A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Ghana: Window Into West African Birding II 2021

November 26-December 15, 2021 with Terry Stevenson guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
We saw a few of these gorgeous Violet Turacos in Mole NP, but this individual was by far the most cooperative and posed for a lovely portrait. Photo by participant Sid England.

Our 2021 November-December Ghana tour began as usual in Accra with a visit to the nearby Sakumono Lagoon. In recent years the open water area has become very overgrown with reeds and the introduced water hyacinth but is still well worth a visit with just a few of the highlights being; Western Plantain-eater, Senegal Coucal, African Jacana, a variety of Palearctic shorebirds including Black-tailed Godwit and Marsh Sandpiper, a skulking Dwarf Bittern, Black Heron, Eurasian Marsh-Harrier, Green Woodhoopoe, Malachite and Pied kingfishers, Little Bee-eater, Rose-ringed Parakeet, the striking Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Senegal Eremomela, and Purple Starling.

The following day we took an early breakfast and then drove to the Shai Hills, an area of wooded grassland and rocky hills also near Accra. This produced our first mammals of the tour, including Olive Baboon, Slender-tailed Squirrel and Kob; while new birds were Helmeted Guineafowl, Black-billed Wood-Dove, Guinea Turaco, Red-necked Buzzard, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Blue-bellied Roller, Vieillot's and Double-toothed barbets, Senegal Parrot, the distinctive white-crowned form of Mocking Cliff-Chat, Green-headed and Splendid sunbirds, and Bar-breasted Firefinch.

We then headed west for a one night stay near Shama and the Nsuta Forest. With time for both an afternoon and the following morning visits we were able to enjoy our first forest birds; Yellow-billed Turaco, African Emerald Cuckoo, great scope views of a Congo Serpent-Eagle, African Pied, White-crested, Black Dwarf and Piping hornbills, Yellow-billed and Hairy-breasted barbets, Black-winged Oriole, Tit-Hylia, Spotted and Swamp greenbuls, Splendid Starling, Tiny Sunbird, and Red-vented Malimbe.

Our next stay was for two nights in the far west at the edge of the Ankasa Conservation Area. The forest here holds several species rarely seen elsewhere in Ghana, with just some of the birds we saw including Blue-headed Wood-Dove, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Sabine's and Cassin's spinetails, White-crested Bittern (for some of the group), Red-billed Dwarf and Black-casqued hornbills, White-bellied, African Dwarf and Blue-breasted kingfishers, Blue-throated Roller, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Western Nicator, Red-tailed Greenbul, Blackcap Illadopsis, Copper-tailed Starling, African Forest-Flycatcher, Reichenbach's and Johanna's sunbirds, and Blue-billed Malimbe. Mammals included four species of squirrel, and on a night walk, great looks at the striking Pel's Flying-Squirrel or Anomalure.

We then headed north to the famous Kakum National Park but first made a stop at the Ibe River where we added White-browed Forest-Flycatcher and Mouse-brown Sunbirds – both very localized species in Ghana. With three nights at Kakum we had time to visit the canopy walkway, the Abrafo and Antwikwa farmbush areas and the Pra River. Birding highlights included Blue Malkoha, great looks at a White-spotted Flufftail, Rock Pratincole, Palmnut Vulture, Brown-cheeked Hornbill, Black Bee-eater (just gorgeous), Naked-faced Barbet, Willcocks's Honeyguide, Red-cheeked Wattle-eye, Blue-headed Crested-Flycatcher, Violet-backed Hyliota, Forest Penduline-tit, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Sharpe's Apalis, White-throated Blue and Preuss's swallows, Gray-headed Bristlebill, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Ussher's Flycatcher, Buff-throated and Superb sunbirds, Crested Malimbe, Preuss's Weaver, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, and Black-bellied Seedcracker. Whilst new mammals were Lesser White-nosed Guenon, Mona (Lowe's) Monkey, and Fire-footed Rope Squirrel.

From Kakum, we then continued to Bonkro village and for many of us the bird of the trip – no less than 5 White-necked Rockfowl were seen, with some literally just 10 feet away as they came in to their regular breeding and roosting site. Absolutely a marvelous spectacle, and well done to the villagers who are protecting these birds and in turn raise money for their local school!

Continuing even further north, we then stayed at Mole National Park, where for the first time ever we spent four nights, enabling us to visit the the White Volta River and see the striking Egyptian Plover – a unique species and sole member of the family Pluvianidae.

Mole is a very different habitat from elsewhere on the tour, a mix of savanna woodland, grassland, and seasonally flooded plains. Many birds were, of course, new and again just a few of the highlights were Stone Partridge (strangely tame here), Double-spurred Francolin, Bruce's Green-Pigeon, Four-banded Sandgrouse, fantastic looks at Violet Turaco, Long-tailed Nightjar, Forbes's Plover, Saddle-billed Stork, Hamerkop, White-headed Vulture, Bateleur, Grasshopper Buzzard, Grayish Eagle-Owl, Black Scimitarbill, Abyssinian Ground-hornbill (great looks on all 4 days), Giant Kingfisher, Abyssinian Roller, Bearded Barbet, White Helmetshrike, Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike, Piapiac, African Blue-Flycatcher, Sun Lark, Red-winged Prinia, Whistling Cisticola, Red-chested and Pied-winged swallows, Long-tailed Glossy-Starling, White-crowned Robin-Chat, White-fronted Black-Chat, Pygmy and Beautiful sunbirds, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, and Lavender Waxbill. Mole is also the best area in Ghana for mammals, and we all enjoyed watching and photographing Senegal Bushbaby, Green and Patas monkeys, African Bush Elephant, Warthog, Bushbuck, Defassa Waterbuck and Kob.

Having thoroughly enjoyed Mole, we then began our drive south, stopping along the way in Kumasi and Bunso. A visit to the Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary gave us amazing looks at a perched Long-tailed Hawk. While in the Atewa area, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher was the star attraction.

Finally, and before reaching Accra, our last birding destination was near the Togo border in the south-east; here we walked the narrow forest trails and grassland (dotted with palms) slowly adding Thick-billed Cuckoo, Black-shouldered Nightjar, Least and Spotted honeyguides, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, and West African Wattle-eye.

Philip, Ibrahim, and Martin, our excellent local guides and driver, then safely took us for our covid tests in Accra (all were negative) and then a chance to shower and change at our hotel, before a farewell meal and transfer to the airport for the international departures and our flights home.


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)

Field Guides Birding Tours
We finally caught up to this adult Long-tailed Hawk at Bobiri after several unsuccessful tries. Photo by participant Sid England.

AFRICAN PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus auritus)

We saw a female in the Shama area, and then a pair at Bokoro Pond.

Numididae (Guineafowl)

HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (WEST AFRICAN) (Numida meleagris galeatus)

About 20 at Shai Hills, and 45+ at Mole NP.

