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Cameroon Birding Trip Report
12 March - 11 April 2003
By Ron Hoff
My wife, Dollyann Myers, and I were fortunate to join Birding Africa for a complete tour of Cameroon. Their trip is designed in three parts: The northern part, including the Adamawa Plateau (Ngaoundaba Ranch), Benoué Park (drier and below the plateau), and Waza National Park (very hot and dry and in the Sahel zone); the western Cameroon mountains, where we concentrated on the endemics; and Korup National Park, where the target bird was the exotic Red-headed Picathartes. Our guides were Michael Mills (michael.at.birdingafrica.com) and Callan Cohen (callan.at.birdingafrica.com). We were thoroughly pleased with the tour and we would recommend them highly to anybody. This was our second trip with the two of them and we had a fantastic time. The trip ran smoothly and we had very few logistical problems. For the first 10 days in the north, my wife and I were the only participants, so Michael Mills was our only guide. Callan Cohen and another participant, Pearl Jordan, joined us at Mt. Kupé, near Nyasoso, for the final 2 legs of the trip, and our friend from Tennessee, Frank Bills, joined us for the final part in Korup National Park. We encountered 568 species on the trip. This included 525 seen by me, 16 species heard by me, 19 species seen by someone else in the group but not me, and 8 species that were heard by someone in the group but not me. Some of these were leader only birds and some I knew were not lifers so I didn't make much effort to see them, as I was concentrating on other birds at the time.
We used the new Guide to the Birds of Western Africa by Borrow and Demey, which we found to be excellent. The names I use in this report follow that guide, but the computer program I use is based on Clements' 5th edition of the Checklist of the Birds of the World, so some of the taxonomy doesn't quite match up. I'll do a day by day summary so readers can get a feel for what the different places were like and some of the new birds we encountered each day. Some of the species we encountered were abundant (Common Bulbul, Red-eyed Dove, etc.) so I'll only mention them in the species list. The species list, with some comments, will come next. At the end, I'll give some personal comments, tips, recommendations, etc.
March 11/12 – We left Tennessee via New York, on Air France to Paris. This particular flight arrived in Charles de Gaulle airport Paris around 0630. This left us enough time to collect our bags and get to the terminal for our Air France flight (daily) to Douala, Cameroon, arriving the evening of March 12. Our trip didn't begin until March 16, but we were flying stand-by and needed to allow time for missed flights. As it turned out, we got on the first flight out and had a couple of days to idle away. Night at Hotel Ibis (pricey at $85).
March 13 – On the way to Douala, we found out that there was another tour group that was birding at the same time as we were, and we knew one of the guides and a few of the participants. They were staying at the Hotel Sawa, which has fairly decent birding on the grounds. We decided to join them for lunch and bird some around the hotel grounds. The lunch was a buffet, and while it was tasty, it cost about $20/person. In the grounds we found Reichenbach's Sunbird, African Pygmy and Woodland Kingfishers, Common Wattle-eye, Grey-backed Cameroptera, African Thrush, Klaas's Cuckoo, African Palm and Little Swifts, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, and Black-and-white Mannikin. From our hotel room window at the Hotel Ibis, we added Grey Woodpecker and African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene). Michael Mills arrived late this night and joined us at the Hotel Ibis.
March 14 – Michael had some things to take care of in the morning, so he joined us for lunch and then arranged a taxi ride in the afternoon to the Wouri River in Douala. There we were able to hire a couple of local boatmen and their pirogue (small paddled canoe) for 10,000 cfa (Central African Francs). They paddled us around some mangroves along the Wouri River for about an hour and a half. There we saw our only Brown Sunbird and Swamp Boubou of the trip. We also had superb views of Mottled Spinetails and a Chattering Cisticola. There were many herons and egrets (great views of both color phases of Western Reef Egrets) along with several waders in the shallow areas. Other birds in the area were Little and White-throated Bee-eaters, Pied Kingfisher, and African Grey Parrots.
March 15 – Our trip didn't officially start until the 16th, so I asked Michael to set up a birding day to try to see a few things not on the itinerary. We hired a taxi for the day (35,000 cfa) and left the hotel about 0600 for the Sanaga River, near the town of Edea. On the drive there, we found Piping and White-thighed Hornbills along the highway, once we got clear of people and there was some remnant forest around. Once we got to the river, we soon located some Grey Pratincoles on the sandbars in the river. Eventually we got to within 100 m of them for good scope views. While we were watching them, we found some African Skimmers. The morning was basically spent birding along about a 2km stretch of the road next to the river. Some of the species we saw were Palm-nut Vulture, Red-necked Buzzard, White-fronted Plover, Blue-headed Coucal, Preuss's Cliff Swallow, Western Nicator, White-chinned Prinia, Green Crombec, Green Hylia, and Spectacled Weaver. We left at about 1100 and drove back to Douala where we had lunch at a hotel called Foyer du Marin (Seaman's Mission). The specialty here was not the food (although it wasn't bad), but there was a Carmelite Sunbird feeding in a flowering tree in the grounds. It was our only sighting of the trip. After lunch we drove for about 2 hours to the Limbé Botanical Gardens. Here we added Sabine's Spinetail, Wood and Garden Warblers, Cassin's Flycatcher, Forest Chestnut-winged Starling, Western Bluebill (see pic), and Orange-cheeked and Black-crowned Waxbills.
March 16 – Today our trip started in earnest, as we flew from Douala to Ngaoundere, via Maroua. We were met at the airport by our driver and a man named Victor, who was to be our interpreter for the next 10 days. Our driver was very good and Victor handled any logistical problems that came up, which weren't many. The drive to Ngaoundaba Ranch took about an hour over a washboarded, bone-jarring road. By this time it was almost dark, and we only got a few brief glimpses of a couple of nightjars on the way into the ranch. Night at Ngaoundaba Ranch.
March 17 – Ngaoundaba is a birdy place and this was a busy day. We birded the early morning until about 10, came back to the lodge for breakfast, went birding until about 3, came back for a quick sandwich, and went back out until dark. The birds were pretty much active all day and during the heat of the afternoon we just stayed to the shady areas. We got pretty good looks at most things and only a few birds gave us problems. The habitat here is dry woodland with forested ravines. The temperatures during the day were warm, but very pleasant in the shade. It was deliciously cool in the evening and with a full moon, it was fantastic. Some of the new species ticked for the day were: Eurasian Marsh Harrier; Shikra; Double-spurred Francolin; Senegal Parrot; White-crested and Ross's Turacos; Western Grey Plantain-eater; African Cuckoo; Senegal Coucal; Grey-headed, Striped, Pied, and Blue-breasted Kingfishers; Blue-bellied and Broad-billed Rollers; Black Wood-hoopoe; African Grey Hornbill; Yellow-rumped and Yellow-fronted Tinkerbirds; Double-toothed Barbet; Willcock's Honeyguide; Green-backed and Brown-backed Woodpeckers; Shari's Saw-wing; Grey-rumped Swallow; Tree Pipit; Yellow-throated Leaflove; Leaflove; Grey-winged and White-crowned Robin-chats; Whinchat; Whistling Cisticola; Bamenda Apalis; Senegal Eromomela; Northern Crombec; Oriole Warbler (my 5000th world species); Pale, Pied, and African Blue Flycatchers; Spotted Thrush-Babbler; and Brown Babblers; White-shouldered Black Tit; Western Violet-backed, Green-headed, Pygmy, Olive-bellied, Variable, Splendid, and Coppery Sunbirds; Yellow-billed Shrike; Grey-headed Bush-shrike; Marsh Tchagra; Tropical Boubou; White Helmet-shrike; African Golden Oriole; Purple Glossy, Bronze-tailed Glossy, Splendid Glossy, White-collared, and Violet-backed Starlings; Bush Petronia; Brown and Dybowski's Twinspots; and Yellow-fronted Canary. Whew! What a day.
March 18 – We basically spent another full day in the Ngaoundaba area. Our main find for the day turned out to be Schlegel's Francolin. Michael heard it call and within a few minutes we were watching a pair as they foraged on the ground.
