RNT November 2013
The first Management Plan Workshop with a Rosy Bee-eater Break!
A month later I was back to Tchimpounga Nature Reserve in the Republic of Congo. This time to attend the first ever management plan workshop for the reserve.
In the time either side of the workshop I intended to do a bit of exploring to find the elusive Rosy Bee-eater colony. One day I went off with a ranger and after walking for 6 hours through some fantastic old grown forest with Red-billed Dwarf Hornbills calling. Eventually we came out into a clearing to an idyllic grassland, surrounded by tall forest. It felt totally unexplored and to my complete and utter joy, there, right at the far end was the Rosy Bee-eater colony with hundreds of birds in residence! At a guess, I reckoned there were over 500 pairs in the colony.
So a very good opportunity to get a few rings on these birds! I did an evening session back at the sanctuary and got 6 Garden Warblers and a new one for me, Simple Greenbul! Went to check on the Mpili African River Martin Colony and found it all happening! Birds were now feeding young. I set a net and got a single bird, they were bringing in Hawk Moths, obviously gleaned from the forest canopy.
I got the chance and went back to do the Rosy Bee-eater colony and set one 2 panel net to one side of the colony so as not to disturb it and in 2 hours managed to catch 53 birds!
One of the highlight was to have Martin Cheek from Kew gardens show us the single specimen of Tessmania dawei, a tree which had been lost to science for 100 years and now rediscovered in RNT!