A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Ghana: Window Into West African Birding 2022

March 23-April 11, 2022 with Phil Gregory & James Ntakor guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
As ever, seeing the fantastic Egyptian Plover exceedingly well was a highlight of this tour. Photo by participant Rhys Harrison.

This Field Guides tour was something of a minor miracle, given all the COVID uncertainties and the complexity of navigating the Ghana entry requirements. Happily we were able to run the tour for a select band of intrepid travelers, though sadly Ahmet was forced to drop out at the very last minute; we hope to see him in 2023 instead.

Thankfully arrival was relatively straightforward as the process was quite well organized if a tad slow. Ghana reminds me very much of India: it is chaotic, crowded and vibrant, with friendly people, and the ravages of COVID had not had too bad an effect here on the youthful population. We wore masks at the airport but that was about it; everywhere else we were able to socially distance and thankfully we got through the tour with no COVID hiccups, duly testing negative on the way out.

Much to my surprise a number of the lodges had been renovated since my last trip in 2019, and the new Ashanti African Safaris lodges at Ankasa and Bonkro were very welcome additions, the Ankasa Lodge being the nicest place we stayed all trip! There are seemingly plans to renovate the rather tired Mole Lodge too, so we live in hope.

Logistics worked well with a very competent driver in Prince. The weather was as usual hot and humid, though drier in the north where they had had a lot of rain, and everything in Mole was very green and fresh with a lot of standing water. We encountered storms at a couple of sites, but thankfully Ankasa and the Picathartes hill stayed fine.

We did well for birds too, despite many things not being terribly responsive. We were able to go out to Sakumono RAMSAR site that first afternoon and enjoy a fine African Hobby and Greater Painted-Snipe, and Red-throated Pipit was a nice bonus. Shai Hills is also a good introduction, with White-crowned Cliffchat eventually, and a colony of Egyptian Tomb-bats at the cave, plus a pair of Senegal Lapwing with 2 chicks, a species we now rarely see. We made a foray over to the Volta at Adomi, with James finding us a Leaf-love, the first I’d actually seen on this tour, plus close looks at Mouse-brown (Mangrove or Brown) Sunbird and Splendid Sunbird. Nsuta Forest gave us White-crested, Piping and Black Dwarf Hornbills, and we got very lucky at Ankasa with good looks at both Fraser’s and Akun Eagle-Owls, as well as Nkulengu Rail, the rare Brown-cheeked Hornbill, and a dusk flyby of Spot-breasted Ibis. Black-Bee-eaters were outstanding at our lodge, and we also got the rare Blue-moustached Bee-eater in the forest. Hartlaub’s Ducks showed very well at the Ebi River, and we saw Phil’s first Ghana record of White-browed Slaty Flycatcher nearby.

Kakum was rewarding, with Black-casqued and Brown-cheeked Hornbills, a great Congo Serpent Eagle sat perched both morning and afternoon, an Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle overhead twice, Violet-backed Hyliota and African Shrike-Flycatcher, plus the Anomalure at dusk and a wonderful view of Western Tree Hyrax, a species I’d heard every trip since 2009 but had never actually seen!

Some ephemeral ponds en route to the park at Mole gave us 8 Greater Painted-Snipe, plus unexpected Black-faced Quailfinch, African Silverbill, and Yellow-billed Oxpecker on the local cattle that wandered by. Mole is always a highlight with its variety of species, and this year Standard-wing Nightjar gave fantastic views, Forbes’s Plover showed well, and the laterite pans had the very scarce and erratic Rusty-rumped Lark, a vagrant Singing Bushlark, Flappet Lark, and Sun Lark for a 4-lark day. White-throated Francolin came in very nicely for video, Lavender Waxbill and Black-faced Firefinch showed well, and amongst the more esoteric species were both Rufous and Dorst’s Cisticolas and some non-breeding dress Paradise-Whydahs that are overwhelmingly likely to be Exclamatory Paradise-Whydah.

Heading back south we made a stop in the remnants of the largely destroyed Opro Forest, and amazingly enough picked up Phil’s lifer Fiery-breasted Bushshrike in the teak plantation of all things, thanks to James for the local knowledge here.

Bobiri saw us lucking into African Piculet and a fabulous perched adult Long-tailed Hawk, plus great looks at a pair of Johanna’s Sunbird and recording duels with both Little Green and Melancholy Woodpeckers that gave us views of the former only. Atewa farmbush gave an unusually big total of Maxwell’s Black Weaver, Magpie Mannikin, Black and White Shrike (Vanga) Flycatcher, and Grosbeak Weaver. Next day at Atewa got somewhat curtailed by a heavy rainstorm but did net an elusive albeit vocal Kemp’s Longbill, Gray-throated Tit-Flycatcher, Red-headed Quelea, and Grosbeak Weaver.

The final venue was to the east towards Togo at Kalakpa, where a morning visit got Blue-bellied Roller, African Crake, a fantastic male Narina Trogon, and some unusual arboreal behaviors from the moloneyana taxon of Brown Illadopsis. The afternoon in the farmbush got a lucky sighting of Ahanta Francolin, amazing looks at Marsh Tchagra, and some neat nocturnal birds with African Scops-Owl, Black-shouldered Nightjar, and then some 5 Long-tailed Nightjar and a single Plain Nightjar on the way out.

Particular trip highlights were 5 White-necked Rockfowl amazingly close for a long period, and great close views of Egyptian Plover at a site not too far from Mole.

Our group was up for mammals and butterflies as well as birds, and our thanks to Brian for using his thermal imaging device to help find things, and also for sharing his telescope, having two scopes is always a plus. We recorded over 20 species of mammals, with the Pel’s Anomalure at Kakum a big highlight, and a marvelous experience with close Forest Elephants at Mole, I doubt there is anywhere else in Africa where you can track elephants on foot!

Butterfly identifications are on-going, but a preliminary listing is given below, Ghana is a great destination for Lepidoptera, and we hope next year to have an Ashanti butterfly expert along with us.

My thanks to the intrepid group for going through the COVID circus and actually getting here, also to Sharon at Field Guides HQ and Rosematilda at Ashanti for setting it all up in the face of so many obstacles. It was a fun trip and an ideal introduction to West African birds. Accommodations are steadily improving, the meals unexciting but adequate, and the local guides very skilled, we are lucky to have perhaps the very best in James and I look forward to 2023 already. Do come and join us for what is sure to be an enjoyable adventure with many wonderful sightings!

Itinerary Ghana 2022

* Day 1 Thurs Mar 24 Arrival and pm to Sakumono 15-1730. Erata Hotel.

* Day 2 Fri Mar 25 Shai Hills & Sayu Cave till 1145. Pm Adomi area/Akwama Hills. Erata Hotel

* Day 3 Sat Mar 26 Winneba Lagoon 0830-0930/ Winneba Plains/ Cape Coast/ Fosu Lagoon/ Nsuta 1530-1630 very dark and rainy. Summerview.

* Day 4 Sunday Mar 27 Akrofi Pond and Nsuta till 1100/ Bokoro pond Takoradi/ Ebi River 1500-1630/Ankasa 1800. Ankasa Lodge.

* Day 5 Mon Mar 28 Ankasa to pond area am/ big tree area/ pm big tree area, pond and powerlines at dusk. Ankasa Lodge

* Day 6 Tues Mar 29 Ankasa track to big tree area till 1000, then entrance gate river/ Brenu Beach 1615-1715/ Rainforest Lodge 1900.

* Day 7 Wed Mar 30 Kakum Walkway to 1030/ pm Kakum Walkway 1600-1900. Rainforest Lodge.

* Day 8 Thurs Mar 31 Antwikwaa till 1030, hot and sunny/ pm Abrafo Forest till 1730, heavy shower. Rainforest Lodge.

* Day 9 Fri Apr 1 Stingless Bee Road at Jukwa till 1030/ Twifo Mampong swallow culvert. Pra River at Twifo Praso/ Bonkro Picathartes site 1430-1730. Picathartes Lodge.

* Day 10 Sat Apr 2 Bonkro/ Kumasi/ Kintampo/ Ponds near Fufulso/ Mole NP 1800. Mole Lodge.

* Day 11 Sun Apr 3 Samole Loop and waterhole/ pm Brugbani area laterite pans. Mole Lodge

* Day 12 Mon Apr 4 Daboya on White Volta/ pm Brugbani area 1520-2000. Mole Lodge.

* Day 13 Tues Apr 5 Mognori River area till 1100/ pm Samole loop/ airstrip 1800-1900. Mole Lodge

* Day 14 Wed Apr 6 Mole lookout 0600-0700/ Larabanga mosque/ Kintampo/ Opro Forest 1500-1545/ Kumasi 1800 Noda Hotel.

* Day 15 Thurs Apr 7 Bobiri till 1030/Linda Dor/ Atewa farmbush 1530-1800. Linda Dor.

* Day 16 Fri Apr 8 Atewa till 1000, heavy rainstorm, Left Linda Dor 11500- arrived Ho 1945. Chances Hotel.

