Visit your favourite destinations
|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Uganda 5th-26th August 2002,
Keith Ballard, Nick Wilkinson, Keith Blomerley, Richard Winspear, Chris Dunn, Simon Wotton, Nigel Symes
8 people took part in this trip, which was organised by Simon Wotton, who arranged the itinerary (via e-mail) with Herbert Byaruhanga, the general secretary of the UGANDA BIRD GUIDES CLUB. He acted as our driver and guide for most of our time in Uganda (he had to leave to go to the British Birdwatching Fair for part of our stay), and we also had another guide-Alfred Twinomujuni for all of our stay. Alfred rightly has a very good reputation as one of the country's premier guides. His knowledge of bird identification & calls is superb, and he also has a phenomenal ability to mimic very accurately many bird sounds. He also has an extensive collection of sound-recordings on mini-disc (taken from Chappuis and personal recordings). Both Herbert and himself were also excellent company throughout. The contact details for them are:
UGANDA BIRD GUIDES CLUB
P.O. Box 33164
(General Secretary/Field Guide-based in Kampala)
Mobile: 256 - 77 - 518290 OR 256 - 77 - 468521
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
(Field Guide-based in BWINDI)
Mobile: 256 - 77 - 518290
Several carriers fly to Uganda-British Airways, Kenyan Airlines and Emirates. The only one that goes direct is British Airways, which is also the most expensive. However, the other carriers take double the flight time to get there (16 hrs) due to stopovers etc. whereas BA flights take 8hrs. Our British Airways flights cost £702 inclusive of tax (booked through Trailfinders-020 7938 3939), while the other company's flights would have only saved £60-70 for the added hassle of a 16 hour journey.
A tourist visa (£25) needs to be obtained in advance (taking about a week by post), from:
Uganda High Commission
58-59 Trafalgar Square
London WC2N 5DX
MONEY The Ugandan currency is the Uganda Shilling ($1 = 1800 shillings), although if on a tour like us little extra money is required ($100-200 depending on drinking habits!). We changed this amount into shillings, although for our hotel bill in Kampala shillings OR dollars were accepted.
TRANSPORT, ACCOMMODATION, FOOD, COSTS etc.
All the in-country transport and accommodation was arranged by the UGANDA BIRD GUIDES CLUB who acted as our guides and ground agents in-country. The price for the trip was $1580 per person (exclusive of flights) which included all meals (including at least a litre of water each a day), and all lodgings (with the exception of our last night in the Cuba Hotel, Kampala-an additional night due to flight-scheduling was $20 dollars for the night), transport, park fees, gorilla permits and guiding. The gorilla permits needed to be paid and reserved well in advance, so we paid the money for the permits in December ($250, via Western Union money transfer), with another downpayment of half of the remaining cost in March/April and the remainder ($650) paid direct in cash to Herbert on arriving in Uganda. We used a 4-wheel drive mini-bus for transport around, and stayed in low-price community bandas in many places, which were fine. In Semliki and Ruhizha it was necessary to camp-it is only possible to stay at Semliki by camping (there are no lodging facilities), although at Ruhizha there is an option of staying in an expensive ($15 per night per person), but very basic, hostel. We chose to camp (as do Birdquest). For this it was necessary for us to bring tents with us from the UK. A cook was arranged by Uganda Bird Guides to cook for us during our time in Semliki and Ruhizha. Unfortunately the cook failed to meet us for the Semliki section of the trip and so Alfred cooked for us instead (which worked very well).
TIMING & CLIMATE
It is a popular misconception amongst British birders that THE time to go to Uganda (particularly for the African Green Broadbill) is July-August (hence Birdquest tend to go at this time). However, Alfred strongly advises this is a difficult time for the broadbill, as they are more mobile at this time when they are not breeding , and it is also a difficult time for many other species. He advises the best times are MAY and SEPTEMBER (mid-onwards), when many species are much more vocal and tape responsive. Alfred was frustrated at some of the normally easy species which were simply not calling or tape responsive at this time (e.g. Doherty's Bush-shrike, Red-chested Flufftail). This was due to this being the dry season in Ruhizha. For some areas it was the start of the wet season, and we did experience heavy rain at Buhoma and Semliki and light rain at Budongo, although these bouts only limited our birding for a few hours. It was very dry and hot in Queen Elizabeth and Murchison, and all places were warm during the day with a sleeping bag only required at night for Ruhizha (sleeping bag liners sufficed everywhere else).
HEALTH & SAFETY
We never experienced any problems, although check when planning a trip if any areas are closed (e.g. Semliki ha been closed for extended periods in the past). There was talk of us not doing a game drive north of the Nile at Murchison due to safety concerns, although we eventually did one anyway, after we badgered Herbert into agreeing. Thus it is good to know they are unwilling to take groups into areas where there are any hints of trouble. Armed guides/rangers accompanied us at most sites. Lariam/doxycycline/ needs to be taken as a malaria prophylactic, and the usual jabs etc. required (Hepatitis/polio/tetanus etc.) Yellow fever is also recommended if entering from an infected area.
RECOMMENDED READING & SOUND GUIDES
Where to Watch Birds in Uganda (1998)
by J. Rossouw & M. Sacchi (published by the Uganda Tourist Board). £7.49-14.99
This is an excellent site guide, with good maps and a useful species checklist at the back for cross-referencing certain species to specific sites.
Guide to the Birds of East
Africa (2001) by T. Stevenson & J. Fanshawe (published
by T & A D Poyser). £29.95
The most comprehensive field guide for Uganda. Generally good, although we found it to be misleading with identification in some species (e.g. White-browed Scrub-robin) and found (where relevant) Nick Borrow & R. Demey's Birds of Western Africa (2002) to be a useful back-up. £55.00
Guide to the Birds of Kenya
and Northern Tanzania (1996) by D. Zimmerman, D. Turner et
(published by Helm) Although none of us used this guide out there, we thought that it would be very useful for additional information on difficult species which are covered by both guides. £16.99
The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals (1997)
by Jonathan Kingdon (published by Natural World). £29.95
The most comprehensive field guide to the mammals in the region, and essential for anyone with an interest in mammals.
The Impenetrable Forest (2001) by Thor Hanson (published by Writer's Showcase). An enjoyable, account of his time at Bwindi, as a Peace Corps volunteer training guides (including Alfred) and habituating gorillas-good for a background read on Uganda and Bwindi. c.£20 from NHBS.
African Bird Sounds. Volume 2 by C. Chappuis. An 11 CD set covering West and Central Africa (1043 species), including most of the Albertine Rift endemics (it does NOT include recordings of Dwarf Honeyguide, African Green Broadbill, and Dusky & Shelley's Crimsonwing, although ALL other Ugandan Albertine Rift endemics are covered). The British Library of Wildlife Sounds (BLOWS) has a recording of African Green Broadbill, which can be purchased by contacting Richard Ranft on ?????. There is also Volume 1, a 4 CD set covering North West Africa, the Canaries and Cape Verde. There is often a discount if all 15 CDs are purchased together. Volume 2 only £115-125; both volumes £139.95-159.95
All prices taken from the latest Wildsounds catalogue (01263 741100/www.wildsounds.com), with the cheapest prices being special offer prices which may change.
Flight: London Heathrow to Entebbe 21.20
Arrive Entebbe 07.55
Mabira Forest all day.
am: Mabira Forest
Budongo-Royal Mile area all day
am: Budongo-Kaniyo Pabide
Murchison Falls all day
Murchison Falls all day
Travelling to Semliki National Park (all day)
Semliki National Park-Hot Springs area all day
Semliki National Park-Kirumia Trail all day
am: Semliki National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park-Mweya area all day
Queen Elizabeth National Park-Maramagambo Forest all day
Travelling to Buhoma,
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park-Buhoma
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park-Buhoma
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park-Ruhizha
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park-Ruhizha
Travelling to Lake Mburo National Park
am: Lake Mburo National Park
Flight Entebbe to London Heathrow 09.40
For more detailed site information and maps, see the excellent Where to Watch Birds in Uganda by Rossouw & Sacchi (1998).
N.B. Night-birding is very difficult in almost all parks in Uganda as it is prohibited to be on game-drives/birding after dark. Therefore, to get around this it is worth coming back late from some sites to allow unofficial night-drives to be done (e.g. Come back late to Paraa Camp from the falls at Murchison or from Maramagambo back to Mweya etc.) This gives the added opportunity of seeing game in addition to nightjars on the tracks.