After I took this photo, he said I might have the only photo in the world of this species. That was flattering, but it only lasted for about 3 hours. We ran into the other birding group and Michael told them about finding the francolin. As we were going back to the lodge, he stopped and took them to where we saw them. They found them in roughly the same spot (about 1 km from the lodge, near a cattle pen on the main road to the lodge) and one of their guides shot some video of it. Some of the other species we added today were: Abdim's Stork; Montagu's Harrier; Lanner Falcon; Stone Partridge; Bruce's Green Pigeon; Greater Honeyguide; Ethiopian Swallow; Red-shouldered and White-breasted Cuckoo-shrikes; Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat; Heuglin's Wheatear; Red-winged Warbler; Northern Black Flycatcher; Black-headed Batis; Spotted Creeper; Woodchat Shrike; Black-crowned Tchagra; Brubru; Greater Blue-eared Starling; Baglafecht Weaver; Red-headed Weaver; White-cheeked Oliveback; Red-winged and Yellow-winged Pytilias; and Black-bellied Firefinch. We were so tired after the previous day, that we decided NOT to go out and look for nightbirds. That proved to be costly, as we went out tonight and dipped on Plain and Black-shouldered Nightjars. Plain was heard only. The other bird group did see them the night before (17th). The good part was that we had loads of Standard-winged Nightjars. We were able to get very close to them using spotlights and had some incredible views as they glided past us with the standards sticking straight up in the air! Wow! We also had good looks at an African Scops-Owl. Night at Ngaoundaba Lodge.
March 19 – We birded some in the Ngaoundaba area just long enough to finally (after dipping for 2+ days) tick Blackcap Babbler. The bonus was also finding a Square-tailed Drongo. We then left Ngaoundaba to drive to Benoué. Along the way we ticked Tambourine Dove and then stopped at a swamp and picked up a few wetland species. Also seen on the way was a Greater Spotted Eagle, Horus Swift, and Red-throated Bee-eater. When we got near Benoué, we added Cabanis's Bunting, Brown Snake-Eagle, Rufous Cisticola, and Yellow-bellied Hyliota. We had a brief rest after arriving at Benoué and then went out for some late afternoon birding. New species ticked were: Vieillot's and Bearded Barbets; Fine-spotted Woodpecker; Violet Turaco; Red-winged Grey Warbler; Lead-coloured Flycatcher; Senegal Batis; Beautiful Sunbird; Sulpher-breasted Bush-shrike; and Red-billed Firefinch. Night at Campement de Buffle Noir.
March 20 – Benoué National Park is is a vast wilderness area of extensive deciduous woodlands that is further north from Ngaoundaba and below the Adamawa plateau. The temperatures here were warmer but it still cooled off nicely at night. Our lodge was situated right on the banks above the Benoué river which provided some great scenery. We were to spend 2 full days birding here as there are several species particular to this area. We mostly birded along the many roads that go through the park. Whenever Michael heard something or we got into some promising looking habitat, we got out of the van and birded. Some of the new species we ticked today were: Lizzard Buzzard; Tawny Eagle; White-throated Francolin; Egyptian Plover; Adamawa Turtle Dove; Northern Carmine Bee-eater; Abyssinian Ground Hornbill; Familiar Chat; African Moustached-Warbler; Short-winged Cisticola; Swamp Flycatcher; Black-headed Gonolek; and Little and Heuglin's Masked Weavers. Night at Campement de Buffle Noir.
March 21 – Another full day birding Benoué, just driving some different roads. Some new species ticked were: Western Banded Snake-Eagle; Long-crested Eagle; juvenile Martial Eagle; Ovambo Sparrowhawk (building a nest); African Hobby; Verreaux's Eagle Owl; Rufous-crowned Roller; Lesser Honeyguide; Winding and Croaking Cisticolas; and Black-faced Firefinch. We went out nightbirding and taped in a White-faced Owl, but it was hidden in some leaves and the only look we got of it was as it flew out of the back of the tree. Night at Campement de Buffle Noir.
March 22 – We did some final birding along the main road leading out of Benoué, hoping to pick up a few species we were still missing. We did well, finding Dorst's Cisticola, Red winged Pytilia, and Brown-rumped Bunting. We left Benoué Park and drove north to the city of Maroua. Along the way, we birded some along a couple of rivers and added several trip ticks, including Grasshopper Buzzard, but not anything endemic or rare. The hotel we stayed at in Maroua was called Porto something. I can't remember the exact name, but it was nice and had some of the best food of the entire trip.
March 23 – Mostly a driving day to get to Waza National Park, but we did some birding along the way. The roads in this area are pretty bad and you can't go very fast because of all the potholes, so travel was slow. This was the hottest part of the entire trip, but the humidity was very low, making it barely bearable. We looked for Quail-Plover on the way, after we found a Cricket Warbler, but were unsuccessful. After arriving at Waza, we had a midday rest and then went out birding in the late afternoon. There are several water holes in the area and they attract loads of birds. Some new species ticked for the day were Woolly-necked Stork, Knob-billed Duck, African Swallow-tailed Kite, Gabar Goshawk, Booted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Clapperton's Francolin, Denham's and White-bellied Bustards, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, African Mourning Dove, African Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Red-billed Hornbill, Crested Lark, Rufous and Black Scrub Robins, Red-pate Cisticola, River Prinia, Cricket Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Sennar Penduline-Tit, Masked and Isabelline Shrikes, Long-tailed Glossy and Chestnut-bellied Starlings, White-billed Buffalo Weaver, Speckle-fronted Weaver, Green-winged Pytilia, Black-rumped Waxbill, African Silverbill, Sahel Paradise Whydah, and White-rumped Seedeater. Night at Campement de Waza.
March 24 – This was our day where we actually went into Waza National Park. We entered the park right after dawn and didn't get back out until about 2 p.m. It was a bit long, but we found all the target birds. After a mid-day break, we went out for some late afternoon birding. Some new ticks were Egyptian Vulture, Steppe Eagle, Black Crowned Crane, Arabian Bustard, Senegal Thick-knee, Greyish Eagle Owl, Singing Bush Lark, Northern Wheatear, Northern Anteater Chat, Zebra Waxbill, and African Quailfinch. Night at Campement de Waza.
March 25 – Today our main focus was to make a proper attempt at finding the Quail-Plover. We went to the site, which was just north of the community of Mora. The plan was to walk in the proper habitat and flush the bird. The plan was fine, but with only 3 of us, we couldn't spread out enough to make the bird nervous enough to flush. We walked the habitat for about 3 hours, but were not lucky enough to flush it. We left disappointed and returned at mid day to Waza for lunch and a break. We went back out in the late afternoon and also did some night birding. The night birding produced great looks at Long-tailed Nightjars and at one of the water holes, several Barn Owls came in to drink along with a few hundred Four-banded Sandgrouse. We also spotlighted a Sand Fox on the way back to camp. Some of the other new ticks for the day were Red-necked Falcon and Spotted Thick-knee. Although we had some great looks at some of the species, we were disappointed in dipping on the Quail-Plover (for the second time) and not adding many new ticks. At supper we discovered that a group of 6 birders that we knew from South Africa had arrived. After talking with them, Michael agreed to show them Cricket Warbler if they would join us to try again for the Quail-Plover, since they needed it also. That would give us 9 10 people and a better chance to flush it. Since we were leaving tomorrow, we knew it was our best shot at finding it. Night at Campement de Waza.
March 26 – The day started off poorly, as there was a dust storm and visibility was limited to about a km. Our friends had spotted a Sudan Golden Sparrow on their way in to Waza yesterday, so we tried to find it in the same area they saw it. While we were trolling for it, Michael got a glimpse of 2 of them as they flew by, but no one else saw them. In the meantime, we turned up a pair of Yellow-crowned Gonoleks. We then moved on to the Quail-Plover site and worked on finding the Cricket Warbler for our friends. Michael was successful finding it again and everybody got great looks at it. A couple of bonus birds in the same place were Sun Lark and African Golden-breasted Bunting. Then it happened. One of our friends happened to walk close to a scrub bush and a nightjar flushed and then landed again about 10 feet away. It was Golden Nightjar!!! It sat for a long time while we swam in the incredible beauty and rarity of this bird. A first record for Cameroon. As I understand it, not many people have ever even seen this species, and accordingly we were stunned and totally captivated.
We were all giddy with excitement as we walked across the road and began walking the habitat for the Quail-Plover. The numbers game worked after about 15 minutes, as we finally flushed a Quail-Plover. We watched where it landed and then were able to re find it on the ground (not an easy task, as it's coloration exactly matches the surrounding ground), and watch it for a long time through the scope for some killer views. Not bad for a day that started out as a dust storm! The rest of the day was spent catching a flight out of Maroua, flying back to Douala, where we met up with Pearl Jordan. We ate supper at Foyer du Marin and then drove to Nyasoso, arriving about 10 p.m. Here we were joined by our other guide, Callan Cohen. Night at Lucy's Guesthouse.
