This instalment in Dave Gosney's series describes some 30 of the best birding sites throughout The Gambia, including sites along the West coast and upriver, which have been largely ignored in Rob Ward's 1994 A Birdwatchers' Guide to the Gambia.
"This is the eleventh ‘Gosney’ in the series and explores the tiny Republic of The Gambia – which is less than 50 km across at its widest point going upstream. Starting on the North Coast with its popular tourist hotels, Dave explores the Kotu Creek and sewage ponds, Fajara golf course and Casino cycle track, together with other local sites familiar to many people. He then discovers the west coast with its coastal lagoons and wooded scrub and sites such as the impressive Kartong bird observatory. Moving east, the popular Abuko reserve is dealt with in some detail. Then moving past Pirang the journey takes in Ginack Island, and then upriver on a solar-powered boat to Tendaba, Janjanbureh and MacCarthy Island. In total 30 sites are visited.
The habitat and surroundings are shown for each site, and Dave is often in front of the camera giving his own perspective on the best way to see the most birds. A new development is informal interviews with the guides and owners of the bird lodges. There is plenty of great bird footage and almost 170 species are featured, including targets such as egyptian plover Pluvianus aegyptius, black-crowned crane Balearica pavonina and African finfoot Podica senegalensis. A gallery of photos by Steve Garvie and Modou Colley is also included on the DVD.
As always the booklet describing the sites is detailed and enormously helpful, with clear maps and precise GPS readings for locations. You could simply buy this on its own, but the DVD brings it all to life.
I made my first trip to The Gambia almost 30 years ago and it is good to see that the birding opportunities are perhaps better now than they were then. Despite the fact that I’ve made two further trips, I still discovered new locations with this DVD and booklet – which is probably the best test for any such product."
– Keith Betton, www.britishbirds.co.uk, 13-08-2012
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