A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Madagascar 2023

October 28-November 20, 2023 with Phil Gregory & local guides guiding

We started this eventful tour at Ankarafantsika after a very long bus ride on a dreadful road, that had no maintenance since pre-covid. Madagascar Harrier was one nice compensation, and we did very well with the specials here, finding Schlegel's Asity after a bit of a search. White-breasted Mesite was uncooperative, but Van Dam's Vanga and both Madagascar Fish Eagle and Madagascar Jacana were very good. The night walk was memorable too, with Western Barn and Torotoroka Scops Owl, plus mouse-lemurs and the rare Rhinoceros Chameleon.

The trip to Ranomafana gave us Madagascar Flufftail and a great experience snipe-hunting, plus a bus breakdown that necessitated some improvisation to get us all to Ranomafana!

The weather was poor at Ranomafana with rain and mist each day, very unusual for the time of year, but Rufous-headed and Pitta-like Ground-Roller showed nicely, Pollen's Vanga was good and our first views of several others too, and the lemurs were very nice.

Ring-tailed Lemurs were great at the small park, and the silkworks was an interesting stop, whilst Jardin du Roy was a beautiful place to stay and gave excellent lovebirds, Madagascar Hoopoe, Benson's Rock-thrush and unexpected Marsh Owl. Parc Mosa was as ever fantastic, and the guides there did their usual great job locating Subdesert Mesite, Thamnornis, Long-tailed Ground-Roller and the rest of the spiny forest specials. Luckily, we also managed Madagascar Plover, still at the usual site at Mangily. Belalande Marsh produced Greater Painted Snipe and Baillon's Crake again, and up on La Table we had terrific looks at Verreaux's Coua, the rare Red-shouldered Vanga and our final Xenopirostris, Lafresnaye's Vanga. Nosy Ve had awkward tides, meaning we got an unexpected lift on a pirogue to get back to our boat, but Red-tailed Tropicbird was splendid.

A delayed flight back to Tana was par for the course, and then it was down to Andasibe-Mantadia next day for the final sector. Nuthatch Vanga flew just after I found it, so it was only a flyby which was a shame, but our tour seeing all 5 ground-rollers was good, as some groups missed Short-legged. Madagascar Owl and Rainforest Scops showed well, and Collared Nightjar was epic after a muddy scramble down to the site.

Lemurs gave great views, and folks really enjoyed many, including Coquerel’s and Verreaux’s Sifaka, Ring-tailed Lemur, Black-and-white Ruffed, Indri, and 2 species of mouse lemur were excellent, plus Brown, Sportive and Woolly lemur, and of course, Aye-Aye.

Chameleons were pretty good, and two Uroplatus geckoes were nice, Satanic Leaf-tailed being unbelievable. Herps were average, snakes very few and far between and frogs better than normal. I also worked at butterflies, and posted a bunch to i-naturalist and African Butterfly DB.

Particular thanks to the brilliant Gerard, our long-time local fixer and birder, and to the various hard-working, skilled and entertaining local guides: Ndrema and his son Rado at Ankarafantsika, Jean-Cris and his son Zo at Ranomafana, Randria and Andry at Zombitse, Mosa, his son Fredi, Dufy and Rofia, the beagles at the spiny forest, Mosa at La Table, and the inimitable Nestor and his son Victorin at Andasibe/Mantadia. Great to see family dynasties among the guides now. Thanks to Gregg and Cathy for doing the eBird lists. Also thanks to Sharon and Karen at FG HQ, who worked wonders to help Craig get home; we send him our best, and wish he'd been well enough to continue. Sharon also did very well setting up this complex itinerary and co-ordinating it all.

Best wishes to all, thank you for coming and safe travels.

Itinerary 2023

Oct 30 arrival in Tana, overnight Carlton Hotel.

Oct 31 0530 b/f then 457 km at 37km/h on the N4 Tana to Ankarafantsika via Ankozobe, arriving 1930. Night walk after dinner.

Nov 1 Ankarafantsika Park 0500-0800 Jardin Botanique Asity area, then sandy ridge circuit 0930-1330, Lac Ravelobe 1500-1600, to Mahajunga arriving 1930 Edena Kely.

Nov 2 Boat trip to Betsiboka estuary 0800-1000, then flight to Tana 1130

Nov 3 Tana to Ambositre via Ambatofotsy and Antsirabe.

Nov 4 Ambositre to Ranomafana via Ankazomivady Reserve, and hitchhiking to Ranomafana thereafter!

Nov 5 Ranomafana Bamboo lemur circuit, pm Vohiparara and mouse-lemurs.

Nov 6 Vohiparara Trail am and pm.

Nov 7 Ranomafana to Fianarantsoa, Ambalavao silk-making then then Ring-tailed lemur reserve, night at Jardin du Roy at Isalo.

Nov 8 Isalo area.

Nov 9 Isalo to Zombitse (0900-1100) then Tulear and Ifaty 1830.

Nov 10 Parc Mosa trip 0545-0900, Mangily salines, Tsingoritelo mudflats then Belalande Marsh and roadside pools 1600-1800.

Nov 11 Anakau Express boat to Nosy Ve 0815-0915, island till 1145 then back to Toliara. La Table 1530-1730.

Nov 12 Delayed flight back to Tana from Toliara

Nov 13 Lac Alarobia 0800-0900, and then Andasibe at Analamazaotra Hotel, pm Parc Villageois. 1545-1700.

Nov 14 Mantadia 0700-1130, pm Parc Villageois and Andasibe roadside pm

Nov 15 Andasibe Indri Circuit 0630-1130 and roadside pm 1530-1730.

Nov 16 Mantadia 2 0600-1100, pm roadside by park till 1730.

Nov 17 To Pangalanes via Brickaville, 1 hr by boat them Palmarium Parc 1500-1700, Aye-aye island that evening.

Nov 18 Pangalanes then to Andasibe for lunch and Antananarivo late pm

Sun Nov 19 Departures for some of the group, departure pm for Mauritius Extension cancelled, overnight Ibis Hotel Tana

Mon Nov 20 Lac Alarobia 2, then departure for Mauritius late pm

Nov 21 Whistle=stop Mauritius near clean-up in 4 hours, then to to Reunion, sea-watch Etang du Gol pm

Nov 22 La Roche Ecrite Trail am, pm departures for most

PG 12/23

—Phil Gregory/ Sicklebill

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)

Great looks at Lac Alarobia including a leucistic bird, and a few near Ankarafantsika.

BLUE-BILLED TEAL (Spatula hottentota)

Just 4 at Lac Alarobia, but some nice close views.

RED-BILLED DUCK (Anas erythrorhyncha)

Small numbers at Ankazomivady Reserve en route to Ranomafana, and at Lac Alarobia which has been somewhat disturbed, with fewer ducks than usual.

Numididae (Guineafowl)

HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris) [I]

We saw 2 at Isalo; there seems to be some doubt as to whether or not they are introduced, but somehow I don't see fat sedentary game birds as natural crossers of the Mozambique Channel!

Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)

GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus)

5 at Belalande marsh, all very washed out looking and not pink.

LESSER FLAMINGO (Phoeniconaias minor)

Distant view on the Betsiboka estuary with 50+ birds, quite pink looking with dark bills.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) [*]

Heard from the marsh at Belalande; it seems pretty scarce in Madagascar and we rarely see it.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

Small numbers in the urban areas, many being pet pigeons. Cathy was expert at seeing them....

MALAGASY TURTLE-DOVE (Nesoenas picturatus picturatus)

Hardly any again this year and none seen on Mauritius either; quite why it was so sparse is a puzzle.

NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis aliena)

Good views in the drier areas, starting at Ankarafantsika and Isalo.

MADAGASCAR GREEN-PIGEON (Treron australis) [E]

A glimpse from Ankarafantsika of the western race xenius, then a great view at Andasibe on the last afternoon, and several from the boat at Pangalanes, all nominate birds.

MADAGASCAR BLUE-PIGEON (Alectroenas madagascariensis) [E]

This species seems to be becoming harder and harder to find, but we saw 3 very well at Vohiparara and one at Feon ny'Ala during lunch.

Mesitornithidae (Mesites)

WHITE-BREASTED MESITE (Mesitornis variegatus) [E]

Brief views twice up at Ankarafantsika; usually they can be herded across a track but not this time, though we did see one fly, which is the first time I've seen one do this.

BROWN MESITE (Mesitornis unicolor) [E*]

Heard at Vohiparara but down a steep gulley and did not come close, apparently they have young at the moment.

SUBDESERT MESITE (Monias benschi) [E]

Wonderful views of a female frozen motionless on a branch at Parc Mosa. The guys track them by their footprints in the sand and are able to tree them eventually for us to come and see!

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

CRESTED COUA (Coua cristata) [E]

This white-vented form was seen at Ankarafantsika.

CRESTED COUA (CHESTNUT-VENTED) (Coua cristata pyropyga) [E]

Good views at the spiny forest; this chestnut-vented race is split by HBW/BirdLife.

VERREAUX'S COUA (Coua verreauxi) [E]

Mosa did a great job locating this shy bird at La Table, and we got some nice views eventually, it was good that it was calling.

BLUE COUA (Coua caerulea) [E]

4 sightings of one or two birds from the wetter forests; a very striking species and quite vocal at times. They look curiously like a turaco in flight. I got a cracking shot of one at Andasibe which was hunting something by the trail then sat up in the sun briefly, see the Smugmug site and Cornell.

RED-CAPPED COUA (Coua ruficeps) [E]

Good views at Ankarafantsika, our usual site.

RED-CAPPED COUA (GREEN-CAPPED) (Coua ruficeps olivaceiceps) [E]

Great views at both Parc Mosa. Split by BirdLife/HBW as Green or Olive-capped Coua.

RED-FRONTED COUA (Coua reynaudii) [E*]

Heard at the Palmarium Lemur Park where one gave a single call in response to my playback, and then vanished.

COQUEREL'S COUA (Coua coquereli) [E]

Seen well at Ankarafantsika and then at Zombitse.

RUNNING COUA (Coua cursor) [E]

This is one of the more elusive ones, but we got one very well at Parc Mosa, complete with lilac cheek patch.

GIANT COUA (Coua gigas) [E]

Very nice views at Zombitse, where this very largest of the couas showed well, walking about on the forest floor. This is the only place on the tour we see it.

MALAGASY COUCAL (Centropus toulou) [E]

Widespread and vocal; we had some good looks at various sites.

MADAGASCAR CUCKOO (Cuculus rochii) [E]

A frequent voice "mad a cuck-oo", and seen on a couple of occasions.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

COLLARED NIGHTJAR (Gactornis enarratus) [E]

One of the most striking of all nightjars, and still vocally undescribed. Nestor found us one bird incubating a fluffy grey chick on the forest floor at Indri Ridge, where we had great looks at the wonderful dead-leaf camouflage.

MADAGASCAR NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus madagascariensis) [E]

Good looks at the Jardin du Roy at dusk, then at Parc Mosa where a bird had a single egg, and also hawking over the pool at the Bamboo Club. Also heard at Analamazaotra and Palmarium.

Apodidae (Swifts)

MADAGASCAR SPINETAIL (Zoonavena grandidieri) [E]

A very brief view at Jardin du Roy was it; supposedly widespread and common but we never see it more than once or twice!

ALPINE SWIFT (Apus melba willsi)

Tom saw this en route to Ankarafantsika.

MALAGASY SWIFT (Apus balstoni) [E]

Some by the Carlton Hotel, vocal in the mist at the waterfall at Ranomafana where we glimpsed a couple, then 4 at Nosy Ve that looked to be migrating. A split from African Black Swift.

LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis)

Phil saw one from the Ibis Hotel during our enforced layover thanks to Air Mauritius cancelling our flight. Quite rare in Madagascar still.

MALAGASY PALM SWIFT (MADAGASCAR) (Cypsiurus gracilis gracilis)

Widespread in small numbers, the most at Ranomafana and Mahajunga. They were nesting in the palms at the C'Entrest. This is now split as Malagasy Palm-Swift.

Sarothruridae (Flufftails)

MADAGASCAR WOOD-RAIL (Mentocrex kioloides kioloides) [E]

A wary bird at Andasibe was herded into view several times by Nestor and Victorin.

MADAGASCAR FLUFFTAIL (Sarothrura insularis) [E]

One at Ankazomivady Reserve en route to Ranomafana, very skulking as ever but showed briefly several times and Cathy did well to see it from the road! Also heard at Analamazaotra.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

MADAGASCAR RAIL (Rallus madagascariensis) [E]

An unexpected sighting at our traditional site which I had assumed was taped out, it eventually showed quite well and was a very good addition.

WHITE-THROATED RAIL (Dryolimnas cuvieri cuvieri)

A pair with two small black juvs at Lac Alarobia, a large and showy species.

EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus pyrrhorrhoa)

A few from Lac Ravelobe, Lac Alarobia and Mantadia pond.

BAILLON'S CRAKE (Zapornia pusilla)

Mosa and Dufy did really well to get one to respond in dense reeds at Belalande Marsh, and did even better to flush it for good flight views. A hard bird to see and long overdue for breaking up into component species; we have now seen it 4 trips in a row!

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus)

Seen near Ifaty.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)

A couple at Tulear mudflats.

KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius)

Nice looks as we were coming up to Ifaty, and again at Mangily.

COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula)

Singles near Ifaty on two dates.

MADAGASCAR PLOVER (Charadrius thoracicus) [E]

This rare bird was again at the saltflats at Mangily, still the only site I have ever seen it. We saw just one bird, and I do wonder if Kittlitz's Plover is displacing it?

THREE-BANDED PLOVER (MADAGASCAR) (Charadrius tricollaris bifrontatus)

One on some ponds near Mangily was a nice find one afternoon, and those of us who made a second visit to Lac Alarobia after Air Mauritius cancelled our flight saw another there, which was unexpected. This taxon is rather different to African birds, with a greyish not white forehead, and it is split by BirdLife as Madagascar Three-banded Plover, C. bifrontatus.

Rostratulidae (Painted-Snipes)

GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE (Rostratula benghalensis)

Mosa and the lads flushed two pairs at Belalande marsh, a nice trip addition.

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

MADAGASCAR JACANA (Actophilornis albinucha) [E]

Ndrema knew where they had been seen at Lac Ravelobe, and my recording lured a couple out for very good views of what is a very rare bird.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (EUROPEAN) (Numenius phaeopus phaeopus)

5 at Betsiboka, 5 at Tsingoritelo and over 200 at the Tulear mudflats, a major wintering site for this species.

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)

6 distant flybys at Tsingoritelo.

CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea)

4 at the saltpans en route to Ifaty.

SANDERLING (Calidris alba)

A very brief flight view from Nosy Ve for some of us.

MADAGASCAR SNIPE (Gallinago macrodactyla) [E]

A stop at a stream area en route to Ambositre late one afternoon paid off well, as we hired a local zebu herder to be a snipeur and try and flush a snipe for us. This worked really well; he was cracking his whip as he went and flushed one up a couple of times for good flight views. Then next day the village reserve at Ankazomivady came good with fine flight views of this big pot-bellied snipe., which was calling well.

TEREK SANDPIPER (Xenus cinereus)

A flock of about 70 on the Betsiboka boat trip was the largest I have ever seen.

COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)

A single en route to Ifaty, and 8 next day at Belalande and nearby.

WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola)

Just one distant bird for a couple of us at Belalande.

Turnicidae (Buttonquail)

MADAGASCAR BUTTONQUAIL (Turnix nigricollis) [E]

One flushed up as we were coming out from Analamazaotra Lodge, and on jumping out, some of us saw it fly up and over again. We usually see this at Parc Mosa or nearby, but not this year.

Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)

MADAGASCAR PRATINCOLE (Glareola ocularis) [E]

Seven on the spectacular Betsiboka river rapids en route to Ankarafantsika, then again looked to be nesting on roofs in the small town near Brickaville where they were very vocal. Also a couple on the Pangalanes canal; this is an endemic breeder here which winters in East African coastal areas.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

SAUNDERS'S TERN (Sternula saundersi)

Three up on the Betsiboka estuary looked to be this species.

GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii)

Just two birds on the Pangalanes boat trip; terns were ridiculously scarce this trip.

Phaethontidae (Tropicbirds)

RED-TAILED TROPICBIRD (Phaethon rubricauda)

A longish walk in hot sun eventually paid off with fine views of 20+ birds on Nosy Ve, including a couple nesting under bushes. The pirogue adventure getting off on a rising tide was also quite eventful.....

Scopidae (Hamerkop)

HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta umbretta)

Just 3 day records of singles and none seen well, another poor trip for them.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

GRAY HERON (MADAGASCAR) (Ardea cinerea firasa)

Two at Betsiboka, one near Belalande and oddly one flying over at La Table; this is an endemic pale race and is quite scarce.

HUMBLOT'S HERON (Ardea humbloti) [E]

Just one bird this trip, in the wetlands en route to Mahajunga, quite a rare species.

PURPLE HERON (PURPLE) (Ardea purpurea madagascariensis)

Three at Lac Ravelobe and a single at the Pangalanes.

GREAT EGRET (AFRICAN) (Ardea alba melanorhynchos)

Nine day records with 10 at Lac Ravelobe and en route to Mahajunga the most.

LITTLE EGRET (DIMORPHIC) (Egretta garzetta dimorpha)

Also widespread in small numbers, with around 20 dark morph birds seen on the Betsiboka boat trip, then about 130 white morph at Lac Alarobia where they are nesting. IOC split this as Dimorphic Egret, but the taxonomy remains vexed.

BLACK HERON (Egretta ardesiaca)

Seen by the Carlton, then at Lac Alarobia where we watched them doing the umbrella shading with the wings, video on Smugmug and Cornell.

CATTLE EGRET (WESTERN) (Bubulcus ibis ibis)

Very small numbers with 70 at Lac Ravelobe the most. Now at last split by Clements too.

SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides)

A very good count of 100+ at Lac Alarobia where they are nesting, with begging juveniles harassing the parents. Five other day records with 2 at Lac Ravelobe the most.

