As most people know who follow my blog Shrikes are my favourite birds and coming to the Gambia is great for seeing various species of Shrike
YELLOW BILLED SHRIKE
These are the most common of the all of the Shrikes in the Gambia and classed as Abundant.
The hotel grounds were as good as anywhere to see this bird as the hunted in gangs, sweeping across the gardens.
The were very approachable if care was taken, and I had a bird swoop down and catch an insect from between my feet as I photographed two others that were sitting on the same branch.
YELLOW CROWNED GONALEK
The other Shrike that was seen at the hotel is the Yellow Crowned Gonalek previously known as a Barbary Shrike. There were probably 3 or 4 pairs in the hotel grounds, and they could be heard long before they were seen. When they sing, the male sings then immediately afterwards the female adds her couple of notes as they sing in duet. It is an extremely bright Shrike and is more accurately a Bush Shrike.
On a trip out with the brilliant guide Modou Taal, who works from the Senegambia Hotel, he took us to Brufut Woods, where there was an orchard that was simply alive with birds. One of which was this Northen Puffback (also known as the Gambian Puffback Shrike. This bird was flying from tree to tree but sometimes it would sit out in the open and give an opportunity for some nice shots
This is one of the Shrikes that we get in Europe and sometimes even in England, particularly young birds. It was one of the Shrikes that I wanted to see in Africa.
Now this small Shrike really did prove difficult to get a photograph of. It could be heard in a number of places, and it hid in the foliage of the trees and bushes. So we did well to get a view of it, although I did not get a good photograph of it
BLACK CROWNED TCHAGRA
This is a Shrike which I did not really expect to see, and surprisingly when we saw it with Modou near the Lamin Rice Fields it spent most of the time on the ground. Most un-Shrike like. But it is a well marked bird and it did prove tricky to photograph amongst the grasses.
- Colin Severs
- I have been digiscoping for around 18 years now and through persistence and good equipment I am getting great results. I use a Swarovski 80hd spotting scope and a Sony RX100 camera which has just replaced my old faithful Nikon P5100. The majority of my bird watching takes place in County Durham in England which has a variety of different habitats from coast to moors. Digiscoping is great because it allows me to get good photos without disturbing birds. VIEW THE LATEST PHOTOBOOK AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE