Twitching at 5am

By Paul Griffiths 

The team departed bleary eyed and bloodshot at an early hour, for a canoe trip through the mangrove swamps with local bird guides and managed to clock 3 species of king fisher and an assortment of herons, egrets, terns and wading birds before breakfast. The Caspian tern, or “flying carrot” as our guide referred to it, was a special source of joy for the twitchers.scoping_gambia_svw_120-tm

Breakfast was served in the loft of a timber lodge overlooking a creek heaving with crabs and mud skippers and comprised of home made pancakes, shrimps, bread, jam, and “honey and ants”.

This was followed by a gentle stroll through paddy fields and woodland where we clocked up an assortment of weaver birds, bright red bishop birds, parrots, horn bills, hoopoes, bee eaters, impressive lizard buzzards and mangy dog-eared dogs.

Suitably invigorated we were back by the hotel pool by lunchtime where another six exotically coloured birds were spotted from the security of the bar.

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