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Field Guides & Natural History  Ornithology  Birds of Africa

Birds of Senegal and The Gambia

Field / Identification Guide World / Checklist
By: Nik Borrow(Author), Ron Demey(Author)
360 pages, 149 plates with colour illustrations; colour distribution maps, 3 colour maps
Publisher: Helm
Birds of Senegal and The Gambia
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Average customer review
  • Birds of Senegal and The Gambia ISBN: 9781399402200 Edition: 2 Paperback Jul 2023 In stock
    £22.50 £30.00
Price: £22.50
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About this book

This comprehensive and fully updated edition of Birds of Senegal and The Gambia is the ultimate guide for travellers and birdwatchers visiting one of Africa's richest birdwatching regions.

The Gambia, together with the country that envelops it, Senegal, has an avifauna of more than 700 regularly occurring species, including many Western Palearctic migrants from September to April, and a significant list of highly sought-after resident West African birds, including the Egyptian Plover. This authoritative guide covers all species, including details of all residents, migrants and known vagrants.

Senegal and The Gambia offer a true wealth of birdlife, including a fantastic selection of Sahel specialities that are far more easily seen here than anywhere else. Senegal has become a reliable locality for Golden Nightjar, Quail-plover and Cricket Warbler, and the near-endemic Mali Firefinch occurs in the southeast of the country. Birdwatchers in this region can also find Savile's Bustard, Adamawa Turtle Dove, Little Grey Woodpecker, Yellow Penduline Tit, Sudan Golden Sparrow and Exclamatory Paradise Whydah, while the Saloum delta's huge roost of tens of thousands of African Swallow-tailed Kites is one of the world's top birding spectacles.

More than 140 stunning colour plates depict every species and also comprehensively cover all the distinct plumages and subspecies likely to be encountered. Concise species accounts describe key identification features, status, range, habitat and voice, with fully updated distribution maps for each species. This compact guide is an essential companion for any birder visiting this rich and varied area of Western Africa.

Please note that there are two Helm Field Guides covering The Gambia and Senegal, the older Birds of The Gambia and Senegal (now out of print) and the newer Birds of Senegal and The Gambia. To prevent confusion, here is an overview of the principal differences.

TitleBirds of The Gambia and SenegalBirds of Senegal and The Gambia
Publcation date1999, with paperback reprints in 2005, 2007, and 20102023
AuthorsClive Barlow & Tim WacherNik Borrow & Ron Demey
IllustratorTony DisleyNik Borrow (largely taken from Birds of Western Africa)
Description48 colour plates with facing text, no distribution maps143 colour plates with facing text, colour distribution maps
Number of species 0ver 660almost 700


How to Use This Book
Geography, Climate and Habitats
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas
Taxonomy: Some Definitions
Bird Topography
Abbreviations and Symbols
Species Accounts (1–149)
Checklist of the Birds of Senegal and The Gambia
Appendix: Species not Accepted on the Senegal and Gambia Lists
Quick Index to the Main Groups of Birds

Customer Reviews (1)

  • West Africa at its best
    By Keith 3 Nov 2023 Written for Paperback
    Since the arrival of the first edition of this book in 2011 birders’ awareness of Senegal as a great destination has risen, while, as always, The Gambia has been a good place to take a first trip to Africa. This book is a cut-down version of Birds of Western Africa and allows you to take only those species you really need on your trip – in this case just over 700. The taxonomy has been updated to mostly follow that recommended by IOC. A few birds have been added either because they have been split (Scopoli’s, Boyd’s and Barolo Shearwaters for example) or because they are now known to pass through the area such as Greater Spotted, Lesser Spotted and Spanish Imperial Eagles on the basis of satellite-tracked birds, while Plain Swifts are assumed to occur as we now know that some leave the Canary Islands to winter in Guinea (again thanks to tracking data).

    New distribution data is now available for the coast north of Dakar and also from Casamance in the south and has resulted in Freckled Nightjar, Horus Swift and Eurasian Collared-dove being added (the latter is spreading southwards from Mauritania). There are also first records including Caspian Plover, Black-casqued Hornbill, Willcocks’s Honeyguide and Mountain Wagtail. A few poorly documented species have been left out this time (such as Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill, Cassin’s Honeybird and Lemon-bellied Crombec).

    The superb illustrations by Nik Borrow are really crisp thanks to improved printing, and these have been revised and redrawn in some cases, with several new layouts allowing more space for some species. For this edition, Ron Demey has completely overhauled the text and the maps have been revised to reflect the increased knowledge of distribution, particularly in Senegal. The layout is text and colour maps facing the plates. Both this and its sister – Birds of Ghana, are excellent field guides. I’m also impressed that Helm has only increased the price since 2011 by 1p!
    5 of 5 found this helpful - Was this helpful to you? Yes No
Field / Identification Guide World / Checklist
By: Nik Borrow(Author), Ron Demey(Author)
360 pages, 149 plates with colour illustrations; colour distribution maps, 3 colour maps
Publisher: Helm
Media reviews

one of the best
- (March 2011)

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