March 27 – Today the plan was to go into the Bakossi Mountains, where Michael and Callan had found Mt. Kupé Bush-shrike and several other Cameroon mountain endemics last year. We had a 4-wheel drive vehicle now, and we needed it to get to the village before entering the forest. After meeting the local chief and going through a quick ceremony, we finally got onto the trail into the forest about 8:30. It was a fun morning and we ticked Cassin's Hawk-Eagle, Scaly Francolin, Green Turaco, Black and European Bee-eaters, Tullberg's Woodpecker, Western Mountain and Grey-headed Greenbuls, Bocage's Akalat (usually split as Alexander's), Brown-chested Alethe, Chubb's Cisticola (usually considered as an endemic species = Brown-backed), Green Longtail, Masked Apalis, White-tailed Warbler, Dusky Blue-Flycatcher, Red-bellied Paradise-Flycatcher, White-throated Mountain-Babbler, Cameroon and Ursula's Sunbirds, Green-breasted Bush-shrike, Pink-footed Puffback (very similar and often confused with Mt. Kupé Bush-shrike given only a quick look), Leuhder's Bush-shrike, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Black-billed Weaver, White breasted Negrofinch, and Red-faced Crimsonwing. We heard the Mt. Kupé Bush-shrikes, but were only able to catch glimpses of bird bodies as they responded to the tapes. Later, while birding along the road we added Rufous-crowned Eremomela, Wood Warbler, and Superb Sunbird. Night at Lucy's Guesthouse.
March 28 – We returned to the same area as yesterday, but arrived earlier and didn't have to repeat the ceremony with the chief. We worked hard all morning, but couldn't find the Mt. Kupé Bush-shrike. We were able to add Yellowbill, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Cameroon Montane Greenbul, Black-throated and Grey Apalis, Yellow Longbill, Black-capped Woodland Warbler, White-bellied and Blue-headed Crested-Flycatchers, Black-and-white Flycatcher, Black-necked Wattle-eye, Bocage's Bush-shrike, Black-winged Oriole, Shining Drongo, and Dark-backed and Brown-capped Weavers. We had a packed lunch on the trail and then tried another section of one of the trails. Callan and Michael heard the bush-shrikes and we were finally able to get onto a pair of lovely Mt. Kupé Bush-shrikes. We all had good looks at these beauties. They are far prettier than I had imagined from the field guide. On the way out we added Black Sparrowhawk (briefly), Cassin's Honeybird and Narrow-tailed and Waller's Starlings. Night at Lucy's Guesthouse.
March 29 – Today we hiked up Max's trail on Mt. Kupé. Our objective was to search for Little Oliveback on the upper reaches of Max's trail. It was a steep trail and required great effort to climb it – and after a hard slog we got the bird in the end! It took us most of the morning to get there, but along the way we found Yellow-billed Turaco, Naked-faced Barbet, Gabon Woodpecker, Petit's Cuckoo-shrike, White-bellied Robin Chat, Crossley's Ground-Thrush, Black-faced Rufous-Warbler, Banded Prinia, Black-capped Apalis, Yellow-footed and Sooty Flycatchers, Bates's Paradise Flycatcher, Shrike-Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye, Blackcap Illadopsis, and Western Black-headed Oriole. We had lunch and then worked our way back to the bottom. We heard African Piculet several times but could not locate it. Night at Lucy's.
March 30 – We birded the Mt. Kupé nature trail in the morning hours, before leaving to drive to Bamenda. New ticks were Red-rumped Tinkerbird, heard Piculet again but no sighting, Forest Swallow, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Red-headed Malimbe, and Red-headed Antpecker. The drive to Bamenda was uneventful. Night at Skyline Hotel.
March 31 – Today we were going to try for the Bamenda highland endemics in a remnant patch of forest not too far from Bamenda. We drove in on a rough road and stopped in a place that mostly had Eucalyptus trees. Right off we heard Bannerman's Turaco. The guides played the tape and they responded nicely for some great looks. In the next 40 minutes or so we added Mountain Robin-Chat, Bangwa Forest-Warbler, Black-collared Apalis, Banded Wattle-eye, Yellow-breasted Boubou, and Bannerman's Weaver. In less than an hour and not moving more than 50m, we had all 6 endemics we were looking for!
We went back to the hotel and had lunch. Later in the afternoon, we drove to some highlands with a guide from Birdlife International. It was some different, open habitat and we added Fox Kestrel, African Black and Mottled Swifts, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Mountain Wagtail, Pectoral-patch Cicticola, Orange-tufted Sunbird, Yellow Bishop, and Common Waxbill. Night at Skyline Hotel.
April 1 – Today we went with a guide from Birdlife International and drove up the road to Mt. Oku. It was a long, hard road, but we were able to get to a remnant patch of higher elevation forest, where we eventually found Cameroon Olive Pigeon. Also added here were the Cameroon race of Grassland Pipit (considered by some to be an endemic species = Cameroon Pipit), and Oriole Finch. In the late afternoon we visited the palace of the Fon of Bafut. It was Interesting. Night at Skyline Hotel.
April 2 – As we woke up, we were alerted by Callan that Michael had heard a White-crowned Cliff-Chat outside our hotel windows. As a bonus we also saw Neumann's Starling on some rocks below the hotel. After breakfast we drove back to Nyasoso, where we stayed at a different guesthouse for the night, as Lucy's was full with another birding group. In the late afternoon we just birded along the roads and added Common Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Barbet, Square-tailed Saw-wing, and Simple Leaflove. We did a bit of night birding to no avail, but the guides did hear a Buff-spotted Flufftail and were able to find it for Ms. Jordan.
April 3 – Our plan today was to bird the lower parts of Mt. Kupé, trying to pick up a couple of things we dipped on earlier, and then drive on to Buea and Mt. Cameroon. We started out on the shrike trail, but didn't get very far when we heard a Grey-headed Broadbill. We tried calling it in from the trail, but it wasn't responding so we went off the trail and into the forest a bit. After looking for about 15 minutes, the broadbill appeared above our heads and displayed for about 5 10 minutes. It was incredible. What a beauty!
Coming back out to go up Max's trail a bit, we saw a Black Cuckoo. On Max's trail we had great luck and eventually saw Bates's Swift, Bristle-nosed Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Thick-billed Honeyguide, African Piculet (in the scope!), Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Honeyguide Greenbul, Bioko Batis (usually split as West African Batis), Tiny Sunbird, Many-coloured Bush-shrike, and Black-shouldered Puffback.
We left Nyasoso about noon and added Eurasian Honey Buzzard along the way. Night at a hotel in Buea.
April 4 – Our objective today was to climb up Mt. Cameroon far enough to get into the habitat of the Mount Cameroon Speirops. We drove a rough road to another small village, where we had another short ceremony with the local chief before starting out on our hike up the mountain. We somehow managed to climb over 700m in elevation and about 5.5km in just over 3 hours. It worked, as we found the Speirops at 1680m. Along the way we also added Mountain Saw-wing. We had great looks at both species, ate a chocolate bar to celebrate, and then hiked back down in just over 2 hours. By the time we got back down, fog had rolled in and visibility was only about 20m. Michael heard Red-chested Flufftail calling and he was able to call it in for a nice look. We didn't get back to the hotel until about 4 p.m. and we were exhausted. The fourth member of the group, Frank Bills, joined us tonight for the final week in Korup. Night at hotel in Buea.
April 5 – We drove to Mundemba today and did some birding along the way. Some new ticks for the day included Crowned Eagle, Long-legged Pipit, Spotted Greenbul, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Black-bellied Seedcracker, and Black-headed Waxbill. Night at a hotel in Mundemba.
April 6 – Today we hiked 8 km into Korup National Park to get to our campsite. We birded some along the way. Crossing the river we ticked Rock Pratincole. As soon as we got into the forest we heard Chocolate-backed Kingfisher. We heard this species many times but never saw it. Some other ticks on the way in were White-crested and Yellow-casqued Hornbills, Forest Robin, Fraser's Sunbird, and Fire-crested Alethe (very common, but hard to see). This forest is one of the thickest I've ever seen. It's layered so much that it's very difficult to see into the tallest trees and the understory is dark, making lower down birds hard to see as well. We got to camp and had lunch and a mid day break. About 4 p.m. we went to the Picathartes stakeout site and began our wait for them. It took about an hour of sitting very still, but eventually a couple of them showed up and everybody got good looks at them. After they left, we slipped out and hiked back to camp. We ate supper and then went out for some nightbirding, but were unable to find anything. All in all, we hiked about 11 km today and were pretty tired at the end, but the energy from seeing the Picathartes lasted well into the night. All nights in camp.
