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Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch

A very special bird indeed!

Sometimes it's fun to look back through our photo collection from The Biggest Twitch world recordbreaking 'Big Year' in 2008 and share some photos that haven't seen the light of day before. So we looked back in the archives and oh boy, did we have an exciting day on 6th March 2008.

We were birding in Ghana with our great friends Iain Campbell and Sam Woods of Tropical Birding and Ghana expert Mark Williams of Ashanti African Tours We'd already scored many fabulous birds in this wonderful, friendly, and bird-rich country but today, Mark had a special surprise in store for us.

We drove to a remote village in rural Ghana, where we were given a riotous welcome by the local children. It was great fun taking snaps with our digital camera and then showing them the image of themselves on the screen on the back.

Ghana children

Friendly welcome from the locals!

The village elders prised us away from the children and led us on a walk through the dense forest, pretty hot and steamy here. We scrambled up a cliff until we got to an overhang. On the underside were a number of bizarre cup-shaped nests. Did they have giant Housemartins here?!

Sam and the nests

Sam inspecting the nests which are being closely monitored

We were instructed to wait a responsible distance from the nests to wait for the birds. No noise or movement was allowed while we waited. And waited. And waited. At times it was hard keeping our eyelids open as we waited in the warm, humid air. But suddenly, with a whoosh, the bird arrived!

White necked Rockfowl

White-necked Rockfowl, photo by Tropical Birding

Wow! What a bird! White-necked Rockfowl or Picathartes, an almost mythical bird and here it was, right in front of us! Part chicken, part pheasant, part kangaroo, this bizarre bird bounced around the branches, down onto the ground and back up into the branches again. It was joined by several more who put on a wonderful show before our very eyes. Tropical Birding cameras whirred and clicked, and Alan and I soaked up the views. All birds scored only one tick on The Biggest Twitch 2008 list but some ticks were definitely worth more than others and this was a top tick!!

Time to leave the birds in peace and we scrambled back down the cliff elated with our Rockfowl experience. What a country, what a bird! If you ever have the chance to go birding in Ghana, grab it with both hands. You won't be disappointed!

If you can't get to Ghana, how about joining us in Norfolk in May or October 2013? Email us on for more details. Can't promise you a White-necked Rockfowl but we can promise you a whole host of fabulous birds and a wonderful trip to this beautiful part of the UK!


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