4– 24 April 2004
There can be no doubt that Red-headed Picathartes takes pride of place on any triplist when it graces you with its presence. We were made to work for them this year, but scored a pair on the nest after considerable effort. (I. Campbell)
There is no doubt that Cameroon is the finest country in both Central and West Africa for birding. Not only is it the richest destination for birds, but the long list of African MEGA-birds is impossible to ignore. Once again, our tour got an amazing host of incredible birds headlined by great views of Red-headed Picathartes (although we were made to sweat this year!). Other cracking stonkers included Quail Plover 1 metre away (!) with two fluffball chicks, White-crested Tiger Bittern, Congo Serpent Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk perched in a tree, fleeting views of Schlegel’s Francolin, the always gorgeous Egyptian Plover, the highly localised Adamawa Turtle Dove, Banded Wattle-eye and Bannerman’s Turaco, good views of all three of Africa’s Trogon species; Narina, Bar-tailed and Bare-cheeked Trogons, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, White-throated Mountain Babbler, Thrush Babbler, Green-breasted Bush shrike, Emin’s Shrike, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Woodhouse’s Antpecker, Yellow-winged Pytilia, Black-bellied Seedcracker and 19 Cameroon Mountain EBA birds (see our Feb 2004 trip report for the dedicated customised Cameroon Mountain EBA clean-up).
Other spectacular quarry included Hartlaub’s Duck, five African Finfoots, Scissor-tailed Kite, Bronze-winged Courser, Grey Pratincole, Forbes’ Plover, African Skimmer, eight species of Turaco, Black-throated Coucal, Shining-blue and Dwarf Kingfisher, the eclectic Blue-bellied Roller, 10 species of hornbill, 13 species of barbet and six species of honeyguide, African Piculet, Grey-headed and Rufous-sided Broadbill, Golden and Yellow-necked Greenbuls a host of cracking warblers including Cricket Longtail, Banded Prinia, Oriole Warbler, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Sennar and Yellow Penduline Tit, Tit Hylia, Red-faced Crimsonwing, Dybowski’s and Brown Twinspots.
The nocturnal birding was incredibly rewarding with the magnificent Vermiculated Fishing Owl headlining proceedings. However, we also managed another seven species of owl including Fraser’s and Greyish Eagle Owls, Northern White-faced Owl and the playful Sjostedt’s Owlet. Africa’s three most impressive nighjar’s: Standard-winged, Pennant-winged and Long-tailed were all seen well. This trip was also our best ever mammal trip to Cameroon, seeing 41 species of mammal. Highlights were Serval, African Civet, several families of Sand Fox and Crested Porcupine.
Ornithologically, Cameroon remains little known despite being the most accessible and richest country in West Africa for birds. Lying at the junction between West and Central Africa, and forming a key part of the Lower Guinea Endemic Bird Area (EBA), Cameroon and its highland chain supports over 850 bird species. Cameroon is highly diverse with typical lowland tropical rainforests in the south and west to the Pro-Sahelian savanna in the north, and from rolling plains to volcanic beaches and mangrove swamps.
Two vital Endemic Bird Areas form part of Cameroon, (1) Cameroon and Gabon lowlands (EBA 085) and the (2) Cameroon Mountains (EBA 086). This tour was exceptionally successful. However, it was not just the great diversity of birds that was seen that was impressive, but the rarity of many of them. The lowland forest at Korup is a primal and magical place. Our undoubted trip highlight came in the form of a group of two Red-headed Picathartes, hissing and leaping about their theatre-like cavern. A narrow second place goes to the White-crested Tiger Bittern that flushed so obligingly off a small river in the forest and third to the family of Bouvier’s (Vermiculated) Fishing Owl that we located in Korup. There is no doubt that Cameroon offers the most exceptional birding in West Africa, and definitely is one of the top three destinations in the whole continent.
If you have not yet been click here to see the programme for Tropical Birding’s 2005 birding tour to Cameroon or arrange a customised trip for you and your friends by e-mailing [email protected]
3 April: Douala.
It was a rather convoluted pick-up pattern, but participants slowly started assembling and it became clear that instead of resting up on the 4th April as planned, most people would rather go birding. As a result Keith arranged to go down to the Sanaga River for the morning of the 4th, an excellent patch of forest and river only 50-odd km from Douala. Birding around the hotel yielded several flocks of Bronze Manikins, Northern Grey-headed Sparrow, Yellow Wagtail, Yellow-billed Kites and hundreds of Pied Crows. A walk around the hotel in the afternoon produced the heavily marked maxima form of Lesser Striped Swallow. An active breeding colony of Village Weavers allowed us to study at close range the handsome chestnut collaring of the cucullatus form. On the telephone wires African Thrush and Woodland Kingfisher perched whilst Little, European and Palm Swifts whistled down the alleys. Overgrown courtyards were full of Red-eyed and Blue-spotted Wood Doves and the white-vented inornatus form of Common Bulbul. Bob and Sonia headed to the Sawa where they caught up with Reichenbach’s Sunbird and Common Wattle-eye. From the bar we watched scores of Flying Foxes leaving their roosts in unison cruising over Douala’s skyline. Supper was scrumptious, beer was cold and a shower before bed…utter bliss.
April 4: Sanaga River.
At 05h30, the driver had his taxi idling at the hotel’s door ready to go. Dawn views of ubiquitous Yellow-billed Kites sailing in downtown Douala. Barely 30 kms south of Douala we came across some reasonable patches of swamp forest and several flocks of Pied and Piping Hornbills crossing the road. African Grey Parrots were pinging and meowing from almost every tree-top. A Lizard Buzzard happened to be perched next to where we stopped. A flock of African Green Pigeons occupied a treetop.
A few kilometres farther on we stopped next to a forest pond immediately finding an African Finfoot sneaking off into thick cover. Quite pleased, it was a sign of things to come with another 4 finfoots being seen during the trip. Thorough scanning with the scope produced an immaculate pair of Hartlaub’s Ducks in the morning light, which we relished for a good 15 minutes. During this time a Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill flew over and White-thighed Hornbills perched nearby allowing great views. The pond below yielded a Dabchick and an African Jacana. Some trees next to the road produced Green Sunbird, Spotted Greenbul, African Shrike Flycatcher, Large-billed Puffback and our first stunning Blue-billed Malimbe.
A bridge nearby yielded great views of Bates’s Swifts and curious Sabine’s Spinetails stooped past. A colony of Viellot’s Weavers commuted frantically from the emergence to their hanging condominiums. We reached the Sanaga at 09h00 veering west and down-stream along the northern bank of the river. Driving past several settlements we recorded Olive-bellied Sunbird, Pygmy Kingfisher and our first flocks of the stunning White-throated Bee-eater, hundreds of Preuss’ Cliff Swallows flitted over the river.
On scanning the first sand bank we effortlessly bagged our main quarry, Grey Pratincole, of which we saw plenty more throughout the day, stretching their stunning wings, chasing each other along sand banks at neck-breaking speeds and indulging in colourful twists, breaks and turns. Their dullish grey appearance when sitting certainly does not do justice to their pied magnificence in flight. We noted too that they were highly territorial, viciously chasing any other waders landing on their sandy realms.
Also present along the river were large flocks of African Skimmers, many of which delighted us with their water-skimming prowess. Vegetated sandy banks hosted White-headed Lapwings. A lonely Woolly-necked Stork, Great White, Little and Cattle Egrets were also recorded. During our constant search for paths to the river-edge we came across a host of other species such as Common Wattle-eye, Little Bee-eater, Blue-headed Coucal, Palm-nut Vulture, Long-crested Eagle, Senegal Thick-knee, Speckled and Yellow-throated Tinkerbirds, Yellow-throated Leaflove, White-chinned Prinia and Olive-green Camaroptera.
Unfortunately we had to turn around by 11h30 and indulged the world’s longest lunch (it took 1 hr and 45 minutes for the food to get to the table!!). We had to return to Douala to collect Alan from the airport while the others scored Long-legged Pipit. Once everyone was together we nabbed Royal Tern and Chattering Cisticola in Douala for the newcomers.
We were lucky with African Finfoot on this trip, with no less than 3 sightings of 5 individuals (K. Gessell).
Despite a horrendous set of rumours to the contrary our flight to Maroua left only an hour late and we had been picked up by Victor, our guide, and whisked to lunch in town on time. Although warm, the temperature was much more comfortable than in previous years. Our lunch venue yielded the first lifers for the group including Brown Babbler. With several hours of slow road ahead of us we had no choice but to plod on. The going was slow with new birds coming fast, Abyssinian Roller, Grasshopper Buzzard, Blue-naped Mousebird and Black-headed Lapwing were first. Before long we had reached the Quail Plover spot and although it was searingly hot in the middle of the day we thought we’d try our luck. Cricket Warbler was our first biggie, which darted towards us perching on a flimsy twig barely 5m away. This dainty little warbler is covered in the most immaculate scales on the wing coverts and crown. The soft hues of tan and slate grey combine to make it exceptionally attractive.
