Senegal Kingfisher

The Muni lagoon covers a large area of sand and mud behind Winneba town, and is a prime wildlife habitat. In the 60s, I used to spend a lot of time there, birdwatching and fishing with a traditional Ghanaian castnet. The birds included waders, storks, sea eagles, herons and at least two species of kingfisher. I caught many fish, but failed to ever catch a mudskipper, a strange fish which used to lie on the sand beside the water, but flip back into it when they saw you coming.

Sadly, the mudskippers seem to have disappeared, but the birds were as plentiful as ever. The first bird which comes to mind when I think about the Muni lagoon is the Senegal Kingfisher, black and white and large for a kingfisher. They can fish from perches, but more commonly hover above the lagoon. A swoop to a lower level, another quick hover and then a plunge into the water, followed by quick strong wingbeats to a perch to deal with the catch.

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