1½-2 hour drive from Kampala, this papyrus wetland is a good site to try for Shoebill, especially if arriving on a morning flight, giving the opportunity of seeing one of the main target species within hours of landing!
We stayed in Kampala, at the Red Chilli Hideaway in double rooms with shared washing facilities. Food was all western fare (chilli, chips etc.)
Key species recorded:
Shoebill 1 seen at close range from the boat after searching for c. 1 hour.
Blue Swallow 1 flew over the boat by the area where alight from the boat.
Weyns's Weaver Several flocks of c.20 birds seen flying around the swamp
MABIRA FOREST 1070-1340m 6th & 7th August
Approximately an hours drive from Kampala, this forest reserve is a good area for the threatened Nahan's Francolin, Cassin's Hawk-Eagle, Forest Wood-hoopoe, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike & is one of the only areas in East Africa for Tit-Hylia.
We stayed in the bandas (huts) which are dotted around the forest edge near the HQ. These sleep 2-6 people, and all bandas have toilets built alongside them. The food is cooked at the HQ itself, where it can be eaten on outside tables at the edge of the forest (allowing views of Forest Wood-hoopoes and Tit-Hylias etc.!)
Key species recorded:
Nahan's Francolin Unfortunately only heard here once, in the primary forest across the road.
White-spotted Flufftail 1 G seen extremely well when taped in close by the trail, which leads left from the car park.
Forest Wood-hoopoe 2 small groups of this localised species seen on the forest edge by the HQ clearing.
Yellow-billed Barbet 1 seen here was the only site where we recorded this species.
Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike 2 E seen here.
Tit-Hylia We were very lucky to see 2 perched in a tree in the HQ clearing itself.
BUDONGO-THE ROYAL MILE & KANIYO PABIDI 700-1270m , 7th - 9th August
THE ROYAL MILE at Budongo runs through an area of forest allowing good group access to forest along an easy, flat, wide trail. This is also a good area for the threatened Nahan's Francolin, the localised Black-collared Lovebird, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Ituri Batis and Brown Twinspot; and provides a good opportunity to see normally difficult-to-see forest species such as Chocolate-backed Blue-breasted & African Dwarf Kingfishers, Blue-throated Roller, Spotted Greenbul, Lemon-bellied Crombec, and Rufous-crowned Eremomela.
KANIYO PABIDI (about an hours drive from the Royal Mile area) is most notable for holding East Africa's only known population of Puvel's Illadopsis, which are fairly common and readily seen in the area. It is also a fairly regular site for sightings of Green-breasted Pitta, and also holds Rufous-sided Broadbill. Chimpanzee-tracking is also possible from here.
We stayed in a good-quality hostel (with on-site restaurant and en-suite rooms) at Busingiro. Some people stay in Masindi, although there seems little point as the food and accommodation are good here and the Royal Mile is closer.
Key species recorded:
Bat Hawk 1 flew over the hostel (near the Royal Mile) at dusk.
Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo 1 seen when taped-in (identified on call), in a roadside patch of forest, near the Royal Mile.
White-crested Turaco 2 by the road at Kaniyo Pabidi (between the gate and the car park).
Sabine's Spinetail 1 seen low in the evening, by a small pool in the vicinity of the Royal Mile.
Cassin's Spinetail 1 seen by the same pool as the Sabine's-they are both regularly seen there.
Blue-breasted Kingfisher Very good views of several pairs nesting close to the trail at the Royal Mile.
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher 1 seen in the forest canopy near the start of the Royal Mile (several others heard there).
African Dwarf Kingfisher 3-5 seen along the Royal Mile.
[Blue-throated Roller] Several sightings of a roller in silhouette over the forest near the Royal Mile were probably this species.
White-thighed Hornbill Seen regularly around the Royal Mile (7+).
Yellow-spotted Barbet 1 seen along the Royal Mile.
Rufous-sided Broadbill 1 G of this rarely seen species taped-in at Kaniyo Pabidi when trawling for African Broadbill, and later the G was seen with a E which was carrying nesting material.
Puvel's Illadopsis 1 G watched singing from a perch 3-5 feet of the ground at the start of the trail at Kaniyo Pabidi (a short way from the car park, where they are also regularly seen!)
Spotted Greenbul A group of 5-7 seen in forest alongside the road in the Royal Mile area.
Fire-crested Alethe 1 watched for 5 mins perched on a dead log at Kaniyo Pabidi.
Yellow Longbill 1 G watched singing in the canopy at Kaniyo Pabidi.
Lemon-bellied Crombec 1 seen singing in the forest canopy along the Royal Mile.
Rufous-crowned Eremomela 3+ feeding in the forest canopy with a Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, near the Royal Mile.
Chestnut-capped Flycatcher 1 seen in the forest canopy near the Royal Mile.
Crested Malimbe 3 seen along the Royal Mile.
Brown Twinspot 2 in a very productive cultivated area near the Royal Mile.
Cabanis's Bunting 1 G near the Royal Mile, in the same area as the Twinspots.
Chimpanzee was also recorded at Kaniyo Pabidi.
MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK 619-1292m 9th-11th August
A short way from Budongo, this area of acacia savannah is popular among tourists for the opportunities to see game such as Giraffe and African Elephant on drives north of the Nile. It is still also one of the most reliable sites in Uganda to see Shoebill (either by the Nile Safari Lodge, or on launch trips to the top/bottom of falls, depending on water levels). Bat Hawks regularly hunt bats as they emerge from the caves at the top of the falls, and around the car park there is also a good area for Bruce's Green Pigeon and Red-winged Grey Warbler. Other key species are: Heuglin's Francolin, Denham's Bustard, Senegal Thick-knee, Rock Pratincole, Northern Carmine, Swallow-tailed & Red-throated Bee-eaters, Black-billed Barbet, Spotted Morning-Thrush (around Paraa Camp itself), White-fronted Black Chat, Silverbird, Beautiful Sunbird, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver and Bar-breasted Firefinch. The localised White-rumped Seedeater occurs alongside the road near the Paraa Camp and ferry.
We stayed at the excellent Paraa Camp, in 2-bedroom, en-suite bandas. The on-site restaurant was also very good (Spotted Morning-thrushes & Silverbirds can be seen by there).
Key species recorded:
Bat Hawk 1 seen at dusk hunting bats by the top of the falls.
Martial Eagle 2 immatures seen perched while on the game drive.
Red-necked Falcon Several sightings on the game drive north of the Nile.
Heuglin's Francolin 1 seen well on the game drive.
Senegal Thick-knee Several seen from the boat trip to the bottom of the falls.
Rock Pratincole 20+ seen by the top of the falls.
Black-headed Plover 2 seen on the game drive.
Bruce's Green pigeon 2 seen briefly flying to roost, from the car park at the top of the falls.
Vinaceous Dove Seen alongside the road to Nile Safari Lodge.
White-crested Turaco 1 seen by the top of the falls.
Long-tailed Nightjar 1 seen hunting at dusk alongside the Nile Safari lodge road.
Pennant-winged Nightjar At least 4 G (and another dead G) seen sitting on the road to Paraa Camp from the falls, in the car headlights.
Red-throated Bee-eater Recorded daily, and seen in all areas.
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater A few sightings along the Paraa Camp approach road.
Northern Carmine Bee-eater Only recorded north of Nile (5+), on the game drive.
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill 1 E seen beside the road to the falls, near Paraa Camp.
Black-billed Barbet 1 sighting near Nile Safari Lodge, and another on the game drive.
Brown-backed Woodpecker 1 seen by the Paraa Camp road, near the camp itself.
Spotted Morning-thrush 6+ sightings around Paraa Camp itself.
White-fronted Black Chat 1 G seen alongside the road on the way in to Paraa Camp.
Silverbird A few seen along the road to Paraa Camp and around the camp itself.
Red-winged Grey Warbler 1 sighting of this highly localised species near the falls car park and 1 by Nile Safari Lodge.
Beautiful Sunbird A few seen around the top of the falls.
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver A few seen around Paraa Camp.
Northern Red Bishop Recorded along the road to Nile Safari Lodge.
Bar-breasted Firefinch 1 seen very well by the Paraa ferry jetty.
