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.

Tuesday 06/12/2011 Chas’s last day

Chas’s last morning, so of course we all set out catch a wood warbler for him (and us!) Operating two nets as before, and ever hopeful, we do manage a catch. Well, a single African thrush anyway! No wood warblers though, despite one responding to the playback, calling away in the nearby trees. The tracking of the 3 others is a success though, so thankfully Chas got to see one of our wood warblers post-tagging.
Above photo: Chris and Japheth tracking bird 1 from a clearing

So after lunch at the university canteen in Abetifi, Emmanuel took Chas back to Accra, with his flight back to the UK later this evening. Sad to go I expect, especially with tagged nightingales still roving around at Nsoatre! However, when Emmanuel comes back on Saturday, Bee will then head back to the nightingales for one last week of tracking, along with boyfriend Ed who’s arriving on the 9th. Meanwhile were all looking forward to seeing Nicholas again, who we hope will be joining us in Pepease tomorrow now that he's fininshed his exams.
Above photo: Japheth and Bee tracking bird 1 from the ridge in the evening

Above photo: fieldwork is taking it's toll on the team!!

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