griseus) – Widespread.
BUSH PETRONIA (Petronia dentata) – A few seen at Kakum.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
WHITE-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER (Bubalornis albirostris) – Great, we have always seen the nests near Sapeliga, but not the birds, but this year there were actually 3 birds present, the first time we have seen it on the Ghana tour.
SPECKLE-FRONTED WEAVER (Sporopipes frontalis frontalis) – A group of 4 birds were seen in bush as we came out of the Egyptian Plover site, a first for the Ghana tour.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser superciliosus) – One at Mole was a useful pick-up and showed well by the Park HQ.
RED-VENTED MALIMBE (Malimbus scutatus) – Seen well at Kakum and then Aboabo where it had that really wonderful nest with the long spout built on the palm frond, as in previous years.

It was great fun to watch this baby elephant frolicking in the water hole at Mole Lodge. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

GRAY'S MALIMBE (Malimbus nitens) – One at Aboabo for Joe and I, and then one at Atewa for everyone.
CRESTED MALIMBE (Malimbus malimbicus) – A male was seen at Aboabo then we all got one very well at Bobiri.
RED-HEADED MALIMBE (Malimbus rubricollis) – Three days records starting at Kakum, and a nesting bird was at Atewa.
LITTLE WEAVER (Ploceus luteolus) – Just a pair at Mole.
BLACK-NECKED WEAVER (Ploceus nigricollis brachypterus) – Small numbers in the wet forest areas, and rather different to the eastern African birds.
ORANGE WEAVER (Ploceus aurantius aurantius) – A fine male in a weaver colony near Half Assini.
VITELLINE MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus vitellinus) – Just one at Winneba, the red eye distinctive. Ignore the range map in the Field Guide!
HEUGLIN'S MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus heuglini) – This was a lucky find at Shai Hills where a noisy flock of 15 were in the savanna and a pair perched up for scope views, seeing the pale eye and the pinkish legs of the female. This was only my second record, it's a scarce species here.
VIEILLOT'S WEAVER (Ploceus nigerrimus castaneofuscus) – Widespread, and amazingly unlike the all black eastern birds as this taxon is chestnut and black.
VILLAGE WEAVER (BLACK-HEADED) (Ploceus cucullatus cucullatus) – Widespread, this West African race has a chestnut nape.
YELLOW-MANTLED WEAVER (Ploceus tricolor) – A small nesting colony at Kakum walkway, and singles at Aboabo and then Bobiri.
MAXWELL'S BLACK WEAVER (Ploceus albinucha albinucha) – Just a single male was seen from Kakum walkway, the white eye is a good character, thanks Joe!
PREUSS'S WEAVER (Ploceus preussi) – Singles of this odd rather rare creeper-like weaver were seen at Antikwaa by some, then at Aboabo and Apro Forest. [E]
COMPACT WEAVER (Pachyphantes superciliosus) – 4 non-breeding birds at Atewa farmbush were a nice find of a scarce species.
RED-HEADED QUELEA (Quelea erythrops) – 3 non-breeding birds were just getting some red onto the face at Atewa farmbush, and were another Ghana tick for Phil.
RED-BILLED QUELEA (Quelea quelea) – One at Tono Dam was a Ghana tick for Phil, they are very northern in occurrence here.
ORANGE BISHOP (Euplectes franciscanus) – Northern Red Bishops were seen in non-breeding dress at Tono Dam.
BLACK-WINGED BISHOP (Euplectes hordeaceus) – Non-breeding birds in Mole and at Atewa, with one coloured male quite well advanced near there, they seem to come into breeding plumage early at this site.
YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP (Euplectes afer afer) – A few rather yellow faced non-breeding birds at Brenu Beach were a Ghana tick for Phil.
YELLOW-SHOULDERED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes macroura macroura) – Non-breeding birds at Brimsu and Brenu Bech, and one breeding dress male at Atewa. This is actually the Yellow-mantled form despite the Clements name.
GROSBEAK WEAVER (Amblyospiza albifrons capitalba) – Just a few at Atewa and 8 flying over at Brimsu.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED NIGRITA (Nigrita canicapillus) – Seen at Kakum and Aboabo and heard at Bobiri and Atewa.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED NIGRITA (Nigrita bicolor) – Seen at Kakum, near Ebekawopa and then at Bobiri.
WHITE-BREASTED NIGRITA (Nigrita fusconotus) – Good views at Kakum.
LAVENDER WAXBILL (Estrilda caerulescens) – A very nice pick up of 4 birds as we were leaving Mole NP, though some of us saw one the previous day
ORANGE-CHEEKED WAXBILL (Estrilda melpoda) – Seven day records, with small numbers at various drier country sites starting at Stingless Bee track. 10 at Tono Dam was the max.
BLACK-RUMPED WAXBILL (Estrilda troglodytes) – 20 at Brenu Beach, then 2 at Aboabo and small numbers at Mole and Tono Dam.
WESTERN BLUEBILL (Spermophaga haematina) – Brief views in scrub at Atewa after we played tape for it. [E]
BLACK-BELLIED SEEDCRACKER (Pyrenestes ostrinus) – Ah yes, well I think the bird that flew across at Atewa as we played tape for bluebill had a red head, which makes it this species. A bad flight view. They do often occur together.
RED-CHEEKED CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus bengalus) – A few at Mole and Tono Dam.
RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala) – Small flocks at Mole, Tongo Hills and Tono Dam.
BAR-BREASTED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta rufopicta) – Seen at Mankessim pond and near Kakum, also at Mole.
AFRICAN FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta rubricata) – A small flock near Kakum on the Stingless Bee track.
ZEBRA WAXBILL (Sporaeginthus subflavus) – Great views of about 12 at Nasia Pond, a very striking species.
BLACK-FACED QUAILFINCH (Ortygospiza atricollis atricollis) – Some nice views of 20+ at Nasia pond, with one being grabbed out of the grass by a Grasshopper Buzzard! It has a red bill with dark base to the upper culmen, and very black face, with little or no white around eyes and chin. There are variously between 1 and 3 quailfinch species recognised.
BRONZE MANNIKIN (Spermestes cucullatus) – Small numbers in the drier areas.
BLACK-AND-WHITE MANNIKIN (Spermestes bicolor) – A few at Antikwaa and near Kakum.
MAGPIE MANNIKIN (Spermestes fringilloides) – A noisy flock of 30+ in the bamboos at Bobiri were a Ghana tick for Phil, and there were 5 at Atewa in grassland. It's an elusive and quite nomadic species and was new for most.
AFRICAN SILVERBILL (Euodice cantans) – 9 at Nasia pond and 7 near Sapeliga.
Viduidae (Indigobirds)
PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura) – A handful of non-breeding birds in the north.