White-rumped Seedeater 1 seen by the Paraa ferry jetty, and 2 seen by the road a short way from Paraa Camp (towards the falls).
Semliki is one of Uganda's least explored parks, with a number of typically west African species occurring here, many of which are recorded from nowhere else in East Africa. Some of the key species are: Spot-breasted Ibis, Long-tailed Hawk, Forest Francolin, Nkulengu Rail, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Black-throated Coucal, Yellow-throated Cuckoo, White-crested, Piping Black-Casqued Wattled, Red-billed Dwarf & Black Dwarf Hornbills, Red-rumped Tinkerbird, Rufous-sided Broadbill, Swamp Palm Bubul, Ituri Batis, Blue-billed & Crested Malimbes.
There are 2 principal areas to go birding-in the area of good secondary forest around the Ntandi HQ and the Hot Springs (good for White-crested. Piping, Red-billed Dwarf & Black-casqued Wattle Hornbills); and along the Kirumia Trail, which begins in secondary forest and leads into primary after some time. The difficulty in Semliki is a lack of well-maintained trails so that when we were there the Kirumia Trail was heavily flooded along much of it and therefore progress along it was very slow (involving wading thigh-deep!). Thus it is difficult to reach the primary forest at certain times of year (we didn't), where many of the more specialised birds are thought to be. Semliki is wet for much of the year although it is perhaps most accessible after Jan-Feb. at the end of the 'dry' season. Unfortunately this is not the best time for birds in other areas of Uganda, so Semliki is probably best visited as part of a more focused trip to this region (a week could easily be spent here, with a good chance of making new East African discoveries). The best option would be to camp along the Kirumia Trail, if possible (these camps were flooded out and closed when we were there), as this would allow quicker access to good forest.
There are very few facilities here-the only option currently to camp by the Ntandi HQ, or camp along the Kirumia Trail (there are several designated camping areas). There are concreted pit-latrines at the Ntandi HQ but little else.
Key species recorded:
Western Bronze-naped Pigeon Only heard here-the birds not coming into any attempted playback!
Yellow-throated Cuckoo 1 G seen in secondary forest, between Ntandi HQ and the Hot Springs. This very localised species is only known from Maramagambo and Semliki forests in East Africa.
Black-throated Coucal Frustratingly, only heard calling from dense cover alongside the Kirumia Trail on 3 occasions.
African Wood-Owl 2 taped in by Ntandi HQ, and another flushed from its day roost along the Kirumia Trail.
White-crested Hornbill 2 taped in along the secondary forest trail between Ntandi HQ and the Hot Springs.
Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill 2 seen briefly by a few in the group, in the forest canopy along the Kirumia trail. Despite the birds calling backed to taped calls, they remained in the distant forest canopy and could not be seen! They are also regularly seen in the roadside forest, near the start of this trail and near Ntandi HQ.
Piping Hornbill Recorded regularly around Ntandi HQ.
Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill At least 3 (including 1 G), seen in the secondary forest between Ntandi and the Hot Springs.
Red-rumped Tinkerbird 1 taped-in along the Kirumia trail (beyond the first oxbow lake). N.B. In East Africa this species is only known from Semliki forest
Willcock's Honeyguide 1 taped in near the start of the Kirumia trail.
Rufous-sided Broadbill 1 G by the Kirumia trail.
Swamp Palm Bubul 2 seen in the secondary forest trail between Ntandi and the Hot Springs, where they are regularly seen by the park rangers.
Leaf-love 1 by the Kirumia trail.
Crested Malimbe 2 sightings along the Kirumia Trail.
Cabanis's Bunting 1 by the road to Fort Portal, on the way out.
De Brazza's Monkey was also recorded here (near the Hot Springs)-a threatened species in Uganda.
QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK-MWEYA & MARAMAGAMBO FOREST
Queen Elizabeth National Park, the most long-established park, has a mosaic of habitats ranging from savannah woodland in the game-driving areas around Mweya, which provide good opportunities for seeing large game such as Lions, Leopards, Elephants and Hyenas, to moist semi-deciduous around Maramagambo. The moist forest at Maramagambo (c.900m) is a good site for the highly sought-after Black Bee-eater, in addition to Shining-Blue Kingfisher and Grey-winged & Red-capped Robin-Chats. The savannah areas around Mweya are important for the localised White-tailed Lark, Martial Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail and Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, while African Skimmer is regularly seen from boat trips along the nearby Kazinga Channel.
We stayed at the Institute of Ecology Hostel at Mweya and day-tripped Maramagambo from there, allowing us to return in darkness and do an unofficial night-drive (ordinarily prohibited). We ate at the Tambo canteen, which had good-tasting food, but unfortunately it made 2 of us very ill for 24 hours!
Key species recorded:
African Skimmer 3 seen (by only one of us recovering from illness!), from a boat trip along the Kazinga Channel (to the left of the launch jetty); none seen on our first boat trip along there.
Verreaux's Eagle-Owl 2 sightings of birds perched on top of cactuses alongside the Mweya approach road at dusk.
Black Bee-eater 5+ seen around Maramagambo Forest (2 by the bat cave).
White-tailed Lark 3 seen on the game drive around Mweya (unlikely to be seen elsewhere in Uganda-only listed to occur at Murchison & Semliki Wildlife Reserve in Rossouw et al.)
Brown-chested Alethe 1 feeding on an ant swarm at the start of the trail at Maramagambo.
Grey-winged Robin-Chat 1 in forest on the edge of the crater lake at Maramagambo.
Red-capped Robin-Chat 1 taped in at the edge of the road by Jacana Lodge, Maramagambo.
African Penduline-Tit 1 seen on the game drive around Mweya.
Southern Red Bishop Several along the road between Mweya and the main gate.
Brimstone Canary 2 sightings-around the hostel and from the Kazinga Channel boat trip.
Giant Hog, Lion and Spotted Hyena were also recorded here.
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK-BU
The premier site to visit in Uganda as it holds 23 of the 24 Albertine Rift Endemics in Uganda, and is also the safest, most reliable site for gorilla tracking in East Africa.
BUHOMA 1550m, 18th-20th August
Buhoma is the base from where all gorilla tracking begins, and there are many lodges/bandas in the village for this. We stayed in the Bwindi View community bandas, consisting of 4-bed huts and shared 'bush-shower' facilities. The site also had a good restaurant (which prepares basic packed-lunches for the tracking or for all-day birding), and bird t-shirts for sale (Grauer's Broadbill, Short-tailed Warbler etc.)
There is a good open trail into the primary forest from here (shortly after the gate on the right from the bandas), which is good for Red-throated Alethe and Short-tailed Warbler, both endemics unlikely to be encountered higher-up at Ruhizha. The waterfall trail is said to be good for Kivu Ground-thrush. Mountain masked Apalis is easy along the main trail, and Grauer's Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Collared Apalis, Rwenzori Batis, Blue-headed Sunbird and Strange Weaver also occur along there although most of these endemics are easier to see at Ruhizha. Other key non-endemics in the area are Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Fraser's Eagle Owl, Black Bee-eater, MountainIlladopsis, White-bellied Robin-chat, Black-facedRufous Warbler, the threatened Chapin's Flycatcher, Many-coloured Bush-shrike, Brown-capped Weaver, Woodhouse's Antpecker & Oriole-Finch. It is also a good site for Ansorge's Greenbul, a recent discovery in Uganda (Borrow 2002).
Key species recorded:
Western Bronze-naped pigeon Frustratingly only heard here, never coming into tape.
Black Bee-eater Heard regularly and seen a few times along the main trail.
African Broadbill 1 taped in along the main trail, when watched displaying.
Ansorge's Greenbul 1 seen along the main trail, where they are apparently fairly common.
Equatorial Akalat 3 seen near the start of the main trail
Red-throated Alethe (ARE) 2 watched feeding on the main trail after a rain storm (they, like other Alethes, follow ant-swarms).
White-bellied Robin-Chat 2 seen near the start of the main trail (perching higher in the trees than the Akalats)
Red-faced Woodland Warbler (ARE) Several sightings in mixed feeding flocks along the trail.
Short-tailed Warbler (ARE) Probably the bird of the trip-with 3 seen, but only seen well at the third attempt, due to the bird being highly mobile, continually circling rapidly in response to the tape. Alfred advised they are mostly just a short way off the trails in slight depressions with thick ground cover (the trail is slightly raised).
