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.

Weds 07/12/2011 Nick returns

No luck catching on today, and after tracing birds 2 & 3, I drop Bee and Japheth off to look for bird 1 in the valley. Meanwhile I take a walk along a “new” path to explore a little further beyond the normal areas where we survey, and come across 2 wood warblers along with garden warblers, melodious warblers and spotted flycatchers. It clearly looks worth a punt at catching here. Nick gets back to us later in the afternoon, so we’re now back up to a field-team of 4.

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