* Day 17 Sat Apr 9 Kalakpa Reserve 0700-1100/ pm Kalakpa entrance track and ranger station 1500-1900. Chances Hotel

* Day 18 Apr 10 Ho to Adomi, then to Accra for covid testing and day rooms Erata Hotel, to airport for group departure 1800.


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)

Six day records with 90 at Mole the most.

HARTLAUB'S DUCK (Pteronetta hartlaubii)

Fantastic views of 6 of this large rare species on the Ebi R estuary, a trip highlight.

SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (NORTHERN) (Plectropterus gambensis gambensis)

Two early one morning at the Mole waterhole.

AFRICAN PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus auritus)

Lovely looks at 4 on the small doomed pond at Bokoro near Takoradi, about to be infilled for some new project.

Numididae (Guineafowl)

HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (WEST AFRICAN) (Numida meleagris galeatus)

Nice looks at small numbers in Mole, also at Kalakpa.

CRESTED GUINEAFOWL (WESTERN) (Guttera pucherani verreauxi)

A small group flushed off the track at Ankasa and gave views back in the forest. Split by BirdLife as Western Crested Guineafowl.

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Participant Rhys Harrison brought home this striking image of a Senegal Batis we found sitting on its nest.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

STONE PARTRIDGE (Ptilopachus petrosus)

Unusually good this year at Mole where we saw them daily. Not reallocated to New World Quail too, not amongst the francolins at all.

Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

WHITE-THROATED FRANCOLIN (WHITE-THROATED) (Campocolinus albogularis buckleyi)

A splendid performance late afternoon at Brugbani where one walked in to check out the recording, and was summoned back after someone did not see it well. It sat for some minutes.

AHANTA FRANCOLIN (Pternistis ahantensis)

A good pick-up at Kalakpa, we flushed two and saw the red legs on one, only my second sighting. Also heard calling here but off in the distance.

DOUBLE-SPURRED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis bicalcaratus)

Great looks at Shai Hills, then at Mole and Kalakpa.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

LITTLE GREBE (LITTLE) (Tachybaptus ruficollis ruficollis)

A single at Akrofi pond near Nsuta.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

Small numbers in the urban centres, one of the few introduced species in Ghana.

SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea guinea)

A single at the Egyptian Plover site, in the baobab with the Black-headed Heron colony.

RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata)

Seen and heard most days except in the dense forest habitats.

VINACEOUS DOVE (Streptopelia vinacea)

Seen daily in Mole.

LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis)

Seen most days except in dense forest habitat.

BLACK-BILLED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur abyssinicus)

Good looks in Shai Hills, Mole and around the Kakum area.


Singles at Shai Hills and Atewa farmbush.

TAMBOURINE DOVE (Turtur tympanistria)

A few flybys in the forest zones.

NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis)

Just two at the ephemeral ponds at Fufulso.

BRUCE'S GREEN-PIGEON (Treron waalia)

Two from the Mole viewpoint, usually seen more often.


Heard at Nsuta, and just 2 at Antwikwaa, unusually scarce.

Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)

FOUR-BANDED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles quadricinctus)

5 flew by at dusk at the laterite pans at Brugbani.

Musophagidae (Turacos)

GREAT BLUE TURACO (Corythaeola cristata)

A noisy group by the power lines at Ankasa, we saw at least 6 birds and probably more.

GUINEA TURACO (Tauraco persa) [E]

Heard at many savanna forest sites, and seen at Winneba Plains and Kalakpa, though none posed for us..

YELLOW-BILLED TURACO (Tauraco macrorhynchus) [E]

Seen at Ankasa, and heard there and Kakum.

Guide Phil Gregory captured this video clip of a couple of White-necked Rockfowl approaching the overhanging rock cave...fantastic!

VIOLET TURACO (Musophaga violacea)

One from Shai Hills, then two on two days at Mole, the best being as we were leaving the park.

WESTERN PLANTAIN-EATER (Crinifer piscator)

The common member of this family, starting at Sakumono and seen at all savanna sites.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

BLACK-THROATED COUCAL (Centropus leucogaster)

One was seen by some at the Leaflove spot at Akosombo, but most of us missed it. Odd not to hear it later too.

SENEGAL COUCAL (Centropus senegalensis)

Good views at several sites, including one of the odd dark "epomidis " morph at Stingless Bee Road, only Phil's second sighting of it.

BLUE-HEADED COUCAL (Centropus monachus)

Seen at Ankasa and Stingless Bee Road.

BLUE MALKOHA (Ceuthmochares aereus)

Very scarce this trip, we heard it clicking at Nsuta and Atewa, and saw one at Kakum. I do wish they had retained the appropriate African name Yellowbill and not put it in with Malkohas!

LEVAILLANT'S CUCKOO (Clamator levaillantii)

Two at Mole when we were on our elephant trek.

DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius)

Only seen at Antwikwaa, and barely calling all trip, though we did hear it at Akosombo on the last day.

KLAAS'S CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx klaas)

Quite vocal at the savanna sites, and seen nicely at Antwikwaa, Mole and Atewa.

AFRICAN EMERALD CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx cupreus)

A fine male at Kakum, otherwise only heard at Antwikwaa and Bobiri, much less vocal than normal.

RED-CHESTED CUCKOO (Cuculus solitarius)

Heard at the Picathartes site, then one flew through at Samole.

AFRICAN CUCKOO (Cuculus gularis)

Calling "oo-cuk" at Mognori and seen near Brugbani. A cuckoo that flew through at Bobiri was said by James to be European Cuckoo as that is the only species he's seen there, but we got no field characters.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

STANDARD-WINGED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus longipennis)

Amazing views of a male both at rest and in flight up at Brugbani, those standards are really extraordinary.

BROWN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus binotatus) [E]

A pending storm drove us off the Kakum walkway so this was only heard this year.

BLACK-SHOULDERED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus nigriscapularis)

Fine views of singing male at Kalakpa, I posted the cut to xeno-canto.

PLAIN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus inornatus)

One on the track as we came out of Kalakpa, very plain and pale looking.

LONG-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus climacurus)

Good looks up at Brugbani, and then some 5 birds on the track out of Kalakpa.

Apodidae (Swifts)

MOTTLED SPINETAIL (Telacanthura ussheri)

Ten at Cape Coast, and a single at Kalakpa, the wing shape is a giveaway from the similar Little Swift.

BLACK SPINETAIL (Telacanthura melanopygia) [E]

A single of this uncommon species at Abrafo.

SABINE'S SPINETAIL (Rhaphidura sabini)

Seen on two days at Ankasa, a very distinctive species.

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Red-throated Bee-eater by participant Eileen Keelan

CASSIN'S SPINETAIL (Neafrapus cassini)

One of my favorites, this one is shaped like a stealth bomber and has almost no tail. We saw singles at Ankasa and Abrafo.

COMMON SWIFT (Apus apus)

Small flocks of migrants around at Ankasa, Kakum, Antwikwaa and Mole, max. 20 birds.

PALLID SWIFT (Apus pallidus)

Really close good looks at 20 of this pale milky-brown swift with the big white throat and pale secondaries hawking low over Mole Waterhole, it is uncommon in Ghana and needs to be seen well to be identified.

LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis)

Widespread, often nests in road culverts.


One at Antwikwaa, and one at Akosombo, the forked tail quite distinct from the notch of Little Swift.

AFRICAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus)

Surprisingly few, we only saw them at Twifo Praso, Samole and Atewa.

Sarothruridae (Flufftails)

WHITE-SPOTTED FLUFFTAIL (Sarothrura pulchra)

Heard at Ankasa, and one furtive bird dashed across a gap for the group at Antwikwaa, who were luckily looking the right way!

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

AFRICAN CRAKE (Crex egregia)

One in the road at Kalakapa, seen very well in the morning and it or another again late afternoon.

EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus)

Just two at Akrofi pond near Nsuta pond.

ALLEN'S GALLINULE (Porphyrio alleni)

Three at Akrofi pond near Nsuta, a useful addition of an elusive nomad,

NKULENGU RAIL (Himantornis haematopus)

The guys located a roosting pair at Ankasa, and we had quite good looks as we perched precariously on the edge of a gulley to look at them.

BLACK CRAKE (Zapornia flavirostra)

Three at Akrofi pond near Nsuta, and one at Mole.

Burhinidae (Thick-knees)

SENEGAL THICK-KNEE (Burhinus senegalensis)

Ten at Sakumono then small numbers from Mole

SPOTTED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus capensis)

Two birds calling and then flying over up on the Brugbani Loop, the voice is quite different to Senegal Thick-knee but a view in better light would have been nice.

Pluvianidae (Egyptian Plover)

EGYPTIAN PLOVER (Pluvianus aegyptius)

A good experience with 4 birds on the sand bars on the White Volta, one came quite close on the rocks and luckily the recent rain had not made the river too high. One of the trip highlights of course.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus)

Six at Winneba

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)

One at Sakumono and 5 at Winneba.

SPUR-WINGED LAPWING (Vanellus spinosus)

16 at Sakumono and small numbers at Ebi River, Brenu and Mole.

SENEGAL LAPWING (Vanellus lugubris)

A great unexpected find at Shai Hills where a pair had 2 juveniles, it was a species we used to see at Winneba Plains.

WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus senegallus)

Two at Sakumono, then small numbers in Mole and a nest with 4 eggs at Mognori. Three at Kalakpa too.

COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula)

4 at Sakumono and 40 at Winneba.

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Black-headed Herons had taken over the top of this immense tree as their roost. Photo by participant Terry Harrison.

FORBES'S PLOVER (Charadrius forbesi)

A much wanted species, we had good looks at 2 up on the laterite pans at Brugbani, Ghana is one of the best places to see this elusive species.

WHITE-FRONTED PLOVER (Charadrius marginatus mechowi)

Two at Winneba.

Rostratulidae (Painted-Snipes)

GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE (Rostratula benghalensis)

One at Sakumono that was very skulking but got disturbed by the cattle, then fantastic views of at least 8 at the ephemeral pond at Fufulso

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus)

8 at Sakumono, 5 at Akrofi pond and small numbers in Mole and at Ebi River.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)

Ten at Winneba and one at Ebi River.

BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica)

One at Winneba.

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)

Ten at Winneba.

CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea)

Ten at Winneba.

SANDERLING (Calidris alba)

Fifteen at Winneba.

COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)

2 at Sakumono, 3 at Winneba and singles in Mole.

COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)

One at Sakumono, 4 at Winneba and one at Ebi River.

MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis)

One at Winneba Lagoon was a nice find, the slender bill and delicate build good field marks.

WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola)

9 at Sakumono and 1 at Ebi River.

COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus)

8 at Winneba.

Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)

COLLARED PRATINCOLE (Glareola pratincola)

At least 30 at Sakumono.

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

4 on the river rocks at Twifo Praso, this being the chestnut-collared West African race.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons)

Two at Winneba.

BLACK TERN (EURASIAN) (Chlidonias niger niger)

Ten at Sakumono and 20 at Winneba.

COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo)

5 at Winneba.

SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis)

50 at Winneba.

This Akun Eagle-Owl gave us fine views at Ankasa. Video by guide Phil Gregory.

WEST AFRICAN CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus albididorsalis)

Just 2 at Winneba, this is a split from Royal Tern and is more closely related to Lesser Crested Tern. Another species where Ghana is a good place to find it.

Ciconiidae (Storks)

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

Two over high up at Mole.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Microcarbo africanus)

2 at Sakumono and 40 over the Volta at Akosombo., then one at Akrofi and 2 in Mole.

Scopidae (Hamerkop)

HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta)

Five day records from the Mole area, 6 birds the day maximum, and a large nest seen.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea)

One at Ebi River, then 3 day records from Mole

BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala)

One at the ephemeral pond at Fufulso, and then a colony in a large baobab at the Egyptian Plover site.

PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea)

Two at Bokoro pond were the only record.

GREAT EGRET (AFRICAN) (Ardea alba melanorhynchos)

4 day records, with 1 at Sakumono, 2 at Winneba, 2 at Bokoro and 2 at Mole.. Egrets are curiously scarce in Ghana.

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

Singles at Fosu lagoon and Akrofi pond.

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

4 at Winneba, 3 at Fosu Lagoon and 2 at Ebi River.

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

Widespread in small numbers.

SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides)

Five day records of small numbers from Sakumono, Ebi River and the Mole area.

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)

One at Ebi River, one at Ankasa pond and one at a pond near the White Volta.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

Just one at the Mole waterhole.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

SPOT-BREASTED IBIS (Bostrychia rara)

Three at dusk at the power lines at Ankasa, calling and flying by. A very hard bird to get.

HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash)

Great looks at Mole waterhole and Samole, their noisy calling was a feature of the park there, and always just 2 birds.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

BLACK-WINGED KITE (Elanus caeruleus)

Just 3 day records of singles

AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus)

Five day records plus a nest at Mognori River.

PALM-NUT VULTURE (Gypohierax angolensis)

One from Kakum, one at Samole and a fine adult at Kalakpa.

AFRICAN CUCKOO-HAWK (Aviceda cuculoides)

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The Adome bridge over the Volta River, by participant Rhys Harrison.

WHITE-HEADED VULTURE (Trigonoceps occipitalis)

HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus)


BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus)

CONGO SERPENT-EAGLE (Dryotriorchis spectabilis)

BEAUDOUIN'S SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus beaudouini)

WAHLBERG'S EAGLE (Hieraaetus wahlbergi)

AYRES'S HAWK-EAGLE (Hieraaetus ayresii)

A great flight view in both the morning and the afternoon at Kakum Walkway, a rare bird.

CASSIN'S HAWK-EAGLE (Aquila africana)

Two at Antwikwaa, circling but staying distant.

LIZARD BUZZARD (Kaupifalco monogrammicus)

An unusually good trip for them, starting with one near Mole, then another days records including two at Kalakpa.

DARK CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax metabates)

One near Daboya was the only sighting, sat perched up nicely.

GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar)

A fine view of one near Daboya was the only record.

GRASSHOPPER BUZZARD (Butastur rufipennis)

4 day records from around Mole.

RED-CHESTED GOSHAWK (BANDED) (Accipiter toussenelii macroscelides)

One calling at Antwikwaa.

SHIKRA (Accipiter badius)

Four day records, seen nicely, the default small accipiter.

BLACK GOSHAWK (Accipiter melanoleucus)

One flew over at Nsuta on the dull rainy afternoon.

LONG-TAILED HAWK (Urotriorchis macrourus)

Fantastic, after many attempts at other sites one flew into a tree by the track at Bobiri and sat for scope views, one of the great prizes from Ghana it was a splendid adult.

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

Seen almost every day in small numbers.

AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer)

One was heard one lunchtime at the Mole Park HQ, and happily we saw a curiously plumage subadult at the waterhole next day, this is another very scarce had local species in Ghana.

RED-NECKED BUZZARD (Buteo auguralis)

Singles from Shai Hills and Antwikwaa..

Field Guides Birding Tours
Ghana is excellent for its diversity of butterflies as well as birds, and we saw quite a variety, including the Citrus Swallowtail photographed by participant Eileen Keelan.
Strigidae (Owls)

AFRICAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus senegalensis)

Heard up at Brugbani, then a terrific one at Kalakpa, located sat camouflaged against the trunk by Brian and his thermal imager.

NORTHERN WHITE-FACED OWL (Ptilopsis leucotis)

Heard at Mole airstrip but did not come in.

FRASER'S EAGLE-OWL (Bubo poensis)

One at Ankasa Lodge the night we arrived was spotlit after dinner, and we shared my bins to get looks at it!

AKUN EAGLE-OWL (Bubo leucostictus)

Fantastic looks at one in Ankasa, we came back to the lodge just as one was spotlit there. Video on Cornell and Smugmug.

PEARL-SPOTTED OWLET (Glaucidium perlatum)

A lovely view of one on the Samole loop.

CHESTNUT OWLET (ETCHECOPAR'S) (Glaucidium castaneum etchecopari)

Heard distantly up at Sayu Cave in Shai Hills.

AFRICAN WOOD-OWL (Strix woodfordii)

Phil heard one at dawn one morning at Ankasa.

Trogonidae (Trogons)

NARINA TROGON (Apaloderma narina)

A fine male was calling at Kalakpa and we had great scope views of it. Recording posted to Cornell.

Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitarbills)

GREEN WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus)

Seen at Sakumono and then in Mole.

WHITE-HEADED WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus bollei)

Great looks at Nsuta forest.

BLACK SCIMITARBILL (Rhinopomastus aterrimus)

One along the Samole loop, and another for some at Mognori.

Bucerotidae (Hornbills)

RED-BILLED DWARF HORNBILL (Lophoceros camurus)

Sadly only heard at Ankasa, it was shame they did not show as they came quite close. A wonderful call though.

AFRICAN PIED HORNBILL (Lophoceros fasciatus)

The most widespread trip hornbill, seen at all the savanna sites starting at Shai Hills.

AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Lophoceros nasutus)

The default savanna hornbill, first at Sakumono.

NORTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL (Tockus erythrorhynchus)

A handful of sightings from Mole of this northern special.

WHITE-CRESTED HORNBILL (Horizocerus albocristatus)

One from Nsuta was a lucky find of what can be a very elusive shy species.

BLACK DWARF HORNBILL (Horizocerus hartlaubi)

A fabulous look at a pair that Brian found at Nsuta, then seen again at Bobiri, an uncommon and local bird.

BLACK-CASQUED HORNBILL (Ceratogymna atrata)

Two from Kakum were a lucky pick-up, coinciding with Brown-cheeked Hornbill and not lingering. All the big hornbills have become rare due to habitat loss and hunting.

YELLOW-CASQUED HORNBILL (Ceratogymna elata) [E]

This was heard distantly at Ankasa but sadly did not come closer

BROWN-CHEEKED HORNBILL (Bycanistes cylindricus) [E]

One at Ankasa was a good find there of a rare species, then we had 4 at Kakum.

Field Guides Birding Tours
A fine portrait of the amazing White-necked Rockfowl seen so well during the tour, by participant Eileen Keelan.