White-browed Crombec 2-3 seen feeding in vine tangles beside the trail.
Black-faced Rufous Warbler Heard frequently along the trail, with a pair eventually being taped in-the birds always keeping very low to the ground, in dense vegetation.
Grauer's Warbler (ARE) 2 heard calling from high in a vine tangle were taped-in low.
Mountain Masked Apalis (ARE) Seen 3-4 times along the trail, generally in the canopy (in mixed flocks), but could be taped lower down.
Chapin's Flycatcher 2 seen along in the canopy and sub-canopy along the main trail.
Mountain Illadopsis 1 small group (2+) near the start of the trail.
Blue-headed Sunbird (ARE) 2+ (1 G) seen in a mixed feeding flock, keeping low in the understorey and calling frequently.
Lüdher's Bush-shrike 1-2 in secondary forest by the road, just before the main, primary forest trail.
Many-coloured Bush-shrike 1 immature in a mixed feeding flock after a rain shower.
Brown-capped Weaver Several seen along the road to the main trail (very near the gate itself, a short way from the hostel).
Woodhouse's (Red-fronted) Antpecker 1 lone E by the gate at the start of the main trail.
Oriole-Finch 1 G seen feeding along a mossy branch in the forest canopy.
Mountain Gorilla was also recorded here.
RUHIZHA (& THE NECK) 1190-2607m 21st - 24th August
Ruhizha is the main site for many of the Albertine Rift Endemics, and home to one of the star attractions in East Africa-the threatened African Green Broadbill. The long trail to Mubwindi Swamp is good for this species, especially in open forest around the swamp itself where they breed in April and September. The threatened Shelley's Crimsonwing and Dusky Crimsonwing also occur around the swamp, in dense undergrowth. Other endemics which are more readily found at Ruhizha are: Handsome Francolin (along the road in the bamboo zone); Rwenzori Nightjar (around the village itself, or around the first road junction left of the ITFC); Dwarf Honeyguide; Archer's Robin-Chat; Yellow-Eyed Black Flycatcher, Grauer's Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, the highly localised, threatened Grauer's Rush-Warbler (at the Mubwindi swamp itself); Mountain Masked & Collared Apalises; Stripe-breasted Tit; Rwenzori Batis; Blue-headed & Regal Sunbirds (the latter especially common) and Strange Weaver. Kivu Ground-thrush occurs in the bamboo zone and Purple-breasted Sunbirds are generally easy here when the trees are in flower (they weren't when we were here).
The Neck (1550m) can be birded on the way up to Ruhizha from Buhoma (but not on the way down if heading to Lake Mburo). It has a number of the endemics (Dwarf Honeyguide, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Blue-headed & Regal Sunbirds and Strange Weaver), in addition to key non-endemics such as Black Bee-eater and Bar-tailed Trogon, and the bridge over the Ihihizo River is especially good for Cassin's Grey Flycatcher.
We brought our own tents and camped by the Institute for Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC) at Ruhizha, and Uganda Bird Guides also brought a cook for the duration of our stay. This worked out well, the only alternative being to stay in basic bunks at the ITFC centre for $15 per night. Either way it is necessary to bring in food (and a cook), and the basic bucket shower/pit latrine facilities are available for campers/lodgers alike.
Key species recorded:
(Unless stated, all sightings refer to Ruhizha)
Handsome Francolin (ARE) After playing their calls on-and-off all day, a single bird crossed the road in the bamboo zone and then ran in-and-out of the verge in response to playback, giving excellent views.
Black-billed Turaco Although widely heard in Uganda, we only saw them well on the swamp trail.
Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo 1 taped in (and several others heard), in the bamboo zone.
Rwenzori Nightjar (ARE) 1 seen near the first road junction left out of the ITFC centre.
Narina Trogon 1 G by the ranger post, near the start of the Mubwindi Swamp trail.
Black Bee-eater 2 seen at The Neck.
Western Green Tinkerbird 1 taped in near the start of the bamboo zone.
Dwarf Honeyguide (ARE) 1 seen at The Neck and several others on the swamp trail.
Red-throated Wryneck 2 (in the same area as Dusky Twinspot) between The Neck and Ruhizha.
African (Grauer's) Green Broadbill (ARE) 2 seen on the Mubwindi Trail was one of the highlights of the trip. They were initially picked up, from their high-pitched calls, beside the trail on the steep downhill section shortly before the open, flat section of forest on the edge of the swamp itself. Alfred showed us a mossy nest in this open forest where the birds had nested in April and when sightings could be guaranteed for over 3 weeks!
Archer's Robin-Chat (ARE) Several taped in within the dense undergrowth around this open section of forest near the swamp edge.
Grey-chested Illadopsis 1 seen, very briefly, as it circled us in response to playback, in the bamboo zone.
Cassin's Grey Flycatcher 1 watched fly-catching from rocks by the bridge over the Ihihizo River, at The Neck (a regular spot for this species).
Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher (ARE) 3-4 sightings in the open forest around the swamp.
Red-faced Woodland Warbler (ARE) Several sightings of small groups (2-3) in mixed species flocks along Mubwindi Swamp trail and in mixed forest near the ITFC.
Grauer's Rush-Warbler (ARE) 4+ seen at the Mubwindi Swamp (readily taped out to the top of the reeds).
Mountain Masked Apalis (ARE) Regularly seen in mixed feeding flocks around Ruhizha.
Collared Apalis (ARE) 3+ seen near the first road junction on the left, along the road towards The Neck, from the ITFC centre (readily taped out).
Stripe-breasted Tit (ARE) Seen near the ITFC (by the first road on the left towards the Neck), and also seen several times along the Mubwindi Swamp trail (in mixed flocks).
White-tailed Crested-Flycatcher 1 in dense bamboo, in the bamboo zone.
Rwenzori Batis (ARE) 2 seen by the road left out of the ITFC (near the first junction on the left), and another single seen near the bamboo zone.
Montane Sooty Boubou Several heard on the edge of the bamboo zone, with 1 seen briefly there.
Regal Sunbird (ARE) A fairly common sunbird at Ruhizha, recorded at the ITFC camp and regularly at throughout our stay there.
Blue-headed Sunbird (ARE) 1 sighting in dense undergrowth at The Neck (just beyond the bridge over the river), and a G in the bamboo zone at Ruhizha.
Strange Weaver (ARE) 1 by the first left road towards the Neck from the ITFC, and 1 seen along the road near the start of the bamboo zone.
Dusky Twinspot 3 sightings-2 adults between Buhoma and The Neck; 2 imms between the Neck and Ruhizha and 1 seen from the car near Kabale on the way from Ruhizha.
Dusky Crimsonwing (ARE) 2 imms seen feeding at the road edge, left from the ITFC (towards The Neck), just beyond the first left-hand junction. An adult also seen feeding on the Mubwindi Swamp trail, on the steep descent to the forest at the edge of the swamp.
LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK 1220-1828m 24th-25th August
An acacia savannah site, convenient to visit between Bwindi and Kampala, which holds good populations of Common Zebra and Impala (both of which cannot be found elsewhere in Uganda). This is one of the only places to find the elusive East African endemic Red-faced Barbet, in addition to being one of the most reliable sites in Uganda for African Finfoot (either hire a boat or look right from the shore at dawn/dusk at campsite 3 in Rossouw's book), and the only site in Uganda for Long-tailed Cisticola. It is also a reliable site for wintering Brown-chested Plovers from July-December (on burnt areas alongside the road). Papyrus Yellow Warbler & White-winged Warblers also occur in the papyrus on the edge of the Lake but are difficult.
We stayed in the tented camp in the acacia woodland itself near the HQ, which was excellent and ate at the very good restaurant on the lake shore.
Key species recorded:
African Finfoot 1 G seen from campsite 3 (as illustrated in Where to Watch Birds in Uganda), at dawn at the edge of the papyrus on the right-side of the camp.
Martial Eagle 1 immature seen perched by the Zebra track.
Brown-chested Lapwing 16 non-breeding/immatures seen on an extensive burnt area alongside the road which leads out of the park through the Nshara gate towards Kampala.
Common Scimitarbill 2 in acacia woodland by the road here were the only ones recorded on the trip.
Spot-flanked Barbet Seen on both days here (up to 7), the only site recorded on the trip.
Long-tailed Cisticola 2 seen alongside the Zebra track. This is a very localised species known only from here, although not illustrated to occur in Uganda in the East Africa Guide.
SITES NOT VISITED
KIBALE The most reliable site in Uganda for Green-breasted Pitta (although still very difficult), which is also good for chimp-tracking. We chose against visiting this site for the added promise of visiting Semliki instead, particularly as many of the species there are also found at Budongo.
MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK With more time worth a visit, as it holds many of the rift endemics and is particularly good for seeing Rwenzori Turaco and Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird which are unlikely to be seen at Bwindi. Gorilla-tracking can also be done here, although this gorilla group can be less reliable as they sometimes cross the border into Congo.
LAKE BISINA & LAKE OPETA (between Moroto & Mount Elgon) The only site for Uganda's only endemic species-the globally threatened Fox's Weaver. Can be done as a two-day trip from Kampala, with time.
Nomenclature follows that used by Stevenson and Fanshawe (2002) in the Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa, which is based on the official East African list, (originally published by Britton in 1980, and revised in 1996).
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus
Pink-backed Pelican Pelecanus rufescans
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Seen by Jacana Lodge, MARAMAGAMBO FOREST (QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.) and also at LAKE MBURO.
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax
Long-tailed Cormorant Phalocrocorax africanus
African Darter Anhinga rufa
Seen regularly from the boat along the Nile at MURCHISON FALLS on 10/8.
African Finfoot Podica senegalensis
1G seen at dawn, from campsite 3 (as per Where to Watch Birds in Uganda), LAKE MBURO (seen along the edge of the papyrus on the right-side of the campsite, when looking out from there).
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Common Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
Seen at swamps near to Kampala and around QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Striated Heron Butorides striatus
Recorded at MURCHISON FALLS, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. and LAKE MBURO.
Rufous-bellied Heron Ardeola rufiventris
2 sightings of single birds at 2 separate swamps, en route back to Kampala from Lake Mburo.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia
Great Egret Casmerodius albus
Goliath Heron Ardea goliath
A few seen at both MURCHISON FALLS and QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
1 seen from the launch trip at MURCHISON FALLS.
Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala
Seen regularly throughout the trip.
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
Common in all wetland areas.
Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis
1 seen on the shores of Lake Edward, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P., on 16/8.
Woolly-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus
2 feeding in a cattle field in the village of BUHOMA, BWINDI on 19/8 was the only sighting.
African Open-billed Stork Anastomus
Recorded at PORTEBELLE (KAMPALA), SEMLIKI and LAKE MBURO.
Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis
3 (2 adults & 1 imm.) seen from lauch trip to the bootom of the falls at MURCHISON on 10th, and 2 seen at a roadside swamp on the route back to KAMPALA from LAKE MBURO on 25th.
Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus
Common bird throughout, especially around habitations and in urban areas.
Shoebill Balaeniceps rex
Excellent views from the boat, of a single bird, at MABAMBA WETLAND on our first day (5th).
Sacred Ibis Theskiornis aethiopicus
4 seen on the boat trip along the Kazinga channel, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16th.
Hadada Ibis Bostrychia hagedash
Fairly common throughout.
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus
1 seen at MURCHISON FALLS on the 9th and another seen at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16th.
Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis
1 in flight between ENTEBBE and KAMPALA on 5th and 2 at a roadside swamp, en-route from LAKE MBURO to KAMPALA on 25th.
Knob-billed Duck Sarkidiornis melanotus
5 non-breeding birds/immatures from the boat trip to the bottom of the falls at MURCHISON on 10th and 2 on a roadside swamp between LAKE MBURO and KAMPALA on 25th.
White-faced Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna
4+ MABAMBA WETLAND 5/8; and also seen on the Nile launch trip, MURCHISON FALLS and en-route to Kampala from LAKE MBURO (mixed with Fulvous).
Fulvous Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna
Only recorded once, at a swamp en-route to Kampala from LAKE MBURO, in mixed flocks with White-faced Whistling Ducks.
Hottentot Teal Anas hottentota
6+ on a roadside swamp from LAKE MBURO to KAMPALA, on the 25th.
Yellow-billed Duck Anas undulata
Recorded in the PORETBELLE area, near Kampala, and also on a swamp en-route back to KAMPALA from LAKE MBURO.
Black Kite Milvus migrans
Seen regularly throughout, especially around urban areas. A large movement was witnessed at SEMLIKI on 14th with flocks regularly passing overhead (100+ birds).
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus
A few seen at LAKE MBURO (and in transit to Kampala from there), and also at MURCHISON FALLS.
African Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer
Regularly recorded in wetland areas throughout.
Palm-nut Vulture Gypohierax angolensis
Recorder in many areas, although most frequently around KAMPALA and SEMLIKI.
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
1 around the Crater Lake at MARAMAGAMBO FOREST, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus
Regularly seen around KAMPALA.
White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis
African White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus
Rüppells Griffon Vulture Gyps ruepellii
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotus
2 sightings-1 at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8, and 1 at LAKE MBURO on 24/8. This species is listed as VULNERABLE by Birdlife International, 2000.
Black-chested Snake-Eagle Circaetus
1 flew over Paraa Camp, MURCHISON FALLS on 11/8.
Brown Snake-Eagle Circaetus cinereus
1 by the road to the Nile Safari Lodge, MURCHISON FALLS on 10/8, and 1 on the game drive in Mweya area, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8.
Western Banded Snake-Eagle Circaetus
1 seen perched by the Nile Safari Lodge, MURCHISON FALLS on 11/8. N.B. When perched it was very difficult to discern the lower breast markings, and therefore appeared all dark like a Brown Snake-Eagle, although Western Banded has a yellow cere (greyish in Brown).
African Marsh Harrier Circus ranivorus
3+ MABAMBA WETLAND on 5/8, and 2+ at a swamp between LAKE MBURO and KAMPALA on 25/8.
Eastern Chanting Goshawk Melierax
1 immature at the top of the falls at MURCHISON on 9/8, and an immature and adult seen on the launch trip to the bottom of the falls there on the 10/8.
Dark Chanting Goshawk Melierax
1 adult seen on the game drive (north of the Nile) at MURCHISON FALLS on 11/8.
Lizard Buzzard Kaupifalco monogrammicus
1 PORTEBELLE (KAMPALA) on 5/8.
Shikra Accipiter badius
1 sat on roadside wires between LAKE MBURO and KAMPALA on 25th was the only sighting.
Little Sparrowhawk Accipiter minullus
1 was seen perched en-route to THE NECK from BUHOMA, BWINDI on 21/8.
African Cuckoo-Hawk Aviceda cuculoides
1 seen perched between Paraa Camp and Nile Safari Lodge, at MURCHISON FALLS on 10/8.
Bat Hawk Macheiramphus alcinus
1 flew over the hostel at BUDONGO at dusk on 8/8; and another was watched hunting bats at dusk by the caves at the top of the falls at MURCHISON.
African Harrier Hawk Polyboroides typus
Recorded several times at MABIRA FOREST, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. & MURCHISON FALLS.
Augur Buzzard Buteo augur
Regularly seen around RUHIZHA, BWINDI.
Mountain Buzzard Buteo oreophilus
Several sightings around RUHZIHA, BWINDI.
Wahlberg's Eagle Aquila
Most regularly recorded eagle-especially around MURCHISON FALLS, (also recorded at LAKE MBURO and QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.)
Ayre's Hawk-Eagle Hieraaetus ayresii
1 flew over the E Hot Springs at SEMLIKI on 13th.
Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus
Recorded daily at MURCHISON FALLS and QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Long-crested Eagle Lophaetus occipitalis
Seen regularly (often along roads), throughout the trip.
Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus
2 perched immatures seen on the game drive at MURCHISON FALLS on 11/8, and another imm. at LAKE MBURO on 25/8.
African Crowned Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus
2 sightings-1 over the accommodation at BUDONGO on 8/8, and an adult by MUBWINDI SWAMP, RUHIZHA on 22/8.
Grey Kestrel Falco ardosiaceus
Several seen on the game drive north of Nile at MURCHISON FALLS on 11/8, and 4+ seen hunting bats around the caves at the top of the falls at dusk on the same day.
African Hobby Falco cuvieri
2 watched hunting low over the town of KABALE (near RUHIZHA, BWINDI) on 24/8.
