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 & Friday 03-04/11/2011 Chris Hewson and Chas Holt arrive

Chris Orsman writes: With unlucky Chas arriving without his luggage on Wednesday night, Thursday was spent pondering where it could have ended up. A call to the airline back in the UK confirmed that it hadn’t yet left Heathrow airport, and that it would be on the next flight. Meanwhile we shopped for extra cutlery etc for the newly expanded team, and planned our re-deployment to the field for the next day (via the airport for lost luggage of course!).

Bee writes: Friday morning and Chris O and I went to get some Ethanol for preserving any faecal samples we might collect from any migrant birds caught, whilst Chas and Chris H were chasing up the lost bag. It had arrived! By 10 am all of us had fulfilled their missions successfully so we were ready to leave Accra.
The trip was somewhat long yet uneventful, so I kept myself amused by photographing funny advertisements and signs.

Above photo: One of many heavenly businesses seen on our travels

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