PIPING HORNBILL (Bycanistes fistulator)

8 of this tiny hornbill at Nsuta on the dull afternoon with a storm threatening, and one at the Volta River at Akosombo on the last day.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

SHINING-BLUE KINGFISHER (Alcedo quadribrachys)

One of this striking bird at Ankasa pond, but sadly it kept the White-bellied Kingfisher away. Video on the Cornell site.

MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus)

One at Bokoro pond, and one in Mole, very few this trip.

WHITE-BELLIED KINGFISHER (Corythornis leucogaster)

Heard at Ankasa but kept away from the pond site by the Shining-blue.


One from Shai Hills, one from Antwikwaa and finally one on wires by the Volta on the last day, a catch-up for some.


A lovely view of one from Ankasa, it has a great mournful descending call.

GRAY-HEADED KINGFISHER (Halcyon leucocephala)

Striking and showy at Mole.

WOODLAND KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegalensis)

Relatively few, seen at Winneba and Antwikwaa. This is the grey-headed taxon.


A frequent voice from the forest areas and seen well at Kakum, Mole and Opro.

STRIPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon chelicuti)

One from the Brugbani loop was the only record.

GIANT KINGFISHER (Megaceryle maxima)

One near the Volta at Daboya, and one at Mole waterhole, a huge great kingfisher.

PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis)

Singles and twos on five dates, starting at Winneba.

Meropidae (Bee-eaters)

BLACK BEE-EATER (Merops gularis gularis)

Fantastic views at Ankasa Lodge, also seen in the forest at the Blue-moustached Bee-eater site. One at Antwikwaa.


Two in the Ankasa forest, but not very co-operative, a very scarce species.


Lovely views in Mole, a very striking bird.

LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus)

Singles at Sakumono and Shai Hills.

SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops hirundineus chrysolaimus)

Great looks at 2 in Shai Hills.

WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops albicollis)

This intra-African migrant was common in Ankasa, Kakum, Mole and also at Bobiri and Atewa.

ROSY BEE-EATER (Merops malimbicus) [E]

One from Shai Hills was a surprise, then seen in flight at Kakum and Antwikwaa, Ghana is one of the best places to see this species.


One seen briefly flying distantly at the Mognori River, well south for this species

It was a rare treat to be able to observe Forest Elephants in their habitat. Video by guide Phil Gregory.
Coraciidae (Rollers)

ABYSSINIAN ROLLER (Coracias abyssinicus)

Great looks at a few in Mole.

RUFOUS-CROWNED ROLLER (Coracias naevius)

Just one from Mole this trip.

BLUE-BELLIED ROLLER (Coracias cyanogaster) [E]

One at Shai Hills, then seen near Kintampo and finally at Kalakpa where we had 4 birds of this western special.

BROAD-BILLED ROLLER (Eurystomus glaucurus)

Good looks at Shai Hills, Ankasa and Mole, a noisy species.

BLUE-THROATED ROLLER (Eurystomus gularis)

The rainforest version of the previous species, but duller and with a blue throat and a very different harsh call, we saw them at Nsuta, Ankasa, Kakum and Bobiri.

Lybiidae (African Barbets)

YELLOW-BILLED BARBET (Trachyphonus purpuratus) [*]

Heard once at Ankasa

BRISTLE-NOSED BARBET (Gymnobucco peli)

Seen first at Nsuta, and some saw them at Antwikwaa and Atewa.

NAKED-FACED BARBET (Gymnobucco calvus)

First seen at Nsuta, also at Antwikwaa, Bobiri and Atewa. This and Bristle-nosed often nest together and have very similar calls, I suspect they may simply be morphological variations of one species.

SPECKLED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus scolopaceus)

A good view from Kakum and Bobiri.

RED-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus atroflavus)

Scope views from Kakum and again at Atewa farmbush.

YELLOW-THROATED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus subsulphureus chrysopygus)

Seen at Atewa, the forest version of Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird and this race has no yellow throat.

YELLOW-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus bilineatus)

Good views at Bobiri after many hearing records at Kakum and Ankasa.

YELLOW-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus chrysoconus)

Two seen well at Shai Hills.

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

Seen well at Ankasa and Kakum, quite a vocal species.

VIEILLOT'S BARBET (Lybius vieilloti) [E]

This one has a great duetting call, it was seen well at Shai Hills, Mole and Atewa. I still need a good recording of the call.

DOUBLE-TOOTHED BARBET (Lybius bidentatus)

Some saw this at Sakumono, and we caught up with it again by the Volta at Akosombo on the last day.

BEARDED BARBET (Lybius dubius)

Seen nicely at Sakumono and Shai Hills.

Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)

WILLCOCKS'S HONEYGUIDE (Indicator willcocksi)

One at Atewa, small, dumpy and thick-billed. but vanished and got replaced by an imm. Klaas's Cuckoo!

LESSER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator minor)

The bird at the Mognori River has been using this territory for ten years, we had good views.

GREATER HONEYGUIDE (Indicator indicator)

Good views of one up at Brugbani in Mole.

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Woodland Kingfisher by participant Eileen Keelan
Picidae (Woodpeckers)

AFRICAN PICULET (Verreauxia africana)

A great look at one of this diminutive piculet at Bobiri, so small and quiet they are very easy to miss.

MELANCHOLY WOODPECKER (Chloropicus lugubris) [E]

Irritatingly this was only a heard this trip despite repeated efforts to call one in at Antwikwaa and Bobiri.

CARDINAL WOODPECKER (Chloropicus fuscescens lafresnayi)

Heard at Mole Lodge.

FIRE-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Chloropicus pyrrhogaster) [E]

Two birds seen in Kakum.

BROWN-BACKED WOODPECKER (Chloropicus obsoletus obsoletus)

Seen en route to the Brugbani loop in Mole, an uncommon species.

AFRICAN GRAY WOODPECKER (GRAY) (Chloropicus goertae goertae)

The default woodpecker for the trip with multiple sightings from Mole.

BUFF-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (Campethera nivosa nivosa)

Seen in Ankasa and heard at Kakum.

LITTLE GREEN WOODPECKER (Campethera maculosa) [E]

One at Bobiri was quite responsive but always came in high up and badly aspected.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

EURASIAN KESTREL (RUFESCENT) (Falco tinnunculus rufescens)

Seen at the hotel in Ho, a resident taxon that may well be a split.

GRAY KESTREL (Falco ardosiaceus)

Seen at Shai Hills, Mole and Kalakpa.

RED-FOOTED FALCON (Falco vespertinus)

Brian found 3 dark falcons at the Park HQ early one morning which we thought were likely to be Red-foot, then a fine perched bird at the Mognori River proved to be this species, the photos showing the rich underpart colour and red legs. Initially confused with Red-necked Falcon as it was by the usual Borassus palms which they frequent.

AFRICAN HOBBY (Falco cuvierii)

More than usual. A lovely look at one at Sakumono, also seen at Mole twice, and at Atewa. but views not as good.

LANNER FALCON (Falco biarmicus)

One from Shai Hills, and one at Larabanga mosque.

Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)

ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (Psittacula krameri)

Two flying by far away at the Mognori River.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

GRAY PARROT (GRAY) (Psittacus erithacus erithacus)

Phil saw 2 at Ankasa Lodge, then we all saw 2 at Antwikwaa and 4 at Bobiri, all in flight. Quite a rare species now due to trapping for the pet trade.

RED-FRONTED PARROT (Poicephalus gulielmi)

Flight views from Nsuta, Kakum and Bobiri.

SENEGAL PARROT (Poicephalus senegalus)

Noisy and seen quite well at Shai Hills, Mole and Kalakpa.

Calyptomenidae (African and Green Broadbills)

RUFOUS-SIDED BROADBILL (Smithornis rufolateralis)

A fine displaying bird at Nsuta, and again from Kakum.

Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)


Two along the Samole loop, then a fine male by the viewpoint at Mole.


A female at Atewa after we heard it at Bobiri.

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Double-spurred Francolin in the Shai Hills, by guide Phil Gregory

BLUE CUCKOOSHRIKE (Cyanograucalus azureus)

Annoyingly this was calling really well but stayed out of view at Bobiri.

Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)


One along the road to Mognori gave good views.

WESTERN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus brachyrynchus)

Heard multiple times, but we finally caught up with it at Atewa just before the storm.

BLACK-WINGED ORIOLE (Oriolus nigripennis) [E]

Heard at Kakum and Antwikwaa, and finally seen nicely at Bobiri.

Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)

BROWN-THROATED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira cyanea)

Heard at Shai Hills and seen in Mole a couple of times, the species is named after the brown throated female, also known as Common Wattle-eye.

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

Seen at Kakum and Atewa, formerly known as Chestnut Wattle-eye.

SENEGAL BATIS (Batis senegalensis) [E]

Seen twice in Mole this trip.

Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)

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

Great views of a flock of 6 along the road to Mognori River, this is a long-crested race.


Calling and giving glimpses in Ankasa and than at Abrafo.

AFRICAN SHRIKE-FLYCATCHER (Megabyas flammulatus flammulatus)

A pair at Kakum showed very nicely, the female especially.


