Wednesday, 20 November 2002

Annotated bird list for family compound in Festac Town, Lagos, Nigeria

This is a list of the species seen in, and flying over, a small "compound" on 21 Road Extension, Festac Town, Lagos, Nigeria, between 9 and 18 November 2002. Festac Town was established in 1977 for the international Festival of Arts and Crafts, and the exhibition site is nearby. The town now has approaching 100,000 inhabitants and is situated to the W of central Lagos about 2 miles from the coast. The compound is located not far from the northern edge of the town, about half a mile from surrounding open marshes and lagoons.

Species which were only seen overhead are marked with an asterisk *.

1. Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) * - small numbers occasionally seen passing low overhead; common resident around rubbish dumps in the town
2. African Open-billed Stork (Anastomus lamelligerus) * - singles occasionally seen passing high overhead, most commonly early or late in the day, though also at midday; regularly seen soaring over lagoons to the north
3. Black Kite (Milvus migrans) * - small numbers very commonly observed overhead, up to three frequently in sight soaring high about the town
4. Shikra (Accipiter badius) * - single overhead on a couple of occasions
5. Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) * - singles very commonly observed overhead - soaring, hovering and hunting
6. Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis) - common resident, up to three birds consorting on house rooves and song regularly heard
7. Little Swift (Apus affinis) * - small flocks very regularly observed overhead
8. African Palm Swift (Cypsiurus parvus) * - small flocks very regularly observed overhead
9. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) * - small flocks irregularly observed overhead, usually with other hirundines
10. Common House Martin (Delichon urbica) * - occsionally observed high overhead, with other hirundines
11. African Pied Wagtail (Motacilla aguimp) - single seen low over houses
12. Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus) - very common and prominent yard resident - one or more usually within earshot at all times!
13. Yellow White-eye (Zosterops senegalensis) - single once searching for insect prey in small lime tree in yard
14. Variable Sunbird (Cinnyris venustus) - most conspicuous yard resident, with a male frequently in song from any elevated perch, particularly the house aerial and those of the neighbours, whilst female seen skulking in the lime tree
15. Pied Crow (Corvus albus) * - small numbers seen irregularly overhead
16. Black-necked Weaver (Ploceus nigricollis)- a pair and possibly others seen daily lurking in the top-most branches of the yard mango tree [NB - Borrow and Demey do not list gardens in the habitats for this species]
17. Bronze Mannikin (Lonchura cuculllata) - small flocks regularly seen passing briskly and noisily low over the roof-tops

Other species seen locally which are probably regular over the garden included:

18. White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) - small flocks seen over nearby marshes and lagoons
19. Feral Pigeon (Columba livia) - these are resident along the nearby high street (21 Road)
20. African Pied Hornbill (Tockus fasciatus) - seen elsewhere in the town
21. Ethiopean Swallow (Hirundo aethiopica) - small flocks seen elsewhere in the town
22. Northern Grey-headed Sparrow (Passer griseus) - common inhabitant of most residential areas
23. Slender-billed weaver (Ploceus pelzelni) - an individual was seen in a neighbour's garden (202 road)
24. Splendid Glossy Starling (Lamprotornis splendidus) - individuals seen in nearby housing areas

Other heron, egret and ibis species were also seen over neighbouring marshes and the town and I expect that at least 10 species in this group are probably regular over the garden.