The immaculate Scissor-tailed Kite drew the first serious “oooh’s and aaah’s” for the day. Black and Rufous Scrub Robin, Green Bee-eater, Chestnut-bellied Starling and Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver slowed progress. Eventually Keith tugged a bush and a Quail Plover exploded from beneath him, fluttering off in its characteristic butterfly-flight. The group was elated, but more was to come. Slow approaches yielded more flight views, but eventually we all had the bird on the ground. The bizarre thing is that it just kept coming closer and closer to us. Perplexed by its strange behaviour, it eventually began giving low piping calls and about two feet away a pair of fluffballs (the chicks!!) moved from behind a rock. The female eventually approached to within a metre and no-one could focus neither bins nor video cameras anymore!! Delighted we pressed on, seeing Black-bellied Bustard just before dark.
After a slow and safe drive we reached Campment du Waza, nestled atop a granite dome resembling a local settlement, criss-crossed by winding narrow allies, but in actual fact designed for tourists in what was a very eco-sensitive effort. Barn Owls were seen overhead. A rest by the swimming pool brought in a delightful Long-tailed Nightjar that drank while we sipped our beers! Fresh bread, a green salad, roast chicken and loads of cold beer and grapefruit juice set us up for the night.
The major highlight of the far north was a pair of Quail Plover with chicks…simply sensational (R. Hoff)
We had breakfast with a few African Silverbills nesting on the palm roof. The campment yielded all the regular seedeaters including Red-cheeked Cordon-blue, Black-rumped Waxbill and White-rumped Seedeaters. Before entering the park we visited the roadside scrub south of Waza. The drive was slow due to excellent birding in the cool early hours… coveys of Clapperton’s Francolin scurried around us, Pygmy and Beautiful Sunbirds harvested nectar from every Nicotiana plant, Little Green Bee-eaters sallying next to the road, flocks of Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse cruising overhead, a pair of Long-tailed Glossy Starlings. In the background a troop of the exquisite Patas Monkeys foraged in earnest.
The waterholes were dry and not as active as in previous years. Several River Prinias responded well to tape and came in close. A Montagu’s Harrier sailed past. We decided to head for the park, where the extravaganza began. The waterhole was teeming with birdlife, both around it, in it and over it and soon yielded up to a thousand Black Crowned Crane. The scope was also helpful to study the mixed seedeater flocks of White-rumped Seedeaters, Sahel Paradise Whydah, Red-billed Quelea and Chestnut-backed Finchlark. The waterhole was visited by trickling hordes of Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, a pair of Spurwing Plover and a large flock of Openbilled Storks. The scrub around the waterhole produced Clapperton’s Francolin, Red-billed (T.e.erythrorhynchus) and Grey Hornbill, Eurasian Hoopoe, White-billed Buffalo Weaver and Grey Woodpecker. Raptors abound at these waterholes and we recorded Bateleur, Fish Eagle, Gymnogene, Hooded and White-backed Vulture, Yellow-billed Kite, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Gabar Goshawk (including many melanistic morphs), and a few more Grasshopper Buzzards. A super quick stoop by a Lanner Falcon was enjoyed. Coming in to drink were hundreds of doves (Vinaceous, Collared, Namaqua and the odd Black-billed Wood Dove), dozens of Abyssinian Rollers and Brown-throated and Common Sand Martins hawking insects above the water. Strutting the water’s edge were White-faced Whistling Ducks, Abdim’s and later a flock of Openbilled Storks.
The bushes around the water had become a stop over for clouds of mixed seedeaters, especially Red-billed Queleas, hence the raptor activity. Sitting in the shadow of one of these hubs of activity we scored a superb Sudan Golden Sparrow as well as Bush Petronia, Olivaceous Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and a stealthy Senegal Coucal weaving its way between the branches in search of a quick bite. Ruppell’s and Lappet-faced Vulture lounged in the shade. On the mammal front we saw Topi, Roan Antelope, Warthog, Golden Jackal and Bouffon’s Kob. We returned to the first waterhole where we added Yellow-billed Oxpecker and Northern Carmine Bee-eater to the morning list as well as a pair of Cut-throat Finches and Red-throated Pipit.
By now the heat was unbearable and activity dying down fast, so we opted for a fast retreat to the camp for a dip, lunch and a short siesta before tackling the remains of the day. The pool at the camp is a great spot to admire at close range a whole suite of camp specials attracted to any water. Ethiopian and Barn Swallows perch in the shadow under the awnings, Abyssinian Roller and Viellot’s Barbet carrying food back and forth. Bread-crumbs and a dripping tap were enough to attract White-rumped Seed-eaters, African Silverbills, Green-winged Pytilias, Black-rumped Waxbills, Red-cheeked Cordon-blues, Greater Blue-eared Starlings and an immaculate Beautiful Sunbird.
The afternoon was dedicated in large to finding dry grassland species (mostly Arabian Bustard which we missed) and we soon latched on to a feeding flock of Four-banded Sandgrouse. Likewise we picked up a family of Spotted Thick-knees roosting in the shady undergrowth and a pair of Abyssinian Ground Hornbill. A pleasant surprise was provided by a juvenile Egyptian Vulture in the shade at a waterhole. The lure of what our guide thought were lions turned out to be good for owling with both Northern White-faced Owl and Greyish Eagle Owl being found fortuitously. After a shower we gathered to catch up with the trip list and travel notes. An after dinner nightdrive proved to be excellent. We saw Golden Jackal, Red-fronted Gazelle, Nubian Giraffe, Kob, Topi, a beautiful nearby view of a Serval, several families of Sand Fox, Spotted Genet, several African Wild Cats, Senegal Galago and Bush Duiker and many Long-tailed Nightjars.
After a short drive we picked up Sennar Penduline Tit, and started looking for a handful of other select specials including our only Barbary Gonolek, first Senegal Eremomela and handsome Stone Partridge crowing and dancing about on the rocks, as well as our only Rock-loving Cisticola and Rufous-crowned Roller of the trip. A few hours further down the road we picked up a pair of Fox Kestrels in a riverbed. Arrival at Garoua and a drive to the Benoue River yielded the bird of the day, the magical Egyptian Plover!! Another bird that defies description, this is one of the world’s neatest waders, especially in flight!
Neither the commotion of fishermen, bathers nor birders seemed to bother the group of immaculate and exquisite Egyptian Plovers right in front of us. But then I guess we are talking about a bird with nerves of steel, which happily dines amidst the jagged teeth and jaws of African crocodiles. The river’s edge produced Quail Finch and Winding Cisticola. A Fox Kestrel perched on the ground allowing us to admire it in all its glory. The river however also gave a suite of other waterbirds including Greater Painted Snipe, Ruff, Collared Pratincole, White-winged Tern, Black Egret (Heron) and Black-crowned Night Heron.
We drove back to the river before a brisk breakfast. Although the birds were much the same we did add Sun Lark on our way back to the car. The drive to Benoue NP was easy and short. We scored a fabulous group of Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Violet Turaco and Fine-spotted Woodpecker at a small river en-route. On the mammal front we encountered a troop of Olive Baboons in the bush and many coveys of Double-spurred Francolin scurrying into the bush ahead of us. We reached Benoue NP gates shortly after noon, birding down the main road towards Buffle Noir Camp we located a several handsome Brown-backed Woodpeckers, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Senegal Batis, Yellow-eyed Canaries and at the camp Familiar Chat and a flock of Red-throated Bee-eaters.
We had lunch at Buffle Noir and soon after, birded the camp’s grounds until the sun was low enough to tackle the Hippo Pools woodland downstream. The viewpoint and woodland around the camp proved to be the most productive. From the river in front the restaurant we saw Red-throated Bee-eaters perching, Purple Glossy Starling drinking, Red-necked Buzzard soaring, and a pair of White-cheeked Olivebacks. A troop of Guereza Colobus Monkeys paraded in the trees on the opposite bank. A few Western Kobs had gathered at a water pool below. The deciduous woodland around the huts produced Violet-backed Starling, African Golden Oriole, Brubru and Northern Black Flycatcher. The fluke of an Adamawa Turtle Dove perched in a tree right next to the main camp was fantastic as it proved to be the only one of the trip.
