Sunday, 30 March 2014

Lots of lifers in Ghana, Accra, March 2014

If you should venture into the forests of West Africa, you might want to bring a guide. I found one through Birding Pal and he showed me how absolutely incompetent I am at this bird-spotting lark. Without him, I doubt that I would have found even a third of the birds that graced my trip list. To my eyes and ears, the forest seemed empty, but Kalu Afasi was able to pull birds, as if from a hat, name them and point them out to me.

A White-necked Picathartes (Picathartes gymnocephalus) was served on a plate and a Black Bee-eater was teed up for me. More than forty other life birds were seen on this trip to Accra, Ghana and I have to give credit to Kalu for pretty much all of them.

Picathartes are birds of legend, shy and range-restricted, but a reliable site can be reached from Ghana’s capital city in an afternoon. With a whole day off in Accra, this was too good an opportunity to miss, so I contacted Kalu who suggested we visit the Winneba Plains on our way to Bonkro Village to find this odd-looking bird. After dark, we drove down to the Cape Coast and stopped overnight before calling in at Kakum National Park and the Canopy Walkway.

I do not have the time to write up at the moment, but hope to make at least 4 posts from this visit. In the meantime, if you need a guide to lead you through the avian treasures of Ghana, I can recommend Kalu and he can be reached at;