Birding trip report Gabon (Gamba area) 14-29 Sep. 2009
John van der Woude
1. text and photos  -  2. GPS waypoints, maps  -   3. Species list (this page)
A narrower species list for your smartphone is here.
* = lifer, K = seen before in Kakamega forest (west Kenya) only
Pelecanus onocrotalus Great White Pelican 16 sep. one flying near airport
Anhinga rufa African Darter 4 seen in Yenzi lake 28 sep., a few elsewhere (e.g. along rd to Colas)
Egretta garzetta Little Egret 22 sep. one at Nyanga estuary
Scopus umbretta Hamerkop grasslands sev. lone or pairs, also in Yenzi
Ciconia episcopus Woolly-necked Stork grasslands sev. pairs
Bostrychia hagedash Hadada Ibis often seen in Yenzi, less elsewhere
Pteronetta hartlaubii Hartlaub's Duck * 20 sep. 3 flying overhead just before Matsiegui lagoon NW of Gamba
Pandion haliaetus Osprey a few, like 17 sep. E of Yenzi lake
Milvus migrans Black Kite 16 sep. one overhead W of Yenzi lake
Haliaeetus vocifer African Fish-Eagle a few heard, one seen 24 sep. along rd to Colas
Gypohierax angolensis Palm-nut Vulture seen daily across whole area, also juvenals
Dryotriorchis spectabilis Congo Serpent-Eagle * 19 sep. briefly seen in bare tree top while calling; splendid scope views of two 28 sep. in open forest at start of Boua rd
Polyboroides typus African Harrier-Hawk sev. seen closeby, diff. plumages, across grasslands/woodlands
Accipiter erythropus Red-thighed Sparrowhawk * scope view of adult male in bare tree top W of Yenzi lake 16 sep.
Buteo auguralis Red-necked Buzzard sometimes on Yenzi compound, and W of Yenzi lake
Lophaetus occipitalis Long-crested Eagle 17 sep. one in flight across grassland Vera plains
Stephanoaetus coronatus Crowned Eagle 21 sep. in air above forest Bouda rd ('secret valley'), chased by Pied Crow
Falco biarmicus Lanner Falcon 21 sep. pair with two half-grown young on track in first open forest of Bouda rd.; later one again same place
Francolinus squamatus Scaly Francolin * 21 sep. pair with two half-grown young on track in first open forest of Bouda rd.; later one again same place
Guttera plumifera Plumed Guineafowl * 24 sep. 4 on track and then in tree in Tondou forest
Podica senegalensis African Finfoot 19 sep. one female seen closeby along mangrove rd opp. airport, in dark puddle.
Actophilornis africanus African Jacana the few ponds we saw nearly all had this bird
Burhinus vermiculatus Water Thick-knee Yenzi and roads (night), also in coastal scrub and even on beach
Vanellus lugubris Senegal Lapwing * occasionally in grasslands, once with young; first only on 24 sep. near comm. tower Vera plains; also named Lesser Blackwinged Plover
Charadrius hiaticula Common Ringed Plover a few at Nyanga 22 sep.
Charadrius pecuarius Kittlitz's Plover 23 sep. one in muddy lagoon seaward of Matsiegui lagoon
Charadrius forbesi Forbes' Plover * some pairs in grasslands; first on 20 sep. along laterite side rd to Sette Cama
Charadrius marginatus White-fronted Plover 22 sep. 3 at Nyanga; 23 sep. 4 at muddy lagoon seaward of Matsiegui lagoon
Numenius phaeopus Whimbrel 22 sep. 3 in scope while flying S at Nyanga
Actitis hypoleucos Common Sandpiper at beach, also on Yenzi lawns
Tringa nebularia Common Greenshank several along coast
Arenaria interpres Ruddy Turnstone 22 sep. two at Nyanga beach
Calidris alba Sanderling group at Nyanga beach 22 sep.
Calidris minuta Little Stint 23 sep. one in muddy lagoon seaward of Matsiegui lagoon, between Ringed Plovers and Curlew Sandp.
Calidris ferruginea Curlew Sandpiper 22 sep. two at puddle in Nyanga beach
Sternula balaenarum Damara Tern sev. migrating along coast
Comic Tern 22 sep. sev. at Nyanga beach & estuary ("Comic"= Common Tern or Arctic Tern)
Thalasseus maximus Royal Tern sev. migrating along coast, and at beach Nyanga
Thalasseus sandvicensis Sandwich Tern sev. at beach Nyanga 22 sep.
Rynchops flavirostris African Skimmer group of c. 20 at beach Nyanga estuary 22 sep.
Columba iriditorques Western Bronze-naped Pigeon * 26 sep. Tondou forest near entrance, flying around after playback
Streptopelia semitorquata Red-eyed Dove common in all habitats
Turtur chalcospilos Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove sev. in forests, flying up from tracks etc.