April 7 – Full day birding in the forest along different trails. Some of the new ticks were: Blue-headed Wood-Dove; Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill; Buff-spotted Woodpecker; Blue Cuckoo-shrike; Icterine, Eastern Bearded, Red-tailed, and White-bearded Greenbuls; Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush; Lemon-bellied Crombec; Chestnut Wattle-eye; Pale breasted Illadopsis; and Blue-billed and Crested Malimbes. The group went back to the Picathartes site tonight and saw them again, but my wife and I stayed in camp. They got a brief look at Rufous-sided Broadbill on the way back.
April 8 – Today we birded our way to Rengo rock. Before we got there we had a great encounter with the Rufous-sided Broadbill. It displayed directly over our heads.
Before we got to Rengo rock, we added Xavier's Greenbul, Dusky Crested Flycatcher, and Velvet-mantled Drongo. We had a nice vantage point of the forest canopy on top of the rock, but it was almost lunchtime and not much was moving. While we ate lunch we were taunted by the Chocolate-backed Kingfisher again, but still did not see it, despite tracking it into the forest some. I would recommend a dedicated early morning hike to get to the rock early. Then you might have good chance of seeing some of the canopy species. Back at the campsite, we had Sabine's Spinetail flying over.
April 9 – Today we hiked back out of camp. Along the way we searched for some species that we were still missing. We again chased Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, but no luck. We did hear Bare-cheeked Trogon, but unfortunately I was the only person in the group to actually see it. We heard several calling during our time in the forest. Other ticks on the way out were Ansorge's Greenbul, Lesser Bristlebill, Gray Ground-Thrush (seen by me only), and Chestnut-capped Flycatcher (see by Frank only). We didn't add anything new on the way back to Mundemba. Night at the same hotel in Mundemba.
April 10 – This was a long day driving back to Douala, but we birded some in the morning hours and picked up a few new ticks. They were Great Blue Turaco, Cassin's Spinetail, Red-vented Malimbe, and Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch. After we got back to Douala, we parted with Michael, as he had to catch a flight out. Night at Foyer du Marin.
April 11 – This was our final day birding and we hired a taxi for the morning and headed back out to the Sanaga River area near Edea. We didn't expect to find much but were pleasantly surprised to find a pair of Hartlaub's Ducks. Other new trip ticks were Common Ringed Plover and Little Grey Greenbul. We got back to our hotel around noon and then flew out of Douala to Paris late in the evening.
This is the species list for the trip. They include species seen at least by me (525), heard at least by me (H = 16), seen by somebody in the group, but not me (G = 19), or heard by somebody in the group, but not me (GH = 8). The number(s) behind the species are the dates that species was encountered and the reader can reference the text for the location.
Ostrich Struthio camelus. 24
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis. 31
Long-tailed Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus. Fairly common (FC).
Gray Heron Ardea cinerea. 15, 22
Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala. 22 26; FC
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea. 17, 19, 24
Great Egret Ardea alba. FC
Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia. 14, 24
Western Reef-Heron Egretta gularis. 14. Wouri River in Douala
Little Egret Egretta garzetta. 14 24. FC
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides. 14 24. FC
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis. Common (C)
Striated Heron Butorides striatus. 5
Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax. 14, 24
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta. 14 20. FC
Yellow billed Stork Mycteria ibis. 24.
African Openbill Anastomus lamelligerus. 22 25. FC
Abdim's Stork Ciconia abdimii. 18, 19.
Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus. 23
White Stork Ciconia ciconia. 24
Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis. 24
Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus. 22, 24
Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus. 15, 18, 23 25
Hadada Ibis Bostrychia hagedash. 19, 20, 24, 5, 10
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus. 24
White-faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna viduata. 22, 24
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus. 20
Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis. 19, 24
Comb Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos. 23, 24
Hartlaub's Duck Pteronetta hartlaubii. 11
Garganey Anas querquedula. 24
European Honey buzzard Pernis apivorus. 3, 8, 10
Bat Hawk Macheiramphus alcinus. G 31
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus. 24 26, 31, 1
Scissor-tailed Kite Chelictinia riocourii. 23 25. Great bird; graceful and beautiful.
Black Kite Milvus migrans. Abundant (A). This is actually Yellow-billed Kite (not yet split in Clements' checklist).
African Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer. 17, 20, 23 25
Palm-nut Vulture Gypohierax angolensis. 15, 2 6, 10, 11
Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus. 17 23, 31
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus. 24. Only one seen at Waza park.
White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus. 17 19, 24
Rueppell's Griffon Gyps rueppellii. 24
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotus. 24
Brown Snake Eagle Circaetus cinereus. 19, 22
Banded Snake-Eagle Circaetus cinerascens. 21
Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus. 20 24
Western Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus. FC
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus. 18, 23 26. Gorgeous bird
African Harrier-Hawk Polyboroides typus. C
Lizard Buzzard Kaupifalco monogrammicus. FC
Dark Chanting-Goshawk Melierax metabates. 22 25. FC
Gabar Goshawk Micronisus gabar. 23 25
African Goshawk Accipiter tachiro. 29, 30G, 3
Shikra Accipiter badius. 17 21
Ovampo Sparrowhawk Accipiter ovampensis. 21. Found nest building at Benoué.
Black Goshawk Accipiter melanoleucus. 28, 31GH, 3
Grasshopper Buzzard Butastur rufipennis. 22 25. FC
Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus. 23. Good look at one seen soaring, on way to Waza.
Red-necked Buzzard Buteo auguralis. FC
Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga. 19. Seen well while soaring, on way to Benoué.
Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax. 20
Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis. 24. A few seen in Waza park.
Booted Eagle Aquila pennatus. 23, 25G. Only a couple seen.
Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus. 21. One juvenile seen from Benoué lodge.
Long-crested Eagle Lophaetus occipitalis. 21, 24
Cassin's Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus africanus. 27, 3, 5
Crowned Hawk-Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus. 5. One seen well while soaring, on way to Mundemba.
Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus. 23 25, 30G 1G
Fox Kestrel Falco alopex. 31, 1G, 2G. Good looks at a soaring pair in Bamenda.
Red-necked Falcon Falco chicquera. 25
Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo. 2G
African Hobby Falco cuvierii. 21
Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus. 18, 31
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus. 23, 25
White-throated Francolin Francolinus albogularis. 20, 21H, 22. Great looks in Benoué.
Schlegel's Francolin Francolinus schlegelii. 18. Pair foraging in Ngaoundaba. Superb!
Scaly Francolin Francolinus squamatus. 17H, 27, 31G, 4GH
Double-spurred Francolin Francolinus bicalcaratus. 17 21. FC
Clapperton's Francolin Francolinus clappertoni. 23 26. C
Stone Partridge Ptilopachus petrosus. 18, 20 22. Seen several times in Benoué.
Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris. 19, 23 25
Small Buttonquail Turnix sylvatica. 22, 24G. Seen briefly after being flushed.
Quail-plover Ortyxelos meiffrenii. 26. This one took 3 tries, but with enough people in the right habitat, it's findable. We had great looks at length.
Black Crowned Crane Balearica pavonina. 24. About 200 at one water hole in the park.
White-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura pulchra. 17 19, 29, 30, 3GH, 6. This species wasn't a lifer for anyone, so we didn't pursue it.
Buff-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura elegans. 28H, 2G. Found one night at Mt. Kupé.
Red-chested Flufftail Sarothrura rufa. 28H, 4. Good look at one while waiting for our vehicle after climbing Mt. Cameroon.
African Rail Rallus caerulescens. 17H, 19H
Black Crake Amaurornis flavirostris. 17GH. Leader heard only.
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio. 19
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus. 31
Arabian Bustard Ardeotis arabs. 24. One bird found in Waza park.
