Sunday, December 29, 2013

Big Fish

 Pied Kingfisher with a fish

Shared with Silent Sunday.

In the Abuko Nature Reserve/The Gambia

A great place for nature observations in The Gambia is the Abuko Nature Reserve (the oldest nature reserve in Gambia). It is placed near the Lamin Stream and the village of Abuko in western Gambia. The access is easy and in the park, there is only one way (no danger to get lost). The area is covered by savanna bushlands and gallery forests. I had the luck to stay there for several hours. The guide books recommend a tour in two hours, I think it makes more sense to plan four or five hours visiting all places and have a longer stop at the crocodile pool (a lake at the visitors center, called Darwin Station) and on the observation points in the forest areas.

Abuko Nature Reserve
Forest on the crocodile pool in the Abuko Nature Reserve.

The area is a good place for birding. Unfortunately we arrived too late in the morning (at 10 a clock in the morning) and most birds were gone. Nevertheless, we could still observe some species and it was a great trip. Beside many passerine birds (firefinches, cordon-bleus and mannikins), Western plantain-eaters, Snowy-crowned Robin-Chats, we saw some hornbills and African Thrushes. The highlights of the tour were a Giant Kingfisher and Violet Turacos.

African Jacana in the Abuko Nature Reserve
African Jacana at the crocodile pool.

African Pied Hornbill in the Abuko Nature Reserve
Far away in the trees, a African Pied Hornbill.

 Bronze Mannikin in the Abuko Nature Reserve
Bronze Mannikin are one of several passerine birds that are present in the park.

Giant Kingfisher on the crocodile pool
A Giant Kingfisher near the crocodile pool.

Violet Turaco in the Abuko Nature Reserve
A Violet Turaco in the forest.

Western Plantain-eater in the Abuko Nature Reserve
Always present and one of the most common birds in Gambia, the Western Plantain-eater.

There are no large mammals in the area. Only duikers and bushbucks are present, both were too fast for me and my camera. Green and Western Red -colobus monkeys were common along the forest area near the crocodile pool. Sun Squirrels should be frequently (after the guide book), I saw only one hidden in the forest.

Gambian Sun Squirrel in the Abuko Nature Reserve
Gambian Sun Squirrel

Western Red Colobus
Western Red Colobus monkeys.
Links Id rather b birdin, Outdoor Wednesday and Wild Bird Wednesday.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mangrove crabs

Mangrove crabs (Sesarma ?huzardi) in a mangrove forest near Kotu in Gambia. They live in areas close to the land and build large tubes. The colors are a nice contrast to the brown or grey environment.
Sesarma Gambia
Mangrove crabs (Sesarma ?huzardi)

Mangrove crab
Mangrove crabs (Sesarma ?huzardi)
Linked with I heart Macro and Macromonday.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Western Red Colobus

The Western Red Colobus (Procolobus badius) is an endangered monkey species in western Africa. They are vegetarians eating tree leafs and fruits. This is a small group resting on brunches in the Bijilo Forest Park (also known as Monkey Park) in Gambia. Here they are frequent and live in the upper part of the forest. They are relatively unaffected by the tourists and look a little bit bored.

 western red colobus

 western red colobus Gambia
Western Red Colobus

 western red colobus Bijilo
Chill out on a branch.

More common in the park is the Green Monkey (Chlorocebus sabaeus). This is one that joined the group of the colobus monkeys and was also unimpressed by the life around it.

green monkey Bijilo Park
Green Monkey (Chlorocebus sabaeus)
 Shared with Camera critters.

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