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 19th-21st March: My final days in the field

Much of this time spent in the “office” sadly! Japheth returned to Accra on the Monday and so Roger and Nick teamed up for the last few tracking sessions. I tried to make sense of all the tracking data so far, and catalogued as far as possible the rapidly growing library of canopy and leaf pictures. We hope at some stage to identify most of the commoner tree species either used by, or closely associated with the wood warblers (and indeed those species not being used that we record at the control habitat spots).

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