Stanley Bustard Neotis denhami. 23
White-bellied Bustard Eupodotis senegalensis. 23, 26G
African Jacana Actophilornis africanus. FC
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus. 14, 15, 23, 25
Senegal Thick-knee Burhinus senegalensis. 21GH, 24
Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis. 25
Egyptian Plover Pluvianus aegyptius. 20, 22. Benoué only, but had superb views.
Bronze-winged Courser Rhinoptilus chalcopterus. 18. Heard only at night at Ngaoundaba.
Rock Pratincole Glareola nuchalis. 6, 9. On the river bed rocks going into and coming out of Korup park.
Gray Pratincole Glareola cinerea. 15, 11. 20 30 roosting on river sandbars near Edea.
Long-toed Lapwing Vanellus crassirostris. 24
Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus. 19, 22, 24
Black-headed Lapwing Vanellus tectus. 23 26
White-headed Lapwing Vanellus albiceps. 15, 19, 20, 5
Wattled Lapwing Vanellus senegallus. 19GH, 24
Brown-chested Lapwing Vanellus superciliosus.16H, 18H. Heard at night at Ngaoundaba.
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula. 11
Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris. 19, 20
White-fronted Plover Charadrius marginatus. 15, 11
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus. 14
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia. 14, 15G, 22G, 24, 11
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus. 19, 20, 23, 25
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola. FC
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos. C
Little Stint Calidris minuta. 15, 11
Ruff Philomachus pugnax. 24
Royal Tern Sterna maxima. 15
African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris. 15, 11. Several roosting on Sanaga sandbars.
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus. 23, 24
Four-banded Sandgrouse Pterocles quadricinctus. 21, 22, 23H, 25
Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea. 19G, 20, 23 25
Cameroon Pigeon Columba sjostedti. 1. Seen well in remnant forest patch off road to Mt. Oku.
Eurasian Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur. 23, 24
Adamawa Turtle Dove Streptopelia hypopyrrha. 20. Had to wade across the Benoué, but found it and got a good look. Near “hippo pools”.
African Collared Dove Streptopelia roseogrisea. 23 25
African Mourning Dove Streptopelia decipiens. 23 25
Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata. A
Vinaceous Dove Streptopelia vinacea. 17 26. C
Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis. 17 25. C
Black-billed Wood-Dove Turtur abyssinicus. 19 22, 24G
Blue-spotted Wood-Dove Turtur afer. C
Tambourine Dove Turtur tympanistria. 19G, 27GH, 30GH, 2G, 3GH, 10, 11
Blue-headed Wood-Dove Turtur brehmeri. 7, 8, 9H
Namaqua Dove Oena capensis. 22 26
Bruce's Green Pigeon Treron waalia. 18, 20G, 21, 22
African Green Pigeon Treron calva. C
Gray Parrot Psittacus erithacus. 14, 15, 4 11
Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus. 17 22, 26. FC
Great Blue Turaco Corythaeola cristata. 15H, 4H, 5H, 10
Guinea Turaco Tauraco persa. 26, 29GH, 30H, 31, 1H, 2GH, 3G
White-crested Turaco Tauraco leucolophus. 17 21
Yellow-billed Turaco Tauraco macrorhynchus. 28H, 29, 30H, 3 9
Bannerman's Turaco Tauraco bannermani. 31, 1. Great looks on the 31st.
Violet Turaco Musophaga violacea. 19, 20, 21G
Ross's Turaco Musophaga rossae. 17, 18GH, 19H
Western Plantain-eater Crinifer piscator. 17 19
Red-chested Cuckoo Cuculus solitarius. 27GH, 28GH, 29GH
Black Cuckoo Cuculus clamosus. 3, 11
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus. 2
African Cuckoo Cuculus gularis. 17, 19 2130, 31H
Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx olivinus. 28H, 3GH
Klaas's Cuckoo Chrysococcyx klaas. FC
African Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx cupreus. FC
Didric Cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius. 15H, 28H, 29
Yellowbill Ceuthmochares aereus. Fairly common in western Cameroon.
Black-throated Coucal Centropus leucogaster. 9H
Blue-headed Coucal Centropus monachus. 15, 27 30H, 31, 2 5H
Senegal Coucal Centropus senegalensis. 17 25. FC
Barn Owl Tyto alba. 17G, 23 25. Nesting in roof of restaurant at Waza lodge.
African Scops-Owl Otus senegalensis. 18, 20 22. Common at Benoué.
Northern White-faced Owl Ptilopsis leucotis. 22, 23GH. Poor “flying away” look at Benoué.
Grayish Eagle-Owl Bubo cinerascens. 18GH, 24, 25G
Verreaux's Eagle-Owl Bubo lacteus. 21
Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum. 19, 20H, 21H
Chestnut-backed owlet Glaucidium sjostedti. 8H
Golden Nightjar Caprimulgus eximius. 26. On open plains north of Mora.
Long-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus climacurus. 19, 23, 25
Plain Nightjar Caprimulgus inornatus. 18H, 19H
Freckled Nightjar Caprimulgus tristigma. 19H
Standard-winged Nightjar Macrodipteryx longipennis. 17, 18. Great flight views.
Mottled Spinetail Telacanthura ussheri. 14, 24
Sabine's Spinetail Rhaphidura sabini. 15, 8
Cassin's Spinetail Neafrapus cassini. 10. Great look on way out of Mundemba.
African Palm Swift Cypsiurus parvus. A
Mottled Swift Tachymarptis aequatorialis. 31
African Swift Apus barbatus. 31
Little Swift Apus affinis. C. Especially in west.
Horus Swift Apus horus. 19
Bates's Swift Apus batesi. 2G, 3, 4G, 10
Speckled Mousebird Colius striatus. FC
Blue-naped Mousebird Urocolius macrourus. 23G, 24, 25
Bare-cheeked Trogon Apaloderma aequatoriale. 9. Although I was able to get on this species 3 times, I was the only one to see it; very elusive.
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher Halcyon badia. 6H, 9H. Heard often, but never seen.
Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata. 20, 24
African Pygmy-Kingfisher Ispidina picta. FC
Gray-headed Kingfisher Halcyon leucocephala. FC in the east
Woodland Kingfisher Halcyon senegalensis. FC
Blue-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon malimbica. 17, 18H, 19, 21, 5
Striped Kingfisher Halcyon chelicuti. 18 22
Giant Kingfisher Megaceryle maxima. 20, 21, 11
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis. FC
Black Bee-eater Merops gularis. 27, 28, 29G
Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki. 19 22. FC
Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus. 14, 15, 23G, 11
Blue-breasted Bee-eater Merops variegatus. 31
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater Merops hirundineus. 20
White-throated Bee-eater Merops albicollis. C
Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis. 22 26. FC
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster. 27, 28G, 5
Northern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicus. 20, 22 25. FC
Abyssinian Roller Coracias abyssinica. 18 26. FC
Rufous-crowned Roller Coracias naevia. 21, 22G
Blue-bellied Roller Coracias cyanogaster. 17, 18, 20
Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus. 17, 18
Hoopoe Upupa epops. 17H, 18, 23 26. FC
Green Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus. 20, 21
Black Scimitar-bill Rhinopomastus aterrimus. 17, 18GH, 20G, 22, 24G, 26
White-crested Hornbill Tockus albocristatus. 6. Brief glimpses only; very shy.
