Optics for Liberia

Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye

Liberia is one of the poorest of the West African nations, but it is also one of the most forested with 45% of the country still covered in primary forest. The Birdlife partner, Society Conservation of Nature in Liberia (SCNL), are doing an immensely impressive job despite the obvious difficulties to monitor, educate and advocate for the protection of their declining species, such as the white-necked picathartes and great blue turaco.


To study the declines of Afro-Palearctic migrants I travel to Liberia in January and February, where many of our migrant species winter – we’re hoping to shed light on their nonbreeding season ecology and behaviour. Our work would be impossible without the help of the great ornithologists which SCNL employ. Due to limited funding, the society struggles to properly equip its staff. Pictured here is Emmanuel (also know as ‘the best birder in all of Liberia!’), what the camera doesn’t show is that he actually only has one lens in his binoculars … and only a select few of the staff members have a pair of binoculars at all.

To this end, if anyone has any old or unwanted optics which they are no longer in need of, then I would recommend that SCNL would be a grateful owner. I will be travelling back to Liberia, leaving Cornwall on the 18th of January and would gladly take any donated optics with me.

Thank you, Fraser Bell


Please contact Fraser if you have an old pair of binoculars or other optics you no longer need or can donate. A drop off point has been arranged at Exeter Unversity (Penryn) Porter’s Lodge (free parking for 1 hour for visitors) or contact Fraser at fraserbell@hotmail.co.uk to arrange alternative drop-off or collection in the Redruth/Truro area, or discuss postage/options. (There are likely to be other opportunities later in the year if to short notice ths time around.)

African Dwarf Kingfisher Pied Flycatcher with geolocator

African Dwarf Kingfisher, Pied Flycatcher with Geolocator

 Landscape, showing recent slash and burn.

Landscape, showing recent slash and burn.