MALAGASY POND-HERON (Ardeola idae) [E]

A fine adult in breeding dress out in rice paddies near Ambalavao was a good pick up of a rare bird, and there was an odd plumage transitional bird at Lac Alarobia, which Greg's photo showed was this species, not some odd plumage of Dimorphic Egret

STRIATED HERON (OLD WORLD) (Butorides striata rutenbergi)

Four day records, best views at Lac Alarobia and Toliara mudflats.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

Very few, seen at the Tamboho marsh, Lac Alarobia and a marsh near Ambatofotsy.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

MADAGASCAR IBIS (Lophotibis cristata) [E]

Only a couple of us got a glimpse of one up at Mantadia, the white wings flashing as it flew down river and perched very briefly. Shy and hard to see let alone photograph, an old stick nest was at Parc Villageois but there were too many people around for us to see them there.

MALAGASY SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis bernieri) [E]

Three of this rare bird on the Betsiboka estuary. A rare and endangered species, the plumage is quite distinct, with white wing tips and a pale yellow eye.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

MADAGASCAR HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides radiatus) [E]

Seen on the interminable bus ride to Ankarafantsika, and again at Betsiboka from the boat.

MALAGASY HARRIER (Circus macrosceles) [E]

Phil spotted a fine adult from the bus during the interminable bus journey to Ankarafantsika, and we got pretty good flight views of this rare species, the only one we saw.

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

Widespread in small numbers; other checklists split this as Yellow-billed Kite.

MADAGASCAR FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vociferoides) [E]

Nice perched views of an adult by Lake Ravelobe at Ampijoroa, located by Rado, son of Ndrema. A Critically Endangered species and one of the rarest eagles in the world.

MADAGASCAR BUZZARD (Buteo brachypterus) [E]

Sparse this trip, with one briefly at Ankarafantsika and a bird near its nest at Zombitse before a couple of sightings from Mantadia.

Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)

BARN OWL (Tyto alba)

One at the camp at Ankarafantsika sat for ages, and we had another fly over near Isalo at dusk.

Strigidae (Owls)


A lovely bird roosting in a thicket at Andasibe (Perinet), video on smugmug and Cornell. If split, this is Rainforest Scops Owl.

MADAGASCAR SCOPS-OWL (TOROTOROKA) (Otus rutilus madagascariensis) [E]

This is the dry country version of Malagasy Scops-Owl of the wet forests, and has a different albeit variable call. Ndrema got us one after dinner at Ankarafantsika, and we had beautiful roosting birds later at Zombitse and Parc Mosa.

WHITE-BROWED OWL (Athene superciliaris) [E]

The guides at Zombitse had a beautiful bird at a day roost, video on Cornell and Smugmug.

MADAGASCAR OWL (Asio madagascariensis) [E]

Nestor was on point for this one and we duly trekked up into the pine forest to see a fine adult preening at its roost, a fine bird and a tricky one to get. Video on Smugmug.

MARSH OWL (Asio capensis)

A lucky pick up was two at dusk as we were nearing Isalo, with a grass fire starting up nearby for extra entertainment.

Brachypteraciidae (Ground-Rollers)

SCALY GROUND-ROLLER (Geoblastes squamiger) [E]

Challenging up at Mantadia, it took quite a while to locate one but eventually we all got good looks; at one time we were surrounded by guides calling "boop", quite a surreal experience.

Leptosomidae (Cuckoo-roller)

CUCKOO-ROLLER (Leptosomus discolor)

This is a very special bird, a very ancient lineage with no known close relatives, comprising its very own order and monotypic family, Leptosomidae! The call is one of the great sounds of the Madagascar forests. We had great looks at Ankarafantsika and Zombitse.

Upupidae (Hoopoes)

MADAGASCAR HOOPOE (Upupa marginata) [E]

Great looks at Jardin du Roy where 3 birds were feeding on the lawns, also seen at Anja Lemur Park and Ankarafantsika.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

MALAGASY KINGFISHER (Corythornis vintsioides) [E]

Seen well at Lac Alarobia in particular.

MADAGASCAR PYGMY KINGFISHER (Corythornis madagascariensis) [E]

Nestor did really well to get us one along the roadside at Andasibe, to my surprise the recording actually worked in bringing it in, and we had a fine view. Easily missed on a tour.

Meropidae (Bee-eaters)

MADAGASCAR BEE-EATER (Merops superciliosus)

Small numbers were widespread.

Coraciidae (Rollers)

BROAD-BILLED ROLLER (MADAGASCAR) (Eurystomus glaucurus glaucurus)

Likewise widespread in small numbers, and with a great quacking call, very vocal at Ankarafantsika.

Brachypteraciidae (Ground-Rollers)

SHORT-LEGGED GROUND-ROLLER (Brachypteracias leptosomus) [E]

Something of a triumph, as many groups missed it this year. We tried about 5 sites and eventually made a second trek up to Mantadia to get it. Nestor's constant "boop" call finally got a response and in we went, negotiating a small track to a creek crossing. Victorin proved adept at improvising a log crossing, and with varying degrees of difficulty we got across and up to where Nestor had the bird sat high in a big tree. It had been there during the entire saga of getting in and we got a good look at what is often the most tricky of this family. Yay!

LONG-TAILED GROUND-ROLLER (Uratelornis chimaera) [E]

Fredi and his crew herded a bird towards us at Parc Mosa, giving great views of this exceptionally rare bird (which used to be so hard to find). Then we had another actually perched up and calling, a rather coucal-like series that I'd rarely heard before- video on Smugmug and Cornell. This species is restricted to the spiny forest in the Ifaty area, so it has an extremely small population, and its habitat is being steadily degraded, so that it will only get rarer.

PITTA-LIKE GROUND-ROLLER (Atelornis pittoides) [E]

Good views from Ranomafana; the most obliging of this prized group, but still very tricky to photograph. Phil still needs a really good photo or video! Twenty years ago, you were lucky to see two or 3 of the 5 species, this being the most widespread.

