Tag Archives: Banded Wattle-eye

Cameroon Olive-Greenbul (Phyllastrephus poensis) near Bamenda in the Cameroon Highlands

BamendabülbülA dark olive-brown bird moves between twigs and branches. The trees are on the slope above the crater lake are not so high. This allows for very nice pictures of birds, which would otherwise be rather up in the canopy – largely invisible from the ground. This time, the brown bird with the striking beak is not a banded wattle-eye. At first sight it reminds me of an Terrestrial Brownbul (Phyllastrephus terrestris). But this Brownbul is a bird more confined to a variety of thickly vegetated habitats in evergreen forests mostly in the lowlands and coastal scrub of southern and eastern Africa. This medium-sized, relatively elongated, simple-looking bird is a Greenbul with a relatively long and fine beak. Lores, throat and the side parts of the face are light grey. While the tail appears rather brown, the predominant color of the wings and the back is olive. This is the Cameroon Olive-Greenbul (Phyllastrephus poensis), which is – unlike the previously seen Cameroon Montane Greenbul (Andropadus montanus) – not particularly olive green. We are lucky, because the species is limited in its distribution only to the ecoregion of the Cameroon mountains although the bird is not so rare in its distribution range.

The trip to the crater lake Lake Awing was already very productive. A young Banded Wattle-eye (Platysteira laticincta) and one of the parents could already be seen along a ridge above the lake. A very Continue reading Cameroon Olive-Greenbul (Phyllastrephus poensis) near Bamenda in the Cameroon Highlands

Buntkopf-Felshüpfer – ein Picathartes – in Kamerun

Buntkopf-FelshüpferDer Nachmittag ist ganz dem Buntkopf-Felshüpfer (Picathartes oreas), der im englischen Grey-necked Rockfowl oder Grey-necked Picathartes genannt wird, gewidmet. Zuerst war die Frage der richtigen Ausrüstung zu klären. Es war klar, daß ich das Canon EF 400 / 1:4,0 L Do IS USM mitnehmen wollte. Dazu dann die Canon EOS-1D X, die Gewähr für rauscharme, hochauflösende Bilder bei akzeptablen Belichtungszeiten in den zu erwarteten dämmrigen Verhältnissen der Cave bieten sollte. Die Canon EOS 5DS R blieb am Camp, da ihre ASA-Empfindlichkeiten nur eingeschränkt zu nutzen sind. Zusätzlich kam erstmals auf diesem Trip das Canon EF 85mm 1:1,8 USM Tele Objektiv zum Zug. Das Canon 85 mm – f/1.8 USM sollte als ein vielseitiges, kleines Tele die notwendige Lichtstärke – im Fall des Falles – mitbringen. Dazu noch ein leichtes Stativ von Gitzo – das ich besser im Zelt gelassen hätte.

Dann Aufbruch: Wir erwarteten eine mühsame Wanderung für Stunden durch tropische Hitze in diesem Tieflandregenwald-Nationalpark. Manche Leute sagen, dass sich der Vogel erst nach Continue reading Buntkopf-Felshüpfer – ein Picathartes – in Kamerun

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