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.

Friday 21/10/2011 Eve of Birgitta's Arrival

Birgitta Büche writes: Nervously I watched the postal worker walk from the right side of the post office to the left and back again before disappearing behind endless rows of parcels. I held my breath and waited, my heart beating rapidly. Then finally (after what felt like a lifetime but probably was no more than two minutes) he emerged and in his hand, he held the envelope I had so desperately waited for: My passport with my Ghanaian Visa in it! My flight left the next morning at 9am and the passport was the very last thing I had been waiting for to pack. Good thing it arrived on time!

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