Counting birds, from the Netherlands to South Africa


This video is called Gambia birding near Kotu Creek.

Last January, there was the first bird count ever all along the eastern Atlantic shores, in thirty countries, from the Netherlands to South Africa.

From the reports by the counters (translated):

Simon Delany counted in Gambia: “Baobolong is a gem of a wetland north of the Gambia River. … We walked huge distances. The counter is at forty species, including black storks, six hundred African spoonbills, pratincoles and ten species of wintering waders.”

From Mauritania:

On 22 January, he counted the birds at a small freshwater pond in Nouakchot. “Immediately, a barn swallow. And black-tailed godwit, spoonbill, ruff and shoveler as well.”

In Sierra Leone, a Dutch black-tailed godwit was seen near Kagboro Creek. Meanwhile, contact has been established between bird counter Papanie Bai Sesay and Dutch researchers. The godwit was ringed on May 14, 2012 in the Kamperpolder. There were at least a hundred godwits more in the same area.

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Dutch godwit flies to Sierra Leone


This black-tailed godwit video says about itself:

Limosa limosa displaying and mating….

Eemnes, Holland 08-04-2012.

Translated from Dutch ornithologists Gerrit Gerritsen and Theunis Piersma:

Dutch godwit Nouakchott improves distance record

Post published by BirdLife Netherlands on July 31, 2013

Nouakchott is a black-tailed godwit with a transmitters of the ‘Kening fan’ e Greide’ project. This female godwit from Egmondermeer (North Holland) was recorded on July 27, 2013 in Sierra Leone, a record distance of 5400 kilometers from her nesting area.

After successful breeding and adding weight for migration in North Holland and a stopover in Coto Doñana (Spain), Nouakchott left on July 14, 2013 from southern Spain. On 15 July she was recorded over the southern border of Morocco. Like many other godwits, after passing the Sahara, she made a stopover in the wetlands of northern Senegal. She stayed there for about three days and was recorded on 23 July above Nouakchott, the Mauritanian capital, to which she owes her name. On July 27, she landed in the Yawri Bay, on the west coast of Sierra Leone. The Yawri Bay is part of the Ramsar site “Sierra Leone River Estuary”. This wetland is almost 300,000 acres and is of international importance for eight species: Kentish plover, ringed plover, sanderling, curlew, whimbrel, greenshank, redshank and western reef heron. It is also an important area for terns, including the rare lesser crested tern.

Few reports from Sierra Leone

It is rare for godwits breeding in the Netherlands to go so far south. Pieter Coehoorn of the Vogeltrekstation reports that there are only four ring reports from Sierra Leone. Nouakchott is the fifth and the southernmost. This is a new distance record for a godwit breeding in the Netherlands. She feeds currently on the mud flats at the mouth of the Bumpe river, a distance of 5400 km from her nesting place in the Egmondermeer.

Caught in Extremadura

In the first week of February 2013, Nouakchott was, like the other fourteen godwits called after capital cities along their migration route, fitted with a satellite transmitter near Santa Amalia in the Spanish Extremadura by researchers from the Universities of Groningen and Extremadura and the Alaska Science Center.

Follow the adventures of Nouakchott and other godwits with transmitters on www.keningfanegreide.nl.

Sign the petition to protect the habitat of grassland birds www.redderijkeweide.nl.

African children’s bird drawings


Bee-eater, drawn by Kadison Augustine Mada Duwai, Conservation Society of Sierra Leone, first prize in 13-16 years of age category

From BirdLife:

Winners of “My Spring” Drawing competition in Africa announced

Fri, Dec 21, 2012

Winners of “My Spring” Drawing competition in Africa announced

BirdLife International … is proud to announce the winners of the 2012 maiden edition of the Spring Alive drawing competition for children in Africa.

In all, nine (9) winners have been selected from a total of about 141 entries received after the close of a two and half months long competition on the 15th of November, 2012. The highly creative and impressive entries were received from school children aged 16 years and below in six African countries namely: Botswana, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The jury for the competition … were very pleased and highly elated to receive such a high number of creative and beautiful artistic paintings from school children in Africa. According to Julie Rogers … “The pictures are absolutely beautiful, and we’re honoured to be able to judge this competition. It’s so difficult to choose just one from each category! The effort and time put into drawing these wonderful pictures was inspiring”.

