There were quite a few White-faced Whistling Ducks, Dendrocygna viduata, at the Kartong wetlands and, being quite large, relatively easy to get a half-decent shot at distance. These ducks breed in sub-Saharan Africa and much of South America.
Kartong is located in southern Gambia, almost on the border with Senegal and here you will find the Kartong Bird Observatory and ringing centre as well as a large expanse of wetland which developed after the cessation of sand mining in the area.
The Orange-flanked Skink may be quite common in The Gambia but I only saw one on my recent visit. A member of the lizard family, it generally has shorter limbs than other lizards. Some species of Skink have no limbs at all and their movement is snake-like.
Giant millipedes are quite a common sight in the Gambia and they really are quite large as can be seen by comparison to the discarded cigarette butt in the second photo.
This adorable bird is a female Snowy Owl, Bubo scandiacus, native to Arctic regions in North America and Eurasia. The male is almost all white, the female has a lot more dark or black flecking. Juveniles start out black before gradually turning white.
In addition to a number of ‘firsts’ for me, there were most of the usual suspects to be seen in various places. Usual suspects for The Gambia, of course, not for Europe.
The Western Red Colobus, Procolobus badius, is an endangered species found in a small area between Senegal and Ghana in West Africa. Although officially listed as ‘endangered’, they are not an uncommon sight in the Gambia.
Another new one for me on my latest trip was the Yellow-throated Leaflove, Atimastillas flavicollis, a member of the Bulbul family. It is found throughout the tropical and sub-tropical areas of western and central Africa.
One of the visitors to the small water feature by the bird hide at Footsteps Eco-Lodge was this juvenile African Goshawk, Accipiter tachiro, which was in the midst of moulting into its adult plumage. After making sure no-one was looking it tried out its flamingo impersonation. Pretty good it was too.