Turtur afer Blue-spotted Wood-Dove a few in forest, scope view to discern from more common Emer.sp.
Turtur brehmeri Blue-headed Wood-Dove * 18 sep. Bibonga forest seen on track at 8 a.m.
Treron calvus African Green-Pigeon sev. groups (of up to 50 indiv.) along forest edge and in coastal scrub
Psittacus erithacus Gray Parrot * dozens at Yenzi ( evening) and daily elsewhere
Tauraco macrorhynchus Yellow-billed Turaco * heard at many sites (forest, woodland) and some seen well
Cuculus solitarius Red-chested Cuckoo often heard, a few seen
Chrysococcyx klaas Klaas' Cuckoo 18 sep. one pair in scope (+sound) in open forest at start of Bouda road
Chrysococcyx cupreus African Emerald Cuckoo heard everywhere in forest & woodland
Chrysococcyx caprius Dideric Cuckoo often heard Yenzi, sometimes at other rather open places
Ceuthmochares aereus Yellowbill * sev. seen in open forest/woodland, some in mixed spec. flocks
Centropus monachus Blue-headed Coucal * sev. seen in disturbed forest/woodland, all large and with blue sheen; best 28 sep. Bouda rd (see photo)
Centropus senegalensis Senegal Coucal sometimes heard
Caprimulgus fossii Square-tailed Nightjar 20 sep. one defending 2 chicks on ground next to car on P along asphalt rd to Colas; 26 sep. evening sev. heard along asphalt rd S
Telacanthura melanopygia Black Spinetail * 20 sep. one seen during 2 minutes in company of Cassin's Spinetail, see there
Rhaphidura sabini Sabine's Spinetail * 21 sep. two closeby in halfopen area near Mark's track R of Bouda rd, brillant views
Neafrapus cassini Cassin's Spinetail * 20 sep. two seen closeby along asphalt rd to Colas, near dead trees
Cypsiurus parvus African Palm-Swift seen a few in Yenzi and coastal scrub
Apus apus Common Swift 26 sep. one above Tondou forest
Apus affinis Little Swift common near buildings (Yenzi, airport, etc.), nesting
Alcedo quadribrachys Shining-blue Kingfisher * one seen at pond near golf course (seen well, cheek and contrasting back), 15 sep.
Halcyon badia Chocolate-backed Kingfisher * 24 sep. pair in Tondou forest; later one again in Bibonga forest
Halcyon senegalensis Woodland Kingfisher sev. heard and seen in woodlands (Yenzi etc.)
Halcyon malimbica Blue-breasted Kingfisher sev. heard and seen calling high over forests/woodland, esp. along mangrove rd opp. airport
Megaceryle maximus Giant Kingfisher heard a few, one seen well
Ceryle rudis Pied Kingfisher 22 sep. one hovering at Nyanga estuary; also at Yenzi lake
Merops variegatus Blue-breasted Bee-eater * common in open habitat, like Yenzi and grassland borders; at home, seen feeding young
Merops breweri Black-headed Bee-eater * almost daily seen at forest edges
Merops malimbicus Rosy Bee-eater * abundant at forest edges and over neighbouring grasslands; often groups perched in bare tree tops
Eurystomus gularis Blue-throated Roller * 17 sep. two in scope at end of first open forest of Bouda rd.; later again there
Tockus albocristatus White-crested Hornbill * 22 sep. crossed track in front of us during frantic drive near Nyanga beach, later also 2 Totou rd
Tockus camurus Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill * often heard (and sev. seen) in forests, in mixed species flocks
Tockus fasciatus African Pied Hornbill many seen at forest edges or emerging trees
Ceratogymna fistulator Piping Hornbill * common, mostly in flight between forest blocks
Ceratogymna albotibialis White-thighed Hornbill * 20 sep. scope view at forest edge of 4th plain behind P of nightjar
Ceratogymna atrata Black-casqued Hornbill * sev. groups seen in forest, also pairs; roost flights of in total 65 indiv. near start of Bouda rd 17 sep.
Gymnobucco bonapartei Gray-throated Barbet  K group W of Yenzi lake 16 sep, scope view, in bare tree top; a few elsewhere
Gymnobucco calvus Naked-faced Barbet * group seen in scope in bare tree tops open forest start of Bouda rd 17 sep; only sporadically elsewhere
Pogoniulus atroflavus Red-rumped Tinkerbird * often heard in woodland and forest; 18 sep. briefly seen in Bibonga forest
Pogoniulus subsulphureus Yellow-throated Tinkerbird *  many heard in woodland and forest
Buccanodon duchaillui Yellow-spotted Barbet K 28 sep. scope view at start of first open forest Bouda rd
Tricholaema hirsuta Hairy-breasted Barbet * 28 sep. first open forest Bouda rd (same tree as Grey-ch Sunbird pair), subsp. flavipunctata, scope view during song (1.2 per second)
Campethera cailliautii Green-backed Woodpecker * 24 sep. in Tondou forest near stream, one pair foraging high in tree but well visible and later lower
Campethera caroli Brown-eared Woodpecker * 24 sep. Tondou forest, better view for J on 28 sep. in Bibonga forest
Dendropicos xantholophus Yellow-crested Woodpecker K 17 sep. one at start of Bouda rd in open forest, bare tree & in flight; 24 sep. Tondou forest 1
Pseudochelidon eurystomina African River Martin * hundreds seen along asphalt rd to Colas, and sev. high in the air elsewhere; see main text & photos; first ones only at 20 sep.