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

STONE PARTRIDGE (Ptilopachus petrosus)

Fantastic looks at three small groups in Mole NP – some even walking on the track right in the open!

Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

DOUBLE-SPURRED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis bicalcaratus)

Six seen and several others heard at Mole NP.

LATHAM'S FRANCOLIN (Peliperdix lathami)

Heard from the canopy walkway at Kakum NP.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

LITTLE GREBE (LITTLE) (Tachybaptus ruficollis ruficollis)

Single adults and an adult with 2 young were seen on three different ponds near Shama, Bokoro, and on the way to Kakum.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

Common in towns and villages throughout the tour.

SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea guinea)

Three in a village near Mole NP.

RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata)

Common in small numbers throughout the tour.

VINACEOUS DOVE (Streptopelia vinacea)

Most common at Mole NP, but we also saw them in open savannah and bush country throughout the tour.

LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis)

By far the most common and widespread dove throughout the tour, although avoiding forest interior.

BLACK-BILLED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur abyssinicus)

One seen at Shai Hills, and 3 seen in Mole NP.


One at Shai Hills, and heard at Kalapa.

TAMBOURINE DOVE (Turtur tympanistria)

Common and widespread in forested areas, but often hard to see well.

BLUE-HEADED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur brehmeri)

A single bird was seen well twice along the track at Ankasa.

Field Guides Birding Tours
A wonderful African Wood Owl flew in and landed next to our dining room at Ankasa where participant Randy Beaton got this great image.

BRUCE'S GREEN-PIGEON (Treron waalia)

We saw a total of 14 at Mole, with 1 showing particularly well in our scopes.


These attractive Green-Pigeons were seen in several scattered forested areas; in all we saw about 20.

Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)

FOUR-BANDED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles quadricinctus)

Good looks at a male along a track in Mole NP.

Musophagidae (Turacos)

GREAT BLUE TURACO (Corythaeola cristata)

Heard at Ankasa.

GUINEA TURACO (Tauraco persa) [E]

Four were seen in the Shai Hills, and then others heard around several other forested areas. More frequently found open forested areas than the following species.

YELLOW-BILLED TURACO (Tauraco macrorhynchus) [E]

Preferring the forest interior we saw 2 at Nsutu, 3 at Ankasa, and 2 at Bobiri – with many others heard elsewhere.

VIOLET TURACO (Musophaga violacea)

We had brief looks at 2 in the Shai Hills, 3 at Mole NP, and then absolutely terrific looks at 1 on the way to Daboya – a major highlight of the tour for many of our group.

WESTERN PLANTAIN-EATER (Crinifer piscator)

Fairly common and widespread; in all we saw about 80.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

BLACK-THROATED COUCAL (Centropus leucogaster)

Heard at Ankasa.

SENEGAL COUCAL (Centropus senegalensis)

Fairly common in the open woodland and cultivated areas; in all we saw about 18.

BLUE-HEADED COUCAL (Centropus monachus)

Two singles were seen in the Antwikwa and Abrafo farmbush areas.

BLUE MALKOHA (Ceuthmochares aereus)

Great looks at 2 from the canopy walkway at Kakum, and then singles at Bobiri, Atewa, and Kalapa.

GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO (Clamator glandarius)

One at Mole NP.

LEVAILLANT'S CUCKOO (Clamator levaillantii)

One at Nsuta.

THICK-BILLED CUCKOO (AFRICAN) (Pachycoccyx audeberti brazzae)

Several good looks at a calling flying bird at Kalapa (and brief looks at a second bird there too).

Field Guides Birding Tours
Participant Sid England got this shot of a treeful of Red-throated Bee-eaters at Mole National Park, just a few of these colorful birds that we saw while there.

DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius)

One in the farm country near Kakum NP.

KLAAS'S CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx klaas)

Several heard and singles seen in the Ankasa, Antwikwa, and Abrafo areas.

AFRICAN EMERALD CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx cupreus)

Heard in virtually all forest areas, and seen nicely at Nsuta and Ankasa.

OLIVE LONG-TAILED CUCKOO (Cercococcyx olivinus)

Another vocal cuckoo; we heard about a dozen and then had 1 fly low over our heads at Ankasa.

BLACK CUCKOO (Cuculus clamosus)

Heard in the Antwikwa area.

COMMON CUCKOO (Cuculus canorus)

One at Shai Hills.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

BLACK-SHOULDERED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus nigriscapularis)

Good looks at a responsive male in the savannah area of the Kalapa Resource Reserve.

LONG-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus climacurus)

One at dusk at the gate to Mole NP, another on the airstrip there, and then 3 on the track as we left Kalapa.

Apodidae (Swifts)

MOTTLED SPINETAIL (Telacanthura ussheri)

Four between Shama and Ankasa, and then 1 at Atewa.

SABINE'S SPINETAIL (Rhaphidura sabini)

Good looks at 4 at Ankasa.

CASSIN'S SPINETAIL (Neafrapus cassini)

Four at Ankasa were in the same area as the Sabine's Spinetails and other swifts.

COMMON SWIFT (Apus apus)

Common in the Ankasa and Kakum areas (120+) and a few others elsewhere.

LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis)

Common around buildings and bridges throughout the tour; in all we saw about 500.


One at Kakum NP.

BATES'S SWIFT (Apus batesi)

About 6 were low over the forest at Kakum NP.

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We also saw some beautiful Abyssinian Rollers at Mole. Photo by participant Randy Beaton.

AFRICAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus)

Common and widespread in open country with palm trees; in all we saw about 140.

Sarothruridae (Flufftails)

WHITE-SPOTTED FLUFFTAIL (Sarothrura pulchra)

Fantastic looks the morning we left Rainforest Lodge; a striking male walked on to a path, paused to look at us, and then continued on.... great great looks at this super shy species!

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus)

Four near Shama, and 3 at Bokoro Pond.

ALLEN'S GALLINULE (Porphyrio alleni)

Nice looks at 1 at Bokoro Pond.

BLACK CRAKE (Zapornia flavirostra)

One on the way to Shama.

Burhinidae (Thick-knees)

SENEGAL THICK-KNEE (Burhinus senegalensis)

Six and then 2 at Mole NP.

Pluvianidae (Egyptian Plover)

EGYPTIAN PLOVER (Pluvianus aegyptius)

A major star of the tour, with great looks at 2 on the White Volta River west of Mole NP. Striking, gorgeous, and sole member of the family Pluvianidae. A wonderful, wonderful bird!

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus)

About 45 at Sakumono Lagoon.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)

One at Sakumono Lagoon.

SPUR-WINGED LAPWING (Vanellus spinosus)

Small numbers were widespread at a variety of widespread wetlands; in all we saw about 40.

WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus senegallus)

Fourteen at Mole NP, and 1 on the way to Ho.

COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula)

About 30 at Sakumono Lagoon.

FORBES'S PLOVER (Charadrius forbesi)

Seven on the burnt grasslands within Mole NP.

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus)

Widespread on wetlands with floating vegetation; in all we saw about 40.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)


About 80 at Sakumono Lagoon.

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Yellow-crowned Gonoleks were seen at several locations. Photo by participant Sid England.

RUFF (Calidris pugnax)

Nine at Sakumono Lagoon.

LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta)

Six at Sakumono Lagoon.

COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)

Four at Sakumono Lagoon, 2 at the Pra River, and 2 on the White Volta at Daboya.

COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)

About 30 at Sakumono Lagoon.

WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola)

Prefers wetlands with marshy fringes; we saw 8 at Sakumono Lagoon, and 4 at Ankasa.

Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)

COLLARED PRATINCOLE (Glareola pratincola)

The swirling flocks at Sakumono Lagoon totaled almost 400 birds.

ROCK PRATINCOLE (RUFOUS-NAPED) (Glareola nuchalis liberiae)

Six on the rocks in the Pra River.

Ciconiidae (Storks)

WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (AFRICAN) (Ciconia episcopus microscelis)

Two at Mole NP.

SADDLE-BILLED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis)

One at the wetland area below our lodge at Mole NP.

Anhingidae (Anhingas)

AFRICAN DARTER (Anhinga rufa)

We saw a single bird at Bokoro Pond.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Microcarbo africanus)

Singles at Sakumono Lagoon, on the way to Shama, and at the Ibe River.

Scopidae (Hamerkop)

HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta)

We saw a total of 7 in different areas of Mole NP.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

DWARF BITTERN (Ixobrychus sturmii)

Amazing find by our local guide Philip on our visit to Sakumono Lagoon!

WHITE-CRESTED BITTERN (Tigriornis leucolopha)

During a drive along the track in Ankasa Forest a single bird was seen by those in the first vehicle. Sadly, though we tried several more times, it was not seen again.

GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea)

About 6 were seen at Mole NP.

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One of the regions more colorful pigeons is the African Green-Pigeon; we saw about 20 of these in a variety of forested areas we visited. Photo by participant Sid England.

BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala)

Two on the drive from Kumasi to Mole NP.

PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea)

Eight at the Sakumono Lagoon.

GREAT EGRET (AFRICAN) (Ardea alba melanorhynchos)

Seven at the Sakumono Lagoon.

INTERMEDIATE EGRET (YELLOW-BILLED) (Ardea intermedia brachyrhyncha)

At least 6 were seen at the Sakumono Lagoon – a good comparison with Great Egret.

LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)

Two at the Sakumono Lagoon.

WESTERN REEF-HERON (WESTERN) (Egretta gularis gularis)

We saw dark morph birds at Sakumono Lagoon, along the way to Shama, and near the Ibe River.

BLACK HERON (Egretta ardesiaca)

One in flight at the Sakumono Lagoon.

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

Common and widespread throughout the tour.

SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides)

One at the Sakumono Lagoon, and 4 at Mole NP.

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)

One at Ankasa, and 2 singles at Mole NP.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

Three at Mole NP.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash)

Two north of Kumasi, about 30 at Mole NP, and 1 near Atewa.

Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (HALIAETUS) (Pandion haliaetus haliaetus)

Two at the Sakumono Lagoon.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

BLACK-WINGED KITE (Elanus caeruleus)

We saw a single bird along the road from Accra to Shama.

AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus)

Small numbers were seen in a variety of scattered locations; in all we saw about 13.

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Western Plantain-eaters were common during our tour. Photo by participant Sid England.

PALM-NUT VULTURE (Gypohierax angolensis)

Great looks at a flying adult from the canopy walkway ay Kakum NP.


One over the Nsuta Forest.

AFRICAN CUCKOO-HAWK (Aviceda cuculoides)

Two flying birds at Nsuta Forest.

WHITE-HEADED VULTURE (Trigonoceps occipitalis)

Two and then a single bird were seen at Mole NP.

HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus)

Six at Shama, about 70 at Mole NP, and then 8 along the way to Ho.


At least 3 were seen at Mole NP.

BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus)

An adult and then an immature were seen at Mole NP.

CONGO SERPENT-EAGLE (Dryotriorchis spectabilis)

Another major highlight of the tour was having amazing scope views of this 'hard to see well bird' at Nsuta Forest; we also heard 1 at Kakum.

CASSIN'S HAWK-EAGLE (Aquila africana)

One at Ankasa, and 1 to the north of Kumasi.

LIZARD BUZZARD (Kaupifalco monogrammicus)

Singles between Mole and Kumasi, and then about 5 along the road to Ho.

DARK CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax metabates)

One to the east of Mole NP.

GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar)

One in the Mole NP area.

GRASSHOPPER BUZZARD (Butastur rufipennis)

Seven in the Mole NP area; particularly fond of hunting near grass fires.

EURASIAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus aeruginosus)

Two at Sakumono Lagoon, and 1 at Mole NP.

SHIKRA (Accipiter badius)

Four in the Accra and Sakumono Lagoon area.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Another bird we saw at a number of locations was the striking African Harrier-Hawk. Participant Sid England got this great image of an adult in flight, showing the bold patterns on the underwing and tail.

RED-THIGHED SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter erythropus erythropus)

Can be very difficult to see well, so we were lucky to have long views of a perched bird at Bobiri.

LONG-TAILED HAWK (Urotriorchis macrourus)

After numerous attempts to find this bird, we were all rewarded with 'the best views ever' of an adult, which flew in (chased by a Fanti Drongo) and landed right in the open, giving us prolonged close scope views at Bobiri. Just amazing!!

BLACK KITE (YELLOW-BILLED) (Milvus migrans parasitus)

Very common and widespread throughout the tour.

RED-NECKED BUZZARD (Buteo auguralis)

Two at the Shai Hills, and 1 near Kakum NP.

Strigidae (Owls)

AFRICAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus senegalensis)

Heard on two different nights at Mole NP but sadly would not show.

NORTHERN WHITE-FACED OWL (Ptilopsis leucotis)

Heard at Mole NP.

GRAYISH EAGLE-OWL (Bubo cinerascens)

Three during our first night of owling at Mole NP, and then another there two nights later.

FRASER'S EAGLE-OWL (Bubo poensis)

Despite numerous tries this species was very hard this tour, although we did hear one in the forest near Bunso.

PEARL-SPOTTED OWLET (Glaucidium perlatum)

One at Mole NP.

AFRICAN WOOD-OWL (Strix woodfordii)

Fantastic close looks as a bird flew in and landed right by our dining room at Ankasa.

Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitarbills)

GREEN WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus)

Most common in the Accra-Sakumono area where we saw about 30, but we also had them in open wooded areas at Mole and Kalapa.

