MADAGASCAR


Brian and Pat Wetton joined the Zoothera trip to Madagascar in September 2013. The trip was ably led by Adam and Vicki Kennedy and well organised by Zoothera and their local agent Tiana. We were not always as impressed with the methods of some local guides when they acted more like beaters than birders.

187 species of birds were recorded, of which some 128 were endemic, and many other creatures were enjoyed including 23 species of lemurs.

Good companionship was enjoyed with Dave Branagh, Jeff Cooper, Julie Kennedy, Dave & Jan Kingman, Trisha Thompson and  Nigel & Daryl Watson.

Itinerary:

Sept 27    Air France flight from London to Antananarivo via Paris

Sept 28    'Tana(TA)  to Tsarasaotra Lake(TL) and Mananara(MA)

Sept 29    Mananara back to 'Tana for flight to Mahajanga

Sept 30    Betsiboke Delta(BD), Airport Pool (AP), Marosakoa Marsh(MM) &Ankarafantsika NP(AK)

Oct  01    Ankarafantsika & Ravelobe Lake(RL)

Oct  02    Ravelobe Lake, Ambondromamy Marsh(AB), Betsiboke Bridge(BB) and road to 'Tana

Oct  03    Flight from 'Tana to Fort Dauphinand Tolagnaro Headland(TO)

Oct  04    Fort Dauphin to Berenty(BY)

Oct  05    Berenty

Oct  06    Berenty to Fort Daughin, flight to Tulear and on to Ifaty(IF)

Oct  07    Ifaty and return to Tulear

Oct  08    Tulear to Nosy Ve(NV) and Anakao(AN)

Oct  09    Anakao to Tulear and La Tabla(LT)

Oct  10    Tulear to Zombitse Forest(ZF) and Isalo NP(IS)

Oct  11    Isalo to Ranomafana NP(RF)

Oct  12    Ranomafana NP

Oct  13    Ranomafana NP

Oct  14    Ranomafana NP

Oct  15    Ranomafana NP to Antsirabe

Oct  16    Antsirabe to Andasibe-Mantadia NP(Perinet)(AM)

Oct  17    Andasibe-Mantadia NP(Mantadia)

Oct  18    Andasibe-Mantadia NP(Perinet & Mantadia)

Oct  19    Andasibe-Mantadia NP(Perinet)

Oct  20    Andasibe-Mantadia NP(Perinet) to 'Tana

Oct  21    Flight from 'Tana via Paris and Amsterdam to London

Site Profiles:

'Tana

Mainly rice paddies watched from our transit hotel and from our coach

Tsarasaotra Lake

Two lakes with fringing marsh and islands with egret colonies and adjoining deciduous woodland and scrub

Mananara

Partially forested slopes with valley mires and bogs surrounding Mananara Lodge

Betsiboke Delta

The delta of the Betsiboke River near Mahajanga from where a speed boat was taken out to the sandy and muddy islets frequented by wading birds

Airport Pool

Adjacent to Mahajanga Airport, this pool was almost dried up at the end of the wet season but the muddy areas were holding some wading birds and herons

Marosakoa Marsh

A roadside Marsh en route to Ankarafantsika National Park

Ankarafantsika National Park

Deciduous forest around Ampijoroa Forest Lodge together with the neaby Ravelobe Lake

Ravelobe Lake

A large roadside lake within Ankarafantsika National Park surrounded by forest and with fringing marshes

Ambondromamy Marsh

Roadside paddies and marshes south of Ampijoroa

Betsiboke Bridge

Rocky falls on the Betsiboke River en route to 'Tana. Further south were rolling grassy highlands

Tolagnaro Headland

A rocky headland at Fort Dauphin for sea watching and whale watching

Berenty

A private reserve containing spiny forest (with Didierea, Euphorbias and Baobabs), gallery forest along the Manzanare River and surrounding sisal plantations

Ifaty

An area of spiny forest north of Tulear along with coastal areas of blown sand and brackish pools