At 15h30 we headed downstream towards hippo pools. En route we came across many Western Kob. A pair of White-shouldered Black Tits gave away the arrival of a party, from where we teased out Northern Puffback and Grey-backed Camaroptera. At the river we encountered a laager of Hippos placidly resting in the water. Our birding was concentrated on the scrub covering the river’s edge. We enticed out a striking Black-headed Gonolek and another set of Egyptian Plovers. We called in a handsome pair of White-crowned Robin Chats. As it was getting dark we slowly ambled back to the car. Spotlighting after dinner revealed a Crested Porcupine, Bushbuck, Western Kob and Oribi.
Breakfast-birding around camp was exquisite, nearby tapings lured us into a Grey, a Cardinal and a Golden-tailed Woodpecker. A fruiting fig at the lower end of camp hosted a mixed flock of the immaculate White-crested Turaco and outrageous Violet Turacos feasting on ripe figs, surrounded by Western Plantain Eaters, Violet-backed and Purple Glossy Starling and several African Thrushes. Having two of Africa’s most spectacular turacos in a single tree is a serious treat. Both Viellot’s and Bearded Barbet joined them eventually. The remainder of the morning was spent birding some more riverine forest and scrub. We came across a series of flocks and saw Black-faced and Black-bellied Firefinches, a pair of Ashy Flycatchers, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Spotted Creeper, Greater Honeyguide, Streaky-headed (sometimes split as West African) Seedeater and a noisy gaggle of Red-billed Woodhoopoes. We also encountered Yellow Penduline Tit and a priceless Emin’s Shrike perched on a twig very confidingly.
Back at camp Wire-tailed Swallows jet-streamed the waters surface feasting on mosquitoes, whilst African Pied Wagtails flitted up and down from logs and rocks. In a large tree below the camp we found Red-winged Grey Warbler foraging. The drive to Ngaoundere and Ngaoundaba Ranch was only interrupted by a brief visit to a large marsh where we watched Yellow-throated Longclaws and loads of African Jacanas. By now we had moved up the Adamawa Plateau and temperatures had cooled considerably.
We reconfirmed our flights back to Yaounde. Stocked up with water we hit the road for the short drive to Ngaoundaba Ranch. On route Alan broke the silence with a deafening “Pia-piac, Pia-piac!!”. The group of mostly immature corvids foraged around a herd of cows. Later we found a Grey Kestrel perched obligingly alongside our car. We arrived at the lodge at dusk and checked out the local crater lake replete with sundowners, bagging Brown Twinspot in the process enjoying the view over the lake and gallery forest and the thought we could unpack and make this our home for the next three days. Cattle, Intermediate and Great Egrets slowly gathered at a roost across the lake, at dusk we watched Black-crowned Night Herons set off into the night. The evening progressed with a huge dinner, copious quantities of Bordeaux red wine in the hunting lounge, and a hilarious checklist session, which ranks as one of the most tear-inducing memories on any birdtour I have taken. I can’t remember details but there was a lot of nonsense going down!
April 10: Ngaoundaba Ranch
Pre-breakfast birding gathered the group at a section of gallery forest below the rooms. Bunched up in the undergrowth we blasted out a few calls of Spotted Thrush Babbler and got an immediate response. The birds however shied away and could not be brought out! Compensation came in the form a pair of Blue-breasted Kingfishers.
Breakfast appeared on tables in the gardens outside, a marvellous setting that allowed us to continue our birding unabated, croissant in one hand and bins at the ready in the other. The Klaas’s Cuckoos were everywhere and shortly after breakfast we added Gambaga Flycatcher to the growing list.
We spent most of the morning birding the woodlands and gallery forests near the main entrance of the ranch. En-route we encountered the spectacular White-collared Starling. One of our first birds was a magical male Standard-winged Nightjar, which was extremely photogenic and allowed very close study. On the forest edge a Red-faced (Yellow-winged) Pytilia spiced up proceedings. A cacophony of calls from a skittish group of Leafloves drove us into the forest where we eventually had views of the species as it flew amongst tangles, whilst Grey-winged Robin Chat obliged by coming in to tape. An inquisitive Yellowbill peered at us from a tangle. A spectacular Narina Trogon surprised everyone, including itself, landing only a few metres away from Bill, although he was the only one who got decent looks at the bird as it took flight almost immediately. A beautiful pair of Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrikes were discovered in a party on the forests’ edge along with a very cooperative pair of Bamenda Apalis.
Walking back to the ranch through the sparse woodland we came across Pied Flycatcher, truckloads of Whinchats and several Tree Pipits. A great find was a Willcox’s Honeyguide near the ranch. A Red-necked Buzzard soared in a thermal above with some Abdim’s Storks. Lunch was light, followed by a short rest. The afternoon walk delivered a much-wanted bird for several members of the group, a pair of Bronze-winged Courser. Later we encountered a pair of stunning Ross’ Turaco that showed exceptionally well. Just before dark we had good looks at Bronze-tailed Glossy Starling. Some pre-dusk birding at the wetland yielded Little Bittern and African Spoonbill. At the ranch we sat doing the day’s birdlist over some well-deserved beer. For supper we were treated to a usual Ngoundaba feast, with some scrumptious soup and home baked fresh caught river Perch.
Those with energy to spare joined the night drive, the drive started on a pleasant note as we came across a Senegal Lesser Bushbaby on a tree, Crayshaw’s Hare on the road. We were eventually rewarded with unbeatable views of a male Standard-winged Nightjar perched on a rock, at a lek, right next to the car. His standards were bent backwards and flopped alongside him in a spectacular fashion! A single Black-shouldered Nightjar was flushed and a pennant-less male Pennant-winged Nightjar was also flushed further along the road. Just before getting back to the ranch we were able to enjoy an African Scops Owl near the road.
Another spectacular species around Ngoundaba was the localized White-collared Starling (R. Hoff)
April 11: Ngaoundaba Ranch.
Back down at the gallery forest in front of the house, this time we were lucky, the Spotted Thrush Babblers did not respond to the tape, but sitting alongside the river resulted in a pair coming in barely 2 m away from us, their white legs, chest and pale eyes in the undergrowth gave them a somewhat ghostly, fleeting but most welcome, appearance. We lucked onto a White-spotted Flufftail that everyone saw crossing a path. Walking down some gallery forest near the ranch we found both Whistling Cisticola and Sun Lark. After some playback the gallery forest yielded our first Moho (or Oriole Warbler). This long-billed skulker started belting out a loud song to try repel the invisible invader in his territory. The tape allowed us to pull it out onto an open snag and we literally feasted on the iridescence of the silver tinted black shingles that covered the little bird’s head. A short while later, and with some effort, we were able to enjoy views of the Black-capped Babblers that seemed determined to remain “undercover”. On our way back to the ranch for lunch, we encountered both Green-backed Woodpecker and a Red-chested Goshawk. In the afternoon we visited some flooded grassland near the ranch, adding Booted Eagle, Wattled Lapwing, Yellow-shouldered and Marsh Widowbird to the list. A late afternoon walk through the woodland yielded Red-footed Falcon and for Sonia and Keith, Schlegel’s Francolin, which scuttled off at high speed and were not seen again. Our final success was the pair of Blue-bellied Rollers.
We devoted this morning to trying for a repeat view of Schlegel’s Francolin, failing to relocate it, but enjoying some other nice things nevertheless. A beautiful Shikra was teed up nicely in gorgeous early morning sunlight and Alan located a Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting. We returned to the ranch for breakfast and to pack up. Once packed and fed we left for Ngaoundere. The drive to Ngaoundere was painless and amazingly, the plane (chartered from Dubai) left on time. We waved goodbye to Victor, whom we thought had performed beyond the call of duty, professionally, friendly and utterly organized. The flight left on time and we arrived in Yaounde with a little bit of time to bird in the forest surrounding the city. We chose a spot and ventured there for the afternoon adding a gamut of exciting new goodies as we arrived in the “rainforest” including Tambourine Dove, Grey-throated Barbet, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Simple Greenbul, Yellow-necked Greenbul, Buff-throated Apalis, Tiny Sunbird, Superb Sunbird, Narrow-tailed Starling, White-breasted and Pale-fronted Negrofinches.
The morning started oddly with Alan and Noel again bemoaning their fate at having missed out Hartlaub’s Duck by not going down to the Sanaga River on the first day. Then amazingly, in central Yaouande, a pair of Hartlaub’s Ducks dropped from the sky and landed on the lily-infested pond in front of us. Amazing and unexpected to say the least! After breakfast we drove North from Yaounde to Bamenda, stopping en route for lunch and for a selected few birds. A pair of magnificent Cassin’s Hawk Eagle perched obligingly next to the road.