A male at Antwikwaa, then a pair at Atewa farmbush, formerly called Vanga flycatcher and now placed in that family, so a change back would be great.

Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)

BRUBRU (Nilaus afer afer)

A brief view of one at Mole.

NORTHERN PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus gambensis gambensis)

Some saw this at Shai Hills, then seen again at Mole and Atewa.

SABINE'S PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus sabini)

Heard at Nsuta, then a pair at Kakum Walkway, a West African special.

MARSH TCHAGRA (MARSH) (Tchagra minutus minutus)

Great looks at a female at Kalakpa that sat perched up late pm for ages.

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

Heard at Shai Hills and Brenu, and seen at Mole and Kalakpa,

BROWN-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra australis ussheri)

One flew out as we walked into Opro Forest, very briefly.

TROPICAL BOUBOU (Laniarius major) [*]

Heard distantly in response to playback at Brenu Beach, a strangely local species in Ghana and my first record here

YELLOW-CROWNED GONOLEK (Laniarius barbarus)

Quite often heard in the savanna, and seen at Winneba Plains and Samole, a very striking red, yellow and black bird.

SULPHUR-BREASTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus sulfureopectus)

Nice views on the Samole loop.

Field Guides Birding Tours
The canopy walkway at Kakum, by participant Terry Harrison

FIERY-BREASTED BUSHSHRIKE (Malaconotus cruentus)

A mega from the remnants of Opro Forest, James knew it was here and it responded well to playback in the teak plantation, flying over head across the road and then showing briefly high in a large tree. A rare bird in Ghana and a lifer for Phil.

Dicruridae (Drongos)


One at the Mognori River was flighty but quite responsive.

SHINING DRONGO (Dicrurus atripennis) [E]

Heard at Ankasa but can be tricky to see.

GLOSSY-BACKED DRONGO (Dicrurus divaricatus)

A split from what was Fork-tailed Drongo, this was seen at Shai Hills and Mole.

FANTI DRONGO (Dicrurus atactus)

The forest drongo, formerly Velvet-mantled Drongo, seen at Ankasa, Kakum and Bobiri.

Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)

BLUE-HEADED CRESTED-FLYCATCHER (Trochocercus nitens) [*]

Heard at Ankasa.

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

Nesting at Ankasa and also seen at Kakum.

AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis ferreti)

The savanna paradise-flycatcher, seen at Mole and Kalakpa.

Laniidae (Shrikes)

YELLOW-BILLED SHRIKE (Lanius corvinus)

Widespread, the first at Sakumono.

NORTHERN FISCAL (Lanius humeralis)

Curiously local in Ghana, we saw singles at Brenu Beach, Antwikwaa and Atewa farmbush.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

PIAPIAC (Ptilostomus afer)

This aberrant corvid showed well at Sakumono, Shai Hills, Mole and Kalakpa.

PIED CROW (Corvus albus)

Seen every day of the trip except one day at Ankasa, it's a large species. We saw over 100 at a roost in Kumasi late one day, more usually in singles and pairs.

Picathartidae (Rockfowl)

WHITE-NECKED ROCKFOWL (Picathartes gymnocephalus) [E]

A 90 minute wait, but then a wonderful experience with 5 of them at the colony, coming really close and even videoed by cellphone! This is a great site and it was also nice to stay close by overnight this year.

Hyliotidae (Hyliotas)

YELLOW-BELLIED HYLIOTA (Hyliota flavigaster)

One came in at Kakum but stayed quite high up, an important trip bird as these are an endemic African family.

Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)

AFRICAN BLUE FLYCATCHER (Elminia longicauda)

Lovely look from the Samole loop, another species from endemic African family.

Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

WHITE-SHOULDERED BLACK-TIT (Melaniparus guineensis)

Good looks at Shai Hills and Mole.

Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)

FOREST PENDULINE-TIT (Anthoscopus flavifrons)

3 of this diminutive species at Kakum, one of the first birds from the walkway.

Alaudidae (Larks)

RUFOUS-RUMPED LARK (Pinarocorys erythropygia)

A good pick up from a laterite pan at Brugbani, we seldom see this erratic migrant on the tour.

FLAPPET LARK (Mirafra rufocinnamomea)

One on the laterite pan near Brugbani on our 4 lark species day.

SINGING BUSHLARK (Mirafra cantillans)

One on the laterite pan (called boval locally) near Brugbani in Mole, the white outer tail feathers being a good field character. This is a rarity in Ghana and we had the first confirmed record for the country in 2013.

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African Pygmy Kingfisher by participant Rhys Harrison

SUN LARK (Galerida modesta)

Good looks at 2 on the laterite pan along the Brugbani loop.

Nicatoridae (Nicators)

WESTERN NICATOR (Nicator chloris)

Heard at Ebi River, Atewa and Bobiri and seen at Stingless Bee Road, another endemic African family too.

Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)

GREEN CROMBEC (Sylvietta virens flaviventris)

A nice look at Nsuta in the pre-storm gloom.

LEMON-BELLIED CROMBEC (Sylvietta denti hardyi) [*]

Heard at Kakum but stayed distant.

NORTHERN CROMBEC (NORTHERN) (Sylvietta brachyura brachyura)

Seen at Shai Hills and Mole.

MOUSTACHED GRASS-WARBLER (Melocichla mentalis mentalis)

Very nice looks at Mognori and very vocal at Kalakpa, with one singing right by the hotel also.

KEMP'S LONGBILL (Macrosphenus kempi) [E]

Heard at Antwikwaa but our duel with it was unsuccessful. A rematch at Atewa was better and we managed some glimpses as it climbed up in a tall vine tangle, this West African endemic is always a devil to see.

GRAY LONGBILL (Macrosphenus concolor)

The wittering some was heard at each of the forest sites and we saw it at Ankasa.

GREEN HYLIA (Hylia prasina)

Heard at all the main forest sites, but very hard to see well, the best being at Ankasa. This and Tit-Hylia are a new family called Hyliidae after being Incertae Sedis for years

TIT-HYLIA (Pholidornis rushiae ussheri)

Some folks saw it briefly at Ankasa, and it showed very well at Antwikwaa. The other member of the new family Hyliidae.

Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)

SENEGAL EREMOMELA (Eremomela pusilla)

Great looks from Shai Hills, Mole and Kalakpa.


Seen very nicely at Kakum.

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

Common and vocal n in farmbush and seen several times.

YELLOW-BROWED CAMAROPTERA (Camaroptera superciliaris)

Vocal at the main forest sites and seen at Kakum.

OLIVE-GREEN CAMAROPTERA (Camaroptera chloronota)

Vocal at the main forest sites but stayed unseen.

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

A nice look at Ankasa.


Seen well at Samole loop on two visits.

SHARPE'S APALIS (Apalis sharpii) [E]

A good look at this West African special from the Kakum walkway, and heard at Ankasa and Bobiri.

TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava)

Widespread in farmbush and savanna.

RED-WINGED PRINIA (Prinia erythroptera erythroptera)

Seen nicely at Winneba Plains and en route to Mognori.

Field Guides Birding Tours
The very snazzy Black Bee-eater gave us some fine views as well. Photo by participan Eileen Keelan.

ORIOLE WARBLER (Hypergerus atriceps)

This striking bird was seen well at Brenu Beach, and again on the Samole loop.

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

Noisy at Winneba Plains, and seen well at Stingless Bee Road

SINGING CISTICOLA (Cisticola cantans swanzii)

One from Samole, and heard at Kalakpa.

WHISTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola lateralis lateralis)

One calling and seen well at Abrafo farmbush.

DORST'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola guinea)

One singing out in the savanna near Brugbani, the song duly recorded. This is another little known species.

WINDING CISTICOLA (Cisticola marginatus amphilectus)

Seen at Sakumono.

CROAKING CISTICOLA (Cisticola natalensis strangei)

Seen at Shai Hills, a large heavy billed streak-backed species.

SIFFLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola brachypterus brachypterus)

Just one at Winneba Plains, the small size, plain plumage and pale bill identifying it.

RUFOUS CISTICOLA (Cisticola rufus)

Seen in the farmbush near Mognori where it was singing and duly recorded, a little known species.

Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)

LITTLE RUSH WARBLER (Bradypterus baboecala)

Heard in the reeds at Sakumono

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

Amazingly few, one from Sakumono and 3 or 4 at Atewa farmbush was it this trip.

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

Very good looks at Larabanga Mosque, and also seen on wires near Kintampo.

ETHIOPIAN SWALLOW (Hirundo aethiopica aethiopica)

Small numbers at multiple sites, starting at Sakumono.


Unexpectedly 2 were at the Ebi River, my first record there, then just one on the Pra River later.

WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii smithii)

Seen on the White Volta at the Egyptian Plover site, also at Mole waterhole, only very small numbers.

LESSER STRIPED SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica)

A handsome bird with a rufous rump and streaked underparts.

RUFOUS-CHESTED SWALLOW (Cecropis semirufa gordoni)

Two collecting mud in the track at Atewa farmbush, a distinctive large species

MOSQUE SWALLOW (Cecropis senegalensis)

The other very large swallow, this one with a pale throat, and seen nicely at Winneba Plains.

