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.

12 October - Subalpine day

Phil Atkinson writes: Like migration sites worldwide, number of birds have been changing daily at Oursi. We had been expecting to find Subalpine Warblers here but had not seen any over the past 10 days or so. Today we caught 2 and saw another in the field. The situation here is fluid and Nightingales seem to have disappeared further south – hopefully The Ghanaian team will be picking them up.

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