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.

Monday- Saturday 13th – 18th Feb: Brong Ahafo surveys

After the sad departure of Bee and Vicky back to the UK, we continued with a couple of mornings carrying out a full site survey, the first hour or so of each morning spent once more trying to catch a woodie again, but with no luck. During the survey, however, we spotted one of our previously-ringed birds, now in its 80th day since capture on November 25th. On the Tuesday pm we headed Northwest to join the nightingale team to leave them with a few extra nets, as the nightingales were proving almost as tricky to catch as the wood warblers, and with less time available. Meanwhile the wood warbler crew set about surveying more potential wood warblers sites in the Brong Ahafo region. We surveyed a total of 9 sites over the 4 days, and most of those followed the model of predicted presence or absence.

We returned to Pepease with renewed hope that come the Monday morning we’d have a better chance of catching a wood warbler. Surely the birds must be approaching the end of their moult? Also, it was about this time last year that we started hearing the wood warblers calling, and very soon after they were singing. I’m of the opinion that more vocalisation equals greater likelihood of capture!

No comments:

Post a Comment

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