PREUSS'S SWALLOW (Petrochelidon preussi) [E]

A large colony in a culvert near Twifo Praso

COMMON HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon urbicum)

Small numbers from Mole

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A pair of Hooded Vultures looking dapper (or is that frumpy?) as usual. Photo by participant Rhys Harrison.

SQUARE-TAILED SAWWING (Psalidoprocne nitens) [E]

Seen a couple of times at Ankasa, an uncommon forest species

FANTI SAWWING (Psalidoprocne obscura) [E]

One immature over Kakum had a barely notched tail, and two adults with deeply forked tails were at the Mognori River.

Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)

SLENDER-BILLED GREENBUL (Stelgidillas gracilirostris)

This one is widespread and often perches up, seen at Ankasa, Kakum and Atewa.

GOLDEN GREENBUL (Calyptocichla serinus) [E]

Seen briefly at Kakum then a nice view at Abrafo, well spotted Eileen.

RED-TAILED BRISTLEBILL (Bleda syndactylus) [*]

Heard at Nsuta and Ankasa but not responsive.s

GRAY-HEADED BRISTLEBILL (Bleda canicapillus) [E]

Seen briefly at Stingless Bee Road and Kalakpa, but very active and hard to see well.

SIMPLE GREENBUL (Chlorocichla simplex)

Heard at Nsuta and Opro Forest, and seen at Ankasa.

HONEYGUIDE GREENBUL (Baeopogon indicator) [*]

Calling well but stayed stubbornly out of view at Kalakpa.

YELLOW-THROATED GREENBUL (Atimastillas flavicollis)

Calling well, and showed all too briefly at the Mognori River bridge.

SPOTTED GREENBUL (Ixonotus guttatus)

Heard well, at Nsuta but would not come in, then a noisy clicking flock of 12 flew over at Abrafo.

SWAMP GREENBUL (Thescelocichla leucopleura)

Seen nicely at Ankasa and Kakum, they are quite vocal and the white outer tail feathers show well. More usually called Swamp Palm Greenbul as this is the preferred habitat.

RED-TAILED GREENBUL (Criniger calurus)

Heard at Nsuta and Ankasa.

WESTERN BEARDED-GREENBUL (Criniger barbatus) [E]

Seen once at Ankasa and heard on each day there, the puffy beard is quite distinctive.

YELLOW-BEARDED GREENBUL (Criniger olivaceus) [E*]

Heard at Ankasa.

GRAY GREENBUL (Eurillas gracilis)

This nondescript small greenbul was seen at Kakum and Abrafo, called Little Grey Greenbul in Africa.

ANSORGE'S GREENBUL (Eurillas ansorgei)

Another small nondescript greenbul, this one with gingery flanks and an eye-ring, we saw it at Ebi River.

PLAIN GREENBUL (Eurillas curvirostris)

One from Kakum.

YELLOW-WHISKERED GREENBUL (Eurillas latirostris) [*]

Only a heard from Nsuta

LITTLE GREENBUL (Eurillas virens)

Vocal but elusive as ever, we saw one well at Ankasa.

LEAF-LOVE (Phyllastrephus scandens)

James made a special detour after this at Akosombo in the riparian vegetation there, and we eventually got terrific view of a responsive bird, with an unusual beige-reddish tail and grayish head. I had only heard it before from Semliki and Kalakpa, nice to promote it out of heard only purgatory!

Field Guides Birding Tours
The Larabanga mosque features a remarkable construction of mud and sticks in the traditional style. Photo by guide Phil Gregory.

ICTERINE GREENBUL (Phyllastrephus icterinus)

A very brief encounter from Ankasa.

WHITE-THROATED GREENBUL (Phyllastrephus albigularis) [*]

Heard at Kalakpa but very shy.

COMMON BULBUL (Pycnonotus barbatus)

The common bulbul of the trip, seen most days.

Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)

WOOD WARBLER (Phylloscopus sibilatrix)

This Palearctic migrant was seen at Kakum and Mole, always singles.

WILLOW WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochilus)

A few from Shai Hills and Mole, another Palearctic migrant.

Scotocercidae (Bush Warblers and Allies)

CHESTNUT-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Erythrocercus mccallii)

A small group moved through high in the canopy at Kakum.

Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)

NORTHERN YELLOW WHITE-EYE (SENEGALENSIS/DEMERYI) (Zosterops senegalensis senegalensis)

Another species that was surprisingly scarce, we only saw it at the Mognori River. This complex got split out into several species, this being the Northern one.

Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers and Allies)

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

Two calling well at Kalakapa and ascending surprisingly high into the mid-levels, I have never seen Illadopsis much above head height previously, and James worked hard to try and get everyone onto them. It is a potential split too as it looks somewhat different to the western bird

BROWN ILLADOPSIS (BROWN) (Illadopsis fulvescens gularis) [*]

Heard giving the quiet single whistle note at Bobiri

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

Another heard calling at Ankasa, I am not sure anyone even got a glimpse in a couple of encounters.

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

Calling at Ankasa but as ever stayed out of view, I've always found this one particularly hard to see.

RUFOUS-WINGED ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis rufescens) [E]

Calling in the undergrowth and glimpsed at Ankasa, I got a recording of the odd alarm call.

Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)

BROWN BABBLER (Turdoides plebejus)

Seen well at Shai Hills.

BLACKCAP BABBLER (Turdoides reinwardtii) [E]

Frustratingly close at Samole Loop, but stayed out of sight and just flew through at mid-level once.

Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)

YELLOW-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus africanus africanus)

Two of this strange species were a pleasant surprise on cattle at the ephemeral ponds at Fufulso.

Sturnidae (Starlings)

VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster leucogaster)

This beautiful bird showed well several times at Mole, it is called Amethyst Starling in southern African and the name suits it very well.

CHESTNUT-WINGED STARLING (Onychognathus fulgidus)

A brief flyover at Kakum, seen tail end on going away!

LONG-TAILED GLOSSY STARLING (Lamprotornis caudatus)

Amazingly scarce this trip, we just 2 birds that were singing loudly by Mole Waterhole, and that was it, usually it's much more frequent here.

SPLENDID STARLING (Lamprotornis splendidus)

Ones and twos from Ebi River, Ankasa and Atewa,

PURPLE STARLING (Lamprotornis purpureus)

The common starling of the trip, large, flat headed and with a big orange eye, it was seen at Shai Hills, Mole and Antwikwaa as well as Atewa

Field Guides Birding Tours
Grasshopper Buzzard by participant Rhys Harrison

BRONZE-TAILED STARLING (Lamprotornis chalcurus chalcurus)

Two birds at the Mole Lookout showed the orangey eye and quite short tail of this species.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

FINSCH'S FLYCATCHER-THRUSH (Neocossyphus finschi) [E]

Seen well at Ankasa.

WHITE-TAILED ANT-THRUSH (Neocossyphus poensis) [*]

Heard at Kakum as we arrived by the boardwalk.

AFRICAN THRUSH (Turdus pelios)

Widespread in small numbers, staring at Shai Hills

Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)

LITTLE FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa epulata)

One at Kakum was a good find of a very uncommon bird that we seldom record.

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata)

This Palearctic migrant was seen at Shai Hills and Mole.

SWAMP FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa aquatica aquatica)

Good views by Mole waterhole, this taxon has no breast band despite what the book shows.

CASSIN'S FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa cassini)

Nice views at the river at Ankasa.

USSHER'S FLYCATCHER (Bradornis ussheri) [E]

This nondescript dumpy arboreal flycatcher was seen at Ankasa and Kakum, and is another that does not resemble the illustration in the Ghana guide

DUSKY-BLUE FLYCATCHER (Bradornis comitatus aximensis)

Seen well at Antwikwaa, Atewa farmbush and Ankasa.

PALE FLYCATCHER (Agricola pallidus)

Seen several times in Mole and at Antwikwaa.


One in the mangroves at the Ebi River, a fairly recent discovery here and my first Ghana record.

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

Two at Atewa just before the downpour.

GRAY-THROATED TIT-FLYCATCHER (Fraseria griseigularis)

Seen well at Atewa, a shy species.

GRAY TIT-FLYCATCHER (Fraseria plumbea)

Very good looks from the Mognori River.

NORTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis edolioides edolioides)

Common in Mole.

WHITE-TAILED ALETHE (Alethe diademata) [E]

Sadly only heard at Ankasa, the rain at Atewa messed this one up.

SNOWY-CROWNED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha niveicapilla)

Seen at Brenu Beach.

WHITE-CROWNED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha albicapillus)

Seen in the riparian at Mognori River, but very elusive.

FOREST ROBIN (WESTERN) (Stiphrornis erythrothorax erythrothorax)

Vocal but hard to see well, we got them at Ankasa, and heard it again at Kalakpa which is a newly described race , dahomeyensis.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Another of our lepidopteran finds: Dark Blue Pansy by participant Eileen Keelan


This Palearctic migrant was seen at Shai Hills.

WHINCHAT (Saxicola rubetra)

Nice views from Winneba and some saw it at Brugbani in Mole.

MOCKING CLIFF-CHAT (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris coronata)

This led us a dance, calling from a wooded scree slope and taking ages to reveal itself, sometimes split as White-crowned Cliffchat.

WHITE-FRONTED BLACK-CHAT (Oenanthe albifrons)

A good find en route to Brugbani, we saw a male very well.

FAMILIAR CHAT (Oenanthe familiaris)

A pair were at Mole Lodge, the only ones of the trip.

Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)

FRASER'S SUNBIRD (Deleornis fraseri)

An odd straight billed species with mid-green plumage, seen at Kakum and Ankasa.

MOUSE-BROWN SUNBIRD (Anthreptes gabonicus)

Seen well at our prolonged lunch stop at Akosombo by the Volta, and then again at Ebi River.

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

A male at Mole was useful trip addition of an uncommon bird

LITTLE GREEN SUNBIRD (Anthreptes seimundi kruensis)

Another seen well at Kakum, pretty nondescript greeny but small sized, also called Seimund's Sunbird.

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

This was seen at Kakum only, and is split by both IOC and BirdLife as Yellow-throated Sunbird.

COLLARED SUNBIRD (Hedydipna collaris subcollaris)

Common in all the forest sites, the most widespread of the family here.

PYGMY SUNBIRD (Hedydipna platura)

A number of female plumage-types with yellow underparts at Mole, and eventually a fine full plumage male with long tail streamers.

REICHENBACH'S SUNBIRD (Anabathmis reichenbachii) [E]

Nice looks at the new lodge at Ankasa where they were feeding in the coconut flowers, it is a very local species of the far west

BLUE-THROATED BROWN SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra cyanolaema magnirostrata)

Another quite vocal species with a dry trill call, seen at Ankasa and Abrafo.

OLIVE SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra olivacea guineensis)

Vocal but hard to see well, we got them at Ankasa, Kakum and Bobiri.

BUFF-THROATED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra adelberti adelberti)

We left it late but finally got to see a fine male at Atewa farmbush, with a female next day.

CARMELITE SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra fuliginosa)

One at the Ebi River for most, a brief view which I missed, it is one we used to see when we stayed nearby at Half Assini.

SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis senegalensis)

Another resplendent species, with males and females seen well at Mole.

OLIVE-BELLIED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris chloropygius kempi)

Nice views at Shai Hills and Ankasa.

TINY SUNBIRD (Cinnyris minullus)

Diminutive and elusive, but seen at Ankasa, Bobiri and Abrafo, the small bill is a good character.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Black-winged Stilt by participant Eileen Keelan

BEAUTIFUL SUNBIRD (Cinnyris pulchellus)

Quite common in Mole with many full plumaged long tailed males

SPLENDID SUNBIRD (Cinnyris coccinigastrus) [E]

Yet another aptly named bird, first seen at Shai Hills then Kakum.

JOHANNA'S SUNBIRD (Cinnyris johannae fasciatus)

Heard a couple of times before we saw a lovely pair at Bobiri, with 3 next day at Atewa farmbush, another outstanding sunbird

SUPERB SUNBIRD (Cinnyris superbus ashantiensis)

One of the very best sunbirds, the males just glow, seen really well at Ankasa and Atewa.

COPPER SUNBIRD (Cinnyris cupreus cupreus)

Seen quite often but usually briefly in all the savanna sites

Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)

CHESTNUT-CROWNED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser superciliosus)

Good views in Mole, but always very small numbers.

RED-VENTED MALIMBE (Malimbus scutatus) [E]

Seen well at Atewa farmbush.

CRESTED MALIMBE (Malimbus malimbicus)

Seen at Ankasa and Antwikwaa, only one or two at each site.

RED-HEADED MALIMBE (Malimbus rubricollis)

Singles seen at Ankasa and Antwikwaa.

RED-HEADED WEAVER (Anaplectes rubriceps)

A great find at the nest of the White-headed Vulture, with fine views of a male that looked to be nest building there. BirdLife split this onto 3 species, this being the Western Red-headed.

LITTLE WEAVER (Ploceus luteolus)

Seen nicely in Mole, but only in ones or twos.

SLENDER-BILLED WEAVER (Ploceus pelzelni)

A single male at Kalakpa, slightly north of usual range but the black face and slender bill were clear enough.

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

Uncommon, we saw it at Atewa farmbush, this is the Olive-backed West African form that is split by BirdLife as Olive-backed Weaver, it lacks a black neck.

ORANGE WEAVER (Ploceus aurantius aurantius)

A lovely bird of swampy areas, seen at Bokoro pond and again at the Ebi River.

HEUGLIN'S MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus heuglini)

A very scarce species with pale eye and pink legs, we saw singles at Shai Hills and then again at Mole.

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

A common species of farmbush, it is split by Birdlife as Chestnut and Black Weaver, it is totally unlike East African birds which lack any chestnut.

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

The default weaver of the tour, this race has a chestnut area on the back and is very different to southern birds, it is long overdue for a re-evaluation of the complex.

BLACK-HEADED WEAVER (Ploceus melanocephalus capitalis)

A handful of Non-breeding birds seen in Mole.

YELLOW-MANTLED WEAVER (Ploceus tricolor)

Nice views of singles from Kakum and Atewa farmbush.

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

Amazing numbers at Atewa farmbush where we saw 50 one afternoon, by far the most I have ever seen of what is a scarce species. It resembles the Vieillot's Weavers of East Africa with it's grey, black and white plumage, but has a distinct white eye.

COMPACT WEAVER (Pachyphantes superciliosus)

Two fine non-breeding birds at Atewa farmbush, not a species we see every trip.

RED-HEADED QUELEA (Quelea erythrops)

Seen at Nsuta for some, and then quite well albeit non-breeding dress at Kalakpa, where some had a distinctive crimson anterior part of the supercilia.

RED-BILLED QUELEA (Quelea quelea)

Seen a couple of times in Mole.

NORTHERN RED BISHOP (Euplectes franciscanus)

Non-breeding birds with the small bills seen at Mole.

BLACK-WINGED BISHOP (Euplectes hordeaceus)

Non-breeding birds with the larger bills at Brenu Beach and Mole.


Non-breeding birds with yellow shoulder patches seen at Winneba Plains and Kalakpa.

GROSBEAK WEAVER (Amblyospiza albifrons capitalba)

Only seen flying over at Atewa farmbush, the usual site for it.

Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)

BRONZE MANNIKIN (Spermestes cucullata)

Quite common.

MAGPIE MANNIKIN (Spermestes fringilloides)

Two at Atewa farmbush were with Bronze mannikins and looked far bigger and heavier, it was the first time I've seen these two species together.

BLACK-AND-WHITE MANNIKIN (Spermestes bicolor)

Good views from Mole and Atewa farmbush, and a nest being built at Antwikwaa.

AFRICAN SILVERBILL (Euodice cantans)

Two at the ephemeral pond near Fufulso en route to Mole, quite far south.

WHITE-BREASTED NIGRITA (Nigrita fusconotus)

A good view of this diminutive species from Kakum Walkway.


This scarce bird was seen at Ankasa.

GRAY-HEADED NIGRITA (Nigrita canicapillus)

Small numbers at the forest sites, and often heard calling.

LAVENDER WAXBILL (Glaucestrilda caerulescens)

A Mole special, we had very nice looks along the Samole Loop/


Seen well at Bokoro Pond, Nsuta, Antwikwaa and Samole.

BLACK-RUMPED WAXBILL (Estrilda troglodytes)

Seen at the pond at Fufulso.

QUAILFINCH (BLACK-FACED) (Ortygospiza atricollis ansorgei)

A small group of 5 at the ephemeral pond at Fufulso, only seen in flight and heard calling. This used to be Black-faced Quailfinch but was sadly lumped some time back

RED-CHEEKED CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus bengalus)

Nice views in Mole.

WESTERN BLUEBILL (Spermophaga haematina) [E]

Frustrating at Ankasa where they were close by in the grass, but despite calling well only gave glimpses.

RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala)

Common in Mole.

AFRICAN FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta rubricata)

One for some at Winneba Plains, and seen again at Kalakpa, though again elusive

BAR-BREASTED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta rufopicta)

Quite common in Mole.

BLACK-FACED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta larvata)

Seen twice in Mole, including a fine male and female with an indigobird nearby.

Viduidae (Indigobirds)

PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura)

Unbelievably scarce, we saw one non-breeding dress bird at Ankasa, and finally a male at Kalakpa on the last birding day!


A non-breeding paradise-whydah in Mole was the first I'd seen in Ghana, and the overwhelming likelihood is for Exclamatory Paradise-Whydah. This is the usual species here where Togo Paradise-Whydah is almost unknown.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus)

Seen in several towns, it has now spread quite widely, even seen at Linda Dor.


Widespread in small numbers.

SAHEL BUSH SPARROW (Gymnoris dentata)

Several sightings in Mole.

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (FLAVA) (Motacilla flava flava)

Only seen at Sakumono on our first outing, in quite good plumage too.

AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp)

Seven day records of singles from sundry urban sites.

PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys)

A nice view of one at Shai hills.

