Monday, 1 October 2012

Report on a visit to eastern Sudan - by Terry Barry

Just a short report on birds seen in the area - I spent 2 nights in Kassala and 1 in Gedaref between 27-30 Sept. It appears to bed a good area for raptors and my first time to see vultures in any numbers in Sudan.

Firstly, on the road between Wad Medani and Gedaref there are many open flat plains with sorghum, and it seemed a very good place for birding - difficult to identify birds from bus but of note were many raptors - harriers?, buzzards (pretty sure they were Long-legged) on many of the posts/wires, as well as African Grey Hornbills, Abyssinian Rollers, migrating hirundines, Carmine Bee-eaters, Pied Crows.

In Kassala itself it is easy to get to the cliff faces/mountain of Jebil Totil - there many Ruppell's Vultures soaring above and living on cliffs,  a Fox Kestrel and pair of Fan-tailed Ravens also. Some migrating European Rollers also on Jebil. 

Also in Kassala, near the bridge over the river Gash (which is in process of drying up) and adjacent fruit plantations of note were a pair of Vieillot's Barbets, Little Green Bee-eaters, Speckled Mousebirds, Abdim's Storks, Sacred Ibises and Gull-billed Terns.

In Gedaref on outskirts of the town there was a flock of Little Swifts flying back and forth to nests under roof of a building, also on same building were a pair of Fox Kestrels (being hassled and chased by kites). Then a Hobby (African/Eurasian?) appeared briefly on a metal pole right by swifts presumably hoping to get one of them for lunch. Spotted flycatchers and  Black-eared Wheatears around. A solitary bedraggled European Turtle dove was on a wire. Plenty of Abyssinian Rollers around too.

The road between Kassala and Gederaf - not much of note. 1 Black-headed Heron and some Black-winged Stilts.

Terry Barry

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