Thursday, 23 June 2016

Ghana 17th March 2016

Been quite a while since I posted here. Didn't get around to putting up the rest of the Ghana pics due to poor broadband coverage (thanks Three!) and a busy schedule recently.

I took very few pictures on the 16th as we spent most of the day travelling up from Mole right up to the north of the country. We did a brief stop off at the Shai Hills. Impressive landscape along with the only Fox Kestrel, Rock Citicola and Gosling's Buntings of the trip seen here.

Our main target on the 17th was Egyptian Plover on the White Volta River right on the border with Burkina Faso. We had great views of what looked like a loose family party. Some of the birds didn't look as pristine as some and if I had to take a guess these probably weren't full adults. Four of us had an incredible encounter with the plover as we were about to leave. We sat/lay down on the sand bar beside the river and we treated to birds approaching us at very close quarters.

We spent the second half of the day beside Tono Dam where we managed to pick another lifer for our guide Victor in the form of two Lesser Black-backed Gulls!

Egyptian Plover

Egyptian Plover

Egyptian Plover

Juv? and adult Egyptian Plover

Juv? Egyptian Plover

Egyptian Plover

Egyptian Plover

Egyptian Plover

Egyptian Plover
Victor with one of the Egyptian Plovers.


Egyptian Plover from Dermot Breen on Vimeo.

Spur-winged Plover

Lesser Honeybird

Little Bee-eater

Little Bee-eater

Little Bee-eater

Little Bee-eater

Mottled Spinetail

Mottled Spinetail
Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Yellow-billed Oxpecker

Yellow-billed Oxpecker

Zitting Cisticola
White-billed Buffalo-Weaver

River ferry coming from Burkina Faso.

River ferry coming from Burkina Faso.

Cow crossing over.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Ghana 15th March 2016

Another full day in Mole National Park. The best bird of the day was most likely a Walberg's Honeybird, split by some authorities from Brown-backed Honeybird. The first record of this species for Ghana was only recorded in December 2009 also in Mole National Park as it happens. A group of Danish ringers caught and ringed the second records afterwards. I cant't imagine there's been too many records since. It was lifer for our guide who has been birding in Ghana for a number of years now.
A good day for birds of prey again with several species showing well. Over the past two days we had recorded African Harrier-Hawk, Palm-nut Vulture,, White-headed Vulture, Hooded Vulture, White-backed Vulture, Bateleur, Beaudouin's Snake Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, Walberg's Eagle, Booted Eagle, Lizard Buzzard, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Grasshopper Buzzard, Shrika and Red-necked Buzzard.

Adult Hooded Vulture

Second calendar Hooded Vulture
Adult White-backed Vulture

Second calendar Bateleur

Second calendar Bateleur

Second calendar Bateleur
Second calendar Bateleur
Walberg's Eagle

Beaudouin's Eagle

Greater Painted Snipe

Greater Painted Snipe
Walberg's/Brown-backed Honeybird

Walberg's/Brown-backed Honeybird
Female Village Weaver

White-crowned Robin Chat

Male Beautiful Sunbird
Green/Callithrix Monkey

African Elephant
John our ranger for the two days.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Ghana 14th March 2016 Part 2

Second part of the 14th March. One of the highlights were the Standard-winged Nightjars on the disused Mole airstrip. The males were amazing looking birds with the fully grown standards. I was happy to get some (dodgy) video of the flight display that they regularly undertook. Another highlight was seeing African Elephants for the first time nearly all being single big males or younger bachelors. We had an armed ranger with us at all times when away from the immediate confines of the lodge. One young male mock charged us at one stage. While I was facing in his direction at the time and even though he probably only advanced a few metres at most, the noise of him triumphing rushing through the brush was incredible. You really got an true impression of the size and sheer power of an animal of this size. Two of our party immediately legged it back up the road much to the amusement of our ranger. I felt that we were being taken a little too close to the elephants for both sides comfort and was a little uneasy about this.

Male Standard-winged Nightjar

Male Standard-winged Nightjar


Standard-winged Nightjar 2 from Dermot Breen on Vimeo.



Standard-winged Nightjar 1 from Dermot Breen on Vimeo.


Northern White-faced Owl

African Palm Swift

African Palm Swift

White-rumped Swift

White-rumped Swift

White-rumped Swift

White-rumped Swift
Swamp Flycatcher

Swamp Flycatcher
Grey-headed Kingfisher

White-crowned Robin Chat

Grey-backed Camaroptera

Male Violet-backed Starling

Male Northern Puffback

Male African Grey Woodpecker

Adult and juvenile Sun Lark
African Elephant

African Elephant

African Elephant

African Elephant
Female Kob

Male Kob

Nile Crocodile

Nile Crocodile

Lizard species

Lizard species

Olive Baboon raiding a wheelie bin.
Waterhole after the rains.

Stream crossing.