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Birds of Ghana


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#21 Tom Kellie

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 10:37 AM

A huge thank you to @Tom Kellie - we are tag-teaming on this thread - he's helping me out with identifying the birds I photograph!  Thanks Tom!

 

The African Pied Hornbill photo was taken at the Aburi Botanic Gardens in Aburi, Ghana.

 

~ @Abena:

 

Your kindness in sharing glimpses of Ghanaian wildlife is surely appreciated by other Safaritalk members.

 

West Africa richly deserves equal treatment, which you're making possible.

 

Thank you very much!

 

Tom K.



#22 ovenbird

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 12:47 PM

@Abena and @Tom Kellie, sorry for taking so long to chime in...I was traveling all of May and am finally catching up.  

 

The birds in Ghana were very special, especially the White-necked Picathartes, Standard-winged Nightjar and Egyptian Plover.  We also saw quite a few mammals.  But the most exciting wildlife sighting was from the Kakum NP canopy walkway...a Long-tailed Pangolin slithering through the treetops!  Yes, it really did look like a snake!

 

Unfortunately photo ops were not good nor plentiful so our gallery is pretty sparse, but here is the link in case you're interested:    https://www.flickr.c...157643638493795

 

We were on a birding tour so there were only a few non-birding experiences.  But they were educational and emotionally powerful to me...Cape Coast Castle which was built for the slave trade and Larabanga Mosque, the oldest mosque in Ghana.  

 

We drove from the bottom of Ghana (Accra) to the top (Bolgatanga) so we also got to see life in the cities, villages and rural areas.  

 

The article to which @Abena linked is a good description of our tour.  If you have questions let me know and I'll try to answer them.  Ghana is a beautiful country with friendly people and lots to see.  Would love to make a return trip to Ghana but there are lots of first time places we still need to get to!


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#23 Tom Kellie

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 01:13 PM

@Abena and @Tom Kellie, sorry for taking so long to chime in...I was traveling all of May and am finally catching up.  

 

The birds in Ghana were very special, especially the White-necked Picathartes, Standard-winged Nightjar and Egyptian Plover.  We also saw quite a few mammals.  But the most exciting wildlife sighting was from the Kakum NP canopy walkway...a Long-tailed Pangolin slithering through the treetops!  Yes, it really did look like a snake!

 

Unfortunately photo ops were not good nor plentiful so our gallery is pretty sparse, but here is the link in case you're interested:    https://www.flickr.c...157643638493795

 

We were on a birding tour so there were only a few non-birding experiences.  But they were educational and emotionally powerful to me...Cape Coast Castle which was built for the slave trade and Larabanga Mosque, the oldest mosque in Ghana.  

 

We drove from the bottom of Ghana (Accra) to the top (Bolgatanga) so we also got to see life in the cities, villages and rural areas.  

 

The article to which @Abena linked is a good description of our tour.  If you have questions let me know and I'll try to answer them.  Ghana is a beautiful country with friendly people and lots to see.  Would love to make a return trip to Ghana but there are lots of first time places we still need to get to!

 

~ @ovenbird

 

TERRIFIC !!!!!!!!!

 

I'd been wondering how your trip was — this post tells me what a success it was!

 

As it happens, where I live Flickr has not been accessible for one year, otherwise I'd have eagerly looked at your bird images. I'm definitely 100% very interested!

 

You SAW a Long-tailed Pangolin ?!?!?! INCREDIBLE !!!!!!!!!

 

The field guide beside my desk states that Long-tailed Pangolins are “extremely wary and difficult to spot”.

 

Consider yourselves blessed. There didn't happen to be a photo of the pangolin, was there?

 

You've added fuel to the fire in me blazing about a possible Ghanaian visit. A birding tour sounds delightful.

 

I can't thank you enough for posting this so that all of us who are interested in West African birds might know about your experience.

 

This is such positive news to read!

 

Thank you!

 

Tom K.


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#24 ovenbird

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Posted 27 June 2015 - 07:05 PM

@Tom Kellie

 

This is the photo Dave took of the Long-tailed Pangolin...it was very distant.  Everyone including the guide was excited to see it.  Let me know if you are unable to view this image and I'll try another way to post it for you.  I tried to embed my flickr video of the pangolin but got frustrated when I couldn't figure out how to do it.

 

 

original.jpg

 

 


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#25 Tom Kellie

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Posted 27 June 2015 - 07:15 PM

@Tom Kellie

 

This is the photo Dave took of the Long-tailed Pangolin...it was very distant.  Everyone including the guide was excited to see it.  Let me know if you are unable to view this image and I'll try another way to post it for you.  I tried to embed my flickr video of the pangolin but got frustrated when I couldn't figure out how to do it.

