Not only does the Campo Maan National Park have to offer the Gray-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes oreas), but also a lot of other birds that you will not find in other parts of the world. One Highlight was a sequence of shots of a Fraser’s Sunbird feeding its young at the edge of Campo Maan National Park.
After we had observed successfully the shy Bare-cheeked Trogon (Apaloderma aequatoriale), the birding luck left us a bit in the course of the day trip. The heat of the day is now fully reflected on the shady jungle paths. A small group of birds, which feed on caterpillars, have white dark circles. My guide taps on a African Yellow White-eye (Zosterops senegalensis). Well, so yellow had not at all on the stomach. At first perplexed, we end up with the species determination at a Sunbird. After all, it could be the purely insectivorous Scarlet-tufted Sunbird or Fraser’s Sunbird (Deleornis fraseri). That´s it!
Fraser’s Sunbird could be beautifully watched slipping through the maze of branches and leaves. Diligently, the Fraser’s Sunbird gets an insect – usually a long, large animal, which I can estimate roughly as a mantis and / or grasshopper – from all sorts of cracks and barks. The whole time hangs a fine call in the air, which can not be assigned first.
Then finally I discover an inconspicuous, gray bird with an equally striking face mask. Immediately I think of a juvenile Fraser’s Sunbird. But the bird which calls the whole time does not have a long, straight and even orange-yellow beak – as described in literature. On the contrary, the beak is rather short, straight and even black. The distribution of the whitish eye ring looks more like spotted. I’m thinking of a Mouse-brown Sunbird or Brown Sunbird (Anthreptes gabonicus). This would only coincide with bad luck with the habitat description in the relevant literature. But some things fit very well. But the photos of the Brown Sunbird in the African Bird Club Image Database do not really fit the drawings in the “Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa” by Nik Borrow and Ron Demey. After a while I definitely shoot photos that show an adult individual of the Fraser’s Sunbird and a young Sunbird under a Cecropia umbrella begging loudly. Definitely: the two Sunbirds belong together. The adult Fraser’s Sunbird takes some time, however, while the young Fraser’s Sunbird screams his soul from the neck and it also quite a few times twisted his neck terribly. The Young is with the intense begging only at the end when it finally has a thick grasshopper in the beak. This will be enjoyed for a while on the beak tip and then devoured.
The extensive photo session is rounded off by the observation of a Green Hylia (Hylia prasina), which can be seen on a curved branch in a low shrub – practically at eye level.
One of the reasons for the two-week tour to Cameroon was to shoot much better shots of theGrey-necked Rockfowl or Red-headed Picathartes, the very primitive-looking rainforest dwellers were already in April 2017 the main reason to pay a visit to the Campo Maan National Park.
The drive to Campo Maan National Park and back to “civilization” was tedious but ultimately successful. Overall, it can be said that the yield – even in comparison to the guided trip in April 2017 – can be seen in very good images.
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