WHITE-HEADED WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus bollei)

Four at Nsuta Forest.

BLACK SCIMITARBILL (Rhinopomastus aterrimus)

Two singles at Mole NP.

Bucorvidae (Ground-Hornbills)


With only two species in the family Bucorvidae, we were all really pleased to get good looks at several pairs in Mole NP. Yet another group favorite!

Bucerotidae (Hornbills)

RED-BILLED DWARF HORNBILL (Lophoceros camurus)

One at Ankasa.

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The male Splendid Sunbird certainly deserves its name! We only saw a few of these gorgeous creatures. Photo by participant Randy Beaton

AFRICAN PIED HORNBILL (Lophoceros fasciatus)

Common and widespread throughout the tour; in all we saw about 160.

AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Lophoceros nasutus)

Fairly widespread in areas of more open woodland and farm/bush; in all we saw about 70.

NORTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus erythrorhynchus)

Six at Mole NP.

WHITE-CRESTED HORNBILL (Horizocerus albocristatus)

We saw these distinctive, fabulous birds at Nsuta, from the Kakum canopy walkway, and at Bobiri.

BLACK DWARF HORNBILL (Horizocerus hartlaubi)

Can be very difficult but we were very lucky this tour and had great views at Nsuta Forest, and then at Bobiri.

BLACK-CASQUED HORNBILL (Ceratogymna atrata)

Brief views of a distant perched bird and then in flight over the canopy at Ankasa.

BROWN-CHEEKED HORNBILL (Bycanistes cylindricus) [E]

After many attempts to find this rather uncommon bird we finally found 2 near their roosting site at Kakum NP.

PIPING HORNBILL (Bycanistes fistulator)

Two and then a single at Nsuta, and 8 at Ankasa.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus)

One at the Sakumono Lagoon, and 3 at Mole NP.

WHITE-BELLIED KINGFISHER (Corythornis leucogaster)

Great scope looks at the first pool in Ankasa Forest.


Two at Ankasa Forest, 2 at the Ibe River, and 1 at near Kakum.


One at Ankasa Forest.


Heard many times at Ankasa, and then we all had great scope views of a bird in the canopy at Atewa.

GRAY-HEADED KINGFISHER (Halcyon leucocephala)

Four at Mole NP.

WOODLAND KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegalensis)

Fairly common and widespread with a total of about 25.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This is a great tour for hornbills, and we saw many African Pied Hornbills throughout the tour. Participant Sid England got a great image of one in flight carrying a large insect.


Singles at Ankasa, and Mole NP.

GIANT KINGFISHER (Megaceryle maxima)

One at Mole NP.

PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis)

Four at the Sakumono Lagoon, 1 Mole NP, and 2 at Daboya.

Meropidae (Bee-eaters)

BLACK BEE-EATER (Merops gularis gularis)

We saw this gorgeous bee-eater at Kakum (2) and the Abrafo Forest (1).


We saw a total of about 160 at Mole NP.

LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus)

Four at the Sakumono Lagoon, 1 near Ankasa, and 1 at Atewa.

SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops hirundineus chrysolaimus)

Four in the Shai Hills.

WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops albicollis)

Fairly common and widespread at forest edge; in all we saw about 200.

ROSY BEE-EATER (Merops malimbicus) [E]

A total of about 10 (all seen in flight) were at Nsuta.


One flew over us at Mole NP.

Coraciidae (Rollers)

ABYSSINIAN ROLLER (Coracias abyssinicus)

We saw about 9 of these beautiful rollers at Mole NP.

RUFOUS-CROWNED ROLLER (Coracias naevius)

One at Mole NP.

BLUE-BELLIED ROLLER (Coracias cyanogaster) [E]

Six at Shai Hills, and then 5 along the road to Kalapa Forest.

BROAD-BILLED ROLLER (Eurystomus glaucurus)

One near Shama, and 2 at Mole NP.

BLUE-THROATED ROLLER (Eurystomus gularis)

We saw a single at Nsuta, 2 at Ankasa, and another single at Bobiri.

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Here is our group at Mole National Park, photographed by participant Randy Beaton.
Lybiidae (African Barbets)

YELLOW-BILLED BARBET (Trachyphonus purpuratus)

Three at Nsuta Forest.

NAKED-FACED BARBET (Gymnobucco calvus)

One of our group saw 1 at Nsuta, and then we all saw them at Bonkro (7) and Bobiri (5).

SPECKLED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus scolopaceus)

Heard in four or five forested areas but difficult to find in the canopy; eventually we all saw at least 1 of the 5 actually seen.

RED-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus atroflavus)

Another canopy tinkerbird that eluded us until Atewa Forest, where we finally had a responsive bird.

YELLOW-THROATED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus subsulphureus chrysopygus)

Heard in most forests and seen by a few of our group at Ankasa.

YELLOW-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus bilineatus)

Good looks for all of us at Abrafo.

YELLOW-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus chrysoconus)

Nice looks for everyone in the Shai Hills.

YELLOW-SPOTTED BARBET (Buccanodon duchaillui)

Heard at Ankasa and Kakum.

HAIRY-BREASTED BARBET (HAIRY-BREASTED) (Tricholaema hirsuta hirsuta)

Good scope views at Nsuta, and then 2 more at Atewa.

VIEILLOT'S BARBET (Lybius vieilloti) [E]

We saw this savannah species at Shai Hills (2), and at Atewa (1).

DOUBLE-TOOTHED BARBET (Lybius bidentatus)

Two at Sakumono Lagoon, and 2 at our hotel in Accra.

BEARDED BARBET (Lybius dubius)

Some of the group saw a pair in Shai Hills, and then everyone had fantastic looks at Mole NP.

Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)

WILLCOCKS'S HONEYGUIDE (Indicator willcocksi)

One from the canopy walkway in Kakum NP.

LEAST HONEYGUIDE (Indicator exilis)

Good scope views of 1 at Kalapa.

THICK-BILLED HONEYGUIDE (Indicator conirostris)

Heard at Bobiri.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Long-tailed Nightjar was one of our prizes at Mole, and we saw a few at Kalapa as well. Photo by participant Randy Beaton.

SPOTTED HONEYGUIDE (Indicator maculatus)

We saw a single adult bird in the canopy at Kalapa.

GREATER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator indicator)

Two at Mole NP.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

MELANCHOLY WOODPECKER (Chloropicus lugubris) [E]

Good scope views of 1 at Offinso Forest.

FIRE-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Chloropicus pyrrhogaster) [E]

Some of our group saw 1 at Kakum, and then we all got good scope views of a pair at Atewa.

AFRICAN GRAY WOODPECKER (GRAY) (Chloropicus goertae goertae)

Two at Sakumono Lagoon, and 1 at Mole NP.