 

 

original.jpg

 

 

 

~ @ovenbird

 

WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

That image FAR, FAR, FAR EXCEEDS my puny expectations !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

As it happens, nearly all forms of “foreign” videos, including Flickr videos, aren't available here, so I wouldn't have been able to view it.

 

This Long-tailed Pangolin image is BEYOND GORGEOUS!

 

Many, many HEARTY THANKS for uploading this exceptional image for all Safaritalk members to enjoy!

 

With Much Appreciation,

 

Tom K.


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#26 ovenbird

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Posted 27 June 2015 - 07:20 PM

@Tom Kellie

 

This is the pangolin video from a host site other than flickr.  It is nowhere near good quality but does show the serpentine look of its tail as it moves through the trees.  Hope this works...let me know if you are unable to view.

 

https://vimeo.com/86999777

 

 


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#27 Tom Kellie

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Posted 27 June 2015 - 07:34 PM

@Tom Kellie

 

This is the pangolin video from a host site other than flickr.  It is nowhere near good quality but does show the serpentine look of its tail as it moves through the trees.  Hope this works...let me know if you are unable to view.

 

https://vimeo.com/86999777

 

~ @ovenbird

 

CRAZY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Yes, I could watch that video. The sounds of camera shutters and comments on the tail added to the sense of being there.

 

What a FANTASTIC sighting!

 

The wonderful aspect of the video clip is that the pangolin pauses long enough for everyone to obtain clear shots, then it sinuously moves along the tree branch.

 

Never, ever, have I seen anything even remotely like that.

 

I truly love the video, and will bring it to the attention of students who might likely appreciate it.

 

Two aspects surprised me.

 

•  1)  The pangolin is smaller than I'd have expected.

 

•  2)  It moves languidly with a sort of slow grace, not unlike a large snake.

 

Posting this video is a service to Safaritalk members, as it's an exceptionally fine sighting.

 

With Greatest Appreciation,

 

Tom K.


Edited by Tom Kellie, 27 June 2015 - 07:35 PM.

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#28 ovenbird

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:16 PM

@Tom Kellie

 

Thank you for your kind thoughts.  It certainly was a special experience for us and I'm glad we were able to document and share it.  

 

Oops, I forgot to include camera info.  

 

Dave used a Canon EOS 7D with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens at 1/125s, f6.5, 1250 ISO, -1/3 exposure bias.  I'm pretty sure he did not use an extender and it is cropped quite a bit.

 

The video was taken with my P&S, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20.  Quite a big difference in quality but I refuse to carry anything bigger or heavier!  Plus I imagine it was similar to being in a rugby scrum...lots of jostling going on!


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#29 kittykat23uk

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:51 PM

Fantastic image of the pangolin, lovely birds too! :)
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#30 Abena

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 12:46 AM

OH wow!!!!  The pangolin is very special!  What time of day did you see it?  It seems like timing is everything to see birds and other wildlife too.  EXCELLENT to see people interested in what Ghana has to offer in the way of birding and now I'll be searching for the elusive pangolin myself :ph34r:  I may have a new favorite animal :P

 

Kakum NP is cool but I think that Bunso Arboretum has as much or more to offer, including decent looking lodging and a guide experienced in birding who will take groups out before dawn.  Anyone who wants to visit Ghana I'd be happy to help with arrangements.


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#31 Tom Kellie

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 12:54 AM

OH wow!!!!  The pangolin is very special!  What time of day did you see it?  It seems like timing is everything to see birds and other wildlife too.  EXCELLENT to see people interested in what Ghana has to offer in the way of birding and now I'll be searching for the elusive pangolin myself :ph34r:  I may have a new favorite animal :P

 

Kakum NP is cool but I think that Bunso Arboretum has as much or more to offer, including decent looking lodging and a guide experienced in birding who will take groups out before dawn.  Anyone who wants to visit Ghana I'd be happy to help with arrangements.

 

~ @Abena

 

Very nice to read your comments again!

 

What you've mentioned about Bunso Arboretum sounds very interesting.

 

Tom K.



#32 ovenbird

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 01:20 AM

Sorry for the diversion...getting back on topic this is one of our favorite birds we saw in Ghana.  While on a night drive in Mole NP we spotted what appeared to be 3 birds fluttering through the headlights.  They landed on the road and this is what we actually saw...a Standard-winged Nightjar.  A very cool bird and the one we were looking for...success! 