TREE PIPIT (Anthus trivialis)

One of this migrant from the Palearctic was seen at Shai Hills

RED-THROATED PIPIT (Anthus cervinus)

Three at Sakumono from the main road, one having a reddish throat as it was coming into breeding dress. Uncommon here and a good find.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY (Crithagra mozambica)

Seen at Mognori and Kalakpa.

Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)

BROWN-RUMPED BUNTING (Emberiza affinis)

Great views of a singing bird in Mole.

GOSLING'S BUNTING (Emberiza goslingi) [E]

Some folks got to see this in Mole.



A really good experience with this spectacular colorful bat along a small creek on the Samole loop, something had disturbed them and we had good views.

TOMB BAT SP. (Taphozous sp.)

The bat colony in Saku Cave at Shai Hills is reported to be Egyptian Tomb-bat not Mauritius Tomb-bat. Many had very white underparts and I made a recording of their vocalizations after scrambling up the cleft.

HAMMER BAT (Hysignathus monstrosus) [*]

Heard calling very well at Ankasa ranger substation, and Brian saw some thermal images in his infra-red scope, but they were in an inaccessible gulley so we could not get closer.

POTTO (Perodicticus potto)

The eyeshine at Ankasa Lodge was meant to be this species but I was unable to make anything out on it!

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

Heard at Shai Hills giving quiet bird-like trills

LOWE'S MONA MONKEY (Cercopithecus lowei)

Seen very well at Kakum late pm.

GREEN MONKEY (Cercopithecus sabaeus)

Seen daily at Mole in small numbers, the face pattern less distinct than with Tantalus Monkey

TANTALUS MONKEY (Chlorocebus tantalus)

4 at Shai Hills, the white brow well defined.

OLIVE BABOON (Papio anubis)

Shai Hills and Mole.


One in Mole.

FOREST GIANT SQUIRREL (Protoxerus stangeri)

I think this was seen by some at Nsuta, and again tentatively at Kakum.

FIRE-FOOTED ROPE SQUIRREL (Funisciurus pyrrhopus)

One seen well as we came up to the Kakum walkway.

GREEN BUSH SQUIRREL (Paraxerus poensis)

Seen at Nsuta, Kakum and Kalakp.a

SMALL SUN SQUIRREL (Heliosciurus punctatus)

Seen at Kakum and Mole, now seemingly called Gambian Sun Squirrel

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

Great view of one as it emerged from its roost at dusk at Kakum, it's actully an Anomalure and not a flying-squirrel, an entirely new family for Brian and Eileen, and a nice one to see.

GAMBIAN MONGOOSE (Mungos gambianus)

Very nice looks at some 6 animals in Mole, the unmarked furry grey-brown tail and grey-brown pelage were distinctive. I'd only seen them in Shai Hills previously.

AFRICAN BUSH ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana)

A wonderful experience at Mole where we tracked a group of at least 6 in the dense savanna forest and got terrific close views of them, where else on earth can you foot track elephants, they were simply enormous! Also the recent research shows this is actually a representative of Forest Elephant, not Savanna Elephant, so it would be a lifer for most, thanks to Brian for picking up on this. It was an awe-inspiring experience and a trip highlight. Also one seen at the waterhole next day.

WESTERN TREE HYRAX (Dendrohyrax dorsalis)

Amazing as we came out of the walkway after dark, as James spotted a mother and 2 or 3 babies sat on a branch over the trail. They looked HUGE, I swear the female was the size of a badger, much bigger than Rock Hyrax. I had heard them on all my Ghana tours, but this was my first sighting, and only the second for James, so we were very lucky. One was calling loudly by the ranger station later, it's a great sound, also heard at Ankasa.

WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)

These endearing ugly beasts were seen by the Park HQ at Mole where they are quite tame.

BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus)

Brian saw a couple at dusk from the viewpoint on arrival day, then bizarrely none for the next 3 days, it was only when we made a last hopeful detour on the way out that we found one for a nice view

RED-FLANKED DUIKER (Cephalophus rufilatus)

Two seen in Mole, a dark reddish-brown color and not the usual species Bush Duiker that we see here.


A handful seen at Mole where they are usually quite common, I think the recent rains had made everything disperse.

KOB (Kobus kob)

Nice views from Shai hills and Mole.



Common in Mole and widespread elsewhere too.

PUFF-ADDER (Bitis arietans)

Our local ranger Albert found us one up on the Brugbani loop under a shrub, the flat head with ridges along the side were very distinctive and it was quite a scary looking creature, no wonder James kept well away!

NILE CROCODILE (Crocodylus niloticus)

Seen in the waterhole at Mole.

MARSH TERRAPIN (Pelomedusa subrufa)

One at Sakumono and another up at Mole.

SAVANNA MONITOR (Varanus exanthematicus)

This used to be called Nile Monitor but is now seemingly split, we saw several in Mole.



The Sailers (Nemetes) are a large genus of almost identical-appearing black-and-white butterflies with elongated heliconia-like wings that sail along and then land with spread wings on leaf tips along the trailsϠhence, sailer, not sailor. It was impossible to identify them without a photo, and even then, IDԳ involved lots of sorting through 39 different species!

SAILERS (Nemetes spp.)

This delightful butterfly looks just like its namesake, spangled all over with small white spots! Kalakpa

GUINEAFOWL (Hamanumida daedalus)

Kakum and Bobiri

AFRICAN EMIGRANT (Catopsilia florella)

Widespread in open habitat. This common species is the only large, completely white butterfly in Ghana, and we saw it from Shai Hills on.


Another widespread species, this was the small, low-flying yellow with the black forewing tips, common at Mole.

TINY ORANGE-TIP (Colotis evagore)


AFRICAN SPIRIT (Leptosia alcesta)

The ethereal white butterfly with a small dark wing spot and curious jerky flight, seen at Ankasa, Kakum and Bobiri.

COMMON TIGER (Danaus chrysippus)

The West Africa version of Monarch, widespread

UNIFROM BUSH BROWN (Bicyclus uniformis)


VARIABLE EGGFLY (Hypolimnas antedon )


DIADEM OR FALSE TIGER (Hypolimnas misippus)

One of the most widely distributed butterflies in the world, this species is a mimic of the Common Tiger (Danaus chrysippus), much as the Viceroy imitates the Monarch in North America. In most of the Common TigerԳ range, however, it has orange hindwings, but in West Africa, the hindwings are white. The False Tiger retains the orange hindwings, however, so in Ghana, itԳ not such a great mimic. Common in Mole.

BLUE DIADEM (Hypolimnas salmacis)

Ankasa, Kakum, Bobiri

AFRICAN BLUE TIGER (Tirumala petiverana)

This danaiid is widespread in the savanna areas

FOREST MOTHER-OF-PEARL (Protogoniomorpha parhassus)

The winner of the longest name contest, seen at Kakum and Ankasa; This is the large, whitish butterfly with the angular wings that would perch up about eye-level or above along the forest trails. Larsen says that wrapping a white handkerchief around a pebble and tossing it up in the air can lure them down to investigate.

DARK BLUE PANSY (Junonia oenone)

This handsome butterfly with the bold purplish blue patches in the hindwing perched at Antwikwaa. This genus of butterflies is closely related to the Buckeyes.

YELLOW PANSY (Junonia hierta)

Antwikwaa; its pale tan underside blended with the savannah when its wings were closed, but when it landed with wings open, the bright orange and yellow patches were very pretty.

BROWN PANSY (Junonia stygia)


SOLDIER PANSY (Junonia terea)

Per Larsen, one of the most common and widespread African butterflies.

AFRICAN JOKER (Byblia anvatara)


COMMON YELLOW GLIDER (Cymothoe caenis)


JODUTTA GLIDER (Cymothoe jodutta)

Another species restricted to forest, seen at Ankasa.

COMMON RED GLIDER (Cymothoe coccinata)

This is the medium sized all-red butterfly that we saw at Nsuta I think, this is the most common Red Glider and the one most likely to be expected. A gorgeous butterfly.

COMMON FALSE ACRAEA (Catuna crithea)


FALSE DIADEM (Pseudacraea lucretia)


COMMON PATHFINDER (Hamanumida daedalus)

There are four species of Pathfinders in Ghana; they are the marbled-looking brown and cream butterflies that fly low along the ground up and down the forested paths, and we saw them commonly. It requires a photo to ID them






This is the largest genus of African butterflies, and about 60 species live in West Africa, though their center of diversity and radiation is in East Africa. All are toxic, containing cyanide chemicals, and they often act as models for various mimetic species. They are closely related to the Heliconias of the Neotropics.

COMMON LEOPARD FRITILLARY (phalanta ophalanta)


WHITE-BANDED CASTOR (Ariadne albifascia)


COMMON FALSE HEAD (Oxylides faunus)

One of a suite of small, whitish hairstreak species with fantastically long tails with the colorful local name of Playboy.

COMMON FAIRY HAIRSTREAK (Hypolycaena hatita)

A Playboy first encountered at Ankasa.

AFRICAN BABUL BLUE (Azanus jesous)

Nsuta and Ankasa

Totals for the tour: 424 bird taxa and 23 mammal taxa