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Day 8 (Saturday, 23rd January)

Click here for map of Kotu Area

For the last morning, when we had about 4 hours to spare until the transit bus left for the airport, we opted to cover the Kotu area rather than take up the option of being driven somewhere further and risk the wrath of the combustion engine again. We asked Lamin to come with us, partly to show him some of the birds which he could brush up on, and also to minimise the hassle we would get from the resident “bird guides”. After staying in the Badala Park Hotel for the second time, we only now found the lily covered lagoon to the rear, which looks to have some potential. This was proven with the presence of breeding Black Crake, and also a Purple Heron which flew from the spartan reeds. A pair of Little Grebes were also feeding between the lilies.

Badala pool

Badala shanty

Badala pool

Homes next to Badala pool

Greenshank

Black-winged Stilt

Greenshank

Black-winged Stilt

We then took to the outside world and walked the cycle track, which runs alongside the hotel. Village Weavers seemed to be everywhere, and sometimes in flocks of several hundred birds. On the pool to the left of the track, a Black Heron was again showing off its distinctive cloaking feeding action, in more or less the same spot as the first day. The first of the Senegal Coucals began to appear shortly after our arrival, but the sight of a Lizard Buzzard flashing across us to land in a palm tree was oddly the first of the trip. Along the track to the Palm Beach Hotel, a small collection of saturated Tawny-flanked Prinias were trying to clean and dry themselves on the upright stems. A cisticola or two seemed to be with them, and one planted itself in the open for some time. We gazed cross-eyed at the relevant page for this little ***, but sensibly decided in the end it must have been Zitting Cisticola.

Paddies

Black Heron

Cycle track paddies

Black Heron

Zitting Cisticola

Wattled Lapwing

Zitting Cisticola

African Wattled Lapwing

Back to the torture of the hassle at Kotu Creek, we were armed with our own Gambian this time, and this proved a good move. Words still had to spoken to them, but there were fewer this morning, and we found a little more space. A trio of Blue-bellied Rollers, which hadn’t been seen here earlier in the week, seemed to be centred around a dead tree with a hole in the top, which they possibly cheeped as home. The wires over the stream played host to Red-chested Swallows and a brace of Pied Kingfishers, with Reed Cormorants in the adjacent trees. A single streamerless Wire-tailed Swallow obligingly perched on a stump just in front of the bridge for some time.

Wire-tailed Swallow

Red-chested Swallow

Wire-tailed Swallow

Red-chested Swallow

Blue-bellied Roller

Reed Cormorant

Blue-bellied Roller

Reed Cormorant

The next three stops, and the last of the trip, had been good on our last visit, but disappointing this time. We searched for the leaking pipe on the first track to the left after the bridge over Kotu Creek, but it seems that it had gone (progress – why can’t they leave leaking pipes to leak?). Then to the golf course. It took longer than I remembered to get to it, principally due to a large wall where the original access area was. There is now only one access point to the golf course, and a wire fence surrounding. The whole area looked a lot more sterile than in its glory days. The sewage works unfortunately were quite active with workmen, with trucks carrying who knows what to be dumped in one of the four pits. Only one of these contained an appreciable amount of water, with the main birds being Spur-winged Lapwings, Black-winged Stilts, and a few Wood Sandpipers. A Shikra perched at the rear of the lagoons was in almost the same spot as a decade ago, and an African Pied Hornbill flew over.

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

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Contact

Site map

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Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8

Species list

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