BUFF-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Campethera nivosa nivosa)

Two at Offinso Forest.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

EURASIAN KESTREL (RUFESCENT) (Falco tinnunculus rufescens)

Small numbers mainly in towns; with a total of 7.

GRAY KESTREL (Falco ardosiaceus)

Quite widespread in savannah and open farmlands; in all we saw about 10.

LANNER FALCON (Falco biarmicus)

Two near Shama, and 1 at Daboya.

Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)

ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (Psittacula krameri)

Two were seen on a roadside wire near the Sakumono Lagoon, and then 2 on the way to Kakum, and a total of 7 at Kakum NP.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

RED-FRONTED PARROT (Poicephalus gulielmi)

One seen in flight and a few heard at Kakum NP.

SENEGAL PARROT (Poicephalus senegalus)

Two at Shai Hills, and about 24 at Mole NP.

Calyptomenidae (African and Green Broadbills)

RUFOUS-SIDED BROADBILL (Smithornis rufolateralis)

Fabulous scope views of a bird in the Ankasa Forest.

Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)


One at the edge of the savannah zone at Kalapa.


We saw a single male at Mole NP.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This Bearded Barbet was one of just a few that we found on the tour. Photo by participant Randy Beaton.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)


Four at Mole NP.

WESTERN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus brachyrynchus)

Two seen at Ankasa, and a few others heard in widespread forests elsewhere.

BLACK-WINGED ORIOLE (Oriolus nigripennis) [E]

Two at Nsuta, 4 at Bobiri, and others heard in forests elsewhere.

Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)

BROWN-THROATED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira cyanea)

We saw a single male at Mole NP.

WEST AFRICAN WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira hormophora) [E]

Formerly considered conspecific with Chestnut Wattle-eye; a couple of us briefly saw a pair at Ankasa, and then a few more of the group had better views of another pair at Kalapa.

RED-CHEEKED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira blissetti) [E]

A striking adult crossed a track a couple of times in the Antwikwa farmbush and then a few of the group got views of the same individual perched.

SENEGAL BATIS (Batis senegalensis) [E]

Two singles at Mole NP.

Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)

WHITE HELMETSHRIKE (LONG-CRESTED) (Prionops plumatus plumatus)

Groups of 8 and then 3 were seen at Mole NP.


We had the briefest views of about dozen at Nsuta, and then great long looks at 8 (including juveniles) at Bobiri.

AFRICAN SHRIKE-FLYCATCHER (Megabyas flammulatus flammulatus)

One heard and then seen immediately flying away in the Bobiri Forest.


A single male was seen in the farmbush along the Gyaware Road.

Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)

BRUBRU (Nilaus afer afer)

Three singles at Mole NP.

NORTHERN PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus gambensis gambensis)

Most common at Mole NP (9), and also Shai Hills, and Abrafo Forest.

MARSH TCHAGRA (MARSH) (Tchagra minutus minutus)

Good looks at 1 in the tall farm grasslands at Atewa.

BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (BLACK-CROWNED) (Tchagra senegalus senegalus)

One was seen at Shai Hills, and another heard at Mole NP.

Field Guides Birding Tours
One of seven Grasshopper Buzzards that we saw at Mole posed nicely for participant Sid England.

YELLOW-CROWNED GONOLEK (Laniarius barbarus)

These striking birds were seen at Sakumono Lagoon (4), Shai Hills (8), and Mole NP (2).

SULPHUR-BREASTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus sulfureopectus)

Nice looks at 2 singles at Mole NP.

GRAY-HEADED BUSHSHRIKE (Malaconotus blanchoti)

One at Mole NP.

Dicruridae (Drongos)

GLOSSY-BACKED DRONGO (Dicrurus divaricatus)

Formerly considered conspecific with Fork-tailed Drongo, we saw them in open woodland and cultivated areas at Shai Hills, near Shama, and Mole NP.

FANTI DRONGO (Dicrurus atactus)

Previously considered a race of Velvet-mantled Drongo (with which they interbreed) we saw them in several widespread forest areas.

Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)


Great looks at a responsive bird at Gyaware Road.

BLACK-HEADED PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (RED-BELLIED) (Terpsiphone rufiventer nigriceps)

Small numbers were fairly common in a variety of widespread forests; in all we saw about 16.

AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis ferreti)

Two at Ankasa, 2 at Mole, and a white morph at Atewa.

Laniidae (Shrikes)

NORTHERN FISCAL (Lanius humeralis)

Small numbers were seen (mainly on roadside wires) at scattered areas throughout the tour.

YELLOW-BILLED SHRIKE (Corvinella corvina)

About 14 in the Accra to Shai Hills area, and 18 in and around Mole NP.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

PIAPIAC (Ptilostomus afer)

Eight near Accra, 5 at Mole, and about a dozen on the way to Ho.

PIED CROW (Corvus albus)

Common and widespread.

Picathartidae (Rockfowl)

WHITE-NECKED ROCKFOWL (Picathartes gymnocephalus) [E]

Fantastic this tour, with 5 birds coming to roost, interacting, and generally putting on a great show – some only 10 feet away. Just amazing!!

Hyliotidae (Hyliotas)

VIOLET-BACKED HYLIOTA (Hyliota violacea nehrkorni)

Good looks for everyone from the Kakum canopy walkway.

Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)

AFRICAN BLUE FLYCATCHER (Elminia longicauda)

One at Mole NP.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We got a great view of the lovely Egyptian Plover on the White Volta River. Photo by participant Sid England.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

WHITE-SHOULDERED BLACK-TIT (Melaniparus guineensis)

We saw a total of 8 at Mole NP.

Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)

FOREST PENDULINE-TIT (Anthoscopus flavifrons)

Two from the canopy walkway at Kakum.

Alaudidae (Larks)


Seven in the burnt grasslands at Mole NP.

SUN LARK (Galerida modesta)

Two in the burnt grasslands at Mole NP.

Nicatoridae (Nicators)

WESTERN NICATOR (Nicator chloris)

Can be very shy, but we were lucky this tour and saw them at Ankasa, Mole, and Kalapa.

Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)

GREEN CROMBEC (Sylvietta virens flaviventris)

Singles were seen at Kakum, Antwikwa, and Atewa.

LEMON-BELLIED CROMBEC (Sylvietta denti hardyi)

Heard at Nsuta.

NORTHERN CROMBEC (NORTHERN) (Sylvietta brachyura brachyura)

Three singles at Mole NP.

KEMP'S LONGBILL (Macrosphenus kempi) [E]

This super skulker was heard at Gyaware Road, and at Atewa.

GRAY LONGBILL (Macrosphenus concolor)

Another skulking longbill, this species was heard at Ankasa, Antwikwa, Abrafo, and Atewa.

GREEN HYLIA (Hylia prasina)

Heard in most forest areas and seen at Antwikwa and Atewa.

