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Specific literature
The Gambia and Senegal, Andrew Burke & David Else, 2nd edition September 2002, Lonely Planet.
In this handsome and condensed guidebook you will find incredibly much information and data about Senegal and the Gambia. Coverage of both countries is excellent, providing up-to-date, accurate information and sensible advice, on anything from places to stay and eat, things to do and see, things to buy, and basically anything the traveller may wish to know. The coverage of culture, society, nature, music and other information, is excellent and easy to digest. The book is highly recommended to anybody travelling in those two countries!
336 pages, 20 pages in colour, 32 maps, 184 x 127 mm, paperback
ISBN 1740591372, from £12,99 (19 €)

Birds of Western Africa, Nick Borrow & Ron Demey, 2002, Helm, London.
This major new handbook covers 1282 species that occur in the western countries of Africa. It is the only ID guide available, which covers the region's birds in detail and it provides 147 colour plates on all the species described apart from a few vagrants (which are depicted in black and white within the text). Distribution maps are provided for a majority of species. Due to its heavy weight and format (and price?) this book is not very practical to carry with you in field. However, a very useful reference guide, even if it has to stay in the car or at your accommodation while you are birding.
832 pages, 241 x 166 mm, hardback
ISBN 0713639598, from £60 (87,80 €)

A Field Guide to the Birds of the Gambia and Senegal, Clive Barlow, Tony Disley & Tim Wacher, 1997, Helm, London
This field guide covers the area of the Gambia, a country which is very popular with a large number of birders. The Gambia shelters many migrants from the Western Palearctic, from September to April, as well as having a significant list of resident West African birds. The guide also covers Senegal, which almost entirely surrounds The Gambia. The colour plates depict 570 species - virtually every species recorded in The Gambia - and the text covers every species on the Senegambian list, as well as a few which are likely to turn up in the future. In total, over 660 species are described in the book.
408 pages, 210 x 148 mm, 48 colour plates, maps, hardback
ISBN 1873403321, from £29.99
(43 €)

Birds of Western & Central Africa, Ber van Perlo, 2002, HarperCollins, London.
This is not an ID guide in a common sense, but more correctly an illustrated checklist. This field guide illustrates and describes every species of bird you may see in western Africa. Featuring over 1500 species, the text gives very brief information on key identification features, habitat, songs and calls. The 109 colour plates appear opposite their relevant text for quick and easy reference. Distribution maps are included. Even if it doesn't reach the detailed quality of Borrow's guide, this handsome book are perfect to bring with you in field.
384 pages, 191 x 126 mm, paperback
ISBN 0002201186, from £19,99 (29,20 €)

Most recent published book on the subject!
Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa, Nik Borrow & Ron Demey, 2004, Helm, London
This new field guide uses all of the plates from Birds of Western Africa, with a concise, authoritative text on facing pages, to create a conveniently-sized, lightweight field reference covering all 1304 species found in the region.
The book also has an updated colour distribution map for ech species, conveniently placed on interleaved pages within the colour plates. A number of new images have been painted for this new field guide and several of the plates have been replaced. This is the first comprehensive field guide to cover the birds of this exciting region, and will enable birders to identify any species found in any of the countries covered.
496 pages, 150 colour plates, nearly 1300 maps, 216x135 mm, paperback
ISBN 0713666927, from £29.99 (43 €)

Identification books
Collins Bird Guide. Mullarney, K., Svensson, L., Zetterström, D. & Grant, P.J., 1999. HarperCollins, London. (Available in different languages)

Flight Identification of European Seabirds. Blomdahl, A., Breife, B. & Holmström, N., 2003. Helm, London. (Also available in Swedish language)

Birds of Europe with North Africa and the Middle East. Jonsson, L., 1993. Helm, London. (Available in different languages)

Skuas and Jaegers. Malling Olsen, K. & Larsson, H., 1997. Pica Press, London.

Seabirds: an Identification Guide. Harrison, P., 1985. Helm, London.

Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. Carwardine, M. & Camm, M., 1995. Dorling Kindersley, London.

Birding articles on the subject
La péninsule du Cap-Vert à Dakar, Sénégal, est-elle la "Mecque" du seawatching? Dubois, J.P., Holmström, N. & Verneau, A. 2009. Ornithos 4/2009: 220-232. (Also contains seabird totals between 1995-2008. In French with summary in English).
View or download the full article here» (PDF 619 KB)

Senegal – Havsfågelskådning i världsklass (= 'Senegal – seawatching that will beat the world'). Nilsson, K. 2008. Vår Fågelvärld 5/2008: 18-21 (In Swedish).
You can open or download the full article here» (PDF 212 KB)

Seabird counts at N'Gor, Senegal, in November 2006. Strandberg, R. & P. Olofsson. 2007. Malimbus 29: 128-130.

