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.

Monday 10th Oct 2011 - Ouagadougou to Accra

Chris Orsman writes: Early rise for a last breakfast at La Source du Sahel, and then whisked off to the airport by Daniel with Aly & Oumar in tow. After being waved off and checking in, I reflected on how lucky we are to have such a team in Burkina. I cannot wait (and nor can they!) to see what they might encounter on the transects and at the ringing sites this season. Having last season caught a few returning migrants from season 1, will they this time find any ready-ringed from Europe?!
A short hop from Ouagadougou to Accra, and a different climate felt when stepping off the plane. Already mid-day, but coastal Accra felt quite cool compared to Ouaga. Off to the usual hostelry, and another afternoon of sorting and playing catch-up with data and emails.

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