Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cameroon - highlands

These are mostly highland birds from the southwest corner of the country although some were taken on the lower slopes of the unique Mount Cameroon, Mount Kupé and the Bamenda highlands area (with a large contingent of endangered endemics).

The Black-crowned Waxbill is one of the many exquisite estrildine finches that sparkle all over the west African countryside.

The plainer cisticolas are also ubiquitous but MUCH tougher to identify (in many cases voice is the only way). This is a Chubb's Cisticola.

The illadopsis are a group of secretive forest-floor dwelling babblers and i was extremely lucky to get this photo of a juvenile Grey-chested Illadopsis up close (this species is very tough to see).

The Mount Cameroon Speirops (speirops are an aberrant group of White-eyes) is found on only one mountain in the whole world… yes that's right, the entire global range is the mid-elevation range of Mount Cameroon. This extroadinary mountain its forests and grassland belt has produced several endemics. The background in this photo is a view of the coastal forests and the sea as viewed from half way up the mountain.

The Northern Double-collared Sunbird is one of many iridescent sunbird species – the ecological equivalent of hummingbirds although completely unrelated.

The mousebirds are a fascinating family, endemic to Africa, which often perch by hanging from a branch as though they were doing chin-ups and move around in large noisy flocks, as demonstrated by these Speckled Mousebirds. Although there are only a handful of species they are often placed in their own order.

The tinkerbirds are a stunning group of tiny barbets (you can think of barbets as fruit-eating woodpeckers) named for their repetitive, hollow, whistle-like calls. This is a Western Green Tinkerbird photographed on Mount Cameroon.

The Yellow-breasted Boubou is one of the more conspicuous members of yet another endemic African group, the bush-shrikes, many of which are brightly coloured but rather shy canopy dwellers (we saw the critically endangered, range restricted Mount Kupé Bushshrike in the rain but i didn't manage a photo)

Many of these photos can be seen in larger formats in my webpage

No comments:

Post a Comment

Nature Blog Network Birdwatching Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory Fatbirder's Top 500 Birding Websites