Red-billed Dwarf-Hornbill Tockus camurus. 7, 8, 10H
Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus. 23 26
African Pied Hornbill Tockus fasciatus. C, especially in west
African Gray Hornbill Tockus nasutus. 17 26. C
Piping Hornbill Ceratogymna fistulator. 15, 5, 10
White-thighed Hornbill Ceratogymna albotibialis. 15, 9GH, 10, 11
Yellow-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna elata. 6, 7H, 8H, 9H
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill Bucorvus abyssinicus. 20
Naked-faced Barbet Gymnobucco calvus. 29, 30, 3 5, 11
Bristle-nosed Barbet Gymnobucco peli. 28GH, 3
Gray-throated Barbet Gymnobucco bonapartei. 15
Speckled Tinkerbird Pogoniulus scolopaceus. 30GH, 2G, 3GH
Western Green Tinkerbird Pogoniulus coryphaeus. 27H, 29GH, 1GH, 4GH
Red-rumped Tinkerbird Pogoniulus atroflavus. 29GH, 30, 3, 9GH
Yellow-throated Tinkerbird Pogoniulus subsulphureus. 15, 29H, 30H, 2G, 4 9H
Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird Pogoniulus bilineatus. C
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird Pogoniulus chrysoconus. 17 19
Yellow-spotted Barbet Buccanodon duchaillui. 15H, 3, 5. FC
Hairy-breasted Barbet Tricholaema hirsuta. 28GH, 2GH, 3GH, 6 9GH
Vieillot's Barbet Lybius vieilloti. 19, 20G, 23 26
Double-toothed Barbet. Lybius bidentatus. 17
Bearded Barbet Lybius dubius. 19 21, 22G
Yellow-billed Barbet Trachyphonus purpuratus. 15H, 2, 11. FC
Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator. 18, 20
Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor. 21
Thick-billed Honeyguide Indicator conirostris. 29GH, 3
Willcock's Honeyguide Indicator willcocksi. 17, 18
Cassin's Honeyguide Prodotiscus insignis. 28, 30G, 3, 4H
African Piculet Sasia africana. 29H, 30GH, 3, 4GH, 6GH, 8
Fine-spotted Woodpecker Campethera punctuligera. 19 22
Golden-tailed Woodpecker Campethera abingoni. 22GH
Green backed Woodpecker Campethera cailliautii. 17
Tullberg's Woodpecker Campethera tullbergi. 27, 28, 29G
Buff-spotted Woodpecker Campethera nivosa. 7G, 8G, 9
Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens. 15G, 20, 29, 30, 2
Gabon Woodpecker Dendropicos gabonensis. 29
Golden-crowned Woodpecker Dendropicos xantholophus. 3, 4G
Gray Woodpecker Dendropicos goertae. FC
Brown-backed Woodpecker Dendropicos obsoletus. 17, 21
Gray-headed Broadbill Smithornis sharpei. 29H, 30H, 3
Rufous-sided Broadbill Smithornis rufolateralis. 8
Singing Bushlark Mirafra cantillans. 24
Chestnut backed Sparrow Lark Eremopterix leucotis. 22 26. FC
Crested Lark Galerida cristata. 23 25
Sun Lark Galerida modesta. 26
Bank Swallow Riparia riparia. 24, 25
Plain Martin Riparia paludicola. 25
Gray-rumped Swallow Hirundo griseopyga. 17, 18
Rock Martin Hirundo fuligula. 30G, 31, 1
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica. C
Ethiopian Swallow Hirundo aethiopica. 18, 22 26
Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii. 14G, 19 21
Lesser Striped Swallow Hirundo abyssinica. C
Rufous-chested Swallow Hirundo semirufa. 15G, 5, 11
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica. 22, 31
Preuss's Swallow Hirundo preussi. FC
Forest Swallow Hirundo fuliginosa. 30
Square-tailed Sawwing Psalidoprocne nitens. 2, 3G
Mountain Sawwing Psalidoprocne fuliginosa. 4
Shari Sawwing Psalidoprocne chalybea. 17 19. FC
Petit's Sawwing Psalidoprocne petiti. 27 5. C
African Pied Wagtail Motacilla aguimp. 20
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava. C
Mountain Wagtail Motacilla clara. 31
Yellow-throated Longclaw Macronyx croceus. 18H, 19H, 31, 1G
African Pipit Anthus cinnamomeus. 1. Cameroonensis race
Long-legged Pipit Anthus pallidiventris. 5, 6
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis. 17, 18, 20G, 27, 28G, 31G
White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike Coracina pectoralis. 18, 20, 21G
Blue Cuckoo-shrike Coracina azurea. 7
Gray Cuckoo-shrike Coracina caesia. 28, 1
Petit's Cuckoo-shrike Campephaga petiti. 27G, 29, 30, 3
Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike Campephaga phoenicea. 18, 19G
Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus. A
Cameroon Mountain Greenbul Andropadus montanus. 28, 29GH, 31, 1, 4GH
Little Greenbul Andropadus virens. C
Gray Greenbul Andropadus gracilis. 11
Ansorge's Greenbul Andropadus ansorgei. 9
Cameroon Sombre Greenbul Andropadus curvirostris. 30G
Slender-billed Greenbul Andropadus 30G, 3G
Yellow-whiskered Bulbul Andropadus latirostris. 15GH, 29GH, 30, 2G, 3, 4GH, 8GH
Western Mountain Greenbul. Andropadus tephrolaemus. 27, 31, 1, 4
Golden Greenbul Calyptocichla serina. 30G
Honeyguide Greenbul Baeopogon indicator. 28GH, 29GH, 30G, 3
Spotted Greenbul Ixonotus guttatus. 5, 7
Simple Greenbul Chlorocichla simplex. 15GH, 2, 3GH, 5GH
Yellow-throated Greenbul Chlorocichla flavicollis. 17, 19, 21GH, 27 31GH
Leaf-love Phyllastrephus scandens. 17
Cameroon Olive Greenbul Phyllastrephus poensis. 28, 29GH, 4
Gray-headed Greenbul Phyllastrephus poliocephalus. 27, 28, 29G
Icterine Greenbul Phyllastrephus icterinus. 7 9. FC
Xavier's Greenbul Phyllastrephus xavieri. 8, 9
Common Bristlebill Bleda syndactyla. 6G, 9
Green-tailed Bristlebill Bleda eximia. 6 8H, 9
Yellow-spotted Nicator Nicator chloris. 15, 29GH, 5H, 6H, 7, 10. FC
Red-tailed Greenbul Criniger calurus. 7, 8H
Eastern Bearded Greenbul Criniger chloronotus. 7 9
White-bearded Greenbul Criniger ndussumensis. 7
Forest Robin Pycnonotus barbatus. 6 9G
White-tailed Ant-Thrush Neocossyphus poensis. 27G, 6G
Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush Neocossyphus fraseri. 7, 8H, 9H
Crossley's Ground-Thrush Zoothera crossleyi. 27GH, 28H, 29, 4GH
Gray Ground-Thrush Zoothera cameronensis. 9. Only seen by myself.
African Thrush Turdus pelios. A
Brown-chested Alethe Alethe poliocephala. 27
Fire-crested Alethe Alethe diademata. 6, 7H, 8G. Very common, but hard to see.
Red-faced Cisticola Cisticola erythrops. 20H, 21G
Singing Cisticola Cisticola cantans. 31 3GH
Whistling Cisticola Cisticola lateralis. 17, 19GH
Chattering Cisticola Cisticola anonymus. 14, 15 Common in west.
Chubb's Cisticola Cisticola chubbi. 27, 28, 31G, 1H, 4GH
Red-pate Cisticola Cisticola ruficeps. 23, 25G, 26
Dorst's Cisticola Cisticola dorsti. 22
Winding Cisticola Cisticola galactotes. 21, 24G, 25G
Croaking Cisticola Cisticola natalensis. 21
Siffling Cisticola Cisticola brachypterus. 20 22
Rufous Cisticola Cisticola rufus. 19, 21
Pectoral-patch Cisticola Cisticola brunnescens. 31, 1H
Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava. C
River Prinia Prinia fluviatilis. 23 25
White-chinned Prinia Prinia leucopogon. 15, 19, 27G, 28G, 1 3, 11
Banded Prinia Prinia bairdii. 27GH, 28H, 29, 30GH, 2GH, 3
Red-winged Prinia Prinia erythroptera. 18, 21, 22
Red-winged Gray Warbler Drymocichla incana. 19 21
Green Longtail Urolais epichlora. 27, 28, 29G, 4GH
Cricket Longtail Spiloptila clamans. 23, 26
Black-collared Apalis Apalis pulchra. 31, 1H
Black-capped Apalis Apalis nigriceps. 29, 2G, 3G
Black-throated Apalis Apalis jacksoni. 27GH, 28
Yellow-breasted Apalis Apalis flavida. 21G
Masked Apalis Apalis binotata. 27, 3
Buff-throated Apalis Apalis rufogularis. 29GH, 30GH, 3G
Bamenda Apalis Apalis bamendae. 17, 18GH, 19, 1
Grey Apalis Apalis cinerea. 27Gh, 28, 31Gh, 1, 4GH
Oriole Warbler Hypergerus atriceps. 17, 20H, 21
Green-backed Camaroptera Camaroptera brachyura. C
Yellow-browed Camaroptera Camaroptera superciliaris. 15H, 5, 8GH, 9GH
Olive-green Cameroptera Cameroptera Chloronota. 27 30GH, 3GH, 5GH
Bangwa Scrub-Warbler Bradypterus bangwaensis. 31, 1H
Black-faced Rufous Warbler Bathmocercus rufus. 27GH, 28GH, 29, 30GH
Moustached Grass-Warbler Melocichla mentalis. 20, 21H, 31 2GH
Greater Swamp-Warbler Acrocephalus rufescens. 29, 30GH, 1, 3GH
African Yellow Warbler Chloroptera natalensis. 31GH
Icterine Warbler Hippolias icterina. 2G
White-tailed Warbler Poliolais lopezi. 27
Senegal Eremomela Eremomela pusilla. 17 22. FC
Rufous crowned Eremomela Eremomela badiceps. 27, 30G, 3
Green Crombec Sylvietta virens. 15, 28, 2, 10, 11. FC
Lemon-bellied Crombec Sylvietta denti. 7
Northern Crombec Sylvietta brachyura. 17 26. C
Yellow Longbill Macrosphenus flavicans. 28, 29GH, 3GH, 6 9GH
Grey Longbill Macrosphenus concolor. 29H, 8H, 9H
Green Hylia Hylia prasina. 15, 27, 28 30GH, 6 9G
Black-capped Woodland Warbler Phylloscopus herberti. 28, 29
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus. 18G
Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix. 15, 27, 29, 30, 3
Yellow-bellied Hyliota Hyliota flavigaster. 17G, 19 22
Garden Warbler Sylvia borin. 15, 17
Greater Whitethroat Sylvia communis. 23, 24G, 25G, 26
Pale Flycatcher Bradornis pallidus. 17, 19
White-browed Forest-Flycatcher Fraseria cinerascens. 9H. Heard last morning at Korup.