 

 

large.jpg


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#33 ovenbird

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 01:21 AM

@Abena

 

Bunso Arboretum sounds interesting...I'll have to do some research!


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#34 Tom Kellie

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 12:35 AM

Sorry for the diversion...getting back on topic this is one of our favorite birds we saw in Ghana.  While on a night drive in Mole NP we spotted what appeared to be 3 birds fluttering through the headlights.  They landed on the road and this is what we actually saw...a Standard-winged Nightjar.  A very cool bird and the one we were looking for...success! 

 

~ @ovenbird

 

I've never seen any nightjar in my life, and never heard of a Standard-winged Nightjar.

 

When I first saw your fine image, it wasn't clear what I was seeing.

 

After looking up more information it became clear what a special species it is.

 

Is it correct that it's exclusively the male, and solely during breeding season, which sports the elongated wing feathers?

 

In any case, a rare image which is so much appreciated!

 

Tom K.



#35 ovenbird

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 07:03 PM

@Tom Kellie

 

Yes, I believe you are correct re it's the male and only in breeding plumage.  There is a very good youtube video of a bird looking like 3 birds flying but unfortunately I'm unable to figure out how to get it to play here. Sorry. 

 

 

 

 

 


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#36 Tom Kellie

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 09:32 PM

@Tom Kellie

 

Yes, I believe you are correct re it's the male and only in breeding plumage.  There is a very good youtube video of a bird looking like 3 birds flying but unfortunately I'm unable to figure out how to get it to play here. Sorry. 

 

~ @ovenbird

 

No problem about the video. After living here for 16 years, I'm accustomed to not being able to see videos.

 

Thank you for confirming that it was indeed a male in breeding plumage.

 

That underscores what a truly remarkable sighting and photo it was.

 

One needed to be there in the right season and find a male, which is what you did.

 

One of the most exquisite bird species I've seen in Safaritalk.

 

Tom K.


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#37 Abena

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 11:35 AM

HI everyone,

 

I'm back in Ghana now, after four months in the US working on business marketing efforts.  Now I'm here working to develop a sewing cooperative.  I'm pursuing a work permit/legal residency here in Ghana and plan to be here (other than visits home) for some time to come.  I'm looking forward to posting more bird photos :-)  @ovenbird and @Tom Kellie, if things go to plan I'll be getting out and about to do some birding and general wildlife viewing and will be posting photos.  And you will always be welcome here in Ghana! (that goes for everyone of course :-) )


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#38 Tom Kellie

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 05:00 AM

HI everyone,

 

I'm back in Ghana now, after four months in the US working on business marketing efforts.  Now I'm here working to develop a sewing cooperative.  I'm pursuing a work permit/legal residency here in Ghana and plan to be here (other than visits home) for some time to come.  I'm looking forward to posting more bird photos :-)  @ovenbird and @Tom Kellie, if things go to plan I'll be getting out and about to do some birding and general wildlife viewing and will be posting photos.  And you will always be welcome here in Ghana! (that goes for everyone of course :-) )

 

~ @Abena

 

It's a JOY to welcome your return to Ghana and to Safaritalk.

 

Your posts from Ghana were fascinating as were your local Ghanaian bird and wildlife images.

 

Your commitment to develop a sewing cooperative is the sort of selfless initiative which makes the Earth a better place for all.

 

As the sewing cooperative's product line develops, please be sure to let us know about it, in order that we might support it.

 

With Gladness,

 

Tom K.



#39 Abena

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Posted 27 November 2015 - 02:51 PM

White-throated Bee Eater (Merops allbicolis)

 

According to Wikipedia, "The white-throated bee-eater (Merops albicollis) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It breeds in semi-desert along the southern edge of the Sahara, Africa. The white-throated bee-eater is migratory, wintering in a completely different habitat in the equatorial rainforests of Africa from southern Senegal to Uganda."

 

I saw a small flock of about six of these bee eaters at the Aburi Botanical Gardens last Sunday.  This isn't the clearest photo in the world but I thought it was worth posting anyhow. 

 

Thanks again to @Tom Kellie for identification!

 

gallery_17433_1229_838694.jpg


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#40 Tom Kellie

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Posted 29 November 2015 - 12:07 AM

~ @Abena

 

Your return to posting Ghanaian bird images here is definitely highly welcomed.

 

As nearly all Safaritalk African bird images are from southern or eastern Africa, your addition of West African avian species is a plus.

 

Whenever any other species perch within view, please do share the images with us!

 

Tom K.


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