Evidently, to create a more fair and balanced platform for all entrants and as well increase the chances of winning, the entries were categorized into three different age brackets (6-9 years, 10-12year & 13-16years) and subsequently three winners (First, Second & Third) selected from each category by the competent jury.

The final outcome as determined by the jury is presented below:

Ages 6-9 years
First: Olamide Ajayi, Nigeria Conservation Foundation
Second: Jennifer Tshukudu, Birdlife Botswana
Third: Joshua Ajayi, Nigeria Conservation Foundation

Ages 10-12 years
First: Okere Tochukwu, Nigeria Conservation Foundation
Second: Ahimbsibwe Mary, Nature Uganda
Third: Nyakeh Benson, Conservation Society of Sierra Leone

Ages 13-16 years

First: Kadison Augustine Mada Duwai, Conservation Society of Sierra Leone
Second: Chibueze Agube, Nigeria Conservation Foundation
Third : Abdul Rahman, Conservation Society of Sierra Leone

As announced earlier, the first place winners in each category will receive a high quality digital camera whilst the second and third place positions will receive some consolations prizes. However all participants in the 2012 Africa edition of the competition will also receive Spring Alive branded stickers and bracelets from the BirdLife International Secretariat.

The Spring Alive Team congratulates the winners and thanks warmly all participants for their beautiful paintings!

Pictures are here (scroll down).

Also from BirdLife:

Great loss-The late Georges Henry Oueda

Fri, Dec 21, 2012

It is with deep regret that we received the very sad news that Georges Henry Oueda, Director of Conservation of NATURAMA (BirdLife in Burkina Faso) passed away.

Aged just 48, Georges was the single most knowledgeable expert in ornithology in his country. He was the Naturama IBA Coordinator and was known to many across the international bird conservation community. His contribution to nature conservation in Burkina Faso cannot be overestimated.

Throughout his tour of duty at Naturama, he was dedicated and committed to making a difference for both biodiversity and people. Georges was the driving force behind setting up and training local conservation groups at site like Oursi-Darkoye, Lake Higa and Sourou valley, now known as shining examples of community-based conservation. The recent designation of twelve wetlands in Burkina as Ramsar sites have largely been achieved by Georges’ coordination and monitoring training.

He had so many plans to continue and expand his work. His passing leaves a large gap, mostly of course in his family, and also in NATURAMA and the BirdLife Partnership as a whole.

George was an avid birder, a man of the people, an asset to Naturama and the Partnership. He fought a good fight and we will truly miss him. May His Dear Soul Rest in Peace

Those who wish to extend their condolences may use the general NATURAMA address: info@naturama.bf

Gola rainforest in Sierra Leone: birds and mammals


White-necked picathartes

From BirdLife:

More than 270 bird species, including 14 globally threatened are found at Gola.

They include Rufous Fishing-owl Scotopelia ussheri, Gola Malimbe Malimbus ballmanni (both Endangered), and the Green-tailed Bristlebill Bleda eximius and White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus (both Vulnerable), the latter a charismatic species recognised as a symbol of African conservation.

Gola is also important for threatened mammals including pygmy hippopotamus, forest elephant and zebra duiker.

Update on Gola, December 2007: here. And here.

Update June 2013: here.

In September 2013, the Research Unit of the European Commission funded “Across the River – a Transboundary Peace Park for Sierra Leone and Liberia” project released its final report on the research conducted from January 2010 to March 2013 in the Gola forest: here.

Are we finally almost there? The Gola Forest National Park gazettement in Liberia: an update: here.

The Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL) through the support of the Wildlife Clubs of Africa project has established 7 new Nature Clubs and rejuvenated 10 old Clubs in the Western and Eastern Provinces of the country respectively. This laudable initiative is in line with CSSL’s long term goal of expanding conservation and environmental education activities to cover many more pupils and students through school Nature Club establishment: here.

Hippopotamus: here.

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