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.

Sunday 15/01/12 Surveying, but not catching

First morning in the field, and to start we have a go at catching. We set the net where we caught our first two last November. We give it an hour but after no response from any wood warblers, we pack away and set off to survey the site.

A whinchat is present at the start, and by the end of the route (half of the usual transect) we encounter a total of 11 wood warblers. Some of these are only registered as a result of playback after the end of the standard 5 minute count. Elsewhere we record 10 willow warblers, 4 melodious warblers, 3 pied flycatchers, 2 spotted flycatchers, and 1 garden warbler. Wood warbler numbers are up on this section of the site since last December’s final survey, and so too willow warblers.

No news from the UK (as it is the weekend after all!), but we assume that Ian and Vicky are on their way and hopefully arriving in Accra tonight!

Chris O

No comments:

Post a Comment

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