Madagascar birding trip 19 Nov - 5 Dec 2010
report by John van der Woude  -
Photos of birding sites
see also introduction  -  bird photos  -  other photos - species list

From Tana (Antananarivo) towards Perinet we crossed the Mangoro river, where we got Madagascar Pratincole.

View from the restaurant terrace of our lodge Feon'ny Ala at Perinet.

Long narrow road through the Andasibe-Mantadia rainforest national park of Perinet.

Near the small lake inside Andasibe-Mantadia rainforest national park. Photo Hans Semeins

Habitat of the Madagascar Rail in a basin between the forested hills of the Perinet area. Photo Kees Mostert.

On our third full day in this national park we visited a wetter part and found the Madagascar (Crested) Ibis.

Ranomafana rainforest national park has some steeper slopes.

The Ranomafana NP has still nice primary forest.

A marsh on a higher plateau in Ranomafana NP had our only Grey Emutail.

View from the panorama of Ranomafana NP, not far from the entrance. Here we just missed a view of Henst's Goshawk, which we had heard extensively a few hundred meters back.

On our last afternoon in Ranomafana NP (and thus our last afternoon in the rainforest region) we walked some stretches of road to scan the skies better than from the forest, and to pay a visit to this hamlet where large parsonii chameleons live on the insects attracted by jack fruit trees.

This gorge runs alongside the main road through Ranomafana NP, and we had Forest Rock Thrush closeby.

After the rainforest region we crossed a huge sandstone plateau covered with grass, and we got nice specialties here, like Malagasy Harrier.

On the sandstone plateau we made several stops to scan around. Photo Hans Semeins

Isalo national park opposite Maison d'Isalo, where we stopped to tick Benson's Rock Thrush (now lumped with Forest Rock Thrush).

The main road goes right through Zombitse Forest national park.
Photo Hans Semeins

We stayed only three hours in Zombitse Forest but we got the endemics we wanted.

Zombitse Forest was a bit denser than I had expected.

On the limestone plateau just inland from Tulear we had a wonderful late afternoon stroll with three new vangas in just 10 minutes.

A grassy plain outside Tulear, and a stake-out for Madagascar Sandgrouse. We got a pair on the ground and in flight.

The small Nosy Ve island had a large number of Lesser Crested Tern on one side....

.... and a Red-tailed Tropicbird colony on the other side.

We stayed one night in Anakao opposite Nosy Ve island and got our only Littoral Rock Thrush there.

From Tulear to Ifaty we passed some wader spots, both a bit inland....

.... as along the coast.

The famous but unprotected spiny forest near Ifaty....

.... with the strangest trees we've ever seen. It holds seven species of baobab.

The spiny forest has a very poor subsoil but even so there is some slash-and-burn.

On our last afternoon, we ticked an important endemic inside the capital Tana: Malagasy Pond Heron, an endangered species.

see also introduction  -  bird photos  -  other photos - species list