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.

Thursday 6th Oct 2011, Ouagadougou - meetings and monasteries

Chris Orsman writes - Meetings throughout much of the morning, for various members of the team at different times, but eventually we’ve sorted out much of what little things need sorting for this year’s work to go ahead. Not my favourite activity, discussing budgets and contractual agreements! Some more installing of various spreadsheets for the guys to use on their laptops, but then I hear that tomorrow the Naturama computer technician will be around, and able to change their operating system to French. Great news, but it will mean that all I’ve installed will be lost and will need re-installing post-update!
After getting the go-ahead from the Father Abbot on the phone this morning, he wanted to meet us when we arrived at the monastery to set our nets ready for the following morning. He was delighted to be of assistance. With minimal modification to create net rides (we had one ready-made – a ride cut for putting up telegraph poles: ideal), we put up 6 nets; plenty for a morning’s training. Would we catch more than we did last October though? Only 3 birds each morning then! This site does look promising, with loads of shrubby cover. It seems that the grounds of the monastery are fenced off so that livestock cannot wander in, encouraging plenty of scrubby growth and rank grass. Nets set and furled just before dark, we head back to town.
Back to La Source du Sahel, for spaghetti and tomato sauce, with a baguette of fried minced beef and onions. Same as last night, and would prove to be the same every night! Who needs variety when it’s so tasty and excellent value?

No comments:

Post a Comment

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