Nosy Ve

An islet off the coast at Tulear with scrub, coarse grassland and coral beach

Anakao

A coastal village with euphorbia scrub

La Tabla

A mesa with dry scrub inland from Tulear

Zombitse Natiional Park

Deciduous dry forest on the N7 road from Tulear to 'Tana

Isalo National Park

Rocky outcrops and dry scrub and grassland on the N7 between Zombitse and Ranomafana

Ranomafana National Park

A residual area of sub-montane rainforest in the southern highlands with a fast-flowing river and waterfalls

Andasibe-Mantadia National Park

A rainforest area south-east of 'Tana with extensive wet forest including mature trees, bamboo, streams and forest lakes as well as some cut areas near the villages and roads





Birds Recorded (see itinerary for site codes)

Species No.Days Max. Sites
Little Grebe 3 6 TL,AB,IF
Madagascar Little Grebe 1 2 AM
Red-tailed Tropicbird 1 20 NV
African Darter 1 1 RL
Black-crowned Night-Heron 2 2+ TL,RL
Squacco Heron 7 10+ various
Madagascar Pond Heron 4 1 TL,AP,IS
Western Cattle Egret 14 100 various
Striated Heron 8 3 various
Black Egret 7 5+ various
Dimorphic Egret 11 50+ various
Great Egret 12 20 various
Purple Heron 9 6 various
Grey Heron 2 2 BD,AB
Humblot's Heron 2 1 BD,AB
Hamerkop 6 4 BY,IF,IS,RF
Madagascar White Ibis 1 10 BD
Glossy Ibis 1 10+ RL
Madagascar Crested Ibis 1 1 AM
African Spoonbill 1 1 BD
Species No.Days Max. Sites
Lesser Flamingo 1 10+ BD
White-faced Whistling-Duck 5 50+ TL,AP,RL,IF
Knob-billed Duck 1 5 TL
African Pygmy Goose 1 2 AB
Meller's Duck 2 3 TL,AM
Bernier's Teal 1 21 BD
Red-billed Teal 2 50+ TL,IF
Hottentot Teal 1 1 TL
Madagascar Cuckoo-Hawk 1 2 RF
Yellow-billed Kite 16 50+ various
Black Kite 1 1 BY
Madagascar Fish Eagle 2 2 RL
Madagascar Harrier-Hawk 3 1 BD,AK,IF
Henst's Goshawk 2 H RF
Madagascar Sparrowhawk 2 2 IF,AM
Frances's Sparrowhawk 6 2 AK,BY,IF,RF,AM
Madagascar Buzzard 13 3 various
Madagascar Kestrel 19 10+ various
Peregrine 1 1 IS
Madagascar Partridge 1 2 IS
Species No.Days Max. Sites
Common Quail 1 1 IS
Helmeted Guineafowl 1 20+ BY
White-breasted Mesite 1 2+ AK
Brown Mesite 1 1 RF
Subdesert Mesite 1 1 IF
Madagascar Buttonquail 3 4 BY
Madagascar Flufftail 4 1 MA,AM
Madagascar Rail 2 2 MA
Madagascar Wood Rail 2 3 RF,AM
White-throated Rail 5 2 RL,BY,AM
Allen's Gallinule 1 2 RL
Common Moorhen 3 5 TL,AP,RL,AB
Red-knobbed Coot 1 2 IF
Madagascar Jacana 2 1 MM,RL
Greater Painted Snipe 2 2 MA,BY
Crab Plover 2 10 BD,NV
Black-winged Stilt 3 20+ AB,IF
Madagascar Pratincole 1 2+ BB
Ringed Plover 2 5+ AP,IF
Kittlitz's Plover 2 10+ AP,IF
Species No.Days Max. Sites
Madagascar Plover 1 2+ IF
White-fronted Plover 2 3+ BD,NV
Greater Sand Plover 1 10 BD
Grey Plover 1 2 NV
Madagascar Snipe 2 2 MA
Eurasian Whimbrel 3 5+ BD,IF,NV
Common Greenshank 2 4+ BY,IF
Terek Sandpiper 1 5+ BD
Common Sandpiper 5 2 BD,IF,RF,AM
Ruddy Turnstone 2 20+ IF,NV
Sanderling 1 6+ NV
Little Stint 1 1 IF
Curlew Sandpiper 2 100+ BD,IF
Kelp Gull 1 4 TO
Caspian Tern 1 1 AN
Greater Crested Tern 4 5+ TO,IF,NV,AN
Lesser Crested Tern 2 2+ NV,AN
Roseate Tern 1 1 NV
Saunder's Tern 3 2 BD,NV,AN
Madagascar Sandgrouse 1 7 BY
Species No.Days Max. Sites
Feral Pigeon 8 10+ various
Madagascar Turtle Dove 15 10+ various
Namaqua Dove 9 50+ various
Madagascar Green Pigeon 5 3 AK,BY,RF,AM
Madagascar Blue Pigeon 6 10+ RF,AM