RUFOUS-HEADED GROUND-ROLLER (Atelornis crossleyi) [E]

A fine bird at Vohiparara sat calling "boop" for ages and allowed everyone to get a window of access, sometimes this is the hardest of the group.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

MALAGASY KESTREL (Falco newtoni) [E]

Small numbers throughout, a very small rufous falcon that looks to be surviving OK.

PEREGRINE FALCON (MALAGASY) (Falco peregrinus radama)

One at Ankazomivady reserve was unexpected; this is scarce in Madagascar and not one we usually see.

Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)

GREATER VASA PARROT (Coracopsis vasa)

Just two from Vohiparara this trip. The vasa parrots are among the most primitive of all extant parrots, and as such they have several unique attributes, the most striking of which are related to their reproductive cycles. The females are larger and dominant, and they often live in loose polygynandrous groups, with a single female having anywhere from 3 to 8 sexual partners, and courtship and single copulations often lasting over an hour. Both Vasa parrots are also known to use tools, especially for grinding calcium out of seashells, perhaps to help make stronger eggs.

LESSER VASA PARROT (Coracopsis nigra)

Relatively few this trip, the best being from Zombitse where we had some perched. This was a frequently heard voice at Ranomafana.

GRAY-HEADED LOVEBIRD (Agapornis canus) [E]

Very nice at Jardin du Roy.

Philepittidae (Asities)

VELVET ASITY (Philepitta castanea) [E]

Great views of a male at Ranomafana, thanks to Jean-Cris, an important trip bird which we usually see once or twice only.

SCHLEGEL'S ASITY (Philepitta schlegeli) [E]

This great rarity was hard up at Ankarafantsika this year; they knew a nest but we only heard it nearby, so we were struggling. Happily we got onto another after a bit of a walk around, and had good views of a male of this remarkable species.

COMMON SUNBIRD-ASITY (Neodrepanis coruscans) [E]

Jean-Cris knew where the pink Bakerella was in flower and we got some nice looks at a male of this odd species. "Common" really is an absurd modifier; we only ever see this once per trip and it is easily missed.

Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)


Just two at Ranomafana and a single later at Andasibe.

Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)

ARCHBOLD'S NEWTONIA (Newtonia archboldi) [E]

Hard this year. I think we actually saw it twice at Parc Mosa, one a non-calling bird and another that flew in to my recording but promptly vanished. It's a scarce species of the drier areas.

COMMON NEWTONIA (Newtonia brunneicauda) [E]

Widespread in the forests in the east, and encountered regularly in appropriate habitat. Especially conspicuous by their loud, simple two-note song, which was a frequent sound at the forest sites. A core member of species flocks too.

DARK NEWTONIA (Newtonia amphichroa) [E]

On our morning hike on the trail at Vohiparara (at Ranomafana NP), we found a vocal bird which eventually turned out to be quite obliging, giving good views. This is rather well named, as it's the Newtonia with the dark eye and bill, and is overall fairly dusky gray. There may also be two species, involved, but they look pretty much alike so if adopted it's one of these dodgy genetic splits.

TYLAS VANGA (Tylas eduardi) [E]

Astonishingly, just one bird this trip, from Ranomafana. Vangas overall were very low density again. I hope it's just a weather related phenomenon and not something more sinister.

RED-TAILED VANGA (Calicalicus madagascariensis) [E]

The most widespread vanga, quite vocal and a core member of species flocks.

RED-SHOULDERED VANGA (Calicalicus rufocarpalis) [E]

Mosa did very well to find one of these, a male that showed very well; video on the Smugmug site. One of the rarest endemic birds of Madagascar, there are likely fewer, perhaps far fewer, than a thousand individuals. It was first collected in 1947, but not described until 1997. It is restricted to a few known sites along the exceptionally arid thorn-scrub Mahafaly plateau near Tulear, where it occurs in low densities.

NUTHATCH-VANGA (Hypositta corallirostris) [E]

Such a shame. I found a male late on the last afternoon at Andasibe, but it inched up the trunk into some leaves as folks were getting on it, then flew out and over us and away. This is always one of the most difficult vangas and is a very low density bird.

CHABERT VANGA (Leptopterus chabert) [E]

Nominate dark-tailed birds showed well at Ranomafana and Andasibe.

CHABERT VANGA (WHITE-TAILED) (Leptopterus chabert schistocercus) [E]

This taxon with white in the tail was seen briefly at the spiny forest.

CROSSLEY'S VANGA (Mystacornis crossleyi) [E]

Calling well at Ranomafana, and our second encounter got a fine bird to show very well at Vohiparara. Formerly called Crossley's Babbler, but now shown to be an odd terrestrial vanga!

MADAGASCAR BLUE VANGA (Cyanolanius madagascarinus) [E]

Quite a good trip for this one, seen at Ranomafana, the Vohiparara Trail and Mantadia, a gorgeous bird when seen well.

HOOK-BILLED VANGA (Vanga curvirostris) [E]

Good views from Ankarafantsika, with a bird at a nest. It is strangely reminiscent of a Butcherbird in Australia in both coloration and shape, a curious convergence.

WARD'S FLYCATCHER (Pseudobias wardi) [E]

Only seen up at Mantadia this trip. Formerly placed with flycatchers but another one that is now placed with vangas.

RUFOUS VANGA (Schetba rufa) [E]

Some saw this at Ankarafantsika, then everyone got on a fine male that came to a nest at Zombitse.

SICKLE-BILLED VANGA (Falculea palliata) [E]

A bird on a nest at Ankarafantsika and then not seen again, which was unusual.

WHITE-HEADED VANGA (Artamella viridis) [E]

The first were from the boat at Betsiboka, in mangroves, then seen again at Vohiparara.

POLLEN'S VANGA (Xenopirostris polleni) [E]

Seen nicely at Ranomafana and Vohiparara; this is an uncommon and elusive Xenopirostris vanga.

LAFRESNAYE'S VANGA (Xenopirostris xenopirostris) [E]

Only seen out at the spiny thiickets at La Table, where we got one calling and a pair showed eventually.

VAN DAM'S VANGA (Xenopirostris damii) [E]

Considered the rarest and most threatened of all the vangas, this species is only known from two areas, and it's no picnic to track down even there. Luckily, after an hour or so in the forest above the lodge at Ankarafantsika, Ndrema located one, which showed well. This rare bird is easily missed on a tour.

