Working for birds in Africa

First records of Singing Bush Lark Mirafra cantillans for Benin and Ghana


Premières données de l’Alouette chanteuse Mirafra cantillans au Bénin et au Ghana, et statut de l’espèce en Afrique occidentale. Cette note documente les premières données de l’Alouette chanteuse Mirafra cantillans pour le Bénin et le Ghana (illustrées par des photographies). Ces oiseaux sont apparemment des visiteurs non nicheurs de saison sèche, en provenance du Sahel. La répartition de la race occidentale de cette alouette (M. c. chadensis) est présentée et discutée, avec carte à l’appui.

On 8 April 2006 VS mist-netted a lark in grassland c.1 km south of the Poste d’Arli, Parc National de la Pendjari (c.11°26’N 01°33’E), Benin. Photographs (Figs. 1–2) show that it was a Singing Bush Lark Mirafra cantillans chadensis, distinctly paler and more sandy than the East African race marginata, and less heavily streaked above. It is the first record for the country. The species had been listed by Claffey (1999) from much further south in Benin at Kakikoka dam (09°11’N 02°20’E), but as this was without details or comment we believe it cannot be accepted. PG and members of the tour he was leading observed a single bird on 3 and 24 April 2013 in sparse vegetation at the edge of Tono dam (10°53’N 01°08’W), Ghana. This record was mentioned by Dowsett-Lemaire & Dowsett (2014). At the same locality NB and colleagues found two Singing Bush Larks on 3 December 2016 (Fig. 3).

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