Red-necked Falcon Falco chicquera
3+ seen from the boat to the falls at MURCHISON on 10/8.
Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris
First recorded in a cultivated area, near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8 (5+), and also recorded at MURCHISON and LAKE MBURO (over 21 seen in 1 flock en-route to there).
Scaly Francolin Francolinus squamatus
A single sighting of 2 birds at MABIRA FOREST on 6th.
Nahan's Francolin Francolinus nahani
Heard at MABIRA FOREST and the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO. This species is listed as VULNERABLE by Birdlife International, 2000.
Handsome Francolin Francolinus nobilis ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
1 seen very well alongside the road in the bamboo zone at RUHIZHA, BWINDI on 23/8. The bird was highly tape responsive-running out onto the road several times in response to playback.
Heuglin's Francolin Francolinus icterorhynchus
1 seen well whilst on the game drive, north of the Nile at MURCHISON FALLS.
Crested Francolin Francolinus sephaena
Several sightings on the way to BUDONGO and seen regularly at MURCHISON FALLS (on game drives and around Paraa Camp).
Red-necked Spurfowl Francolinus afer
Recorded regularly around Mweya, at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. and also at LAKE MBURO.
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
1 flushed on the game drive from Mweya, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16th.
White-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura pulchura
1G seen at extremely close range from the trail at MABIRA FOREST on 6/8. The bird came in very close in response to the tape.
Black Crake Amaurornis flavirostris
Recorded at MABAMBA WETLAND, MURCHISON FALLS, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P., and at swamps near Kampala.
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
2 seen on a roadside swamp en-route from LAKE MBURO to KAMPALA on 25/8.
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
2 sightings-at LAKE MBURO and whilst en-route to Kampala from there.
Lesser Moorhen Gallinula angulata
A bird seen on a swamp en-route back to KAMPALA from LAKE MBURO on 25th was thought to be this species (the bird was extensively yellow on the bill, although the red was not confined to the shield, appearing to extend to the around the bill-base?).
African Jacana Actophilornis africanus
Common around wetland areas in MURCHISON FALLS, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. and LAKE MBURO.
Grey-crowned Crane Balearica regulorum
1 sighting from the plane while landing at Entebbe, and also seen in cultivated areas around BWINDI, LAKE MBURO and a pair seen nesting by the crater lake at MARAMAGAMBO FOREST. A large concentration of 100+ birds seen on a swamp between LAKE MBURO and KAMPALA.
Black-bellied Bustard Eupodotis melanogaster
Only seen at MURCHISON FALLS, with 1 on the road to the Nile Safari Lodge, and at least 3 on the game drive.
Water Thick-knee Burhinus vermiculatus
5+ at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16th, with several others seen on the road at night there, and also recorded at LAKE MBURO.
Senegal Thick-knee Burhinus senegalensis
Several seen on the boat trip to the bottom of the falls at MURCHISON FALLS, on 10/8.
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola
c.10 birds were seen when leaving Mweya, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 18/8.
Rock Pratincole Glareola nuchalis
25+ at the top of the falls at MURCHISON FALLS.
Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus
1 MURCHISON FALLS 10/8.
Long-toed Lapwing Vanellus crassirostris
1 seen on the launch trip to the bottom of the falls at MURCHISON on 10/8 and 1 at a swamp between LAKE MBURO and KAMPALA on 25/8.
African Wattled Lapwing Vanellus senegallus
The most frequently recorded lapwing, at MURCHISON FALLS, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. and LAKE MBURO.
Crowned Lapwing Vanellus coronatus
1 seen at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. and 1 at LAKE MBURO on 25/8.
Black-headed Lapwing Vanellus tectus
2 seen on the game drive at MURCHISON FALLS on 11/8 was the only sighting.
Senegal Lapwing Vanellus lugubris
Seen nesting beside the approach road to Mweya at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P., and also recorded on a large burnt area at LAKE MBURO.
Brown-chested Lapwing Vanellus
16+ (all immatures/non-breeding adults) seen on a large burnt area alongside the road out from LAKE MBURO on 25th August.
Kittlitz's Plover Charadrius pecuarius
Only recorded at QUEEN ELIZABETH, where they were fairly common on the shore of Lake Edward.
Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris
1 seen along the shoreline of Lake Edward, QUEEN ELIZABETH on 16/8 and another single from the boat along the Kazinga channel there.
Ruff Philomachus pugnax
2 seen on the shoreline at Lake Edward, QUEEN ELIZABETH, on 17/8.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Seen at MURCHISON FALLS, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. & LAKE MBURO.
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Recorded around Mweya, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. & LAKE MBURO.
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Only recorded at LAKE MBURO, where 3 were seen on 24th.
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
2+ QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8.
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
Several seen at both QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. & LAKE MBURO.
Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus
c.30 seen roosting beside the Kazinga Channel, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8 was the only sighting.
African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris
3 seen from the boat along the Kazinga channel, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 17/8 (looking left from the launch jetty).
White-winged Tern Chilidonias leucopterus
Seen regularly from the boat trips at MURCHISON FALLS and QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
African Green-Pigeon Treron calva
Seen regularly throughout Uganda in a variety of habitats.
Bruce's Green-Pigeon Treron waalia
2 very brief sightings of birds heading to roost, around the top of the falls at MURCHISON on 11/8.
Western Bronze-naped Pigeon Columba iriditorques
Heard at SEMLIKI and BUHOMA, BWINDI but on both occasions the birds did not come into the tape despite frequent attempts!
Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea
Seen regularly alongside the road in the vicinity of Kampala.
Olive Pigeon Columba aquatrix
Several flocks of dark pigeons flying over the road at SEMLIKI were thought to be this species, and 2 were seen by the road at RUHIZHA.
Emerald-Spotted Wood-Dove Turtur chalcospilos
Seen on both days at LAKE MBURO. N.B. The Stevenson field guide does not show their range extending into Uganda, although they do occur in this park in the extreme south of Uganda.
Blue-spotted Wood-Dove Turtur
1 QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. 16/8.
Black-billed Wood-Dove Turtur
Seen regularly around Paraa Camp at MURCHISON FALLS.
Tambourine Dove Turtur tympanistria
Recorded regularly at many sites (e.g. MABIRA FOREST).
Ring-necked Dove Streptopelia capicola
Fairly common, especially along the road to BUDONGO.
Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata
Fairly common, especially around the KAMPALA area and MURCHISON FALLS.
African Mourning Dove Streptopelia
Recorded around KAMPALA and also at MURCHISON FALLS.
Vinaceous Dove Streptopelia vinacea
Several sightings around MURCHISON FALLS.
Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
Seen around LAKE MBURO and KAMPALA.
Brown Parrot Poicephalus meyeri
Regularly seen at LAKE MBURO , and also recorded once en-route to BUDONGO.
Grey Parrot Psittacus erithacus
Several small groups seen flying over the HQ clearing at MABIRA FOREST on both days.
Red-headed Lovebird Agapornis pullarius
2 seen from the launch trip to the bottom of the falls at MURCHISON FALLS on 10/8.
Great Blue Turaco Corythaeola cristata
Seen regularly in most wooded areas (e.g. MABIRA FOREST, beside MABAMBA WETLAND, RUHIZHA, BUDONGO etc.)
Ross's Turaco Musophaga rossae
Recorded at PORTEBELLE and by the Red Chilli Hideaway in Kampala and at BUHOMA in BWINDI.
White-crested Turaco Tauraco leucolophus
2 sightings-2 by the road to KANIYO PABIDI, BUDONGO on 9/8 (just beyond the gate, shortly before reaching the car park for chimp tracking), and 1 seen in flight at the top of the falls at MURCHISON on 11/8.
Black-billed Turaco Tauraco schuetti
Heard frequently in forested areas throughout the trip (e.g. MABIRA FOREST, BUDONGO, BUHOMA), although only seen well on a few occasions around RUHIZHA.
Bare-faced Go-away Bird Corythaixoides personata
1 on the game drive at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8 and several sightings at LAKE MBURO.
Eastern Grey Plantain-eater Crinifer
Seen regularly around KAMPALA-at MABAMBA WETLAND, PORTEBELLE & in the grounds of the Red Chilli Hideaway.
Levaillant's Cuckoo Oxylophus levaillantii
1 from the boat trip to the bottom of the falls at MURCHISON on 10/8.