Dicruridae (Drongos)

CRESTED DRONGO (Dicrurus forficatus) [E]

Small numbers at most sites, first en route to Mahajunga.

Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)


Lovely views from all the forested habitats and a couple of nests seen. We did see a couple of the spectacular black-backed and white-backed morph males at Andasibe.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

PIED CROW (Corvus albus)

A very smart-looking large crow, with a very raven-like flight style. It was fairly widespread in the open country around Madagascar, mostly during our drives.

Alaudidae (Larks)

MADAGASCAR LARK (Eremopterix hova) [E]

Seen en route to Ankarafantsika, near Ifaty and at La Table, this bird is now placed in the genus Eremopterix with sparrowlarks, to which it bears no resemblance whatsoever!

Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)

COMMON JERY (Neomixis tenella) [E]

Widespread and vocal but not often seen well, we saw them first at Ankarafantsika.

GREEN JERY (Neomixis viridis) [E]

Another inconspicuous forest jery, more often heard than seen; we had good looks at Ranomafana and Andasibe.

STRIPE-THROATED JERY (Neomixis striatigula) [E]

This taxon was seen (though much more often heard) mainly at Andasibe and Mantadia.

STRIPE-THROATED JERY (SUBDESERT) (Neomixis striatigula pallidior) [E]

We saw this taxon of Stripe-throated Jery at Zombitse, Parc Mosa and La Table, and it was quite common there. The voice is different to that of the eastern taxa and it is split as Subdesert Jery by the HBW/BirdLife Checklist.

MADAGASCAR CISTICOLA (Cisticola cherina) [E]

Widespread and often heard, seen well at Ambatofotsy then around Isalo.

Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)

MALAGASY BRUSH-WARBLER (Nesillas typica) [E]

The first was at the Carlton Hotel for Tom and me, then we saw them at Ankazomivady reserve and at Ranomafana.

SUBDESERT BRUSH-WARBLER (Nesillas lantzii) [E]

Seen well at La Table, vocally very different to Malagasy Brush Warbler. If you split this, why not split the two Stripe-throated jerys?

MADAGASCAR SWAMP WARBLER (Acrocephalus newtoni) [E]

Nice views at Ankazomivady marsh between Ambositre and Ranomafana, also at Lac Alarobia and the Tamboho Hotel marsh.

Bernieridae (Malagasy Warblers)

WHITE-THROATED OXYLABES (Oxylabes madagascariensis) [E*]

Heard briefly at Vohiparara but did not come in.

LONG-BILLED BERNIERIA (Bernieria madagascariensis madagascariensis) [E]

Known by most authorities as Long-billed Tetraka rather than the hideous Bernieria construction, this was seen in the primary forests of Ranomafana and Andasibe.

LONG-BILLED BERNIERIA (Bernieria madagascariensis incelebris) [E]

Seen at the Zombitse forest and potentially a split in due course,

THAMNORNIS (Thamnornis chloropetoides) [E]

Now boringly renamed the Subdesert Tetraka by some, this is a specialty from Parc Mosa where we had good views of it eventually, and heard them calling very well.

SPECTACLED TETRAKA (Xanthomixis zosterops) [E]

One from Ranomafana and a nest at the Parc Villageoiis, usually the most widespread of the group.

APPERT'S TETRAKA (Xanthomixis apperti) [E]

The two guides did a great job of finding this rare bird at Zombitse, then shepherding it into view. It's one of the most range-restricted species on earth, known from just two sites in this area. One of the guides had two marbles that he clicked together in imitation of the call of this species, and it worked.

RAND'S WARBLER (Randia pseudozosterops) [E]

Heard at Ranomafana in foggy conditions, then seen on the way up to Mantadia, this species often has an inter-species duet with Stripe-throated Jery!

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

PLAIN MARTIN (MADAGASCAR) (Riparia paludicola cowani)

Seen on the long drive up to Ankarafantsika, and then around Ranomafana and Isalo. This taxon is now split from the African Plain Martin taxa, looking much paler bellied.

MASCARENE MARTIN (Phedina borbonica madagascariensis)

The widespread and common swallow in Madagascar; we saw them at the Carlton then at the Tamboho in Tana, and continuing on to Ranomafana, Ampijoroa and Andasibe.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

Two over the reeds at Belalande but shot straight through; it is rare in Madagascar but this region is now known to be a regular wintering site.

Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)

MALAGASY BULBUL (Hypsipetes madagascariensis) [E]

Common and widespread in forested areas (even dry ones) throughout; it is a really nice looking bird, with its deep olive coloration, black cap and bright orange bill.

Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)

MALAGASY WHITE-EYE (Zosterops maderaspatanus) [E]

Widespread throughout all of our forest birding with the exception of the dry country in the southwest.

Sturnidae (Starlings)

COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) [I]

Very widespread, unfortunately. An introduced bird to the country, thankfully one of very few. The densities aren't huge in most places, with the highest concentration being a couple of dozen around the lake at the Tamboho. It may be that their ascendence in the Isalo region is why Benson's Rock-thrush has all of a sudden become much scarcer than it was just a few years ago. Mynas do seem to be increasing in the Isalo area concurrent with the decrease in rock-thrushes.

MADAGASCAR STARLING (Hartlaubius auratus) [E]

Greg, Cathy and Marcia saw a couple up at Vohiparara, and luckily we got them again at Mantadia where some saw 3 and most of us enjoyed scope views of a dark-faced male. A very uncommon and low-density species.

Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)

MADAGASCAR MAGPIE-ROBIN (WHITE-BELLIED) (Copsychus albospecularis inexspectatus) [E]

This white-bellied taxon has a black tail; we saw them at both Ranomafana and Andasibe. Anticipated to be split from the dry country one that has much more white in the wings and tail.

MADAGASCAR MAGPIE-ROBIN (WHITE-WINGED) (Copsychus albospecularis pica) [E]

A couple of these white-bellied birds were seen at the Ring-tailed Lemur park and Isalo, then commonly in the S and W, with most being at Parc Mosa. This form has white in the tail and more white in the wings, and is a pending split as per BirdLife.