Greater Vasa Parrot 8 5 AK,IF,RF,AM
Lesser Vasa Parrot 15 6+ various
Grey-headed Lovebird 5 10+ AK,BY,IF
Madagascar Lesser Cuckoo 11 2+ MA,RF,AM
Giant Coua 2 3 BY
Coquerel's Coua 1 1+ AK
Running Coua 4 2 BY,IF
Red-breasted Coua 2 1 AM
Red-fronted Coua 2 1 RF,AM
Red-capped Coua 2 2+ AK
Brown-capped Coua 1 2 BY
Crested Coua 4 6+ AK,BY
Verreaux's Coua 1 1 LT
Blue Coua 7 5+ RF,AM
Madagascar Coucal 17 3+ various
Species No.Days Max. Sites
Barn Owl 1 1 BY
Rainforest Scops Owl 3 1+ MA,AM
Torotoroka Scops Owl 4 2 AK,BY
White-browed Owl 3 2 BY
Madagascar Long-eared Owl 1 1 AM
Collared Nightjar 1 2 AM
Madagascar Nightjar 12 4+ various
Madagascar Spinetail 1 2+ AK
African Palm Swift 14 50+ various
Alpine Swift 3 5 BY,RF
African Black Swift 5 5 MA,BY,IS,RF
Madagascar Malachite Kingfisher 10 3 various
Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher 3 1+ RF,AM
Madagascar Bee-eater 12 20+ various
Broad-billed Roller 5 2+ AM
Short-legged Ground-Roller  1 1 AM
Scaly Ground-Roller 2 1 AM
Pitta-like Ground-Roller 4 2+ RF,AM
Rufous-headed Ground-Roller 2 1+ RF
Long-tailed Ground-Roller 1 1 IF
Species No.Days Max. Sites
Cuckoo-Roller 11 6 AK,BY,ZF,RF,AM
Madagascar Hoopoe 7 6+ AK,BY,IF,IS,AM
Velvet Asity 4 2 RF,AM
Schlegel's Asity 1 2 AK
Common Sunbird-Asity 1 1 RF
Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity 1 1 RF
Madagascar Bush-Lark 8 20+ various
Mascarene Martin 12 50 various
Brown-throated Martin 10 50 various
Madagascar Wagtail 12 5+ various
Ashy Cuckoo-Shrike 9 5+ AK,BY,ZF,RF,AM
Madagascar Bulbul 21 50 various
Long-billed Tetraka 3 10+ AK,RF
Spectacled Tetraka 4 3+ RF,AM
Appert's Tetraka 1 1 ZF
Grey-crowned Tetraka 2 2+ RF
Red-tailed Vanga 7 3+ IF,ZF.RF,AM
Red-shouldered Vanga 1 1 LT
Rufous Vanga 1 2 AK
Hook-billed Vanga 5 2 BY,AM
Species No.Days Max. Sites
Lafresnaye's Vanga 3 2 BY,IF,LT
Pollen's Vanga 3 1+ RF
Van Dam's Vanga 1 1 AK
Sickle-billed Vanga 3 17 AK
White-headed Vanga 6 2+ AK,RF,AM
Chabert's Vanga 10 5+ various
Blue Vanga 8 2 AK,RF,AM
Nuthatch Vanga 2 3 AM
Tylas Vanga 8 3 RF,AM
Littoral Rock-Thrush 1 3+ AN
Forest Rock-Thrush 1 2+ RF
Benson's Rock-Thrush 1 2 IS
Madagascar Magpie-Robin 16 10+ various
Madagascar Stonechat 6 2+ MA,RF
White-throated Oxlabes 2 1 RF,AM
Madagascar Yellowbrow 1 1 RF
Crossley's Vanga 1 2 RF
Brown Emutail 1 1 RF
Grey Emutail 2 1 MA
Madagascar Brush Warbler 12 5+ various
Species No.Days Max. Sites
Subdesert Brush Warbler 6 2+ BY,IF,AN,LT
Madagascar Swamp Warbler 5 2 MA,BD,IF,AM
Thamnornis Warbler 1 3 IF
Rand's Warbler 4 1 RF,AM
Common Newtonia 11 5+ AK,BY,ZF,IS,RF,AM
Dark Newtonia 2 1 RF
Archbold's Newtonia 2 10+ IF,LT
Madagascar Cisticola 8 3+ various
Common Jery 16 6+ various
Green Jery 4 1 RF,AM
Stripe-throated Jery 2 1 RF,AM
Cryptic Warbler 1 1 RF
Wedge-tailed Jery 1 1 AM
Ward's Flycatcher 3 5+ RF,AM
Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher 15 10+ various
Souimanga Sunbird 21 20+ various
Long-billed Green Sunbird 9 2 MA,AK,IS,RF,AM
Madagascar White-eye 12 6+ various
Madagascar Mannikin 6 10+ MM,BY,AM
Nelicourvi Weaver 6 3+ RF,AM
Species No.Days Max. Sites
Sakalava Weaver 9 10+ AP,AB,BY,IF,AN,LT,IS 
Madagascar Red Fody 8 20+ various
Forest Fody 2 2 RF
Common Myna 20 50+ various
Madagascar Starling 6 2 MA,RF,AM
Crested Drongo 19 20+ various
Pied Crow 14 20+ various