Psalidoprocne nitens Square-tailed Sawwing * 26 sep. plantation forest before Tondou forest, one resting near Fraser's Forest-Flycatchers
Pseudhirundo griseopyga Gray-rumped Swallow * common above grasslands
Riparia cincta Banded Martin some pairs above grasslands; first only on 21 sep. along Bouda rd
Hirundo rustica Barn Swallow a few singles migrating
Cecropis abyssinica Lesser Striped-Swallow some near buildings and bridges
Cecropis semirufa Rufous-chested Swallow * 23 sep. two closeby (dark cheek) at grassland of Totou rd
Cecropis senegalensis Mosque Swallow 20 sep. two seen flying around us along asphalt rd to Colas; light cheek seen well; in grassland near woodland
Anthus pallidiventris Long-legged Pipit * everywhere on grasslands
Macronyx croceus Yellow-throated Longclaw some on grasslands
Pycnonotus barbatus Common Bulbul common in open woodland, not abundant
Andropadus virens Little Greenbul often heard (a few seen) in woodland and forest; 23 sep. Bouda seen well
Andropadus curvirostri Plain Greenbul K 23 sep. along Totou rd sandy side rd; also called Cameroon Sombre G
Andropadus latirostris Yellow-whiskered Greenbul sev. heard (a few seen) in woodland and forest
Calyptocichla serina Golden Greenbul * seen two or three times, first 17 sep. two in tree top start of Bouda rd.
Baeopogon indicator Honeyguide Greenbul * 20 sep. one followed long time with playback in light woodland behind P of nightjar but did not show well; later sev. heard elsewhere
Ixonotus guttatus Spotted Greenbul * sev. groups in forest, forest edges (and even in Yenzi)
Thescelocichla leucopleura Swamp Greenbul * some groups at Yenzi wet woodland, and mangrove road near airport
Phyllastrephus icterinus Icterine Greenbul * many groups in forest, in mixed species flocks
Bleda syndactylus Red-tailed Bristlebill K 28 sep. inside Bibonga forest, mixed flock, seen well 3 times, at eye level.
Bleda notatus Lesser Bristlebill * group of 4 in forest along golf course 16 sep., later some elsewhere, like 28 sep near Red-t Britslebill
Nicator chloris Western Nicator * singles seen on sev. occasions in half open forest
Criniger calurus Red-tailed Greenbul * 24 sep Tondou forest and 28 sep Bibonga forest, in mixed species flocks, hence large size seen well (not heard)
Neocossyphus fraseri Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush  * 17 sep. one above us at 8 m, near plantation in forest block before Tondou forest; 24 sep. also 2+1 in Tondou forest
Turdus pelios African Thrush mainly at Yenzi gardens
Alethe diademata Fire-crested Alethe * 24 sep. at only 5 m in undergrowth in Tondou forest
Cisticola anonymus Chattering Cisticola * scope view on 16 sep. in rural area W of Yenzi lake, later some heard elsewhere
Cisticola juncidis Zitting Cisticola rather common on grasslands
Camaroptera brevicaudata Grey-backed Camaroptera often heard in woodland and forest edge
Sylvietta virens Green Crombec * 25 sep. in (rare!) savannah woodland near Totou rd, small group with young being fed
Macrosphenus flavicans Yellow Longbill * 18 sep. Bibonga forest seen well at 7 m, crawling along branches; later some heard elsewhere
Macrosphenus concolor Gray Longbill * sev. heard in forest/woodland, after 18 sep. Bibonga forest (reacts strongly to playback but does not show well)
Fraseria ocreata Fraser's Forest-Flycatcher * some small groups (of 2 to 3 ind.) in clearings; first 23 sep. along laterite rd near Totou rd
Muscicapa striata Spotted Flycatcher 26 sep. just outside Tondou forest in lone tree
Stiphrornis erythrothorax Forest Robin * 21 sep. splendid view on log in dark Bibonga forest; is like fig. 1d but completely orange-red below
Platysteira cyanea Brown-throated Wattle-eye 23 sep. pair in dry forest next to muddy lagoon seaward of Matsiegui lagoon
Platysteira castanea Chestnut Wattle-eye K 24 sep. in flock Tondou forest at only 7 m, 1 ad. + 1 juv
Terpsiphone rufiventer        Red-bellied Paradise-Flycatcher sev. singles in forest (mixed species flocks)(also called Black-headed P-F)
Terpsiphone rufocinerea   Rufous-vented Paradise-Flycatch * 23 sep. female at puddle in woodland track next to muddy lagoon seaward of Matsiegui lagoon
Anthreptes rectirostris Grey-chinned Sunbird K 28 sep. first open forest of Bouda rd, pair in tree top
Hedydipna collaris Collared Sunbird a few seen; first a female 21 sep in woodland in strongest dip in Bouda rd
Anabathmis reichenbachii Reichenbach's Sunbird * common in woodland and at forest edges, very vocal too
Cyanomitra verticalis Green-headed Sunbird K sev. seen at forest edge; first 21 sep. Bouda rd. scope view
Cyanomitra obscura Western Olive Sunbird * 24 sep. Tondou forest at 5 m, quietly perched, long bill; later heard elsewhere
Chalcomitra fuliginosa Carmelite Sunbird * common at woodland edges, clearings etc.; brilliant views at Yenzi and golf course
Cinnyris chloropygius Olive-bellied Sunbird * two males seen well (long bill, etc.) at golf course 15 sep.
Cinnyris minullus Tiny Sunbird * 24 sep. male + 2 fem in 'cecropia-like' tree near stream in Tondou forest; bill very short and bird very small
Cinnyris johannae Johanna's Sunbird * 20 sep. female (spiderhunterlike!) along asphalt rd to Colas, near pool, in woodland
Prionops rufiventris Rufous-bellied Helmetshrike * 18 sep. two seen well at 10 m above us in Bibonga forest
Dicrurus modestus Velvet-mantled Drongo * sev. in forest; first at end of open forest at start of Bouda rd 17 sep.
Corvus albus Pied Crow nesting in Yenzi, not often seen elsewhere
Lamprotornis splendidus Splendid Glossy-Starling * some at clearings, and many in roost flights, esp. at airport
Lamprotornis purpureiceps Purple-headed Glossy-Starling * 17 sep. two in tree top E of airport, scope view
Onychognathus fulgidus Chestnut-winged Starling * 17 sep. Tondou forest, scope view of 2 in tree top
Malimbus cassini Cassin's Malimbe * scope view, foraging in tall tree W of Yenzi lake 16 sep.
Malimbus erythrogaster Red-bellied Malimbe * 21 sep. along forest edge Bouda rd, scope view (red belly)
Malimbus nitens Blue-billed Malimbe * 26 sep. Tondou forest 10 m above us, bill and black-red pattern seen well; 28 sep. also in Bibonga forest
Malimbus rubricollis Red-headed Malimbe K 24 sep. Tondou forest high in tree clambering on thick branches, seen well; 28 sep. first open forest Bouda rd
Ploceus subpersonatus Loango Weaver * 19 sep. Colas coastal scrub group of male and fem; seen well + sound; a restricted-range species!
Ploceus nigricollis Black-necked Weaver two in bush along rd E of Yenzi lake 17 sep.
Ploceus nigerrimus Vieillot's Black Weaver * best seen 16 sep. W of Yenzi lake, colony, scope view
Ploceus cucullatus Village Weaver common in Yenzi, sev. colonies
Quelea erythrops Red-headed Quelea * a few groups in open habitat; first was fem. closeby W of Yenzi lake; group of 40 in coastal scrub at end of mangrove rd opp. airport
Nigrita canicapillus Gray-headed Nigrita 14 sep. two foraging in palm on Yenzi grounds; 28 sep first open forest Bouda rd
Nigrita bicolor Chestnut-breasted Nigrita * 21 sep. at eye-level at 12 m seen well, at deep stream across Bouda rd
Estrilda melpoda Orange-cheeked Waxbill * sev. groups in open areas with some bushes
Spermophaga haematina Western Bluebill * (J only) 17 sep. at 5 m in bush in woodland E of Yenzi lake, small side rd
Pyrenestes ostrinus Black-bellied Seedcracker * 19 sep. juv seen well while foraging in bush along mangrove rd opp. airport
Ortygospiza gabonensis Black-chinned Quailfinch * 20 sep. sev. small groups along first kms of laterite rd to Sette Cama
Spermestes cucullatus Bronze Mannikin a few small groups at Yenzi etc.
Spermestes bicolor Black-and-white Mannikin K group of 12 in top of small tree W of Yenzi lake 16 sep.
Vidua macroura Pin-tailed Whydah 27 sep. well seen Yenzi near weaver colony
Emberiza tahapisi Cinnamon-breasted Bunting 19 sep. female in coastal scrub near end of mangrove rd opp. airport