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: 26 October. News from the field team at Damongo

Nat Annorbah writes: We saw three Pied Flycatchers on the transect yesterday. Perhaps surprisingly, all were either in, or in close proximity to a teak plantation which had a stream nearby. Today I went ringing with Mick and we saw two Pied Flycatchers near the ringing area, again at the edge of a teak plantation, and again near a stream. It seems as if they are perhaps the same individuals defending territories around that area, because they had been seen around the same area, and using the same trees the previous day. It's already getting interesting, and hopefully things will get even better in the coming weeks.

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