Red-chested Cuckoo Cuculus solitarius
1 G at MABIRA FOREST on 6/8.
Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx
1 seen well (when taped in), and several others heard along the road in the bamboo zone, RUHIZHA, BWINDI on 23rd.
Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx
2 sightings on trails, near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8. The birds were identified on call only, when they responded to tape use by flying around, although the birds generally remained in dense cover.
Diedrick Cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius
2 G & 1 E Mweya area, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8, and 1 E/imm. at MARAMAGAMBO FOREST on 17/8.
Klass's Cuckoo Chrysococcyx klaas
2 MABIRA FOREST on 6/8.
African Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx
1G at KANIYO PABIDE, BUDONGO on 9th, and another G at THE NECK, BWINDI on 21st.
Yellow-throated Cuckoo Chrysococcyx
1G taped in at SEMLIKI on 13/8, along the trails near the Hot Springs. N.B. This species has only been recorded in Uganda at Semliki and Maramagambo forests.
Yellowbill Ceuthmochares aereus
2 ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8 and 1 along the road to the main trail at BUHOMA on 18/8.
White-browed Coucal Centropus superciliosus
Recorded regularly on game drives at both MURCHISON FALLS and QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Blue-headed Coucal Centropus monachus
Only recorded on the first day-around Lake Victoria at PORTEBELLE, KAMPALA area.
Senegal Coucal Centropus senegalensis
2 seen en-route to BUDONGO on 7/8 and several sightings on the game drive at MURCHISON FALLS.
Black-throated Coucal Centropus leucogaster
Several birds heard along the Kirumia Trail at SEMLIKI on 14/8. The birds never came into playback, remaining in very dense cover. N.B. This species has only been recorded in East Africa from Semliki.
African Wood Owl Strix woodfordii
2 seen around the Ntandi HQ at SEMLIKI on 12/8, and another seen on the Kirumia trail there on 14/8. Also heard at RUHIZHA, BWINDI.
African Scops Owl Otus senegalensis
1 taped in by the tented camp at LAKE MBURO on 25/8.
Verreaux's Eagle-Owl Bubo lacteus
2 sightings of birds perched on Euphonia cactuses along the approach road to Mweya at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Spotted Eagle-Owl Bubo africanus
2 sightings of birds perched on the road hunting at night at MURCHISON FALLS-along the Paraa Camp approach road.
Red-chested Owlet Glaucidium tephronotum
3 sightings at BWINDI-2 came into tapes along the Mubwindi Swamp Trail, RUHIZHA on 22/8; and similarly another responded to the tape along the main trail at BUHOMA on 20/8. Alfred frequently used a recording of the owlets calls to stir-up passerines into mobbing the sound. This worked to good effect, especially with sunbirds (e.g. Blue-headed) and Apalises (e.g. Collared & Mountain-Masked).
Square-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus fossii
Recorded at both MURCHISON FALLS (Nile Safari Lodge road) and 1 seen at LAKE MBURO.
Long-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus climacurus
1 was seen flying around at dusk alongside the Nile Safari Lodge road, MURCHISON FALLS on 11/8.
Rwenzori Nightjar Caprimulgus ruwenzori ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
2 sightings at RUHIZHA, BWINDI-by the first junction on the left after leaving left out of the ITFC accommodation area; and another in the car headlights, on the road up to the bamboo zone. They are apparently seen very regularly from the village itself, near the ITFC centre.
Pennant-winged Nightjar Macrodipteryx vexillarius
At least 4G were seen along the road to Paraa Camp, MURCHISON FALLS when driving back from the top of the falls, along the main approach section to the camp, before the turn-off for Nile Safari Lodge. A dead G was also seen along here.
Little Swift Apus affinis
One of the commonest swifts in Uganda.
White-rumped Swift Apus caffer
A few seen at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P., LAKE MBURO & MURCHISON FALLS.
Horus Swift Apus horus
A few seen flying around at the top of the falls at MURCHISON on 9/8.
Eurasian Swift Apus apus
Several large, dark swifts seen near the Royal Mile at BUDONGO were thought to be this species.
Sabine's Spinetail Rhaphidura sabini
1-2 birds seen in the evening, on 8/8, over a small pool on the edge of the forest near the ROYAL MILE area of BUDONGO. Alfred regularly records both Cassin's and Sabine's over this pool.
Cassin's Spinetail Neafrapus cassini
1 seen by the same pool as the Sabine's at BUDONGO on 8/8.
Speckled Mousebird Colius striatus
Fairly common-recorded at most sites throughout.
Blue-naped Mousebird Urocolius macrourus
Only recorded around the Paraa Camp at MURCHISON FALLS (where they were regularly seen) and at LAKE MBURO.
Narina Trogon Apaloderma narina
1G by the ranger post near the start of the Mubwindi swamp trail, RUHIZHA (BWINDI) on 22/8.
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
Common kingfisher near any large expanse of water-over 100 seen on the boat trip along the Nile to the bottom of the falls at MURCHISON!
Striped Kingfisher Halcyon chelicuti
1 by the hostel at BUDONGO on 8/8, and also recorded once at LAKE MBURO.
Grey-headed Kingfisher Halcyon
A few recorded around KAMPALA, MURCHISON FALLS & QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Giant Kingfisher Megaceryle maxima
2 sightings at MURCHISON FALLS-1 by the top of the falls, and 1 from the boat to the bottom of the falls.
Woodland Kingfisher Halcyon senegalensis
Recorded around PORETBELLE (KAMPALA) and LAKE MBURO.
Blue-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon
1 MABIRA FOREST 7/8, and also recorded regularly along the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8, where they were fairly easy to see.
Chocolate-backed Kingfisher Halcyon
1 seen (and several others heard), along the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8. The bird sat high in the canopy and could be difficult to see!
Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata
Fairly common at MABAMBA WETLAND & LAKE MBURO.
African Pygmy Kingfisher Ispidina
Several sightings at MABIRA FOREST and also recorded at MURCHISON FALLS.
African Dwarf Kingfisher Ispidina lecontei
3+ along the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8th and 2 seen in forest at the edge of the crater lake at MARAMAGAMBO FOREST (QUEEN ELIZABETH) on 17th.
Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus
A few singles seen on the game drives at MURCHISON FALLS, LAKE MBURO & QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater Merops oreobates
Regularly recorded in montane areas around RUHIZHA, BWINDI.
Blue-breasted Bee-eater Merops
2+ in papyrus on the edge of Lake Victoria, PORTEBELLE (KAMPALA area), on 5/8.
White-throated Bee-eater Merops albicollis
6+ seen around PORTEBELLE, KAMPALA on 5/8 and also seen on the approach road to MARAMAGAMBO FOREST (QUEEN ELIZABETH) on 17th.
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater Merops
3 sightings at MURCHISON-1 by the road to Nile Safari Lodge, and 2 sightings along the road to the falls from Paraa Camp.
Black Bee-eater Merops gularis
Recorded on a few occasions at both MARAMAGAMBO FOREST (QUEEN ELIZABETH), and BWINDI (where they were heard calling frequently). Seen by the bat cave and along the road back to car park from there at Maramagambo; and at The Neck and Buhoma at Bwindi. Alfred will 100% guarantee sightings of this stunner at either of these sites!!
Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki
Only recorded at MURCHISON FALLS, where they were fairly common.
Northern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicus
Only recorded on the game drive, north of the Nile at MURCHISON FALLS, on 11th (5+ birds).
Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus
Fairly common in open wooded/savannah areas. 100+ birds hunting at dusk, around the top of the falls at MURCHISON on 11th was an impressive sight.
Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudata
Only recorded on the drive back to KAMPALA from LAKE MBURO, with c.8 birds seen on roadside wires.
Green Wood-hoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus
1 small flock seen in the crater area, on the game drive at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8.
Forest Wood-hoopoe Phoeniculus castaneiceps
Several sightings of small groups of this fairly localised species at MABIRA FOREST, all from the clearing by the HQ.
White-headed Wood-hoopoe Phoeniculus
Only recorded once, 2 + along the main trail at BUHOMA, BWINDI on the 20th.
Common Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus cyanomelas
2 at LAKE MBURO on 25th were the only ones seen.
African Grey Hornbill Tockus nasutus
Regularly recorded at MURCHISON FALLS, in savannah areas.