TIT-HYLIA (Pholidornis rushiae ussheri)

We saw these attractive tiny birds at Nsuta, Ankasa, Kakum, and Antwikwa.

Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)

SENEGAL EREMOMELA (Eremomela pusilla)

Four at Sakumono Lagoon, 6 at Shai Hills, and about 25 at Mole NP.

RUFOUS-CROWNED EREMOMELA (Eremomela badiceps fantiensis)

Two from the canopy walkway at Kakum.

GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata)

Many heard, and singles seen at Shai Hills, Antwikwa, and Mole NP.

Field Guides Birding Tours
The Black Bee-eater is a west African specialty that we seek out on the tour. We found a pair at Kakum, and a single bird at the Abrafo Forest. Photo by participant Sid England.

YELLOW-BROWED CAMAROPTERA (Camaroptera superciliaris)

One at Nsuta.

OLIVE-GREEN CAMAROPTERA (Camaroptera chloronota)

Heard at Gyaware Road, Bobiri, and Atewa.

BLACK-CAPPED APALIS (BLACK-CAPPED) (Apalis nigriceps nigriceps)

A pair were heard and then seen in high flight at Ankasa.


Two at Mole NP.

SHARPE'S APALIS (Apalis sharpii) [E]

Difficult, but eventually we all saw at least 1 of this west African endemic from the canopy walkway at Kakum.

TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava)

Two at the Pra River, and 1 at Atewa.

RED-WINGED PRINIA (Prinia erythroptera erythroptera)

One at our lodge at Mole NP.

ORIOLE WARBLER (Hypergerus atriceps)

Heard at Shai Hills, and then seen by most of the group at Mole NP.

RED-FACED CISTICOLA (RED-FACED) (Cisticola erythrops erythrops)

One at Mole NP, 2 at Atewa, and another single at Atewa.

WHISTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola lateralis lateralis)

Two at Mole NP.

WINDING CISTICOLA (Cisticola marginatus amphilectus)

Three at the edge of the reeds at Sakumono Lagoon, and 1 at Nsuta.

CROAKING CISTICOLA (Cisticola natalensis strangei)

Six in the open grasslands at Shai Hills.

SIFFLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola brachypterus brachypterus)

About 6 at Shai Hills.

ZITTING CISTICOLA (AFRICAN) (Cisticola juncidis uropygialis)

Heard at Sakumono Lagoon.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

ROCK MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne fuligula)

At least 2 were at the Noda Hotel, Kumasi.

Field Guides Birding Tours
A visit to Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary was good for birds, and for butterflies. Participant Randy Beaton photographed this lovely Dark Blue Pansy while we were there.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

Very common and widespread.

RED-CHESTED SWALLOW (Hirundo lucida lucida) [E]

About 30 were on the wires near the mosque at Larabanga, just outside Mole NP.

ETHIOPIAN SWALLOW (Hirundo aethiopica aethiopica)

Eight in the Accra area, and then in many villages in the southern part of the country.


We saw this gorgeous swallow along the Pra River.

WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii smithii)

One at the Pra River.

PIED-WINGED SWALLOW (Hirundo leucosoma)

We saw a single perched bird at Mole NP.

LESSER STRIPED SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica)

Nice looks at this attractive swallow at Gyaware Road and Bonkro.

PREUSS'S SWALLOW (Petrochelidon preussi) [E]

About 200 were nesting under a bridge near the Pra River.

COMMON HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon urbicum)

One was with other swallows at Atewa.

SQUARE-TAILED SAWWING (Psalidoprocne nitens) [E]

Three at Ankasa, and 2 at Atewa.

Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)

SLENDER-BILLED GREENBUL (Stelgidillas gracilirostris)

Our best views of this canopy species were at Ankasa where we saw at least 4; a few others were also seen at Kakum, Bobiri, and Atewa.

GRAY-HEADED BRISTLEBILL (Bleda canicapillus) [E]

First seen briefly at Shai Hills by some of the group and then much better views for everyone at Antwikwa.

SIMPLE GREENBUL (Chlorocichla simplex)

We saw them well at Shai Hills, and then at Abrafo, and near Bonkro Village.

HONEYGUIDE GREENBUL (Baeopogon indicator)

One at Antwikwa.

YELLOW-THROATED GREENBUL (Atimastillas flavicollis)

Five in the riverine forest at Mole NP.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This single Greater Blue-eared Starling was seen at Mole National Park. Photo by participant Randy Beaton.

SPOTTED GREENBUL (Ixonotus guttatus)

Singles were seen at Nsuta, and at Kakum.

SWAMP GREENBUL (Thescelocichla leucopleura)

These noisy greenbuls were seen in small numbers at Nsuta and Ankasa; and also heard in several other scattered widespread forest areas.

RED-TAILED GREENBUL (Criniger calurus)

Six at Ankasa.

WESTERN BEARDED-GREENBUL (Criniger barbatus) [E]

Heard by all and seen briefly by some of the group at Antwikwa and Abrafo.

GRAY GREENBUL (Eurillas gracilis)

Also known as Little Gray Greenbul we had nice looks at single birds at Kakum and Atewa.

ANSORGE'S GREENBUL (Eurillas ansorgei)

One at Bobiri.

PLAIN GREENBUL (Eurillas curvirostris)

Singles in the forest along the Gyaware Road and at Bonkro.

YELLOW-WHISKERED GREENBUL (Eurillas latirostris)

Heard in many forest areas throughout the tour, and seen at Ankasa, Kakum, and Kalapa.

LITTLE GREENBUL (Eurillas virens)

Another widespread and frequently heard forest greenbul, with good looks at Antwikwa and Abrafo.

BAUMANN'S GREENBUL (Phyllastrephus baumanni)

One of the hardest birds to actually see in the thick forest undergrowth; we all heard them calling for almost 30 minutes and a few of our group got brief views at Kalapa.

WHITE-THROATED GREENBUL (Phyllastrephus albigularis)

Heard at Kalapa.

COMMON BULBUL (Pycnonotus barbatus)

Common, widespread, and seen almost daily throughout the tour.

Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)

WILLOW WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochilus)

Most common in the Kakum area (about 25) and a few others at widespread sites elsewhere.

Scotocercidae (Bush Warblers and Allies)

CHESTNUT-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Erythrocercus mccallii)

Seen nicely from the canopy walkway at Kakum.

Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)

AFRICAN YELLOW WHITE-EYE (AFRICAN YELLOW) (Zosterops senegalensis senegalensis)

Two at Nsuta, and singles at Bobiri and Atewa.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Blue-bellied Roller was one of the first specialty birds we saw on the tour, when we visited Shai Hills. Photo by participant Sid England.
Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)

BROWN ILLADOPSIS (MOLONEY'S) (Illadopsis fulvescens moloneyana)

Heard in the undergrowth at Kalapa.

