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Paul French on his recently finished tour, Ghana

December 09: Paul French on his recently finished tour, Ghana

Ghana represents by far the easiest and most comfortable way to access West Africa's Upper Guinea rainforests and their host of endemic and special birds. Our tour took in the rainforests of the south and the savannah woodland of the north, resulting in nearly 370 species and some very special experiences. Here's a look at one of our days.

Our first foray into the hot and humid rainforest world was in the nation's most famous national park, Kakum, and its even more famous canopy walkway.

At 350 meters long and suspended over 30 meters high, Kakum's canopy walkway is one of only three canopy walkways in Africa. It's a great place to see many species that are otherwise very difficult to find, and just hanging around in the branches of canopy giants is a breath-taking experience.

From here, birds are seemingly more fearless of humans and can approach quite closely. This Black Bee-eater demonstrates that in good light, it is actually not black at all!

Little Grey Flycatcher is often missed on Ghana tours, being unobtrusive and often high up. We enjoyed prolonged views of this tiny flycatcher.

A pair of Violet-backed Hyliotas clambered around the flowering branches above us, showing us that they are one of the few species where the orange-breasted female is more brightly coloured than the male.

Overhead, a multitude of Common Swifts contained a good number of Pallid Swifts, but as soon as this Cassin's Spinetail appeared, all other swifts were forgotten!

Bird of the day however, was not actually a bird! Initially mistaking its long, hanging tail for a large snake, the scales soon gave away that this belonged to a Long-tailed Pangolin! It crept into view, and then proceeded to give a great show in a tree close to one of the platforms. Depressingly rare nowadays, this was a real treat, and its just a shame all the photos were looking into the sun...

At the end of the day, a pair of Black-casqued Hornbills drifted lazily over the forest on their way to roost.


Posted: December 09, 2019