Mammals:

Indri, Grey Mouse Lemur, Brown Mouse Lemur, Golden-brown Mouse Lemur, Goodman's Mouse Lemur, Greater Dwarf Lemur, Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur, White-footed Sportive Lemur, Milne-Edwards Sportive Lemur, Hubbard's Sportive Lemur, Eastern Grey Bamboo Lemur, Golden Bamboo Lemur, Ring-tailed Lemur, Common Brown Lemur, Red-fronted Brown Lemur, Red-bellied Lemur, Mongoose Lemur, Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur, Eastern Avahi, Diademed Sifaka, Milne-Edwards Sifaka, Verreaux's Sifaka, Coquerel's Sifaka, Lowland Streaked Tenrec, Madagascar Flying Fox, Humpback Whale

Herpetiles:

Globe-horned Chameleon (Calumma globifer), Short-horned Chameleon (Calumma brevicornis), Band-bellied Chameleon (Calumma gastrotaenia), Blue-legged Chameleon (Calumma crypticum), Short-nosed Chameleon (Calumma nasutum), Parson's Chameleon (Calumma parsoni), Oustalet's Chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti), Rainforest Chameleon (Furcifer balteatus), Madagascar Day Gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis), Standing's Day Gecko (Phelsuma standingi), Lined day Gecko (Phelsuma lineata), Peacock Day Gecko (Phelsuma quadriocellata), Tropical House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus), Three-eyed Gecko (Cholarodon madagascariensis), Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko (Uroplatus fantasticus), Collared Spiny-tailed Iguana (Oplurus cuvieri), Skink sp. (Zonosaurus laticaudatus), Dumeril's Madagascar Swift Lizard (Oplurus quadrimaculatus), Ground Boa, Snake sp. (Dromicodryas bernieri), Snake sp. (Ithycyphus perineti), Snake sp.(Liopholidophis sp.), Frog sp. (Mantella baroni), Frog sp. (Ptychadena mascareniensis), Frog sp. (Boophis madagascariensis), Frog sp. (Guibemantis pulcher), Spider Tortoise,Radiated Tortoise,Nile Crocodile

Amongst many insects seen were the strange Giraffe-necked Weevils 



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