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.

25th -29th March

Mark Hulme writes: Once Chris had sadly left us for some well-deserved rest before starting on the RSPB breeding wood warbler project in Wales I spent a couple of days in Accra catching up on some data-entry and the Ghanaian team members spent a bit of time catching up on other work and with family and friends. We headed north to Nsuatre again with a new team member, my girlfriend Alex, just arrived from the UK. We secured rooms in our now-regular hotel and set about repeating transects close to the old road where we had had so much success before. There were still good numbers of migrants around, although very few Nightingales now and no Wood Warblers or Blackcaps this time. Whinchats, Spotted Flycatchers, Pied Flycatchers, Melodious Warblers, Reed Warblers, Tree Pipits, Barn Swallows and Garden Warblers were all still in evidence. One last ringing session in Nsuatre on the 29th was, once more, very productive for Garden Warblers, this late in the season we wondered if they would still be present in numbers but 8 were caught on a busy morning as well as a Nightingale retrapped from our most recent ringing session, packed with fat. A Spotted Flycatcher, to some a surprisingly beautiful bird in the hand, was also caught alongside a number of resident birds such as Common Waxbill (not very common in Ghana), Marsh Tchagra, African Pygmy Kingfisher and Tambourine Dove, exciting for Alex’s first African ringing on her first trip to Africa.

Common Waxbill, Nsuatre

Moulting Spotted Flycatcher, Nsuatre

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.