PALE-BREASTED ILLADOPSIS (PALE-BREASTED) (Illadopsis rufipennis extrema)

Heard at Ankasa.

BLACKCAP ILLADOPSIS (WESTERN) (Illadopsis cleaveri cleaveri) [E]

Another very shy undergrowth Illadopsis; this species was heard by all and seen by some of the group at Ankasa.

Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)

BLACKCAP BABBLER (Turdoides reinwardtii) [E]

Four were seen at the Achimota Reserve near Accra, and others were heard at Mole NP.

BROWN BABBLER (Turdoides plebejus)

Eight at Shai Hills, and 6 at Mole NP.

CAPUCHIN BABBLER (BLACK-CROWNED) (Turdoides atripennis rubiginosus)

Another super shy bird of the forest undergrowth; with a single heard at Kalapa.

Sturnidae (Starlings)

VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster)

Two at Shai Hills, a gorgeous male at Kakum, and 3 along the Gyaware Road.

CHESTNUT-WINGED STARLING (Onychognathus fulgidus)

Four in flight from the canopy walkway at Kakum.

COPPER-TAILED STARLING (Hylopsar cupreocauda) [E]

Four at Ankasa, and 3 at Antwikwa.

LONG-TAILED GLOSSY STARLING (Lamprotornis caudatus)

We saw a total of about 30 in the Mole NP area.

SPLENDID STARLING (Lamprotornis splendidus)

Another gorgeous starling; they were fairly common and widespread with a total of about 70.

LESSER BLUE-EARED STARLING (Lamprotornis chloropterus)

One at Sakumono Lagoon, and 6 at Mole NP.

GREATER BLUE-EARED STARLING (Lamprotornis chalybaeus chalybaeus)

One at Mole NP.

PURPLE STARLING (Lamprotornis purpureus)

Ten at the Sakumono Lagoon.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

WHITE-TAILED ANT-THRUSH (Neocossyphus poensis)

Heard at Ankasa.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Another hornbill that gave us a great view was the Dwarf Black Hornbill, which we saw at Nsuta Forest and at Bobiri. Photo by participant Sid England.

AFRICAN THRUSH (Turdus pelios)

Small numbers around Accra, Mole NP, Offinso, and Kumasi.

Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata)

One at Mole NP.

SWAMP FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa aquatica aquatica)

Three along a seasonally flooded water course at Mole NP.

CASSIN'S FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa cassini)

Two on the rocks and exposed branches along a river by the entrance to Ankasa GR.

USSHER'S FLYCATCHER (Bradornis ussheri) [E]

We saw this tree top species at Kakum and Antwikwa.

DUSKY-BLUE FLYCATCHER (Bradornis comitatus aximensis)

Three at Ankasa, and 1 at Atewa.


Rare in Ghana, so we very very lucky to see a nest building pair at the Ibe River.

AFRICAN FOREST-FLYCATCHER (WESTERN) (Fraseria ocreata prosphora)

Two at Ankasa.

GRAY-THROATED TIT-FLYCATCHER (Fraseria griseigularis)

Some of the group saw 1 at Atewa.

GRAY TIT-FLYCATCHER (Fraseria plumbea)

One at Mole NP.

ASHY FLYCATCHER (Fraseria caerulescens nigrorum)

One at Kakum.

NORTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis edolioides edolioides)

At least 6 were in the Mole NP area.

WHITE-TAILED ALETHE (Alethe diademata) [E]

Heard at Ankasa, and then heard and seen by some of the group at Kakum.

WHITE-CROWNED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha albicapillus)

This shy Robin-Chat was seen along a thickly wooded water course at Mole NP.

FOREST ROBIN (WESTERN) (Stiphrornis erythrothorax erythrothorax)

Heard at Ankasa, Kakum, and at Kalapa, but sadly none would ever show!

Field Guides Birding Tours
We saw a few Blue Malkohas, including this one photographed by participant Sid England.


About 20 were seen in and around Mole NP.

WHINCHAT (Saxicola rubetra)

One between Mole and Kumasi.

MOCKING CLIFF-CHAT (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris coronata)

We saw a male of this distinctive white-crowned form at Shai Hills.

WHITE-FRONTED BLACK-CHAT (Oenanthe albifrons)

Good looks at a male at Mole NP.

FAMILIAR CHAT (Oenanthe familiaris)

One at our lodge in Mole NP.

Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)

MOUSE-BROWN SUNBIRD (Anthreptes gabonicus)

We saw a pair at the Ibe River.

WESTERN VIOLET-BACKED SUNBIRD (NORTHERN) (Anthreptes longuemarei longuemarei)

Two at Mole NP.

LITTLE GREEN SUNBIRD (Anthreptes seimundi kruensis)

One at Offinso.

GREEN SUNBIRD (YELLOW-THROATED) (Anthreptes rectirostris rectirostris)

Sometimes considered conspecific with the Gray-throated form of East Africa; we saw the yellow-throated nominate race at Kakum, Antwikwa, and Abrafo.

COLLARED SUNBIRD (Hedydipna collaris subcollaris)

Widespread at forest edge and in farmland; in all we saw about 30.

PYGMY SUNBIRD (Hedydipna platura)

Good looks at these amazing long-tailed sunbirds at and around Mole NP.

REICHENBACH'S SUNBIRD (Anabathmis reichenbachii) [E]

We saw a single male in the grounds of the Frenchman's Guesthouse near Ankasa.

GREEN-HEADED SUNBIRD (GREEN-HEADED) (Cyanomitra verticalis verticalis)

Two males at Shai Hills, and a female near Mole.

BLUE-THROATED BROWN SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra cyanolaema magnirostrata)

Single males at Ankasa, Abrafo, and Bonkro.

OLIVE SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra olivacea guineensis)

Small numbers were widespread in several scattered forests; in all we saw about 16.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Undoubtedly the stars of the tour were the White-necked Rockfowls! Participant Sid England got this lovely portrait of one of the five birds that we were privileged to watch. What a fantastic experience!

BUFF-THROATED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra adelberti adelberti)

We saw 2 striking males at Kakum, another at Antwikwa, and then females at Bobiri and Atewa.

SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis senegalensis)

Three at Mole NP, and 1 near Kumasi.

OLIVE-BELLIED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris chloropygius kempi)

One at the forest edge at Ankasa, and 2 at Gyaware Road.

TINY SUNBIRD (Cinnyris minullus)

Four at Nsuta, and 4 at Ankasa.

BEAUTIFUL SUNBIRD (Cinnyris pulchellus)

We saw 5 of these really beautiful sunbirds at Mole NP.

SPLENDID SUNBIRD (Cinnyris coccinigastrus) [E]

Two at Shai Hills, and 1 at the entrance to Kakum NP.

JOHANNA'S SUNBIRD (Cinnyris johannae fasciatus)

We saw a male at Ankasa, and a female at Antwikwa.

