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 7th Oct 2011 - Ringing at the monastery

Chris Orsman writes - Our first ringing session this Friday morning resulted in 63 birds caught, so a good training session, and included 1 garden warbler. There were evidently plenty of nightingales around, and thought early on that I heard something resembling wood warbler “winter pewing”. I was later near convinced, with a clearer more typical breeding-ground call heard, and ultimately saw one bird. Definitely more than one call heard though.

Photo: Busy at the nets at the monastery

This afternoon the Oursi guys had their laptops seen to, getting a French version of the operating system installed. Plus they had all the relevant other software in French too, so nothing lost.

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