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-Wednesday 12th – 14th March: A missing radio-tag antenna

It seems that (thankfully) bird 7 is fairly settled, otherwise the faint signal would have made it tricky to find. It turns out that after the storm, for whatever reason, the antenna of the tag must have snapped off. Japheth noticed from a good close up view of the bird that the antenna wasn’t visible beyond the end of the tail. In the meantime, bird 6 is no longer traceable. After 15 full days the tag has finally failed over Sunday night, so on Monday morning there was no sign, even in its favoured tree.

A final full survey of the site on Monday was reasonably productive, although there weren’t quite the larger numbers of vocal and detectable individuals that I’d expected.

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