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.

Saturday 22/10/2011 Birgitta gets to Ghana

Birgitta Büche writes: Akwaaba (welcome) it said on the poster in the customs hall and a wave of humid hot air hit my face. The signs were unmistakable, I had really arrived at Accra airport – and that was exactly were I stayed for the next one and a half hours. The queue at the passport control was endless and moved painfully slowly forwards. Then finally, I walked out into the hall where I hoped to spot Chris who I had never met before. Does he still look like the pictures on the RSPB homepage I asked myself? However, when I finally saw him, there was no mistaking. Chris gave me big hug, as if we were old friends and welcomed me to Ghana. What a wonderful arrival in a foreign country.

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