David Bishop sent me this brief – but interesting – account of a month long voyage up the west coat of Africa. He was mainly birding but saw a few nice mammals as you might expect, including a Cusimanse and some Sei Whales.
” I’m just in England for a few days before heading back to Australia. This after 35 days on an expedition ship travelling up the entire west coast of Africa. Unfortunately such a trip is rather superficial in its land ventures but I was thrilled to see a couple of Cusimanse in forest in Sierre Leone as I waited for the non-appearance of a Picathartes. Given the amount of time at sea it is perhaps not unsurprising that we had some very good sea mammal sighting including: a pod of very close Short-finned Pilot Whales; several Sei Whales – gosh they are enormous when seen up close; and much to my astonishment a Sperm Whale with its gigantic and distinctive block-like head sticking out of the water. Lots of dolphins but mostly Atlantic Bottle-nosed plus a few Spinners. But as you know cetaceans can be very tough to ID. A morning in Monrovia, Liberia was not exactly riveting, however, several thousand Straw-coloured Bats erupting from there roost in the middle of this city was quite a sight and probably the most memorable thing I saw in that country. But boy I would love to get into some of those extensive forests.”