Sunday, 26 June 2016

Brufut Woods (Day 7 Gambia) & appeal

Brufut Woods had plenty of birds whatever your interest
Pearl-spotted Owled
Little Bee-eater
African Green Parrot
African Scops Owl
Fine-spotted Woodpecker
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird
Beautiful Sunbird
Ebrima trying to find another species
Verreuxs Eagle Owl
White-faced Scops Owl
Long-tailed Nightjar
Long-tailed Nightjar
Welcome to Gambia
Cardinal Woodpecker
Woodland Bar

I've just realised I hadn't posted my final blog from the Gambia.  I was very happy of the birding I'd already done during the holiday however Brufut Woods with it's reported Owls was still an attraction. As I was walking across the square a polite guide called Ebrima stopped me for a chat and said he had seen me on twitter and wondered if I had time for any more birding. After a bit of negotiation we agreed to visit the wood the following morning, using my own local transport & Ebrima to guide around the site. Give Ebrima a follow on Twitter at @gambianbirder  .

The Woods were about 40 minutes away to the south which would have been very difficult to find without a guide. The woods were dense scrub land and forest throughout and are protected by West Africa Bird Study Association. On our walk we were also joined by a local ranger who is a long term friend of Ebrima.

Within a few yards I recorded my first new bird a African Green Parrot sitting up before seeing a Africa Harrier Hawk, Skira followed by four species of Owl including African Scops Owl, Pearl Spotted Owlett, White-faced Scops Owl & the impressive Verreuxs Eagle Owl.

I was very impressed with Ebrima's knowledge of the birds habits, calls as well as knowing all their latin names. Ebrima went out of his way to try and find exactly what I wanted to see. Two Woodpeckers I was desperate to see were Fine-spotted & Cardinal Woodpecker. The Cardinal took us a bit longer but with some careful listening we saw a pair very well.

Ebrima had another real treat for me as he put me within a metre of a male & female Long-tailed Nightjar. Hidden within the camouflage of the forest floor it took a couple of seconds to adjust the eye to see this Gambian superstar bird.

Other species recorded included Pin-tailed Whydah, Village Indiobird, African Paradise Flycatcher, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Yellow-fronted Canary, Copper Sunbird, Yellow-fronted Leaflove, Singing Cisticola, Red Bishop & a Plantive Cisticola.

After a stunning morning we all retreated to the the woodland bar where we chilled with an ice cold drink before heading back to the hotel.

My trip ended seeing a fantastic 155 species in just seven days. We all had a fantastic holiday of a lifeline and met some truly amazing people.

On a very sad note we received word last week our good friend and gambian guide Moses died suddenly. Moses was one of the nicest and genuine people we have all met and we had the pleasure of visiting him & his family in their shared compound. Justine Passey, who introduced to Moses, is trying to raise £2,000 to build a home for his wife & five year old son Little Mo to enable them to try and rebuild their life in a safe environment. A crowd-funding page has been set up to help.

His outlook was to provide a better life for his wife and son so that they could move from their compound. He bought a plot of land and his dream was to build their own house! He put his son into school to better his education but now, all of that will be lost and survival is an unknown. These people have nothing yet they openly share what they have and never stop smiling, their hearts are huge and something we should all learn from.
Moses had plans for his dream house and the costings to build it which is only £2000.00, so Justine decided to put it out there to you all and to ask if anyone is prepared to donate £10.00 (or more at your discretion) - if this is something you feel you can help us with we'd be truly grateful so that we can ensure the safe wellbeing of Moses family following his sad passing. If any can help this would be truly amazing. 

Message from Justine -This has been done from my heart to put it out there to you all to see if you can help this one family to survive, trust me they do deserve it so if you can find it in your heart to help I thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart! Let's change someone's life together- Thank you ❤️X

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