I left my digiscoping gear at home and all of the photos from the Gambia were taken using my Canon SX50.
So now there is going to be a deluge of photos from Gambia starting with some of the Kingfishers
One morning on a trip out I asked our guide Dawda Barry to find some Kingfishers and Rollers. Boy did he produce - I saw 5 species of Kingfisher and 4 species of Roller, and on top of that he found 2 species of Bee Eater, Painted Snipe, Woodpeckers, African Spoonbill, Shikra as well as many other species.
BLUE BREASTED KINGFISHER
This was the 2nd Blure Breasted Kingfisher that I had seen this holiday, and this was by far the best views I have had of one. It was at a place called Kotu Bridge, which is where Dawda asked if he could be our bird guide. Only a few steps away from the taxi and this is what was on offer. Amazing. Pied Kingfishers were all over the place here too. Very common.
This Kingfisher proved elusive, it keeps pretty much to woodlands and this one was by a river in deep undergrowth. As Dawda positioned us a little bit closer a dug out canoe with other bird watchers in it came around the corner and spooked the Kingfisher, this was the best shot I got of it.
Just a 100 meters away from the bridge was a couple of pools which must have held fish as there were Pied Kingfisher hovering above it. But Dawda heard the call of the diminutive Malachite Kingfisher, due to the boggy ground it was difficult to get very close to it and it was a busy little bird too, trying different perches out. It absolutely glows in the sunlight - stunning
This Kingfisher is so common in the Gambia, we had them just about everywhere we went where there was water - even at the hotel. But Kotu Bridge was THE place for them. At one point there were four perched on the wires that went over the river, plus another 2 on the lamp posts.
Now this Kingfisher I did not expect to see, yet it was the second of the holiday, and it was perched out in the open - again at Kotu Bridge. At one point I could see 3 species of kingfisher at the same time. It does not get better than this for kingfishers - well done Dawda.
Below is another Striped Kingfisher that our main bird guide Modou Taal found near Brufut Woods. This one was a bit harder to get as it kept in the shade - mind it was about 40 degrees.