A trio of Raptors in The Gambia.

17th April 2018
Today we found ourselves in a local area named Tujering Woods. This area is not really a woods, it is more an open area sparsely populated with trees and scrub. First impressions are that it wouldn’t be very good for birds but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It held a large and diverse range of species and there are virtually no quiet spots in the whole area, there is something to see continually. After seeing birds like Yellow Penduline Tit, White Fronted Black Chat, Striped Kingfisher, African Silverbill, Red Winged Warbler, Beautiful Sunbird, Zitting Cisticola etc etc. We spotted one of our all-time favourite Raptors up in a Palm Tree, a Black Shouldered Kite.

For me personally it has always been a bird I have struggled to see well and after my first viewing of one many years ago in a Cork Oak woodland in Portugal when I thought it was so beautiful - I wanted more!

I managed to slowly get closer to the bird by sneaking from bush to bush and taking shots as I went along, at least you have some images doing it this way if the bird flies away. I had taken some reasonable shots of this ghost – like bird with its ruby red eyes and elegant light coloured plumage, I was hoping for more when suddenly it became very animated, I knew it wasn’t me because I had been very careful, then suddenly a different Raptor flew into a nearby tree causing the Black Shouldered Kite to fly off. I turned around to be confronted by a Dark Chanting Goshawk.

Another beautiful bird. I took a few shots before it also flew off in pursuit of the Kite, what a few minutes! We walked a little further on and in another Palm Tree we could see a medium sized bird which turned out to be a Grey Kestrel.

Another cracking bird, a lovely trio of Raptors. This area turned out to be very productive indeed and was a great morning’s birding.