Tag Archives: Serle’s Bushshrike

Mount Kupé Bushshrike – some aspects on equipment & logistics

I had been very successful in the Bakossi Mountains with the Mount Kupe Bushshrike (Telophorus kupeensis) – also known as Serle’s Bushshrike. After an unsuccessful first day on an expedition in these Afrotropic mountains, my indispensable guides and me encountered a total of 7 individuals of the Mount Kupe Bushshrike until the end of the second day; including 4 sightings and 3 only heard individuals elsewhere in the forest.

The Bakossi Mountains are part of the so-called Cameroon Mountain Arc in the western country of Cameroon. Here an Afrotropic mountain vegetation prevails. In addition to the Mount Kupe Bushshrike other endemic species like e.g. Mount Cameroon Francolin (Francolinus camerunensis) and Bannerman’s Turaco (Tauraco bannermani) contribute to the wealth in biodiversity.

Overall, I spent nearly 15 minutes at the site where a pair of the Mount Kupe Bushshrike displayed a mating ritual (as described in the blog). Initially I shot with the Canon EF 400mm 1: 2.8L IS II USM from a Gitzo tripod. The frequent relocation of the Mount Kupe Bushshrike along with the unexpectedly low-level location of the bird inside the forest let me switch to the Canon EF 200mm f / 2L IS USM on the Canon EOS 5DS R. Despite exposure times of 1/160 sec. – later also with 1/80 sec. – the excellent image stabilizer allowed shots from the hand. A total of 183 pictures were shot on the occasion, of which 26 pictures were reasonably acceptable and a few were good enough. The image of the Mount Kupe Bushshrike Continue reading Mount Kupé Bushshrike – some aspects on equipment & logistics

Mount Kupé Bushshrike – eine Erfolgsgeschichte

HalsbandwürgerEin frischer, sonniger Februarmorgen in den Bakossi Mountains. Nach einem erfolglosen ersten Tag auf Suche haben wir am Ende des 2. Tages dann insgesamt 7 Individuen des Halsbandwürgers (Telophorus kupeensis) „encountered“; davon 4 Sichtungen und 3 weitere Exemplare, die an anderer Stelle nur gehört wurden. Nach intensiver Suche am Morgen war endlich ein territoriales Paar des Halsbandwürgers (Telophorus kupeensis) – im englischen als Serle’s Bushshrike oder Mount Kupe Bushshrike bekannt – gefunden.

Die Vögel sind sogar recht niedrig im Waldinnern – schon fast im Unterholz –zu finden. Auf den (wenigen) Fotos, die in den Image-Datenbanken zu finden sind, wird dieser nur sehr lokal vorkommende Buschwürger nur im Kronendach im Gegenlicht wiedergegeben. Wir übersteigen Lianen und umgestürzte Baumstämme und stehen dann knapp unter der Oberkante eines Bergkamms.  Etwas weiter unterhalb am Abhang treibt sich das Paar des Serle’s Bushshrike (Mount Kupe Bushshrike) in nicht mehr als 1 Meter Höhe im nicht zu dichten, aber moos- und flechtenbewachsenen Unterholz herum.

Zuvor war aber harte Arbeit zu erledigen. Die erste für den Halsbandwürger bekannte Stelle erweist sich als unergiebig. Wir laufen den immer enger werdenden Pfad weiter. Es ist nun 8:00 und sehr angenehm im Wald. Die Sonne bestrahlt schon die ersten Hänge. Am 2. Spot halten wir, um die Stimme des Halsbandwürgers abzuspielen und ihn vielleicht hervor zu locken. Dort hatte ihn der lokale Guide auf jeden Fall schon einige Male gesehen. Zuerst sehen wir aber wieder „nur“ einen Bergtrogon (Apaloderma vittatum), im dichten Blätterdach. Plötzlich: In weiter Ferne antwortet der Halsbandwürger mit seinen typischen rauchig-kratzigen Continue reading Mount Kupé Bushshrike – eine Erfolgsgeschichte

The Mount Kupé Bushshrike in the Bakossi Mountains

HalsbandwürgerA fresh, sunny morning in the Bakossi Mountains. The initial stretches of the trail are even for a fairly distance, getting steeper and even insanely steep inside the core primary forest. The last patch we did inside primary forest before getting to one of the territorial spots of the Serle’s Bushshrike – better known as Mount Kupe Bushshrike (Telophorus kupeensis), we did not see especially many birds. It was a fairly quiet forest. Finally, we have found a territorial pair of Serle’s Bushshrike or Mount Kupe Bushshrike. The birds are even quite low to detect inside the forest – almost just above the undergrowth. We pass lianas and fallen tree trunks and then stand just below the top of a ridge. A little further down the slope, a couple of the Serle’s Bushshrike (Mount Kupe Bushshrike) cling to twigs and branches in a not too dense, but mossy and lichen-covered undergrowth. It is very similar to the habitat description “Primary forest with relatively open understorey, sometimes on steep hillsides; at 930-1550 m “, which is described in the Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Editions, Barcelona.

Obviously, the two birds have chosen a special place and perform something like a dance, which is only known to a few ornithologists and is very observable. Definitely a mating display; a reminiscence Continue reading The Mount Kupé Bushshrike in the Bakossi Mountains

Grey-necked Picathartes in Campo-Ma’an National Park/ Cameroon

Buntkopf-FelshüpferNow the afternoon was for the Grey-necked Picathartes or Grey-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes oreas). We expected an arduous trip of hiking for hours through tropical heat in the National Park. Some people say, that the bird only appears after rain storms. If this would be true, we would be unlucky, as on our first day in the park’s interior, it did not rain. We had only one more day in the park – but rain seemed likely enough for the next days. I cannot confirm, that the particiapants of the trip showed sights of anxiety and gloom. But never you know. On trips prior to ours the bird had not been seen.

But already with the hike we were lucky. We had a short, pleasant and fairly easy hike with lots of good birds to at “cave” formed of several enormous boulders where the birds build mud nests on the sides of the rocks during the breeding season. We hoped that no rain was needed as our guides told us, that this species checks on its breeding site every afternoon or during dusk. We arrived early in the hope that the birds would appear in some natural light. Maybe earlier than normally to expect. One of the local guides tried to show as the nest a bit too much. We almost shouted through the forest to keep him from removing the nest. The Continue reading Grey-necked Picathartes in Campo-Ma’an National Park/ Cameroon