The project

Our knowledge of ecology of migrants in their wintering grounds is extremely poor and severely hampers our ability to explain these declines and conserve this group of species. We lack even basic information about when birds arrive, the habitats they use and how they move around Africa.

The aim is to understand how Palearctic-African migrants use and move around the different vegetation zones found in West Africa, ranging from the semi-desert Sahelian region in Burkina Faso to the lush tropical rainforest in southern Ghana, and whether habitat change may impact them on their wintering grounds.

During the temperate winter of 2009/2010, using point count methodology and mist-netting, we recorded migrants along a degradation gradient at five different stations on a north-south transect. In 2010/2011 we plan to re-visit these sites as well as roving further afield to get a broader picture of migrant habitat use.

Ghana: 20 October. Fieldwork update from Damongo

Nat Annorbah writes: It's all going OK for now. We're on schedule and very optimistic. No migrants captured yet as at close of day today, but Mick and I heard and saw a Willow Warbler near the nets close to the lake. We also heard another one near the other set of nets near the lake and had a Eurasian Marsh Harrier fly above us.
Species captured today included Common Bulbul, White Helmet-Shrike, Little Weaver, African Moustached Warbler, Black-winged Bishop, and Lizard Buzzard. Unfortunately (and frustratingly for Mick) we didn't have the appropriate ring size for the Lizzard Buzzard and so couldn't ring it!

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