In March I went to Mole National Park for a Wildlife Management class. We had fun over there, and learned a bit too. The first tour my group took was to identify forage plants used by animals like elephants, monkeys, baboons and birds. On that trip I saw the tips of four horns from beyond a small mound I was climbing and was lucky (and thrilled!) to be the only one of the group besides the tour guide to notice two waterbucks.
The next trip was mammals. Kobs dominate the woodland savannah of the park. Graceful animals, ubiquitous almost to boring. There was one elephant to be spotted the entire three days we were there. It drand at a small pool and wandered off into the bushes. We followed at a distance for a adistance, but he did nothing interesting so e left him. Maybe her, of course.
It was the birds that really got me. A couple of mist nets proved very fruitful.
Among the birds retrieved were:
Red-throated Bee Eater: Very feisty. really wanted to leave. It got its wish after some mild swabbing for bacteria.
Senegal Batis: Calm, cool, collected. Just stared into our eyes and let us do what we wanted.
Lesser Wood-Hoopoe: I love this bird. Hope I see it again. Will endeavour to, by God’s grace.
Bruce’s Green Pigeon: Heard, not seen. Later I saw the southern variant in Kumasi, at the Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology. Went bird watching with Ato, quite an enthusiast. Indeed, Ato mentions he has recently built a nest for a pair of Senegal Thicknees at Valley View University in Dodowa near Accra. Need to check on that.
Grey-headed kingfisher: This bird was erroneously identified by Dr Owusu as the Woodland Kingfisher, but on closer observation, he confirmed my suggestion that it was the Grey-headed. Nice bird.
Senegal Thicknee: Lovely call. This was my first encounter. Many of them at a pool.
Hadada Ibis: Absolutely breathtaking. Perched on a dry branch up a dry tree, in its almost shy glitter of colour.
Double-Spurred Francolin: Quite a number. Later encountered them in Kong, Northern Region. Two were brought home for my observation. Dead. Apparently they like seeds.
African Jacana: Seen only momentarily, but I liked it.
Long Tailed Glossy Starling: It was nice to see them. Dr E. Owusu pointed them out three of them under a shrub. I’ve seen them in their fullest glory in the Upper East Region, Bawku, specifically. Also in Accra, on the University of Ghana Campus, in the dry season.
Black-billed Wood Dove
Senegal Fire Finch