Neumann’s Starling flight along cliffs in Bamenda/ Cameroon

RotflügelstarHaving birded the Bamenda highlands until midday, we expected an impressive rainstorm, over the buzzling town of Bamenda while admiring several Neumann’s Starling (Onychognathus neumanni)  obviously feeding on the cliffs just below the plateau of the upper parts of the suburbs. Neumann’s Starling are said to be observed from some rocks in the a semi-suburban/ agricultural area above the city.

We visited a (very) little farm which offers a breathtaking view over the steep cracks – probably of clay – which make up the edges of the urban basin of Bamenda. After two short incoming flights, the last flight of a male Neumann’s Starling was shot with this photo.

Other excellent birds were breeding White-crowned Cliff-Chat (Thamnolaea coronata), which were found in the immediate vicinity of the farm as well and the handsome Common Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) of the resident rufous-coloured subspecies rufescens.

Bamenda is the main capital of the Bamenda-Banso highlands which are part of the Cameroon Highlands ecoregion. Geographically this ecoregion encompasses the mountains and highland areas of the border region between Nigeria and Cameroon. Although located in tropical Africa the mean maximum temperatures are below 20°C due to the effects of altitude. The combination of fertile volcanic soil with adequate rainfall contributes to a high human population density. This – of course – affects the quality of habitats not at least of the endemic bird species of the area.

Neumann’s Starling is a rarely photographed species. Many internet-based field guides (like recently “The Field Guide Birds of the World”) had no photographs of this species. In so far it might be of interest to see a image of this impressive east-african relative of the wide-spread Red-winged Starling (Onychognathus morio) in flight.

In order to satisfy the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of Palearctic, has undertaken targeted trips to distant bird areas and destinations nearby. This is to be able to do anything to provide excellent images of the birds of the Western Palearctic. Additionally is keen to provide images of other birds of other parts of the world – especially if these birds are rarely photographed. The results in images of rare birds are very good. Very nice images could be brought back from all over the world.

Beside the image above you can find a nice selection of birds in the gallery or in the “Pictures Shop” very soon. Just give a message, if Bird-Lens could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

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