|Caspian Tern Sterna caspia|
One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to Bijilo island just off the coast near Ghana Town. There is a fishing village on the coast here and you can hire a boat to take you out to the island (which is really a sand bar). I advise you do this as it is a fantastic bit of luxury sand surrounded by azure waters.
Here be Slender-billed, Audouin's, Lesser Black-backed, Grey-headed and Yellow-legged Gulls. Caspian, Sandwich, Little and Royal Terns. Ringed, Little-ringed, Grey, Kentish and White-fronted Plover. Osprey, Western-reef Egret and Grey Heron.
|Grey-headed Gull (2nd W) Larus cirrocephalus|
|Slender-billed Gull Larus genei|
African Jacana Actophilornis africanus is a common species.
|African Jacana Actophilornis africanus|
|Senegal Coucal Centropus senegalensis|
There are only three species of parrot on The Gambian list: Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri, Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus and Brown-necked Parrot Poicephalus robustus. We saw plenty of the first two but none of the third.. The guide book of choice 'Birds of Senegal and The Gambia' by Nik Borrow and Ron Demey have the latter as 'very local, uncommon and declining' and I can vouch for that!
Fortunately the Senegal Parrot is very common, obvious, noisy and good to photograph.
|Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus|
|Long-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus climacurus|
The common owl of The Gambia - the Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum could be heard every evening, night and morning just about everywhere.
|Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum|
|Verreaux's Eagle Owl Bubo lacteus|
There are at least thirteen species of Pigeon and Dove in The Gambia. Training your eye to spot the difference between four types of 'collared dove' and the two Wood Dove is the most difficult aspect but the rest are all very distinctive. A pigeon/dove is everywhere - you even stop looking at them after a day or so. Even the guides ignore them, which is a shame as some of them are quite beautiful birds.
|Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata|
|African Mourning Dove Streptopelia decipiens|
|Bruce's Green Pigeon Treron waalia|
|Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis|