The 15th, 16th and 17th were spent around Tanji with Gull and Tern ring numbers high on the agenda but also a fair bit of wandering the wooded areas and open scrub. Some of the birds seen included Great-white Pelican, Western Reef Egret, Osprey, Black Kite, Shikra, Bronze Manikin, Oriole Warbler, Snowy-crowned Robin-chat, Common Bulbul, Senegal Parrot, Namaqua Dove, Little Bee-eater and Western Grey Plantain-eater. There were,3 Gull-billed Terns, 1 first winter Audouin’s Gull, 5 Slender-billed Gulls, 3 Kelp Gulls as well as Caspian Tern Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern and Lesser Black-backed and Grey-headed Gulls. Some of the Butterflies noted included Veined Swallowtail, Pearl charax, Narrow-banded Swallowtail, Common Grass Yellow, Large Vagrant, Caper White, African Caper White, Little Commodore, African Grass Blue and African Tiger as well as Red Basker Dragonfly, Black Percher Dragonfly, St. Lucia Widow and Small Green Mantis. Reading the Gull rings revealed Lesser Black-backs that were ringed in Denmark of both intermedius and fuscus races and Sandwich Terns that were rung in Fife Scotland. Other birds noted were Beautiful Sunbird, Variable Sunbird, Common Sandpiper, Sanderling, White-fronted Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Curlew and Ringed Plover. There were Long-tailed Cormorants, Grey Heron, Striated heron, Yellow-crowned Gonolek, Village Weaver, Crested Lark, African Palm Swift, Yellow-billed Shrike, Yellow-backed Weaver and Red-billed Firefinch. Offshore were 3 Gannets (all juveniles) a rare species in Gambia, 2 Arctic Skuas, 1 Pomarine Skua and a Black Shouldered Kite was the first seen since the Rains ended. A very nice, and large, Golden Orb-web Spider was a nice sight in beach side bushes.
|Western Reef Egret|
|Kelp Gull wit intermedius Lesser Black-backed on the left|
On the 18th we went further down the coast to a place called Tujering about 15 minutes south of Tanji where a lot of excellent habitat could be found. I saw the only Squacco Heron of the holiday here which is surprising as normally they are quite common. Also here there was a Common Stick Grasshopper, a very strange looking beastie as well as Brown-flanked Skink and several more Butterflies included the great looking Bark Blue Pansy. After the early start at Tujering we moved up to Tanji to once again check the Gull/Tern flock. Birds during the day included Whistling Cisticola with its jet black gape, the only Lesser-crested Tern of the trip, African Ring-necked Parakeet, Green and Black Woodhoopoes, Lizard Buzzard, Red-necked Falcon, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Red-winged Warbler, African Darter and a pair of Stone Partridges.
|Common Stick Grasshopper|
|Dark Blue Pansy|