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.

25th Jan: Watch your fingers

Nightingale Team: Repositioned the nets from yesterday into some adjacent new habitat.  More Afro-tropical species today, including a magnificent though seemingly incandescent Double-toothed Barbet.  This species has the weaponry to do permanent finger damage and so was handled with great respect by both Bee and Vicky!  To cap it all, one more new Nightingale made up for low numbers of migrants overall and sent us home very pleased, and somewhat relieved, with the progress so far.

Posted on behalf of Ian

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