FOREST ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola sharpei) [E]

Great views of a singing male at Ranomafana after some effort to get it to respond.

FOREST ROCK-THRUSH (BENSON'S) (Monticola sharpei bensoni) [E]

No longer found at our lovely hotel at Isalo, but we had super looks at 2 in a rocky area nearby, and saw a nest on a ledge as well. Another taxonomically challenged form with a disputed genetic study lumping it with Forest Rock Thrush despite clear habitat and vocal distinctions.

AFRICAN STONECHAT (MADAGASCAR) (Saxicola torquatus sibilla) [E]

Seen at Ambatofotsy marsh and very nicely at Analamazaotra and Mantadia. Stonechat taxonomy remains vexed, IOC split this as Madagascar Stonechat, and some of the African taxa also need splitting.

Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)

SOUIMANGA SUNBIRD (Cinnyris sovimanga) [E]

Common in all forested areas. The males are especially striking if you get one that sits still long enough, and their voice is a typical sound of the forest areas.

MALAGASY SUNBIRD (Cinnyris notatus) [E]

Only at Andasibe this trip, where males were seen nicely, they are very long-billed and have metallic green heads. Tom and I saw a female briefly at Ranomafana too.

Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)

NELICOURVI WEAVER (Ploceus nelicourvi) [E]

An uncommon bird that we saw at both Ranomafana and Andasibe, with a nest at the latter site. These two Madagascar weavers are expected to be transferred to new genera as they are not closely allied to the Asian or African Ploceus species.

SAKALAVA WEAVER (Ploceus sakalava) [E]

Nice views from Ankarafantsika, then again at Parc Mosa and La Table.

RED FODY (Foudia madagascariensis) [E]

One of the few widespread and common endemics. Most males are stunningly red, while the females strongly resemble female House Sparrows, whose niche they somewhat fill in the cities.

FOREST FODY (Foudia omissa) [E]

Just one blotchy male in the forest at Vohiparara, a good find by Francis, this is a scarce species overall.

Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)

MADAGASCAR MUNIA (Lepidopygia nana) [E]

Encountered in disturbed second growth habitats, with the first at the Carlton and then at Andasibe. Also known by the much more evocative name of Madagascar Bibfinch.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Seen at Mahajunga, then again at Antsano en route to the Pangalanes, it is spreading slowly in this country where it is very restricted as yet.

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

MADAGASCAR WAGTAIL (Motacilla flaviventris) [E]

Scattered liberally throughout our route, with the exception of the dry forest sites in the southwest and south. There was a pair at our hotel in Ranomafana and a nest at Andasibe Park HQ, and these were among our most obliging birds of the tour.


BROWN MOUSE LEMUR (Microcebus rufus) [E]

Seen very well at the roadside at Ranomafana where they come to honey or bananas put out by the guides. This is a major tourist lure here now, but I wish they'd set it up away from the road area.

GOLDEN-BROWN MOUSE LEMUR (Microcebus ravelobensis) [E]

A lovely look at this relatively recently described species on the night walk at Ankarafantsika, after a couple of initial glimpses.

COMMON BROWN LEMUR (Eulemur fulvus) [E]

Seen well at Andasibe from the road and at Feon n'y Ala.

RED-BELLIED LEMUR (Eulemur rubriventer) [E]

One seen nicely at Ranomafana, the white marks by the eyes are quite distinctive.

RING-TAILED LEMUR (Lemur catta) [E]

We returned to our new site this year, and I was again well impressed, the animals look healthy, far more so than the scabby looking ones at Berenty, and they are there in good numbers. It is a village conservation area with local guides, so the money goes back to the community. They showed us a fine family group of these lovely animals before the storm hit. They have around 600 in the park, and the species is now classified as Critically Endangered with a total population > 5000 animals, all very sad.


Usually known as Grey Bamboo Lemur; we had great views of one at Ranomafana and then some feeding in the bamboos at Andasibe on a couple of occasions,

GOLDEN BAMBOO LEMUR (Hapalemur aureus) [E]

This great rarity was our first Ranomafana lemur, with one seen very nicely, and the reason the park was initially set up though numbers are very low indeed.

BLACK-AND-WHITE RUFFED LEMUR (Varecia variegata) [E]

Heard at Ranomafana, and then a fortunate encounter with a small group in the forest up at Mantadia, this one can be hard to see.

MILNE-EDWARDS' SPORTIVE LEMUR (Lepilemur edwardsi) [E]

Heard at Ankarafantsika on the first night.

PETTER'S SPORTIVE LEMUR (Lepilemur petteri)

The one at Parc Mosa is currently placed here, but given the absurd levels of splitting in this group it may be named something else!

HUBBARD'S SPORTIVE LEMUR (Lepilemur hubbardorum) [E]

This was the endearing guy we saw peeking out of a broken stump at Zombitse.

EASTERN WOOLLY LEMUR (Avahi laniger) [E]

A small group at the Palmarium Parc are wild ones. Our local guides call them "Oooli Lemurs" which at one time I took to be a newly described species, until it dawned that this was the local pronunciation of "woolly!"

VERREAUX'S SIFAKA (Propithecus verreauxi) [E]

Nice looks at Zombitse on two occasions, always a treat to see this one.

COQUEREL'S SIFAKA (Propithecus coquereli) [E]

Seen nicely at Ankarafantsika, where they were vocalizing quietly, this is a beautiful animal.

DIADEMED SIFAKA (Propithecus diadema) [E]

Several of them up on Indri Ridge, plus many lemur tourist admirers with cell phone cameras. This is one of the most colorful of the genus with orange furred legs, and quite a rare one.

MILNE-EDWARDS' SIFAKA (Propithecus edwardsi) [E]

Great spotting by Suzy got us two of this large dark sifaka at Vohiparara, another restricted range species.

INDRI (Indri indri) [E]

Heard up at Mantadia initially, one of the most evocative of all Madagascar sounds, then a fine group in the Parc Villageois late one afternoon, with another next day up on Indri Ridge. This group began calling, very loud at close range, and were a really memorable experience.