SUPERB SUNBIRD (Cinnyris superbus ashantiensis)

Single males were seen at Kakum and Bobiri.

VARIABLE SUNBIRD (Cinnyris venustus)

One at Kumasi, and 1 at Atewa.

COPPER SUNBIRD (Cinnyris cupreus cupreus)

Singles near Accra, Nsuta, and Ankasa.

Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)

CHESTNUT-CROWNED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser superciliosus)

One at our lodge in Mole NP.

RED-VENTED MALIMBE (Malimbus scutatus) [E]

One at Nsuta, and 2 at Ankasa.

BLUE-BILLED MALIMBE (Malimbus nitens)

Also known as Gray's Malimbe; we saw 4 at Ankasa.

CRESTED MALIMBE (Malimbus malimbicus)

We saw a pair along the Gyaware Road.

RED-HEADED MALIMBE (Malimbus rubricollis)

Four at Kakum, and 2 at Bobiri.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Lowe’s Mona Monkey was the form that we saw at Kakum. Photo by participant Randy Beaton..

LITTLE WEAVER (Ploceus luteolus)

Two at Mole NP.

BLACK-NECKED WEAVER (OLIVE-BACKED) (Ploceus nigricollis brachypterus)

This race (without a black neck) was widespread in small numbers in farmland; in total we saw about 45.

ORANGE WEAVER (Ploceus aurantius aurantius)

Three near the Ibe River.

VIEILLOT'S WEAVER (CHESTNUT-AND-BLACK) (Ploceus nigerrimus castaneofuscus)

This distinctive chestnut and black race was common in farmland; in all we saw about 450.

VILLAGE WEAVER (BLACK-HEADED) (Ploceus cucullatus cucullatus)

Another widespread weaver of the farmlands.

YELLOW-MANTLED WEAVER (Ploceus tricolor)

We saw a male at Kakum, and then a pair at Bobiri.

MAXWELL'S BLACK WEAVER (WHITE-NAPED) (Ploceus albinucha albinucha)

One at Nsuta.

PREUSS'S WEAVER (Ploceus preussi) [E]

We saw 5 of these attractive weavers at Kakum; with especially good looks at the canopy walkway.

BLACK-WINGED BISHOP (Euplectes hordeaceus)

One in poor plumage at Sakumono Lagoon, and then a breeding male and female in the Kakum farmland area.

Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)

GRAY-HEADED NIGRITA (Nigrita canicapillus)

Small numbers were widespread at forest edge.


Small numbers at Ankasa, Kakum and Bobiri, with a total of about a dozen.

WHITE-BREASTED NIGRITA (Nigrita fusconotus)

One at Kakum.

LAVENDER WAXBILL (Estrilda coerulescens)

Four along the wooded seasonal flooded area at Mole NP.


Small numbers in the farm-bush at Antwikwa, Gyaware Road, and Atewa.


Two in the farmlands along the Gyaware Road.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Brown Babblers were seen well at several locations. Photo by participant Randy Beaton.

RED-CHEEKED CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus bengalus)

Two at Mole NP.

RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala)

About 6 at Mole NP.

BAR-BREASTED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta rufopicta)

Ten in the Shai Hills.

BRONZE MANNIKIN (Spermestes cucullata)

Small numbers were seen in farm country throughout the tour.

BLACK-AND-WHITE MANNIKIN (Spermestes bicolor)

Eight in the Kakum area.

Viduidae (Indigobirds)

PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura)

We had nice looks at a male in the farmlands near Ankasa.

VILLAGE INDIGOBIRD (Vidua chalybeata)

One at Mole NP.


We saw a male at a fuel station on the way to Ankasa.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)


Common and widespread in open country and villages.

SAHEL BUSH SPARROW (Gymnoris dentata)

Formerly in the genus Petronia and known as Bush Petronia, this species is now placed in the genus Gymnoris; we saw about 30 in the Mole NP area.

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)


Singles at Sakumono Lagoon, Bobiri, and near Bunso.

AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp)

Widespread in small numbers, with a total of about 35.

PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys)

Two in the Accra area.

TREE PIPIT (Anthus trivialis)

Two singles at Mole NP.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY (Crithagra mozambica)

We saw a pair at Mole NP.

Field Guides Birding Tours
The Canopy Walkway at Kakum allowed us to get up in the trees, where we were able to see some special birds, including Palm-nut Vulture, Violet-backed Hyliota, Sharpe’s Apalis, and Preuss’s Weaver. Photo by participant Randy Beaton.



One at our hotel at Accra, and 200+ at Ankasa.

SENEGAL BUSHBABY (Galago senegalensis)

Three at Mole NP.

LESSER WHITE-NOSED GUENON (Cercopithecus petaurista) [E]

Six at Kakum.

MONA MONKEY (Cercopithecus mona)

The form we saw in the Kakum area is sometimes considered specifically distinct and known as Lowe's Monkey.

GREEN MONKEY (Cercopithecus sabaeus)

We saw about a dozen in the Mole NP area.

PATAS MONKEY (Erythrocebus patas)

Six and then 4 at Mole NP.

OLIVE BABOON (Papio anubis)

About 60 in the Shai Hills, and then perhaps 200 in and around Mole.

SCRUB HARE (Lepus saxatalis)

Five at Mole NP.

FOREST GIANT SQUIRREL (Protoxerus stangeri)

Singles at Ankasa and Mole NP.

SLENDER-TAILED SQUIRREL (Protoxerus aubinnii)

One near Accra.

FIRE-FOOTED ROPE SQUIRREL (Funisciurus pyrrhopus)

One at Kakum.

GREEN BUSH SQUIRREL (Paraxerus poensis)

One at Ankasa.

GAMBIAN SUN SQUIRREL (Heliosciurus gambianus)

Four at Ankasa.

RED-LEGGED SUN SQUIRREL (Heliosciurus rufobrachium)

Two singles at Ankasa.

PEL'S FLYING SQUIRREL (Anomalurus peli) [E]

We had tremendous looks at 2 of these beautiful flying squirrels on a night walk at Ankasa.

AFRICAN BUSH ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana)

We saw a total of 11 at Mole NP.

WESTERN TREE HYRAX (Dendrohyrax dorsalis)

Heard at Ankasa.

WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)

We saw a total of about 20 at Mole NP.

BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus)

Twelve at Mole NP.


One at Mole NP.

KOB (Kobus kob)

At least 60 were seen in the Shai Hills, and then about 20 at Mole NP.


Reptiles seen on the tour included;

Nile Crocodile; 4 at Mole NP.

Red-headed Rock Agama; 4 at Shai Hills, and about 20 at Mole NP.

Yellow-headed Tree Agama; 1 at Mole NP.

Totals for the tour: 361 bird taxa and 21 mammal taxa