Northern Black Flycatcher Melaenornis edolioides. 18 21
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata. 15, 31
Sooty Flycatcher Muscicapa infuscata. 29, 3, 6 9
Swamp Flycatcher Muscicapa aquatica. 20, 21
African Dusky Flycatcher Muscicapa adusta. 19, 28, 31, 1
Yellow-footed Flycatcher Muscicapa sethsmithi. 29, 30
Dusky-blue Flycatcher Muscicapa comitata. 27, 28G, 30G, 2
Cassin's Flycatcher Muscicapa cassini. 15, 19, 27, 5G, 10g
Gray Tit-Flycatcher Myioparus plumbeus. 19, 10G
European Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca. 17, 18, 20, 21, 31
Bocage's Akalat Sheppardia bocagei. 27, 29GH
White-bellied Robin-Chat Cossyphicula roberti. 29
Mountain Robin-Chat Cossypha isabellae. 31, 1, 4
Gray-winged Robin-Chat Cossypha polioptera. 17
White-browed Robin-Chat Cossypha heuglini. 21G
Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat Cossypha niveicapilla. 17H, 18, 31H, 1GH, 2G, 3GH
White-crowned Robin-Chat Cossypha albicapilla. 17, 19, 20
Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas galactotes. 23, 25G, 26
Black Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas podobe. 23, 24G, 25, 26
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra. 17 19, 31, 1
African Stonechat Saxicola torquata. 27G, 31, 1, 4
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe. 24, 25G
Heuglin's Wheatear Oenanthe heuglini. 18, 19, 22
Familiar Chat Cercomela familiaris. 20 22
Northern Anteater Chat Myrmecocichla aethiops. 24
Mocking Cliff-Chat Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris. 2
African Shrike-flycatcher Megabyas flammulatus. 29, 8
Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher Bias musicus. 28
Brown-throated Wattle-eye Platysteira cyanea. C
Banded Wattle-eye Platysteira laticincta. 31
Chestnut Wattle-eye Platysteira castanea. 7 9
Black-necked Wattle-eye Platysteira chalybea. 28, 29GH, 30GH
Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye Platysteira concreta. 29, 7
Senegal Batis Batis senegalensis. 19 22
Black-headed Batis Batis minor. 17G, 18, 31
Fernando Po Batis Batis poensis. 3
Chestnut-capped Flycatcher Erythrocercus mccalli. 9G
African Blue-Flycatcher Elminia longicauda. Very common
Dusky Crested-Flycatcher Elminia nigromitrata. 8
White-bellied Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albiventris. 28, 29G, 1, 4
Blue-headed Crested-Flycatcher Trochocercus nitens. 28, 8
Black-headed Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone rufiventer. 27 30, 6 9
Bates's Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone batesi. 28G, 29, 30, 3G
African Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis. C
Gray-necked Rockfowl Picathartes oreas. 6, 7G
Blackcap Illadopsis Illadopsis cleaveri. 28GH, 29, 30GH, 3GH, 4GH, 7, 8
Pale-breasted Illadopsis Illadopsis rufipennis. 7 9
Gray-chested Illadopsis Kakamega poliothorax. 27GH, 29H
African Hill-Babbler Alcippe abyssinica. 31G, 1G
Thrush Babbler Ptyrticus turdinus. 17
Blackcap Babbler Turdoides reinwardtii. 17H, 19
Brown Babbler Turdoides plebejus. 17 22
White-throated Mountain-Babbler Kupeornis gilberti. 27, 28G
White winged Black Tit Melaniparus leucomelas. 17 22
Spotted Creeper Salpornis spilonotus. 18 21
Sennar Penduline-Tit Anthoscopus punctifrons. 23, 25
Scarlet-tufted Sunbird Deleornis fraseri. 6G, 7G, 9
Mouse-brown Sunbird Anthreptes gabonicus. 14
Western Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes longuemarei. 17, 18, 20, 21
Green Sunbird Anthreptes rectirostris. 15, 28 30, 3G, 7
Collared Sunbird Hedydipna collaris. 15, 27, 28G, 29G, 30, 31G
Pygmy Sunbird Hedydipna platura. 17 26.C
Reichenbach's Sunbird Anabathmis reichenbachii. 13, 14, 15, 11
Green-headed Sunbird Cyanomitra verticalis. FC
Blue-throated Brown Sunbird Cyanomitra cyanolaema. 15, 4
Cameroon Sunbird Cyanomitra oritis. 27, 28G, 29G
Western Olive Sunbird Cyanomitra obscura. 27, 28GH, 29, 30GH, 6 9. C
Carmelite Sunbird Chalcomitra fuliginosa. 15
Green-throated Sunbird Chalcomitra rubescens. 15, 27, 1G, 2, 3G
Scarlet-chested Sunbird Chalcomitra senegalensis. 19, 20, 21G, 22
Olive-bellied Sunbird Cinnyris chloropygius. 15, 17 192G, 3G, 5, 11
Tiny Sunbird Cinnyris minullus. 3
Northern Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris preussi. 27, 31, 1
Beautiful Sunbird Cinnyris pulchellus. 19 26. FC
Orange-tufted Sunbird Cinnyris bouvieri. 31
Splendid Sunbird Cinnyris coccinigaster. 17 19, 29GH, 30, 1GH
Superb Sunbird Cinnyris superbus. 27
Variable Sunbird Cinnyris venustus. 17, 20
Ursula's Sunbird Cinnyris ursulae. 27, 28, 29G
Copper Sunbird Cinnyris cupreus. 17 20
Cameroon Speirops Speirops melanocephalus. 4
African Yellow White-eye Zosterops senegalensis. 17 21, 27, 28, 31 3
Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus. 17H
African Golden Oriole Oriolus auratus. 17 22
Western Black-headed Oriole Oriolus brachyrhynchus. 28G, 29, 4H, 7GH, 9GH
Black winged Oriole Oriolus nigripennis. 27G, 28, 29GH, 30.1G, 3, 4GH
Rufous-tailed Shrike Lanius isabellinus. 23
Mackinnon's Shrike Lanius mackinnoni. 27 5. FC
Common Fiscal Lanius collaris. 18, 30G, 31, 1
Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus. 23, 25
Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator. 18, 23
Yellow-billed Shrike Corvinella corvina. 17 21. FC
Brubru Nilaus afer. 18, 19, 20G, 22G
Northern Puffback Dryoscopus gambensis. 17G, 19, 20, 21G
Red-eyed Puffback Dryoscopus senegalensis. 3
Pink-footed Puffback Dryoscopus angolensis. 27 29, 30GH, 3G, 4GH
Marsh Tchagra Tchagra minuta. 17
Brown crowned Tchagra Tchagra australis. 27G, 28G
Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegala. 18 23, 25G, 26
Luehder's Bush-Shrike Laniarius luehderi. 27, 28G, 29GH, 30H, 2GH, 3GH
Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus. 17, 18H, 19, 21GH, 31H, 1
Gabon Boubou Laniarius bicolor. 14
Common Gonolek Laniarius barbarus. 26
Black-headed Gonolek Laniarius erythrogaster. 20
Yellow-breasted Boubou Laniarius atroflavus. 31, 1G, 4GH
Mountain Sooty Boubou Laniarius poensis. 27, 28H, 29, 31G, 1GH, 4GH
Gray-green Bush-Shrike Telophorus bocagei. 28, 30G
Sulphur-breasted Bush-Shrike Telophorus sulfureopectus. 17G, 19, 20
Many-colored Bush-Shrike Telophorus multicolor. 3
Mt. Kupé Bush-Shrike Telophorus kupeensis. 27H, 28
Green breasted Bush-Shrike Malaconotus gladiator. 27, 28G, 4H
Gray-headed Bush-Shrike Malaconotus blanchoti. 17, 19, 21H
White Helmet-shrike Prionops plumatus. 17, 18, 20G, 21GH
Square-tailed Drongo Dicrurus ludwigii. 17G, 19
Shining Drongo Dicrurus atripennis. 28, 30, 6G, 7, 8
Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis. 17 23
Velvet-mantled Drongo Dicrurus modestus. 8, 10
Pied Crow Corvus albus. A
Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis chalybaeus. 17GH, 18, 23 26