AYE-AYE (Daubentonia madagascariensis) [E]

Wonderful views on Aye-Aye Island (peninsula as was), with 2 of these bizarre and quite large creatures digging out coconut flesh with their long narrow dark fingers. In their own family, and held in some awe by many locals, and happily not as rare as was once though. We had great looks at it using its weird long fingers to dig out coconut flesh. Driving on the boat back in the dark was another adventure too, with great views of the Pleiades and a globular galactic cluster for some, all part of a memorable experience!

BLACK RAT (Rattus rattus)

One seen near Analamazaotra.

HOUSE MOUSE (Mus musculus) [I]

One at Analamazaotra, caught by a cat.


LINED DAY GECKO (Phelsuma lineata) [E]

Encountered around the hotel at Ranomafana a couple of times, and at Andasibe.

STANDING'S DAY GECKO (Phelsuma standingi) [E]

Seen at Zombitse and the Bamboo Club.

MADAGASCAR DAY GECKO (Phelsuma madagascariensis) [E]

This was the species we saw at Ankarafantsika.

CARPET CHAMELEON (Furcifer lateralis) [E]

Two at Ranomafana.

MALAGASY GIANT CHAMELEON (Furcifer oustaleti) [E]

This large chameleon is known by most as Oustalet's Chameleon; we saw several of these over the course of the trip, the first being at Ankarafantsika. The guides staged a demonstration of the use of the projectile 20cm long tongue by having an insect on a stick for the one at the Anja Ring-tailed Lemur reserve.

SHORT-HORNED CHAMELEON (Calumma brevicorne) [E]

Seen at Andasibe.

SHORT-NOSED CHAMELEON (Calumma nasuta) [E]

One from Ranomafana and again at Andasibe.

O'SHAUGNESSY'S CHAMELEON (Calumma oshaugnessyi) [E]

Several sightings of this amazingly variable species from Ranomafana, one of the most psychedelically coloured of the family.


The one we saw at Ranomafana was apparently Deceptive Chameleon, Calumma fallax, not Glaw's Flap-necked, or so they tell me on i-Naturalist.

PANTHER CHAMELEON (Calumma pardalis) [E]

One from the Palmarium, maybe introduced there.

BLUE-LEGGED CHAMELEON (Calumma crypticum) [E]

A lovely one by the waterfall at Ranomafana and others along the road.

PARSON'S GIANT CHAMELEON (Calumma parsonii) [E]

A lovely green one at Parc Villageois.

SATANIC LEAF-TAIL GECKO (Uroplatus phantasticus) [E]

Jean-Cris showed us one at Ranomafana, an astonishing creature so well camouflaged like a dead leaf, a creature I will never find unaided!

SOUTHERN LEAF-TAIL GECKO (Uroplatus sikorae) [E]

Nestor got us one of these amazing creatures at the Parc Villageois, I still harbor an ambition to find my own but fear I will never succeed! Then Victorin got us an even larger one next day which was great for photographs.

AFRICAN HOUSE GECKO (Hemidactylus mercatorius)

Seen at a few places we stayed, this is the pinkish pale one on the walls.


One at Andasibe Park HQ was a nice sight on a relatively snake deficient trip.

BERNIER'S STRIPED SNAKE (Dromicodryas bernieri) [E]

This may have been the snake we saw at Anja Lemur Park.

COLLARED IGUANA (Oplurus cuvieri) [E]

Great views from Ankarafantsika, a really distinctive species. Now apparently known as Cuvier's Swift.

BROAD-TAILED ZONOSAUR (Zonosaurus laticaudatus) [E]

We encountered several big specimens of one of these broad-backed skink relatives during our late morning walk at Ankarafantsika.

THREE-EYED LIZARD (Chalarodon madagascariensis) [E]

Nice views of a couple near Parc Mosa.

MALAGASY GOLDEN FROG (Mantella madagascariensis) [E]

Nestor showed us one of these up at Mantadia, we had a good trip for frogs.

VARIEGATED GOLDEN FROG (Mantella baroni) [E]

The wonderfully colorful Mantella we saw at Vohiparara apparently shows some characters of this species.


Birds of the trip were a diverse assortment, with Cuckoo-roller, Velvet Asity, Schlegel's Asity, Scaly Ground-Roller and the memorable Short-legged Ground-Roller experience, with another highlight, of course, the wonderful array of lemurs we saw this year.

As would be expected in such a unique location, there were many other creatures of interest encountered that aren't listed above. Here is a list of some of the ones we could pin down. Butterflies account for most of these, as there are reasonable references available to aid in their identification.

Giraffe-necked Weevil (Trachelophorus giraffa)- We had our first at Ranomafana, and then saw a couple of more at Mantadia. We had Giant Pill Millipedes in several places.

A gorgeous Rainbow Locust was seen at Anja Lemur park.

A very strange leaf-like phasmid was seen at Ranomafana, with an odd wide head.

Phylatid leaf bugs, like reddish flowers when adult and feathery white when young, remarkably like one of the local orchids.

A large lizard called Dumeril's Swift (Oplurus quadrimaculatus) was seen at Jardin du Roy.

A night gecko was seen at Zombitse.

The rare Rhinoceros Chameleon showed well at Ankarafantsika with both male and female.

A snake called Mimophis mahfalensis was seen twice at Ankarafantsika. Also called big-eyed snake.

Two frogs were the pandanus frog at Vohiparara, and the noisy ticking frog at Mantadia and Andasibe is Mantadactylus boulengeri.

Identified butterflies were as follows:

Citrus Swallowtail (Papilio demodocus)

Morondava Swallowtail (Papilio morondavae) at Anja Lemur Park

Banded Blue Swallowtail (Papilio oribazus)

Madagascar Giant Swallowtail (Pharmacophagus antenor)

Green Lady (Graphium cyrnus)

Madagascar Orange Tip (Colotis evanthe)

Yellow Pansy (Junonia hierta (paris))

Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus )

Acraea sp.

Madagascar Brown Pansy (Junonia gaudotii)

Royal Blue Pansy or Brilliant Blue (Junonia rhadama)

Several skippers (Hesperiidae)

Assorted Satyrs, of several species.

Totals for the tour: 165 bird taxa and 20 mammal taxa