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.

Thursday 5th April: Final reunion, and final thanks!

Met up with Roger today back in the UK, after his return on the 3rd. Brilliant to catch up first hand with how things went for the last week. Thoughts now turn to sifting through all the data, and already preparing for next season!

Have to say a very big thank you to Roger for his amazing dedication these past 11 weeks or so. You can come again! Also to Japheth and Nick for their unerring commitment and great company (since last October!), to Oppong and Emmanuel for their company and (mostly) great cooking, Augustus for all the trouble-shooting from Accra, Vicky and John for their fantastic efforts helping Ian and Chris with the nightingales, and of course to Bee for working tirelessly for over 3 months on the project, and brilliant company to boot. Very many thanks one and all.

Let's not forget that Aly and Oumar, and new recruits Idrissa and le Député continue until the end of this month with their ringing and survey work in the sahel of Burkina Faso. Another incredible season of work from the Oursi team, and with a recovery of a German-ringed sedge warbler the first foreign-ringed bird that has turned up in the Oursi nets since the start of the project!  Well done and thank you guys - here's to more of the same next season...

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