Monday, October 20, 2008

Out with the old

The digital age means that there is little point keeping thousands of slides, especially as most of them are pretty awful anyway, so I decided to continue the process of copying them using a digital copying attachment for my Canon Rebel. I have worked my way through the Gambia slides so thought I would post a few here. I still have thousands to go from other trips so expect more poor to average images of things you cannot identify.

Gambia is one of the West Coast African countries which can be pretty much covered in two weeks. This we did in 2001, taking a package tour and getting a local guide. The trip worked out pretty well, lots of great birds, a very genial guide and most of the hoped for species seen.

On the down side I did manage to get one of the dysentries, I broke the golden rule and ate some tepid prawns in Marie-Salmonella sauce and ended up going home in a coma! For a bad flier its a great way to travel although the subsequent squitting through the eye of a needle for two weeks is not recommended.

Incidentally, I recommend the Senegambia Hotel as the place to stay in Gambia, the grounds are superb for birding with zero hassle (and they were not responsible for the Prawn Cocktail), the rooms are fine, the food good and the staff very friendly. It really is worth the extra cost.

Western Plantain-eater (below). A big obvious bird.

Wattled Plover with wattles

A White-crowned Robin-Chat which is actually more like a thrush.

Red-billed Hornbills, very common.

African Pygmy Kingfisher, perhaps a misnomer as I think they actually eat insects and fish, not pygmys.

Little Bee-eater, not very big.

Hooded Vulture. They feed these things daily with disgruntled guests (just kidding, they use noisy kids really), they will walk up to you and try to eat your shoes.

Yellow-crowned Gonolek, stunning looking bird.

Egyptian Plover, one of the must see World birds. We took a battered Mercedes 18 hours up river to the town of Basse to find this bird.

Bearded Barbet, its a barbet with the beard.

Yellow-billed Shrike above, female Bufflehead below (the latter is not a Gambian species).

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