Just south of the village of Marakissa, 5km from the Senegal border, 6km south of Brikama and along the Allahein River, is some small well developed forest area, quite similar to the forest in the Brufut region.
At Marakissa River Camp there are some round huts with toilets and comfortable beds. It also has a small restaurant which is an excellent place to take it easy, and leisurely view the birds. Marakissa Camp is an extremely popular site for birders.
Canoes can be hired from the camp for trips up the river from the Camp.
Many species of bird are attracted to Marakissa due to the varied habitats that include swamps and ponds, scrub and woodland, making this a good birding site.
Some species are easier found here than in the Brufut Woods. Around Marakissa trees full of Village Weaver nests are common.
Marakissa is particularly good for different species of Kingfisher, Raptors, Rollers and migrating Waders. Near the River Camp, by the bridge, Black Crake can normally spotted, along with various species of Snipe and Heron.
Other sightings include Martial Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, African Hobby, Lizard Buzzard, Gabar Goshawk, Grey Kestrel, Red-necked Falcon and Grasshopper Buzzard, Yellow-throated Leaf-love, Hamerkop, Grey-headed Bush Shrike, Sulphur-breasted Bush Shrike, Square-tailed Drongo, White-breasted Cuckoo Shrike, Whistling Cisticola, Windling Cisticola, Exclamatory Paradise Whydah, Wilson’s Indigobird, African Blue Flycatcher, Yellow Shouldered Widowbird, Northern Puffback, Woodchat Shrike, Oriole Warbler, Green Crombec.
The distinctive rocking motion easily identifies the flight of Bateleur Eagles overhead.
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Birds commonly seen are Blackcap Babbler, Orange-cheeked Waxbill, Spotted Honeyguide, Greater Honeyguide, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Yellow-throated Longclaw, African Golden Oriole, Yellow-billed Kite, Violet-backed Starling, Black-winged Red Bishop, Purple Glossy Starling, White-rumped Seedeater, Blue-bellied Roller and Cardinal Woodpecker. You may even enjoy the sight of a Tawny Eagle over the treetops.
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