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Dave Williams's 2018 Big(Photo)Year!


Dave Williams

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They may be small but there are a lot of them!:)

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293) Peregrine Falcon I would have happily swopped my photo haul for being in the canoe until this magnificent specimen came along. Peregrine Falcon   Falco peregrinus by Dave Williams, on F

294) Ring-necked Duck. I wasn't going anywhere on Sunday but sitting in bed with laptop and coffee I read that a rarity had been spotted down at the local reserve. I had to go for it. I decided I

48) Black Heron On a visit a few years ago I found the perfect place to watch the Umbrella Bird in action from a few feet away. I got some terrific views and some great shots  but then lost the l

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Galana

Some even come ready to drink with their own glass.:lol:

5a72ecdda666d_KingfisherBeer.JPG.4c2f5aac0e41c307bf557d88b1947766.JPG

Drink in moderation!!

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Dave Williams

Right, time to carry on with the BY 2018 having now sorted my shots from my recent trip to The Gambia by species so they are ready to process!

I did better than I expected but that was partly due to taking two guided trips which I didn't expect to do. Having met two other birders at our hotel and split the cost three ways it was realistically priced and gave me a change of scene to that which was local to the hotel. My views on guided trips are that they tend not to be the best for photography, more for ticking species lists. If you want to take better photographs far better to get to now where the birds are to be found and study their territories, learn their habits, work out the best time of day for the light etc etc. 

So my dilemma once more is what should be posted in a Big Year and I have come to the conclusion that it has to be anything that confirms the species. It's a Big Year after all, not a beauty parade.It's about the numbers.

Having said that and having taken note of @Galana's comments on his thread, you do find chasing numbers means you pay less attention to getting good shots of the species you know are around and instead go looking for new ones. I'm not sure how much of a benefit it adds to a trip but for the time being I'm chasing my target! I'll be interested to see how soon @xelas starts lowering the standards as EBC's. 

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Having got 2x No 26, and I'll ignore the Woodland Kingfisher on the bottle of Julbrew it's now

29) African Pied Hornbill  Lophoceros fasciatus

Yes, there might be a few like this one!

African Palm Swift  Cypsiurus parvus 2018-02-01.jpg

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34)African Grey Hornbill

Taken on the fairway of the local golf course adjoining our hotel. If you thing the fairways are difficult to play you should see the "greens"!

25250079587_f1367c548e_b.jpgAfrican Grey Hornbill Lophoceros nasutus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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Galana

Really enjoying this @Dave Williams and some of the comments too.

I reckon @xelas will be on the EBCs as soon as he gets on that overland trip to Botswana (if not before).

Good to see you kept up the standard with the Oriole.:o

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1 hour ago, Dave Williams said:

I'll be interested to see how soon @xelas starts lowering the standards as EBC's. 

 

It depends on what an ebc is; to me the photo of Maccoa Duck is very much an ebc photo, although all the main features are clearly visible, and the bird is easily ID even by me. There were (Kori Bustard) and will be several more of such photos. But it is my (our) goal to come closer to the birds this year, and to post better photos. The final number, while it is a positive drive, is only secondary.

 

All excellent photos above, @Dave Williams, looking forward to see them more!

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@Dave Williams - when you get the chance I would also be interested in hearing a little bit more about where you went in Gambia / Senegal? 

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Dave Williams

@lmSA84 We stayed at the Bakutu Hotel in Kotu, it's a 3* hotel, nothing elaborate but very quiet,very clean, lovely staff and well placed for local birding around Kotu Creek. Chris Packham has used it for years as a base for his Hidden Gambia packages ( he also uses the up market Mandina Lodges where @TonyQ recently visited and where I am looking to hear all about from Tony!) and I believe he arrived there the day we left. I didn't take any scenic photos this time but previous blogs do show the locality. It's my third visit to that hotel, this time we paid less than £1200 for 2 weeks B&B for the two of us with Thomas Cook.

I spent 12 days birding within easy walking distance of the hotel ( no more than half a mile away), walked to the popular tourist area of Kololi 30 -40 minutes down the beach to visit the large gardens of the Senegambia Hotel and Kairaba Hotel which produced a few good birds but it's an area I don't particularly like as it's too commercial. Other than that I joined two others for a trip to a dusty field and a nearby track somewhere maybe 30 minutes from our hotel for half a day's birding. We paid £35 each which I think was bit dear. The other trip was along the coast , 40-50Kms away to Kartong which included a boat trip.A full day ,we paid £40 for that one, which I thought was excellent value. The boat sails on the river between TG and South Senegal . We also stopped at Tanji, a fishing village, on the way home and picked up a few things along the roadside as we travelled.

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43) Black Scimitarbill  Rhinopomastus aterrimus

 

I have only ever seen this species distantly, and only a couple of times too. Not particularly common in TG, this was inland of Pirang somewhere.( I think!).

So in the unlikely event I'll get another shot this year.....EBC's!

Black Scimitarbill  Rhinopomastus aterrimus 2018-01-29.jpg

Edited by Dave Williams
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Dave Williams

44) Beautiful Sunbird

This was the most frequently seen Sunbird, common everywhere I went including around the hotel in Kotu.

The male is very colourful

39411851704_79f6139c96_b.jpgBeautiful Sunbird  Cinnyris pulchellus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

The female has a not so apparent  flash of brilliant green on the chest which I had never seen before. Breeding time perhaps .... and the light just right too.

39224643315_361c310667_b.jpgBeautiful Sunbird  Cinnyris pulchellus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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45) Black-crowned Tchagra

This was taken near Kartong where there is a Bird Observatory, well a ringing station, which I believe is funded by the BTO. 

Not the best of shots, one of only two seen during the holiday though. I also saw my only Cardinal Woodpeckers in this tree too, ( coming soon!) Note they have all been ringed!

39421146864_8200d385ed_b.jpgBlack-crowned Tchagra  Tchagra senegalus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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46) Black-winged Kite

Another EBC but no apologies! I spent 16 hours waiting for a close up perched view whilst locked in a very small hide in Spain last year and only got 15 seconds worth in poor light. 

This one was flying overhead whilst driving the highway to Kartong. It was a case of slam on the brakes and jump out of the car and get what you can!

26259034658_e4173a1aba_b.jpgBlack-winged Kite  Elanus caeruleus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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47) Black-billed Wood Dove

There are pigeons and doves everywhere in TG. You tend to ignore them but then realise they are not all the same. This shot was taken near kKartong but I did see a few near the hotel we stayed at on one occasion.

40132461521_95f6d46cef_b.jpgBlack-billed Wood Dove  Turtur abyssinicus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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