Bronze-tailed Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis chalcurus. 17, 18G
Splendid Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis splendidus. FC
Purple Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis purpureus. 17 22. FC
Long-tailed Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis caudatus. 23, 25, 26
Chestnut-bellied Starling Lamprotornis pulcher. 23 26
Violet-backed Starling Cinnyricinclus leucogaster. 17 21
Chestnut-winged Starling Onychognathus fulgidus. 15, 27G
Waller's Starling Onychognathus walleri. 27G, 28
Neumann's Starling Onychognathus neumanni. 2
Narrow-tailed Starling Poeoptera lugubris. 28, 29, 2, 3G
White-collared Starling Grafisia torquata. 17, 18
Yellow-billed Oxpecker Buphagus africanus. 23, 24, 25G
White-billed Buffalo Weaver Bubalornis albirostris. 23, 24G, 25, 26
Speckle-fronted Weaver Sporopipes frontalis. 23, 25G, 26
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weaver Plocepasser superciliosus. 19, 21G, 22GH
Bannerman's Weaver Ploceus bannermani. 31
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht. 18, 19, 31, 2G
Little Weaver Ploceus luteolus. 19G, 20, 23, 26G
Spectacled Weaver Ploceus ocularis. 14, 15, 21
Black-necked Weaver Ploceus nigricollis. FC
Black-billed Weaver Ploceus melanogaster. 27, 29, 31
Heuglin's Masked Weaver Ploceus heuglini. 20
African Masked Weaver Ploceus velatus. 20
Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus. A
Vieillot's Weaver Ploceus nigerrimus. A
Black-headed Weaver Ploceus melancephalus. 20G
Forest Weaver Ploceus bicolor. 28
Brown capped Weaver Ploceus insignis. 28, 1
Red-vented Malimbe Malimbus scutatus. 10
Gray's Malimbe Malimbus nitens. 7, 8G, 9
Crested Malimbe Malimbus malimbicus. 7, 8G, 9
Red-headed Malimbe Malimbus rubricollis. 30
Red-headed Weaver Anaplectes rubriceps. 18, 19
Red-headed Quelea Quelea erythrops. 6
Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea. 23 25
Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis. 31, 1, 4
Yellow-shouldered Widowbird Euplectes macrourus. 21, 22, 30G
Woodhouse's Antpecker Parmoptila woodhousei. 30, 8
White-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita fusconota. 27, 29GH, 30G, 2G, 3GH, 5, 9GH
Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita bicolor. 10
Gray-headed Negrofinch Nigrita canicapilla. 15, 27, 5, 10, 11. FC
Fernando Po Oliveback Nesocharis shelleyi. 29, 4
Gray-headed Oliveback Nesocharis capistrata. 18, 19G, 20, 21
Red-winged Pytilia Pytilia phoenicoptera. 18, 22
Green-winged Pytilia Pytilia melba. 23, 25G, 26G
Red-faced Pytilia Pytilia hypogrammica. 18
Red-faced Crimson-wing Cryptospiza reichenovii. 27 29, 31G, 1G
Black-bellied Seedcracker Pirenestes ostrinus. 5G
Western Bluebill Spermophaga haematina. 15, 2, 4G, 5G
Brown Twinspot Clytospiza monteiri. 17
Dybowski's Twinspot Euschistospiza dybowskii. 17 19
Red-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta senegala. 19, 20, 21G, 23 26
Black-bellied Firefinch Lagonosticta rara. 18 20, 21G
Black-faced Firefinch Lagonosticta larvata. 21
Red-cheeked Cordonbleu Uraeginthus bengalus. 17 26, 31 2. C
Orange-cheeked Waxbill Estrilda melpoda. 15 20, 28 11. C
Black-rumped Waxbill Estrilda troglodytes. 23 26. FC
Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild. 31
Black-crowned Waxbill Estrilda nonnula. 15, 17, 19G, 27 4. FC
Black-headed Waxbill Estrilda atricapilla. 5, 6
Zebra Waxbill Amandava subflava. 24
African Quailfinch Ortygospiza atricollis. 24
African Silverbill Lonchura cantans. 23 25
Bronze Mannikin Lonchura cucullata. A
Black-and-white Mannikin Lonchura bicolor. 13 15, 29, 5, 9, 11. C
Cut-throat Amadina fasciata. 23, 24
Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura. 5, 6, 9G
Northern Paradise Whydah Vidua orientalis. 23 25
Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza flaviventris. 26
Brown-rumped Bunting Emberiza affinis. 22
Cabanis's Bunting Emberiza cabanisi. 19, 20G, 22
Oriole Finch Linurgus olivaceus. 1, 4
White-rumped Seedeater Serinus leucopygius. 23 25
Yellow-fronted Canary Serinus mozambicus. 17, 19 22, 31G, 2G, 3GH
Thick-billed Seedeater Serinus burtoni. 31G, 1
Gray-headed Sparrow Passer griseus. A
Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus. 26G. Leader saw 2 flying over.
Bush Petronia Petronia dentata. 17 24. C
MAMMALS AND REPTILES
The following list (not in any order) contains the mammals and reptiles we saw on this trip.
Tantalus (Vervet) Monkey
1 – I would recommend staying at the Foyer du Marin (also called Seaman's Mission). It's not expensive at about $25/night and has air-conditioned rooms, decent food, near an internet place and some shopping, but no TV. The Hotel Ibis was very nice, but pricey at $85/night. The food was also very expensive, with breakfast buffet at about $10/person. Hotel Sawa was about the same, so I'm told.
2 – If you are on your own, do NOT go out at night alone in Douala. It's just too risky.
3 – Cameroon is near the equator and it's generally hot. It's dry in the north and the nights are wonderfully cool. In the western part it's also hot, but much higher humidity. Korup Park was one of the sweatiest places I've ever been. You wouldn't believe how good a cold shower in the nude on the trail felt at night! In spite of this, it's a great forest. The birding is difficult, as all heavily forested places are, but there are some great birds to be had with persistence and luck.
4 – The airport at Maroua in the north is pretty chaotic. It's like a free for all. Be advised.
5 – Take some bug juice for Benoué Park. The flies and gnats were a major pain at times, but they didn't actually bite much.
6 – I thought the Cameroonian people were very friendly and generally they tried very hard to help and do a good job, be it driving, cooking, etc. Cameroon is also a very poor country. Please plan to take some extra money for tipping. It is very much appreciated.
7 – Cash all your money in at the airport as you leave. As always, you will lose some on the exchange rate, but the money exchange places in airports outside of Africa will NOT exchange it. I tried in Paris and they wouldn't even discuss it.
8 – Again, I would like to thank Birding Africa and our guides Callan Cohen and Michael Mills for yet another fantastic trip. My wife and I recommend them highly.
9 – In a report of this length, there will undoubtedly be some mistakes. I have tried to be as accurate as possible, but if there are any mistakes, they are mine alone and I would like to hear about them. I can be contacted at dollyron.at.esper.com, or 282 Hackworth Lane, Clinton, Tennessee 37716 USA.
Other Cameroon reports on WorldTwitch: