Working for birds in Africa


Wed, 02/06/2013 - 10:16 -- abc_admin

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus in flight Burkina Faso

Image Credit: 
Yvan Perré (IRD)

The following largely unconfirmed records have been published for interest only in ABC Bulletins.

from ABC Bulletin 26.1

Notable records in 2018 (all entered into; per JBr) include a Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus in Parc National des Deux Balés on 29 May (BPo), a palemorph European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus at Orodara, in the south-west, on 22 November (AW), a Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus at Nazinga on 16 February (PvG), a Brown-backed Woodpecker Ipophilus obsoletus in Parc Urbain Bangr Weogo, Ouagadougou, on 14 November (AW), a Yellow-throated Leaflove Atimastillas flavicollis in Forêt Classée de Kou on 28 May (BPo), and up to ten Blackcap Babblers Turdoides reinwardtii at Dédougou, Boucle du Mouhoun, in late February (PvG); the latter were unusually far north

from ABC Bulletin 25.1

A White-backed Night Heron Gorsachius leuconotus was observed in Forêt Classée des Deux Balé, approximately midway between Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, on 20 October 2017 (EL); the species was previously recorded at this site in January 2004, when an adult with a juvenile were observed along the Mouhoun River at Boromo (TL, In January–February 2016, an expedition to investigate the relationships between Palearctic passerine migrants and trees in the Sahel, part of the ‘Living on the Edge’ project of Vogelbescherming (BirdLife Netherlands), found the first Common Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis for Burkina Faso in farmland near a rocky area 90 km north-east of Bobo-Dioulassofrom ABC Bulletin

from ABC Bulletin 24.2

In January–February 2016, an expedition to investigate the relationships between Palearctic passerine migrants and trees in the Sahel, part of the ‘Living on the Edge’ project of Vogelbescherming (BirdLife Netherlands), found the first Common Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis for Burkina Faso in farmland near a rocky area 90 km north-east of Bobo-Dioulasso on 27 January. A Splendid Sunbird Cinnyris coccinigastrus near Singou in Arli National Park on 9 February appears to be the first record from the south-east (RB, JvdK & LZ per JBr; for details see

from ABC Bulletin 23.1

In February 2015, an expedition to investigate relationships between Palearctic passerine migrants and trees, part of the ‘Living on the Edge’ project of Vogelbescherming (BirdLife Netherlands), also produced some unusual records of Afrotropical birds. An African Scops Owl Otus senegalensis was heard calling 50 km south-west of Dori, on 15th; this is quite far north for this species. Also rather far north was a well-observed Brown-backed Woodpecker Ipophilus obsoletus just north of Kaya on 13th. A Plain-backed Pipit Anthus leucophrys and a pair of Familiar Chats Oenanthe familiaris uttering alarm calls were observed 60 km north-west of Ouagadougou on 7th. A group of three Sennar Penduline Tits Anthoscopus punctifrons was found 60 km north of Kaya on 12th and a group of three Yellow Penduline Tits A. parvulus just 60 km from there, north-west of the same locality, on 10th. A group of six Common Waxbills Estrilda astrild was recorded 50 km north-east of Kaya on 14th, further indicating that some Sudano- Guinean species can be found in drier regions.

from ABC Bulletin 21.1

A Steppe Buzzard Buteo buteo vulpinus was claimed from Koubri Monastery, south-east of Ouagadougou, on 24 October 2013; this species would be an addition to the country list. 

from ABC Bulletin 20.2

In the late afternoon of 25 January 2012, a falcon identified as an adult pale-morph Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae was circling near the village of Tankougounadie, near the Burkina Faso / Niger border. No photographs could be obtained, but the dark underwing coverts were clearly seen. A presumed Ashy-headed Wagtail Motacilla (flava) cinereocapilla in breeding plumage was video-taped on the shores of Lake Higa on 22 February 2012. In the same area, at least one Yellow Wagtail Motacilla (flava) flavissima was photographed in late February.

from ABC Bulletin 20.1

Records from October 2012 include the following. A European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus flew south over Koubri, 20 km south of Ouagadougou, on 19th. Three Bronze-winged Coursers Rhinoptilus chalcopterus were encountered in farmbush just south of Ouaga on 30th. At Koubri, two Great Spotted Cuckoos Clamator glandarius were observed on 16th, whilst two Blackcap Babblers Turdoides reinwardtii were mist-netted on 3rd.

from ABC Bulletin 19.1

In August 2011, during field work in the region of Lac Higa, a remote area in the north-east, two singing male Blackstarts Cercomela melanura were photographed; this record constitutes the first for Burkina Faso.

from ABC Bulletin 18.2

In February 2011, two new species for the country were photographed: an adult Ovampo Sparrowhawk Accipiter ovampensis at Karfiguela, in the south-west, on 18th and, rather surprisingly, a Green Turaco Tauraco persa in the Urban Park Bangré Wéogo (=Ouagadougou's Forest Reserve) on 21st. Other noteworthy records included six African Pygmy Geese Nettapus auritus, a Lesser Jacana Microparra capensis and a Great Snipe Gallinago media at Karfiguela on 19th, with another Lesser Jacana at Lake Tengrela on 18th, and Neumann's Starlings Onychognathus neumanni at Pics du Sindou on 18th and Karfiguela the next day.


Two Common Waxbills Estrilda astrild were observed at close range (and the black undertail-coverts noted) at the base of the Niansogoni Escarpment, west of Sindou, c.5 km from the border with Mali and 15 km from Côte d'Ivoire, on 13 August 2010; this appears to be the first record for the country.

In Arli National Park, just a few kilometres from the Benin border, 27 African Pygmy Geese Nettapus auritus were counted on 27 December 2009; this species is considered rare in the park. A European Roller Coracias garrulus was also observed there on 20–21 December; there are few records each year.

In February 2005, two Pharaoh's Eagle Owls Bubo ascalaphus, probably a pair, were photographed in the Markoye area, in the extreme north-east; the first record for the country.

A Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus was seen at Gonse on 8 November 2003; this is more to the north than previously published records. Four-banded Sandgrouse Pterocles quadricinctus with chicks were seen at Gonse on 24 January 2004; there are few breeding records from Burkina Faso .

Records from December 2002 to October 2003 that represent extensions of the species' known range (cf. the maps in Borrow & Demey 2001, Birds of Western Africa) include the following. A White-backed Night Heron Gorsachius leuconotus was flushed from its tree roost along a dry river bed at Boromo, about half way between Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso, on 22 December. Yellow-billed Oxpeckers Buphagus africanus were noted in Gonse Forest Reserve, just north of Ouagadougou, on 5 January and 1 October, and at Gandefabou, north-west of Dori, on 11 February. Black-necked Weavers Ploceus nigricollis were seen along a stream in Ouagadougou forest, from May to July.

Records from November 2001 to April 2002 include the following. Several species were added to the Nazinga list including Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis (an adult on 22 December), European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus (one on 25 April, five on 28 April and three on 29 April, all migrating north), Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni (a male on 23 April), Little Stint Calidris minuta (five on 20 April), Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius (one on 20 April), Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus (three on 20 November), Bluethroat Luscinia svecica cyanecula (one on 20 November) and Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus (one on 9 November). A Secretary Bird Sagittarius serpentarius seen during this period may constitute the first sighting in Nazinga since 1983. A Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza flaviventris was found at Gonsé, near Ouagadougou, on 13 April.

During field training in bird identification organised by BirdLife Partner NATURAMA in October and November 2000, two species were identified that appear not to have been documented for the country: Siffling Cisticola Cisticola brachypterus and Yellow-bellied Hyliota Hyliota flavigaster. Both were seen at Nazinga Game Ranch, south of Po National Park. The cisticola, a widespread and generally common species in West Africa, was also recorded recently at other localities in the country by other observers. White-backed Night Heron Gorsachius leuconotus, another addition to the Burkina list, was also recently discovered at Nazinga, and since this discovery, more than 30 sightings have been obtained, totalling 63 individuals, with a maximum of 11 adults together on 14 May 2001.

An African Swallow-tailed Kite Chelictinia riocourii was observed at Banfora on 25 February and again on 12 March. Two adult Lappet-faced Vultures Torgos tracheliotus, seen on 19 February, were the first for Nazinga. Five Lesser Jacanas Microparra capensis, found at Tengrela on 25 February, were still there on 12 March. The first Egyptian Plover Pluvianus aegyptius for Nazinga was recorded from 4 to 16 April, and the first European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur on 7 March. Twelve White-rumped Swifts Apus caffer on 6 June was a remarkable high number for Nazinga; usually only one or two are seen. Two Yellow-breasted Apalis Apalis flavida were observed near Bobo-Dioulasso on 24 February.

Two new species for the country were recorded in the extreme north-east in June 1999. Kordofan Lark Mirafra cordofanica was discovered 10 km south of Forage Christine on 16th; recordings made of its song appear to be the first for this species. Two pairs of Desert Larks Ammomanes deserti with a probable juvenile were found near Markoye on 18th; the birds were much darker than the nearest known subspecies and apparently constitute a hitherto undescribed form.

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