STRAW-COLORED FRUIT BAT (Eidolon helvum) – A flock of them were coming out of tall trees at dusk near Atewa.
EPAULETED BAT SP. (Epomops franqueti) – The little group is still in the shady trees at the hotel in Tamale, but they may be an Epomophorus species and not a singing fruit bat, the head shape seems a better fit.
HAMMER-HEADED FRUIT BAT (Hypsignathus monstrosus) – A bat sp. was calling constantly as we came did our nocturnal walk at Ankasa, and the local guys reckoned it was Hammer Bat; however this call is described as a "blaring honk" whereas our one was much more musical and regular, and I wonder if it was one of the singing fruit bats Epomops sp.? I did make a recording and a quick internet search has turned up a good match from Gabon so I think we did hear Hammer Bat. [*]
POTTO (Perodicticus potto) – Ome of the highlights of the trip was finding 3 Pottos in the forest at Kakum at dusk, a species Phil has wanted to see since reading about them as a kid in "The Bafut Beagles' by Gerald Durrell. Later John and I saw another one in the forest at Ankasa on our nocturnal walk there.
PRINCE DEMIDOFF'S BUSHBABY (Galago demidoff) – Heard at Kakum. [*]
MONA MONKEY (Cercopithecus mona) – One was seen at Kakum and we heard it at Ankasa immediately after I said I had never seen any monkeys there.
GREEN MONKEY (Cercopithecus sabaeus) – One at Shai Hills and one at Mole, also called Black-faced Vervet.
OLIVE BABOON (Papio anubis) – 4 at Shai hills and just 5 at Mole, very few this trip.
SCRUB HARE (Lepus saxatalis) – Two very close at Mole airstrip.
STRIPED GROUND SQUIRREL (Xerus erythropus) – Some good looks at this in Mole NP.
FOREST GIANT SQUIRREL (Protoxerus stangeri) – Some folks glimpsed it at Ankasa.
FIRE-FOOTED ROPE SQUIRREL (Funisciurus pyrrhopus) – Heard at Ankasa and also glimpsed there.
GAMBIAN SUN SQUIRREL (Heliosciurus gambianus) – Two at Ankasa were likely to be this species.
RED-LEGGED SUN SQUIRREL (Heliosciurus rufobrachium) – Some folks glimpsed it at Ankasa.
SCALY-TAILED FLYING SQUIRREL SP. (Anomalurus peli) – One at dusk as we came out of the walkway, a truly strange animal in its own family of Anomaluridae. This one is a striking black and white colour.
GIANT POUCHED RAT (Cricetomys emini) – Some folks saw one near Kakum.
SLENDER MONGOOSE (Herpestes sanguineus) – One at Winneba was a surprise.
MARSH MONGOOSE (Atilax paludinosus) – This was a magnificent creature foraging by the pond at Ankasa (where we alwys see something unusual!). It was a smart matt black colour with quite a long slightly tapering dark tail, it most resembled an otter and was a lifer mammal for Phil.
AFRICAN ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana) – Great to see a group of 8 including one baby swimming and bathing in the pond below Mole Lodge, and so sad to think of the awful slaughter currently going on for ivory which looks set to exterminate the species. We also saw 4 large adults later.
TREE HYRAX SP. (Dendrohyrax dorsalis) – Heard at both Kakum and Ankasa, I really want to see one!
WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) – Just a few at Mole.
BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus) – A few close ones at Mole.
DEFASSA WATERBUCK (Kobus defassa) – One at Mole was it for the trip.
KOB (Kobus kob) – Small numbers at Mole <35, this is the race buffoni.


Quite a tour, the long drives, erratic power, often hot days and early mornings being compensated by some wonderful sightings. Highlights were of course the big two, the White-necked Picathartes and the Egyptian Plover, but there were many other excitements such as African Finfoot, Long-tailed Hawk, Blue-headed Bee-eater, White-bellied Kingfisher, Blue-bellied Roller, the hornbills at Kakum, Red-chested Owlet, Grayish Eagle Owl, Stone Partridge, Forbes's Plover, those amazing Splendid Sunbirds at the Alexis Hotel, and the mega skulking Rufous-winged illadopsis and Red-chested Wattle-eye.

Mammals were more limited but Potto was a brilliant find, Pel's Anomalure again was very nice, Marsh Mongoose was a lifer for all of us and who can resist African Elephants?

Other critters included Nile Crocodiles at Mole NP, Red-headed Agamas all over the place, Nile Monitor at Ankasa and a memorable black Spitting Cobra crossing the track at Apro Forest, a first sighting for most and from the safety of the bus!

Marge is busy identifying the many butterflies, for which this is a very good tour- Ghana has over 1000 species! It was good to have Andrew along to help with identifying many of them.

Totals for the tour: 417 bird taxa and 24 mammal taxa