Big day today: Lifer # 1000
07.04.2019 - 07.04.2019
I spent most of the night tossing and turning, trying to find a position that didn't hurt my arm. That'll teach me for spending so long at the waterhole photographing the birds. Not. I even struggle to bring my hand up to my face this morning, affecting washing, brushing my teeth and hair, and eating. Photographer's elbow. A bit like a tennis player having played in an all day tournament after normally just having a game once or twice a week. The pain won't stop me going out taking photos of birds though.
This morning Malick is taking us to Abuko. He's decided that we are going to be better off walking along the plantations just on the outskirts of the woods, rather than inside the thick forest itself, where the conditions will be rather difficult in terms of photography: dark and too many branches in the way. Sounds good to me.
Tapping the palm toddy
Scarecrow. Or should that be scaredog?
I don't think the strips of cloth hung from this pole to keep the birds away from the crops are working too well.
We almost immediately spot birds in the trees and on the ground. As before, any lifers (new species to me) will be denoted with *
African Grey Hornbill
Blue Breasted Kingfisher*
Spur Winged Plover
Malick warns us to be careful as we step over the ants who are making their way along a well-defined path.
White Billed Buffalo Weavers*
Two different species of Egrets - Intermediate and Cattle
David testing out his directional microphone, hoping to cut out some of the "click click click" he normally gets on his videos from my photography.
Blue Bellied Roller*
Giant Kingfisher with a Tilapia in his beak
Rose Ringed Parakeet
Gull Billed Tern*
Red Eyed Dove
Long Tailed Cormorant
Senegal Thick Knee*
This is a very special and important moment in my birdwatching mission – my 1000th lifer!
While I have been interested in seeing and photographing birds for a very long time, it is only in the last 13 years or so that I have taken it to the next level and making a point of identifying and recording the birds I see. I would not consider myself a serious birder, but I am an ardent list-maker, so to make 1000 different species makes me jubilant and proud.
Little Bee Eater
Broad Billed Roller
Long Tailed Cormorant
Great White Egret
I came to The Gambia with a very short wish list, consisting of only three species that I really wanted to see: Western Bluebill, Western Plantain Eater and the Abyssinian Roller. Having ticked off the first two yesterday, Malick promised me the roller today. He succeeded in spotting it, and the bird put on a delightful display for us.
The perfect finish to a perfect morning's birdwatching. Thank you Malick.