Thursday, 14 May 2009

A quacker tick, wader tick and a surprise Yank?

A short distance away from Douala lies the appropriately named 'duck pond' situated right next to the main road, and a noisy, but none the less good place to stop and bird. Our early morning visit found us waiting for the sun to come up in order that we actually see the pond let alone any birds!! Eventually the sun rose and low and behold, a pair of Hartlaub's appeared then another, then several more. Hartlaub's Duck is actually a cracking looking duck, and it's always good to get a quacker as a lifer. Generally though the pond was very quiet bird wise so we headed off to the mighty Sanaga River to look for the African Skimmers and Grey Pratincoles, another lifer. These were soon located on the sand bars and reasonable views through the scope and the cloud of marauding insects!!
Hartlaub's Duck steaming into view!!
Suddenly, Simon poised ready for action on the far left with his hubble telescopic eyesight noted wader that 'didn't look quite right' for a sand bar in West Africa far from the coast!! Incredible as it may seem he'd found a Pec Sand, apparently the first record for Cameroon !!! (not bad going for day 3 in Cameroon ! As you can see below the views were simply stunning and I was fortunate enough to obtain this high resolution full feature image of the bird as it wandered along the shore! Weep, as you wonder why you're unable to obtain crisp sharp award winning images like this one !
Peter the Pec
Flushed with success we had some great birding in the forests nearby with Cassin's Malimbe, Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill as seen above, Vermiculated Fish Owl 'for some' and a cracking African Broadbill. Despite only a few hours in primary forest we notched up a large number of cracking birds and so ended another good day with a surprise Congo Serpent Eagle back at the duck pond.

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