We crossed the Sanaga River and walked along the bridge where we saw White-throated Blue Swallow, African Hobby and Rock Pratincole. A small pond further on yielded Forbes’ Plover and Zebra Waxbill. At a village called Bafia we watched hundreds of Preuss’ Cliff Swallows congregating at a water puddle to gather mud for nest building, quite a sight!! Another stop was highly productive yielding a great variety of seedeaters including more Brown and Dybowski’s Twinspots. African Yellow Warbler was also added. We spent the late afternoon at the Bafut-Nguemba FR, locating Mountain Wagtail, Dusky Flycatcher, Northern Double-collared Sunbird and Mackinnon’s Shrike although precious little was calling. As we were driving down from Bafut-Nguemba FR we flushed a magical Greyish Eagle Owl that perched where we all could see it.
After an early morning breakfast we made for Lake Edib and birded the remaining patches of forest around it. It must be said that the area is in bad shape, and protecting it appears to be an impossible mission. As we wound our way up the valley we came across a pair of Bannerman’s Weavers. Next to the road a Cameroon Sunbird worked a flowering mistletoe. Yellow-breasted Boubou came in inquisitively to playback. Bannerman’s Turacos were calling from further up the valley and we eventually had magnificent views of these scarce and special creatures. The metallic gratings of a wattle-eye on the opposite side of the road made us abandon the mixed species party. We were duly rewarded with the arrival of a pair of Banded Wattle-eyes. Little Grey Flycatchers and a noisy pair of Brown-backed Cisticolas flitted low across the road. Mackinnon’s Shrike approached and perched in front of us attracted by our spishing, which also managed to yield a brief but more than adequate view of the richly coloured Bangwa Forest Scrub Warbler.
During the day we encountered many parties producing Western Montane Greenbul, African Dusky Flycatcher, Northern Double Collared Sunbird, Grey Apalis, Black-collared Apalis, Brown-capped Weaver, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, White-bellied Tit, African Hill Babbler, Tullberg’s Woodpecker, Oriole Finch and Grey Cuckooshrike. Our lunch spot yielded two fun birds, a Bannerman’s (Long-billed) Pipit and Pectoral-patch Cisticola. The afternoon added several species before we made our way back to the hotel we were had supper, enjoyed a meal and called it a day.
April 15: Bamenda – Nyasoso
After breakfast we birded the hotel grounds adding Lanner Falcon, Fox Kestrel, 2 young Common Kestrels, Neumann’s Starling, Splendid Sunbird and Black-capped Waxbill. The drive to Nyasoso took most of the day, the only highlight being roadside specials for sale such as a Forest Rat, a Cane Rat and a massive Rock Hyrax hanging by their tails.
On the way we stocked up with food for the following days in Mt Kupe, and enjoyed the lively bustle and bubbling deals that went on at the market stalls. A lunchtime stop near Loum yielded Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Red-rumped Tinkerbird and Spotted Greenbul. We arrived in Nyasoso with enough time to unpack and do a quick down-the-road foray. Although we did not cover much ground we did manage to see several interesting species namely: a Naked Faced Barbet colony in a snag, African Piculet, Forest Swallow, Western Olive, Black-shouldered Puffback and White-breasted Negrofinches. Back at the Women’s Community Centre, we were warmly welcomed and treated to a delicious carefully prepared meal. We did the day’s list after dinner and opted to visit Kodmin the following day.
After a good sleep and a brisk breakfast we crammed into the 4x4 and headed up to the small village of Kodmin in the Bakossi Mountains. The climb was rather exciting, slipping ’n sliding on near vertical gradients but nothing like a weathered bush taxi driver to conquer the road and get us to the spot safe and sound. By 07h00 we were at the chief’s palace, with a bunch of sleepy faces draped in blankets known as the elder council ready to start the proceedings. Our interpreter explained our intentions to the chief to spend the day in the forest, birdwatching and trying to track down the critically endangered Mt Kupe Bush-shrike as well as other specials. The chief granted permission and consensus was reached by the counsel of elders. The presentation of a bottle of whisky (the chiefs favourite mouthwash) was a pre-requisite to the whole process. Six bottles of beer were then purchased and Keith and the Chief joined in prayer and salute to the rising sun requesting safe passage and good fortune in our endeavour to the ancestral spirits. Once the beer was finished and a nominal forest fee had been settled, we were all freed and allowed to walk into the forest.
The day was a fairly long and frustrating one and although we found many of the specialities, the Mt Kupe Bush Shrike that had been here in February 2004 (see Feb 2004 Trip report) that our first group had seen was absent. We tried all day long and did not get a single vocal response from the bird! Nevertheless we managed a good haul of other specialities including a magical Bar-tailed Trogon, a gorgeous Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Ursula’s Sunbird, Elliot’s Woodpecker, Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike, Cameroon Olive and Grey-headed Greenbul, Mackinnon’s Shrike, a probable overflying Cameroon Olive Pigeon, White-tailed Warbler, Black-billed Weavers, Northern Double Collared Sunbird and a calling Yellow Longbill foraging in a thick tangle. We also managed to see the Green-breasted Bush Shrike, a scarce and vulnerable endemic. After a series of calls the birds crossed the path into the canopy above us where they showed briefly, jumping into the open for a short time before disappearing back into the tangle.
We were able to bird along trails and forest paths, sheltering from periodic showers under thick tangles and venturing to the forest edge when it stopped. During these interludes we enjoyed several Green Longtail, Dark-backed Weaver, a flock of White-throated Mountain Babblers, Fork-tailed (Velvet-mantled) Drongo, Black-throated Apalis, White-throated Bee-eater and Mountain Sooty Boubou. The birding ended on a high when as we were leaving the forest a magnificent Congo Serpent Eagle flew from above us. We ended the day with a superb meal and a well-deserved rest.
April 17: Mt Kupe (Max’s Trail- up to Max’s Camp)
At 06h30 our guide, and a porter collected us at the Women’s Centre and we set off towards Max’s Trail. The farmbush was extremely productive as it always is and we had soon enjoyed a Cassin’s Honeybird. Not far up we were wheeling in some mixed-species flocks that included Woodhouse’s Antpecker. A Red-chested Goshawk was chirping away in display flight. Unsurprisingly, we spent most of the morning ambling back and forth between forest patches in a kaleidoscope of Yam, Plantain, Coffee and Cocoa plantations but it was worth it as we managed to bag the following: Luhder’s Bush-shrike, Speckled Tinkerbird, African Piculet, Golden Greenbul, Swamp Palm Greenbul, Black-capped Apalis, Olive-green Camaroptera, Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Black-capped Woodland Warbler, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Naked-faced Barbet, Western Black-headed Oriole, Pink-footed Puffback and Many-coloured Bushshrike.
On reaching Zenker’s camp at 1100m, we encountered a small flock with Grey-headed Broadbill and White-tailed Ant-thrush being the highlights. A little later we encountered a Yellow-footed Flycatcher. Further up, after some effort, we taped in a stunning male Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye. We also located Black-winged Oriole and Keith Morrell lucked onto a Red-faced Crimsonwing. The forest was quieter, but yielded White-tailed Warbler, Cameroon Olive Greenbul and Red-bellied Paradise Flycaytcher. After an arduous climb we reached the famous yet unimpressive Max’s camp. Although it was the middle of the day and activity was poor we managed to see a White-throated Mountain Babbler flying over and White-bellied Robin-chat. On the way back to the centre we came across several bird parties with much the same as we saw on the way up. Back near the farmbush we encountered a (Fraser’s) Rufous Flycatcher Thrush and a stunning male and female Black-and-white (Vanga) Shrike-flycatcher.
The lure of Mt Kupe’
April 18: Nyasoso – Kumba
Our final morning at Nyasoso was spent in the farmbush. Here we located a few new birds for the trip including the (until now) infuriatingly and inexplicably elusive Yellow-billed Turaco and Banded Prinia. Other highlights included Honeyguide Greenbul and Grey Longbill, Yellow-billed Barbet, Masked Apalis, Greater Swamp Warbler, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Dusky Crested Flycatcher and Tit Hylia. We bade Bill a fond farewell as he decided to stay a few extra days in Nyasoso. He ended up adding Dwarf Kingfisher, Gabon Woodpecker, Square-tailed Saw-wing, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Grey Greenbul, Plain Greenbul, Sooty Flycatcher, African Shrike Flycatcher, Fernando Po Batis, Bates’ Paradise Flycatcher, Grey-chested Illadopsis and Bates’ Sunbird to his list. The drive to Kumba yielded another African Finfoot that showed extremely well. Fortunately Sonia (who was leaving us in Kumba) saw it this time as she had missed it on day one! Once in Kumba the rest of the day was spent doing logistics and making arrangements for Korup.
A Speckled Tinkerbird was located in the farmbush (K. Barnes)
April 19: Kumba - Mundemba (Korup NP Headquarters)
After some early morning logistics in Kumba we headed out at 09h00. Stopping briefly at a lake Alan picked up a Shining Blue Kingfisher! The drive to Mundemba yielded less than hoped for, but nice sightings included a perched Crowned Hawk Eagle and a couple of flyby views of Black-throated Coucal swooping into the swamp-forest adjacent to the road. We reached Mundemba, dropped our luggage and participants at the hotel and organized a contingent of porters, guides, cook, mattresses and anything else we needed for the forest. This left a little time for afternoon birding and we headed into some nearby forest where we enjoyed great views of Great Blue Turaco, Yellow-casqued Hornbill, Cassin’s Flycatcher and Chestnut-winged Forest Starling. Back at the guesthouse, we enjoyed a shower and an early sitting for some beer and pomelo juice, we feasted on world class Cameroonian racing chicken.
April 20: Korup N.P – Rengo Camp
We packed our bags and after breakfast headed for the bridge over the Mana River. The magical façade that greeted us was a wall of rainforest over a suspension bridge. It was like entering the lost world! Here we birded for a couple of hours whilst the porters, cook, all our materials and food gathered, bundled up and were eventually ready to march into Rengo Camp. The sheer wall of 30-meter tall trees across the wide Mana River leaves nothing to the imagination and expectations of a tropical birder or a tropical rainforest for that matter. Rising clouds of steam wafting off a shining lush canopy, a long sturdy suspension bridge over a rushing river with flocks of Grey Parrots pinging and screeching ahead got us all hyped up and excited.
Once inside the forest, the environment was dark and birding tough. It takes a little while to get used to the conditions and eventually we started picking up species as our eyes acclimatised to the light and movement of birds in the under storey, our ears tuned into the canopy dome acoustics. One of our first rewards was an immaculate Forest Robin singing away in the nearby undergrowth. A Blue-headed Wood Dove showed well near the trail edge and we were able to scope it. Alan cottoned onto a Dwarf Kingfisher and we got our first looks at a lot of forest greenbuls including Icterine, White-bearded and Eastern Bearded Greenbuls as well as Lesser (Green-tailed) Bristlebill. A fantastic antswarm yielded Shining Drongo, Fire-crested Alethe, White-tailed and Red-tailed Ant-thrushes as well as Rufous Flycatcher Thrush. An African Forest Flycatcher in a flock was to be our only one of the trip. Lunch at Rengo was followed by a brief rest and a march to the famous Picathartes Knoll, where we arrived at 16h00. Since my last visit in February there had been one small change at the knoll. The honeybees were swarming, and investigating any creature that even thought about sweating. To say that this day was one of the least enjoyable and at times unnerving waits for my favourite bird is an understatement. One Picathartes made a mock appearance, Keith detecting the bird slinking past the outside of the cave; but the beast never made another show, and only Keith (the leader) had seen anything worth shouting about. Whether the bees or the troop of rowdy Preuss’ Red Colobus Monkeys, which showed very nicely distracted them it was hard to tell, but the birds never re-appeared and eventually the bees drove us from the cave. Frustrated, we trudged home in the dark.
At the camp we heard the Nkulengu Rail making its guttural call, and a Sjostedt’s Barred Owl called through an impenetrable multi-layered canopy. The bath in the river under the dim lighting of a torch was utterly refreshing and idyllic. Falling asleep with a chorus of crickets and frogs stridulating and croaking away was a challenge. Tree Hyraxes sounded their eerie screams, fortunately a few kilometres away.
Our first skulking Forest Robin was a great find (K. Barnes)
April 21: Korup NP.
We enjoyed a lot of flock birding today, but the new highlights included a magical displaying Rufous-sided Broadbill while tracking down a Black-capped Illadopsis. One great flock yielded both Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill and Purple-headed Glossy Starling. Later on we spent considerable time chasing down Bare-cheeked Trogon for everyone in the group to see and were successful with great views for all. We were also able to add to our greenbul tally with Xavier’s Greenbul and Common Bristlebill making welcome appearances throughout the day. Chestnut and Yellow-bellied Wattle-eyes were also gracious attendees at a few bird parties. Just before dusk we set off for the rockfowl ritual again. This time all strategies were employed, bathe to get rid of sweat, add Deet and repellent, the works to try and keep the annoying bees at bay. Kennedy made us dispose and conceal any shiny, rustling or bright coloured clothing, torches were switched off and everyone cautioned to watch their stepping, no snaps, cracks or whispering allowed, single line and watching out for darting shadows in the undergrowth. To say he got us all psyched up is a gross understatement. We crept stealthily up and around the knoll, hugging the rock and entering the hall from a completely different angle…Kennedy wedged us at the base of the rock facing a vegetated entrance to the hall immediately opposite the colonies nests. We waited for several hours but once again the birds did not appear. The bees were less annoying, but still managed to drive Alan out of the cave. The walk back to camp was again gloomy, and I was left cursing the bird that made a brief appearance but did not enter the cave the night before…..oh lots of things to think about. Dinner and whiskey was good, we played some owl tapes, but nothing responded after dark. As I went to bed I suggested that if anyone heard owls close to camp they wake me up..
Both male and female Chestnut Wattle-eye were seen well today (K. Barnes)
The night was short. Alan was banging on my door at about 02h15. There was something “hooting” nearby in the forest. It took me a while to get my act together. After a few blasts on the tape of Vermiculated (Bouvier’s) Fishing Owl a ghostly shape came sailing over the campsite. I knew it was time to get everyone out of bed. My favourite memory was of Bob leaping out into the clearing in his nightshorts but without torch or bins….not sure what he was planning to look at the bird with, but soon enough, after a few orders we were all assembled and ready. At first the birds flew over and we were able to enjoy fly-by views, but eventually the adults perched near the top of a tree for us to see in all their glory and splendour. We lifted the torch to see its dark black eyes peering back at us. This ginger, lightly streaked beast boomed back at us once or twice as we traded spontaneous expletives in whispers whilst we feasted our eyes on it! We had it comfortably sitting in the spotlight for a few minutes in two occasions. Sensational! Although we were well pleased with this Mega-tick, the uncomfortable feeling of sleeping Picathartes-less left room for wanting more! We awoke with the rain pelting down….little did I know that the 22nd April would turn out to be my single best day birding in African rainforest. Not so much for the number of birds we saw, but for sheer quality…the owl was the first, and we reflected on what a great bird it was….but there was more to come. The rain persisted and in a half-joke Noel suggested we go and sit in the Picathartes-less bee-infested cave. Keith jumped at the idea and soon the team had assembled for a march through the dripping wet forest (it isn’t called rainforest for nothing!). The walk was uneventful, and fortunately the bees were not as persistent as the last two days. This time the wait was short (20mins) before Kennedy and Keith spotted a bird slinking past one of the entrances. A gentle telegraph nudge made its way down the line of birders and binoculars rose slowly and expectantly. Then the pre-historic “hissss” sounded once or twice before the Grey-necked Picathartes dropped from the cave roof onto some nearby vegetation. Then, eventually, it hopped to the rock face in front of the nests exposing its stunning red dome, its grey-blue frontal shield, the silky grey of its back and the immaculate cream of its chest. At least a pair and maybe three individuals were present, and we enjoyed them, with much relief at not missing THE bird that everyone comes to Cameroon to see. After 10 minutes we decided to leave them alone and we walked back for breakfast with renewed spring in our step and much relief that the bees were a “thing of the past”! On our way a few people got to see a Sjostedt’s Barred Owlet that was calling close to the path. A short while later Keith located a Long-tailed Hawk calling in the canopy and we all enjoyed prolonged views of this seldom-seen raptor. After breakfast we decided to walk slowly towards Rengo Rock, a massive granite dome that bulges out in the middle of the forest creating a structure large enough to build an observation platform and watch any hornbills moving over the canopy. On route, Keith got his surprise lifer of the trip as he approached one of the many streams, a White-crested Tiger Bittern shot up out of the stream and flew away showing the strong striped pattern and white-trailing edges to its wings. Noel and Bob got views but the others were too far behind. We tried to relocate it but it moved deeper into an impenetrable thicket. Flocks contained Blue-headed Crested Flycatcher and Pale-breasted Illadopsis. Once at the rock we had no trouble bagging Chocolate-backed Kingfisher and also had good views of Sabine’s Spinetails, Pied and Piping Hornbills. We returned to camp and headed straight for a refreshing swim in the river.
We birded around Rengo early on and then walked the longer route via Hunter’s Camp back to the Mana Bridge. We added Thick-billed Honeyguide, Gabon Woodpecker, Blue Cuckooshrike, Woodhouse’s Antpecker, Rachel’s and Crested Malimbe and Cassin’s Spinetail to the birdlist and enjoyed a final clean up at Mundemba. The rain that afternoon was heavy, threatening to turn the roads to sludge, making Keith duly nervous.
After an early breakfast we birded some scrub adding several species including our final Cracking Stonker for the trip, a beautiful pair of Black-bellied Seedcrackers! Several other stops on our way back to Mundemba added Red-vented Malimbe and Swamp Palm Greenbul (best views for most of the group) as well as Tit Hylia (for most of the group) and both Black-and-white and White-thighed Hornbills. Nearer to Douala we lucked onto a great spot that held African Pygmy Goose and three African Finfoot! A delightful final bird for the trip. We headed back to the Ibis for a change and a final meal before we headed off to our respective flights home. Another wonderful and highly successful Cameroon trip in the bag!
Cameroon Bird Triplist
(Based on Clements)
Species Scientific name
Ostrich Struthio camelus
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Long-tailed Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus
Darter Anhinga melanogaster
Gray Heron Ardea cinerea
Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Great Egret Ardea alba
Black Egret (Heron) Egretta ardesiaca
Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Striated Heron Butorides striatus
Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
White-crested Tiger Bittern Tigriornis leucolophus
Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
African Openbill Anastomus lamelligerus
Abdim's Stork Ciconia abdimii
Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus
Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
Hadada Ibis Bostrychia hagedash
African Spoonbill Platalea alba
White-faced Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna viduata
Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis
Comb Duck Sarkidiornis melanotis
Hartlaub's Duck Pteronetta hartlaubii
African Pygmy Goose Nettapus auritus
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus
Scissor-tailed Kite Chelictinia riocourii
Black Kite Milvus migrans
African Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer
Palm-nut Vulture Gypohierax angolensis
Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus
White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus
Rueppell's Griffon Gyps rueppellii
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotus
White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis
Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus
Congo Serpent-Eagle Dryotriorchis spectabilis
Western Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
African Harrier-Hawk Polyboroides typus
Lizard Buzzard Kaupifalco monogrammicus
Dark Chanting-Goshawk Melierax metabates
Gabar Goshawk Micronisus gabar
Red-chested Goshawk Accipiter toussenelii
Shikra Accipiter badius
Long-tailed Hawk Urotriorchis macrourus
Grasshopper Buzzard Butastur rufipennis
Red-necked Buzzard Buteo auguralis
Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina
Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax
Wahlberg's Eagle Aquila wahlbergi
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
Long-crested Eagle Lophaetus occipitalis
Cassin's Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus africanus
Crowned Hawk Eagle Stephanoetus coronatus
Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Fox Kestrel Falco alopex
Gray Kestrel Falco ardosiaceus
African Hobby Falco cuvierii
Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus
Schlegel's Francolin Francolinus schlegelii
H Forest Francolin Francolinus lathami
H Scaly Francolin Francolinus squamatus
Double-spurred Francolin Francolinus bicalcaratus
Clapperton's Francolin Francolinus clappertoni
Stone Partridge Ptilopachus petrosus
Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris
Quail-plover Ortyxelos meiffrenii
Black Crowned-Crane Balearica pavonina
White-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura pulchra
H Nkulengu Rail Himantornis haematopus
H African Rail Rallus caerulescens
Black Crake Amaurornis flavirostris
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
African Finfoot Podica senegalensis
Black-bellied Bustard Lissotis melanogaster
African Jacana Actophilornis africanus
Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis
Senegal Thick-knee Burhinus senegalensis
Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis
Egyptian Plover Pluvianus aegyptius
Bronze-winged Courser Rhinoptilus chalcopterus
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola
Rock Pratincole Glareola nuchalis
Gray Pratincole Glareola cinerea
Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus
Black-headed Lapwing Vanellus tectus
White-headed Lapwing Vanellus albiceps
Wattled Lapwing Vanellus senegallus
Ringed Plover Charadrius spp.
Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris
Forbes’ Plover Charadrius forbesi
White-fronted Plover Charadrius marginatus
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Royal Tern Sterna maxima
African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus
Four-banded Sandgrouse Pterocles quadricinctus
Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea
Adamawa Turtle-Dove Streptopelia hypopyrrha
African Collared-Dove Streptopelia roseogrisea
African Mourning Dove Streptopelia decipiens
Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata
Vinaceous Dove Streptopelia vinacea
Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
Black-billed Wood-Dove Turtur abyssinicus
Blue-spotted Wood-Dove Turtur afer
Tambourine Dove Turtur tympanistria
Blue-headed Wood-Dove Turtur brehmeri
Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
Bruce's Green-Pigeon Treron waalia
African Green-Pigeon Treron calva
Gray Parrot Psittacus erithacus
Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus
Great Blue Turaco Corythaeola cristata
Guinea Turaco Tauraco persa
White-crested Turaco Tauraco leucolophus
Yellow-billed Turaco Tauraco macrorhynchus
E Bannerman's Turaco Tauraco bannermani
Violet Turaco Musophaga violacea
Ross' Turaco Musophaga rossae
Western Plantain-eater Crinifer piscator
Pied Cuckoo Clamator jacobinus
Red-chested Cuckoo Cuculus solitarius
Black Cuckoo Cuculus clamosus
African Cuckoo Cuculus gularis
Klaas' Cuckoo Chrysococcyx klaas
African Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx cupreus
Dideric Cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius
Yellowbill Ceuthmochares aereus
Black-throated Coucal Centropus leucogaster
Blue-headed Coucal Centropus monachus
Senegal Coucal Centropus senegalensis
Barn Owl Tyto alba
African Scops-Owl Otus senegalensis
Northern White-faced Owl Ptilopsis leucotis
Grayish Eagle-Owl Bubo cinerascens
Fraser's Eagle-Owl Bubo poensis
Vermiculated Fishing-Owl Scotopelia bouvieri
Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum
Sjostedt's Owlet Glaucidium sjostedti
Black-shouldered Nightjar Caprimulgus nigriscapularis
Pennant-winged Nightjar Macrodipteryx vexillarius
Standard-winged Nightjar Macrodipteryx longipennis
Long-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus climacurus
Mottled Spinetail Telacanthura ussheri
Black Spinetail Telacanthura melanopygia
Sabine's Spinetail Rhaphidura sabini
Al Cassin's Spinetail Neafrapus cassini
African Palm-Swift Cypsiurus parvus
Common Swift Apus apus
Little Swift Apus affinis
Bates' Swift Apus batesi
Speckled Mousebird Colius striatus
Blue-naped Mousebird Urocolius macrourus
Narina Trogon Apaloderma narina
Bar-tailed Trogon Apaloderma vittatum
Bare-cheeked Trogon Apaloderma aequatoriale
Al Shining-blue Kingfisher Alcedo quadribrachys
Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata
African Pygmy-Kingfisher Ispidina picta
Al Dwarf Kingfisher Ispidina lecontei
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher Halcyon badia
Gray-headed Kingfisher Halcyon leucocephala
Woodland Kingfisher Halcyon senegalensis
Blue-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon malimbica
Striped Kingfisher Halcyon chelicuti
Giant Kingfisher Megaceryle maxima
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki
Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus
Blue-breasted Bee-eater Merops variegatus
White-throated Bee-eater Merops albicollis
Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
Northern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicus
Abyssinian Roller Coracias abyssinica
Rufous-crowned Roller Coracias naevia
Blue-bellied Roller Coracias cyanogaster
Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
Green Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus
Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill Tockus camurus
Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus
African Pied Hornbill Tockus fasciatus
African Gray Hornbill Tockus nasutus
Piping Hornbill Ceratogymna fistulator
Blk-and-white-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna subcylindricus
White-thighed Hornbill Ceratogymna albotibialis
Black-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna atrata
Yellow-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna elata
Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill Bucorvus abyssinicus
Naked-faced Barbet Gymnobucco calvus
Grey-throated Barbet Gymnobucco bonapartei
Speckled Tinkerbird Pogoniulus scolopaceus
Red-rumped Tinkerbird Pogoniulus atroflavus
Yellow-throated Tinkerbird Pogoniulus subsulphureus
Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird Pogoniulus bilineatus
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird Pogoniulus chrysoconus
Yellow-spotted Barbet Buccanodon duchaillui
H Hairy-breasted Barbet Tricholaema hirsuta
Vieillot's Barbet Lybius vieilloti
Double-toothed Barbet Lybius bidentatus
Bearded Barbet Lybius dubius
Yellow-billed Barbet Trachyphonus purpuratus
Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator
Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor
Thick-billed Honeyguide Indicator conirostris
Willcock's Honeyguide Indicator willcocksi
K Least Honeyguide Indicator exilis
Cassin's Honeyguide Prodotiscus insignis
African Piculet Sasia africana
Fine-spotted Woodpecker Campethera punctuligera
Green-backed Woodpecker Campethera cailliautii
Tullberg's Woodpecker Campethera tullbergi
Brown-eared Woodpecker Campethera caroli
Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens
Gabon Woodpecker Dendropicos gabonensis
Golden-crowned Woodpecker Dendropicos xantholophus
Elliot's Woodpecker Dendropicos elliotii
Gray Woodpecker Dendropicos goertae
Brown-backed Woodpecker Dendropicos obsoletus
Golden-tailed Woodpecker Campethera abingoni
Gray-headed Broadbill Smithornis sharpei
Rufous-sided Broadbill Smithornis rufolateralis
Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix leucotis
H Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea
Sun Lark Galerida modesta
Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
Plain Martin Riparia paludicola
Gray-rumped Swallow Hirundo griseopyga
Rock Martin Hirundo fuligula
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Ethiopian Swallow Hirundo aethiopica
Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii
White-throated Blue Swallow Hirundo nigrita
Lesser Striped-Swallow Hirundo abyssinica
Rufous-chested Swallow Hirundo semirufa
Mosque Swallow Hirundo senegalensis
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
Preuss' Swallow Hirundo preussi
Forest Swallow Hirundo fuliginosa
House Martin Delichon urbica
Petit's Sawwing Psalidoprocne petiti
African Pied Wagtail Motacilla aguimp
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
Mountain Wagtail Motacilla clara
Yellow-throated Longclaw Macronyx croceus
Plain-backed Pipit Anthus leucophrys
Long-billed (Bannerman’s) Pipit Anthus (bannermani) similis
Long-legged Pipit Anthus pallidiventris
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus
White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike Coracina pectoralis
K Blue Cuckoo-shrike Coracina azurea
Gray Cuckoo-shrike Coracina caesia
Petit's Cuckoo-shrike Campephaga petiti
Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike Campephaga phoenicea
Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus
Cameroon Mountain Greenbul Andropadus montanus
Little Greenbul Andropadus virens
K Gray Greenbul Andropadus gracilis
Yellow-whiskered Bulbul Andropadus latirostris
Western Mountain-Greenbul Andropadus tephrolaemus
Honeyguide Greenbul Baeopogon indicator
Golden Greenbul Calyptocichla serina
Spotted Greenbul Ixonotus guttatus
Simple Greenbul Chlorocichla simplex
Yellow-throated Greenbul Chlorocichla flavicollis
Yellow-necked Greenbul Chlorocichla falkensteini
Swamp Palm Greenbul Thescelocichla leucopleura
Leaf-love Phyllastrephus scandens
Cameroon Olive-Greenbul Phyllastrephus poensis
Gray-headed Greenbul Phyllastrephus poliocephalus
Icterine Greenbul Phyllastrephus icterinus
Xavier's Greenbul Phyllastrephus xavieri
Common Bristlebill Bleda syndactyla
Green-tailed Bristlebill Bleda eximia
Yellow-spotted Nicator Nicator chloris
Red-tailed Greenbul Criniger calurus
Eastern Bearded-Greenbul Criniger chloronotus
White-bearded Greenbul Criniger ndussumensis
Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush Neocossyphus fraseri
Red-tailed Ant-thrush Neocossyphus rufus
White-tailed Ant-Thrush Neocossyphus poensis
H Crossley's Ground-Thrush Zoothera crossleyi
African Thrush Turdus pelios
Fire-crested Alethe Alethe diademata
H Red-faced Cisticola Cisticola erythrops
Whistling Cisticola Cisticola lateralis
Chattering Cisticola Cisticola anonymus
Chubb's Cisticola Cisticola chubbi
Rock-loving Cisticola Cisticola aberrans
Red-pate Cisticola Cisticola ruficeps
Winding Cisticola Cisticola galactotes
Siffling Cisticola Cisticola brachypterus
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Pectoral-patch Cisticola Cisticola brunnescens
Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava
River Prinia Prinia fluviatilis
White-chinned Prinia Prinia leucopogon
Banded Prinia Prinia bairdii
Red-winged Prinia Prinia erythroptera
Red-winged Gray Warbler Drymocichla incana
Green Longtail Urolais epichlora
Cricket Longtail Spiloptila clamans
Black-collared Apalis Apalis pulchra
Black-capped Apalis Apalis nigriceps
Black-throated Apalis Apalis jacksoni
Masked Apalis Apalis binotata
Buff-throated Apalis Apalis rufogularis
E Bamenda Apalis Apalis bamendae
Gray Apalis Apalis cinerea
Yellow-breasted Apalis Apalis flavida
Oriole Warbler Hypergerus atriceps
Grey-backed Camaroptera Camaroptera brachyura
Yellow-browed Camaroptera Camaroptera superciliaris
Olive-green Camaroptera Camaroptera chloronota
African Bush-Warbler Bradypterus baboecala
Bangwa Scrub-Warbler Bradypterus bangwaensis
Black-faced Rufous-Warbler Bathmocercus rufus
Greater Swamp Warbler Acrocephalus rufescens
Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida
African Yellow Warbler Chloropeta natalensis
White-tailed Warbler Poliolais lopezi
Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla
Rufous-crowned Eremomela Eremomela badiceps
Green Crombec Sylvietta virens
Northern Crombec Sylvietta brachyura
Yellow Longbill Macrosphenus flavicans
Gray Longbill Macrosphenus concolor
Green Hylia Hylia prasina
Blk-capped Woodland-Warbler Phylloscopus herberti
Yellow-bellied Hyliota Hyliota flavigaster
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Whitethroat Sylvia communis
Pale Flycatcher Bradornis pallidus
Northern Black-Flycatcher Melaenornis edolioides
African Forest-Flycatcher Fraseria ocreata
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
Gambaga Flycatcher Muscicapa gambagae
African Dusky Flycatcher Muscicapa adusta
Little Gray Flycatcher Muscicapa epulata
Yellow-footed Flycatcher Muscicapa sethsmithi
Dusky-blue Flycatcher Muscicapa comitata
Cassin's Flycatcher Muscicapa cassini
Gray Tit-Flycatcher Myioparus plumbeus
European Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca
Forest Robin Stiphrornis erythrothorax
H Bocage's Akalat Sheppardia bocagei
White-bellied Robin-Chat Cossyphicula roberti
Gray-winged Robin-Chat Cossypha polioptera
Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat Cossypha niveicapilla
White-crowned Robin-Chat Cossypha albicapilla
Black Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas podobe
Rufous Bush Chat Cercotricas galactotes
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
African Stonechat Saxicola torquata
Heuglin's Wheatear Oenanthe heuglini
Familiar Chat Cercomela familiaris
African Shrike-flycatcher Megabyas flammulatus
Blk-and-white Shrike-flycatcher Bias musicus
Brown-throated Wattle-eye Platysteira cyanea
E Banded Wattle-eye Platysteira laticincta
Chestnut Wattle-eye Platysteira castanea
Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye Platysteira concreta
Senegal Batis Batis senegalensis
Black-headed Batis Batis minor
Chestnut-capped Flycatcher Erythrocercus mccallii
African Blue-Flycatcher Elminia longicauda
Dusky Crested-Flycatcher Elminia nigromitrata
White-bellied Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albiventris
Blue-headed Crested-Flycatcher Trochocercus nitens
Blk-headed Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone rufiventer
Rufus-vented Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone rufocinerea
African Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis
Gray-necked Rockfowl Picathartes oreas
Blackcap Illadopsis Illadopsis cleaveri
Pale-breasted Illadopsis Illadopsis rufipennis
African Hill Babbler Illadopsis abyssinica
Thrush Babbler Ptyrticus turdinus
Blackcap Babbler Turdoides reinwardtii
Brown Babbler Turdoides plebejus
Whitethroated Mountain-Babbler Kupeornis gilberti
White-winged Black-Tit Melaniparus leucomelas
White-bellied Tit Melaniparus albiventris
Spotted Creeper Salpornis spilonotus
Sennar Penduline-Tit Anthoscopus punctifrons
Yellow Penduline-Tit Anthoscopus parvulus
Tit-hylia Pholidornis rushiae
Scarlet-tufted Sunbird Deleornis fraseri
Western Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes longuemarei
Green Sunbird Anthreptes rectirostris
Collared Sunbird Hedydipna collaris
Pygmy Sunbird Hedydipna platura
Reichenbach's Sunbird Anabathmis reichenbachii
Green-headed Sunbird Cyanomitra verticalis
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird Cyanomitra cyanolaema
Cameroon Sunbird Cyanomitra oritis
Western Olive-Sunbird Cyanomitra obscura
Green-throated Sunbird Chalcomitra rubescens
Scarlet-chested Sunbird Chalcomitra senegalensis
Olive-bellied Sunbird Cinnyris chloropygius
Tiny Sunbird Cinnyris minullus
Northern Dble-collared Sunbird Cinnyris preussi
Beautiful Sunbird Cinnyris pulchellus
Splendid Sunbird Cinnyris coccinigaster
Superb Sunbird Cinnyris superbus
Variable Sunbird Cinnyris venustus
E Ursula's Sunbird Cinnyris ursulae
Copper Sunbird Cinnyris cupreus
African Yellow White-eye Zosterops senegalensis
Forest White-eye Zosterops stenocricotus
Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
African Golden Oriole Oriolus auratus
Western Black-headed Oriole Oriolus brachyrhynchus
Black-winged Oriole Oriolus nigripennis
Emin's Shrike Lanius gubernator
Southern Gray Shrike Lanius meridionalis
Mackinnon's Shrike Lanius mackinnoni
Common Fiscal Lanius collaris
Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator
Yellow-billed Shrike Corvinella corvina
Brubru Nilaus afer
Northern Puffback Dryoscopus gambensis
Red-eyed Puffback Dryoscopus senegalensis
Pink-footed Puffback Dryoscopus angolensis
Large-billed Puffback Dryoscopus sabini
Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegala
Luehder's Bushshrike Laniarius luehderi
Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus
Common Gonolek Laniarius barbarus
Black-headed Gonolek Laniarius erythrogaster
Yellow-breasted Boubou Laniarius atroflavus
Fuelleborn's Boubou Laniarius fuelleborni
Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike Telophorus sulfureopectus
Many-colored Bushshrike Telophorus multicolor
Green-breasted Bushshrike Malaconotus gladiator
Gray-headed Bushshrike Malaconotus blanchoti
White Helmetshrike Prionops plumatus
Square-tailed Drongo Dicrurus ludwigii
Shining Drongo Dicrurus atripennis
Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis
Piapiac Ptilostomus afer
Pied Crow Corvus albus
Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea
Greater Bl-eared Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis chalybaeus
Lesser Bl-eared Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis chloropterus
Bronze-tailed Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis chalcurus
Splendid Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis splendidus
Purple Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis purpureus
Long-tailed Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis caudatus
Chestnut-bellied Starling Lamprotornis pulcher
Purple-headed Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis purpureiceps
Violet-backed Starling Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
Waller's Starling Onychognathus walleri
Neumann's Starling Onychognathus neumanni
Narrow-tailed Starling Poeoptera lugubris
White-collared Starling Grafisia torquata
Yellow-billed Oxpecker Buphagus africanus
N. Gray-headed Sparrow Passer griseus
Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus
Bush Petronia Petronia dentata
White-billed Buffalo-Weaver Bubalornis albirostris
Speckle-fronted Weaver Sporopipes frontalis
Chestnutcrowd Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser superciliosus
Bannerman's Weaver Ploceus bannermani
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht
Little Weaver Ploceus luteolus
Spectacled Weaver Ploceus ocularis
Black-necked Weaver Ploceus nigricollis
Black-billed Weaver Ploceus melanogaster
African Masked-Weaver Ploceus velatus
Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus
Vieillot's Weaver Ploceus nigerrimus
Forest Weaver Ploceus bicolor
Brown-capped Weaver Ploceus insignis
Rachel's Malimbe Malimbus racheliae
Red-vented Malimbe Malimbus scutatus
Gray's Malimbe Malimbus nitens
Crested Malimbe Malimbus malimbicus
Red-headed Malimbe Malimbus rubricollis
Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea
Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis
Yellow-shouldered Widowbird Euplectes macrourus
Marsh Widowbird Euplectes hartlaubi
Grosbeak Weaver Amblyospiza albifrons
Woodhouse's Antpecker Parmoptila woodhousei
White-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita fusconota
Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita bicolor
Pale-fronted Negrofinch Nigrita luteifrons
Gray-headed Negrofinch Nigrita canicapilla
Gray-headed Oliveback Nesocharis capistrata
Green-winged Pytilia Pytilia melba
Red-faced Pytilia Pytilia hypogrammica
Red-faced Crimson-wing Cryptospiza reichenovii
Black-bellied Seedcracker Pyrenestes ostrinus
Western Bluebill Spermophaga haematina
Brown Twinspot Clytospiza monteiri
Dybowski's Twinspot Euschistospiza dybowskii
Red-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta senegala
Black-bellied Firefinch Lagonosticta rara
African Firefinch Lagonosticta rubricata
Black-faced Firefinch Lagonosticta larvata
Red-cheeked Cordonbleu Uraeginthus bengalus
Orange-cheeked Waxbill Estrilda melpoda
Black-rumped Waxbill Estrilda troglodytes
Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild
Black-crowned Waxbill Estrilda nonnula
African Quailfinch Ortygospiza atricollis
African Silverbill Lonchura cantans
Bronze Mannikin Lonchura cucullata
Black-and-white Mannikin Lonchura bicolor
Cut-throat Amadina fasciata
Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura
Northern Paradise-Whydah Vidua orientalis
Oriole Finch Linurgus olivaceus
White-rumped Seedeater Serinus leucopygius
Yellow-fronted Canary Serinus mozambicus
Streaky-headed Seedeater Serinus gularis
Thick-billed Seedeater Serinus burtoni
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting Emberiza tahapisi
Cabanis' Bunting Emberiza cabanisi
(Based on Kingdon 1997)
Preuss’ Red Colobus Piliocolobus preussi – Korup N.P. End. Less than 8000 survive.
Guereza Colobus Colobus guereza occidentalis. Ctrl. Africa lowland form. Benoue N.P.
Red-eared Monkey Cercopithicus (c.) erythrotis. Korup N.P.
Mona Monkey Cercopithicus (m.) mona – Heard only Korup N.P.
Crowned Monkey Cercopithicus (m.) pogonias – Heard only Korup N.P.
Olive Baboon Papio anubis. Common, northern savanna.
Patas Monkey Erythrocebus patas. Common around Waza N.P.
Tantalus Monkey Cercopithicus (aethiops) tantalus. Seen at Ngoundaba Ranch.
Senegal Galago Galago senegalensis. Widespread, Benoue N.P. & Ngoundaba.
Straw-coloured Fruit Bat Eidolon helvum – common in Douala
Black-necked Rock Hyrax Procavia johnstonei – near Maroua
Scrub Hare (cf Crawshay’s Hare) Lepus saxatilis crawshayi. Benoue & Ngoundaba.
Striped Ground Squirrel Euxerus erythropus. Seen at Ngoundaba.
Green Squirrel Paraxerus poensis – common in lowlands
Fire-footed Rope Squirrel Funisciurus pyrrops – beautiful animal seen excellently near Korup.
Zebra Mouse Lemniscomys sp. Seen in the Bamenda highlands. Specific designation unsure.
Red Forest Rat – unknown sp.
Golden Jackal Canis aureus. Waza N.P.
Sand Fox Vulpes pallida. Family groups, just south of Waza.
Crested Porcupine Hystrix cristatus – seen in Benoue.
White-tailed Mongoose Ichneumia albicauda. Waza
Banded Mongoose Mungos mungo. Waza
Ichneumon Mongoose Herpestes ichneumon – near Waza.
Long-snouted Mongoose Herpestes naso – Alan saw well in Korup
Common Genet Genetta genetta. Benoue N.P.
African Civet Civettictis civetta. Ngoundaba Ranch.
African Wild Cat Felis sylvestris. Exceptionally pale. No red behind ears. Akin to Sand Cat. Many at Waza.
Serval Felis serval. Seen at Waza.
Western Tree Hyrax Dendrohyrax dorsalis. Noisy at night in Korup.
Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibious. Benoue.
Warthog Phacochoerus africanus. Waza N.P
Giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis. In hybrid zone btw G.c. peralta and G.c. cottoni. Waza N.P.
Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus. Benoue N.P.
Bush Duiker Sylvicapra grimmia. Common Benoue N.P.
Red-flanked Duiker Cephalophus rufilatus – one in Benoue
Ogilby’s Duiker C. ogilbyi – seen a couple of times in Korup
Kob Kobus kob. Common Benoue N.P.
Red-fronted (Thomson’s) Gazelle Gazalla spekei. One Waza N.P.
Topi Damiscus lunatus. Waza N.P.
Roan Antelope Hippotragus equines. Waza N.P.
Oribi Ourebia ourebi. Benoue N.P.