The occasional blank net round has still been interesting, however, an acrobatic skink climbing the tree above the ringing table providing entertainment as did a long line of very large and aggressive black ants, which paraded through the table legs to raid a termites nest just beyond, and then returning back triumphantly again.
Saturday was very busy with many villagers out tending to their crops beyond the net rides, motorbikes, and bicycles occasionally passed, fortunately bypassing the nets.
Unfortunately very few migrants have been captured however Palearctics have included: Melodious Warbler, one Nightingale and Whinchat. Afro-trops have included: Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Common Wattle-eye, Snowy-crowned Robin-chat, Marsh Tchagra, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Shikra, Yellowbill, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Black necked, Vieillot’s Black, and Village Weavers and two species which have yet to have their tentative identification confirmed. One of these resembled a Great Reed Warbler but was nowhere near as massive, its size intermediate between reed and great reed. Based on plumage characteristics and process of elimination using available information on wing formula for similar species it was identified, and later confirmed by those in-the-know, as Greater Swamp Warbler.
A francolin was also caught, though not ringed due to the spur on the leg which may cause the bird discomfort if ringed, and it was confirmed as a juvenile Double Spurred Francolin. The team had the afternoon off on Sunday, catching the final between Bukina Faso and the eventually victorious Nigeria, which pleased Mark who did his PhD in Nigeria.
By Vicky Gilson