Senegal – en pärla för sträckskådare (= 'Senegal – the holy pearl for seawatchers'). Kristoffer Nilsson, Fåglar på Västkusten 4/2005: 154-162 (In Swedish).

Havsfågelskådning i Senegal – ett drömlikt skådespel (= 'Seawatching in Senegal – a dreamlike scenario'). Holmström, N., Roadrunner 1/2004: 32-36 (In Swedish).
You can open or download the full article here» (PDF 149 KB)

Seabirds off Senegal, West Africa. Tony Marr, Dick Newell & Richard Porter, Bulletin of the African Bird Club 1/1998: 22-29. Fortunately the article is available on the net (only tables with totals excluded). Read the article here»

Seawatching from Pointe des Almadies, Senegal: recent news. Gary Allport, Bulletin of the African Bird Club 1/1995: 55. Read the article here» (PDF 103 KB)

Seawatching from Cape Verde, Senegal.
François Baillon & Philippe J. Dubois, Birding World 4/1991: 440-442. Read the article here» (PDF 81 KB)
Spring seabird passage off Senegal
. Tony Marr & Richard Porter, Birding World 10/1992: 391-394

Recommended ID articles
Three of a kind (Identification of Cory's, Scopoli's and Cape Verde Shearwater). Steve Madge, Birdwatch 133/2003: p. 22-25

Flight identification of Cory's and Scopoli's Shearwaters. Ricard
Gutiérrez, Dutch Birding 5/1998: p. 216-225

Identification of Cape Verde Shearwater. Richard Porter, Dick Newell, Tony Marr & Robin Jolliffe, Birding World 6/1997: p. 222-228

A little help
Flight identification of Little Shearwater). Anthony McGeehan & Killian Mullarney, Birdwatch 39/1995: p. 38-42

Great or Cory's? Identifying large shearwaters. Anthony McGeehan & Ricard Gutiérrez, Birdwatch 73/1998: p. 32-36

Identification of white-rumped North Atlantic Storm-petrels. Peter Harrison, British Birds 76 (1983): p. 161-174

Flight Identification of Grey and Red-necked Phalarope. Eddie Maguire, Birding Scotland 1/2001: p. 19-24
Identification of Catharacta skuas: variability in juvenile Great Skuas. Stuart Bearhop, Robert Furness & Bernard Zonfrillo, Birding World 9/1998: p. 355-359

South Polar Skua an overlooked bird in the eastern Atlantic. Dick Newell, Richard Porter & Tony Marr, Birding World 6/1997: p. 229-235

Focus on the African Royal Tern. Didier Vangeluwe & Vincent Bulteau, Alula 3/2003: p. 106-112
Photo forum
identification of Orange-billed Terns. Steve Gantlett, Birding World 7/2003: p. 285-304 (Royal Tern not included)

Seabird related web sites
Catharacta Skuas
Contains information and over 210 photos on Great, Brown, Chilean and South Polar Skuas as well as photos on unidentified Catharacta skuas off Dakar in Senegal. Also moult charts for three species and links to other Skua web sites. (The site is managed by Dick Newell, UK)

Ageing and moult in Catharacta skuas some comments
This short note examines the plumage of a skua that turned up in the Scillies in October 2001, which is inconsistent with our understanding of Great Skua Catharacta skua. (

Identification of Storm-petrels
This article takes a look at the identification of Wilson's, Band-rumped (Madeiran) and Leach's Storm-petrels and provides tips on how to see them. The article also contains several drawings. Written by Donna L. Dittmann & Steven W. Cardiff, USA.

Ocean Wanderers
This is a personal web site run by Angus Wilson, which is dedicated to the exchange of information about bird identification, migration, systematics and conservation, with special emphasis on seabirds. Also visit the page Annotated List of the Seabirds of the World.

Seabirding Pelagic Trips
Managed by Brian Patteson. Do visit the 'Image Galley' which contains many excellent photos on most seabird species! Especially the photo sections on 'Petrels & Shearwaters' and 'Storm-petrels' are very interesting and helpful for European seawatchers.

Other useful web sites
Biscay Dolphin Research Programme – A very good site about seabirds, whales and dolphins of the English Channel and Bay of Biscay. Lot of information, photos and identification.

Whales and Dolphins – Identification, photo gallery and much more on the beloved cetaceans is available on this website.

You will find more specific links, close to the information which are dealt with at each section on this web site!

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