Crowned Hornbill Tockus alboterminatus
2 sightings-at MABAMBA WETLAND on 5/8, and along the road at SEMLIKI on 13/8.
African Pied Hornbill Tockus fasciatus
2 over the HQ clearing at MABIRA FOREST on 7/8, and 4+ in trees beside the road near the start of the Kirumia trail, SEMLIKI on 14/8.
Piping Hornbill Bycanistes fistulator
Seen regularly around the Ntandi HQ at SEMLIKI (10+ in a day). N.B. They are only found elsewhere in East Africa at Budongo forest in Uganda.
Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill Tockus camurus
2 seen briefly along the Kirumia Trail, SEMLIKI on 14/8. Despite continually calling back to the tape the birds never came in to it. They are also recorded regularly from the trails near the road, in the Hot Springs area, and alongside the forested sections of road between the Ntandi HQ and the start of the Kirumia Trail. N.B. This is the only forest where they have been recorded from in East Africa.
White-crested Hornbill Tropicranus albocristatus
2 (pair) taped in along the secondary forest trails (which lead to the Hot Springs), at SEMLIKI on 13th. N.B. In East Africa this species is confined to Semliki forest.
Black-and-white Casqued Hornbill Bycanistes
One of the commonest, most widespread hornbills, being seen in all lowland forested areas and on the outskirts of Kampala.
White-thighed Hornbill Bycanistes
7+ along the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8 and also recorded once at SEMLIKI.
Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill Ceratogymna
3+ (1 G) seen in secondary forest at SEMLIKI, in the same area as the White-crested Hornbills. We also heard them on the Kirumia trail there the next day. N.B. In East Africa this species is only known from Semliki.
Abyssinian Ground-hornbill Bucorvus
3 sightings-1 G seen by the roadside en-route to BUDONGO from Mabira on 7/8, 1 E alongside the road to Murchison, a short way from KANIYO PABIDI on 9/8, and 1 E at MURCHISON FALLS on 11/8, between Paraa Camp and the car park at the top of the falls.
Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird Pogoniulus
1 at MABIRA FOREST on the 6th was the only sighting.
Yellow-throated Tinkerbird Pogoniulus
Seen at a few sites (and heard regularly at most sites, being one of the most common barbets)-seen well in the car park at KANIYO PABIDI (BUDONGO) 9/8 and around the Hot Springs at SEMLIKI on 13/8.
Red-rumped Tinkerbird Pogoniulus
1 taped in along the Kirumia Trail, SEMLIKI on 14th -just beyond the first oxbow lake. N.B. This has only been recorded from this forest in East Africa.
Western Green Tinkerbird Pogoniulus
1 taped in at RUHIZHA, BWINDI on 23/8, along the road leading to the bamboo zone, shortly before entering the sign-posted bamboo zone.
Speckled Tinkerbird Pogoniulus scolopaceus
Several sightings at MABIRA FOREST on 6/8 and singles seen at ???
Grey-throated Barbet Gymnobucco bonapartei
Recorded quite regularly at MABIRA FOREST, and also seen in BWINDI.
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird Pogoniulus
1 taped-in around gardens at PORTEBELLE, KAMPALA on 5/8.
Spot-flanked Barbet Tricholaema lachrymosa
Only recorded at LAKE MBURO, with 7+ there on 24th.
Hairy-breasted Barbet Tricholaema hirsuta
2 sightings-1 in secondary forest at SEMLIKI on 13/8, and 2 in the car park at MARAMAGAMBO FOREST, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 17/8.
Yellow-spotted Barbet Buccanodon duchaillui
1 by the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on the 8th , and at least 4 came into a tape along the main trail at BUHOMA on the 20th.
White-headed Barbet Lybius leucocephalus
1 en-route to BUDONGO from Mabira forest on the 7th was the only sighting.
Black-billed Barbet Lybius guifsobalito
1 seen in acacia woodland near the Nile Safari Lodge, MURCHISON FALLS on 10/8, and another on the game drive north of Nile there on 11/8.
Double-toothed Barbet Lybius bidentatus
2 seen in the gardens of the Red Chilli Hideaway Bandas, KAMPALA on 6/8, and 1 at THE NECK, BWINDI on 21/8.
Yellow-billed Barbet Trachylaemus purpuratus
Only recorded at MABIRA FOREST, where 2 were seen on 6/8.
Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator
1 by the tented camp at LAKE MBURO on 25th was the only record.
Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor
1 in scrub by the road out of SEMLIKI to Fort Portal on 15/8.
Willcock's Honeyguide Indicator
1 seen (and taped-in) along the Kirumia Trail, SEMLIKI on 14/8.
Dwarf Honeyguide Indicator pumilio ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
2 at THE NECK, BWINDI on 21/8 and 2 on the Mubwindi Swamp Trail, RUHIZHA on 22/8. They are apparently "common" in the area and should be readily seen on a visit to Ruhizha! (Alfred pers. com.)
Red-throated Wryneck Jynx ruficollis
2 between THE NECK and RUHIZHA on 21st.
Tullberg's Woodpecker Campethera
3 sightings around RUHIZHA, BWINDI.
Buff-spotted Woodpecker Campethera nivosa
2 at MABIRA FOREST on 6/8 and also recorded at BUHOMA on 20/8.
Brown-eared Woodpecker Campethera caroli
1 KANIYO PABIDI, BUDONGO on 9/8.
Nubian Woodpecker Campethera nubica
Seen at PORTEBELLE, KAMPALA, MURCHISON FALLS and LAKE MBURO.
Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens
Recorded at BUDONGO, BWINDI and LAKE MBURO.
Brown-backed Woodpecker Picoides
1 along the Nile Safari Lodge road, MURCHISON FALLS, on the 10th.
Elliot's Woodpecker Dendropicos elliotii
2 at THE NECK, BWINDI on 21/8.
Yellow-crested Woodpecker Dendropicos
4 along the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on the 8th .
Grey Woodpecker Dendropicos goertae
1 seen from the boat trip to the falls at MURCHISON on 10/8.
African Broadbill Smithornis capensis
1 taped in along the main trail at BUHOMA, BWINDI on the 20th . The bird was displaying and producing the weird mechanical, vibrating sound with it's wings.
Rufous-sided Broadbill Smithornis rufolateralis
2 sightings-1G displaying at KANIYO PABIDI, BUDONGO on 9/8, was originally taped in as an African Broadbill, as they also make the same bizarre mechanical sound with their wings when displaying (and later seen with a E); and another along the Kirumia Trail, SEMLIKI on 14/8.
African Green Broadbill Pseudocalyptomena graueri ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
2 of these stunning birds were seen along the MUBWINDI SWAMP TRAIL, RUHIZHA (BWINDI) on 22nd August. They were calling and seemed to respond to Alfred's good imitations of the call (a high-pitched hissing). The birds were alongside the trail, on the steep downhill section that leads to the open forest just prior to Mubwindi swamp itself. Alfred informed us that they breed in the flat, open forest prior to the swamp and showed us a nest from earlier this year. Apparently they were breeding there for 3 weeks in April, when sightings could be "guaranteed"! Many British birders believe (as we did) the optimum time for seeing the Broadbill is July-August, although Alfred states that May or September are far better months for seeing them (in addition to many other species!) as they are breeding and are therefore more confined to smaller areas. This species is classified as VULNERABLE (Birdlife International, 2000).
Rufous-naped Lark Mirafra africana
1 on the game drive near Mweya, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8.
Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea
Several seen at MURCHISON FALLS, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. and also LAKE MBURO.
White-tailed Lark Mirafra albicauda
3-5 seen on the game drive around Mweya, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8.
Red-capped Lark Calandrella cinerea
2 seen at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16th.
Rock Martin Hirundo fuligula
Seen in the highlands, between BUHOMA and RUHIZHA at BWINDI, on 21/8.
Plain Martin Riparia paludicola
Banded Martin Riparia cincta
Several seen flying around a swamp en-route to KAMPALA from LAKE MBURO on 25/8.
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
Several seen at MABAMBA WETLAND and BUDONGO.
Mosque Swallow Hirundo senegalensis
2 seen in the evening over a small pool near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8 and 2 by the Ntandi HQ at SEMLIKI on 15/8.
Rufous-chested Swallow Hirundo
Several seen around MABAMBA WETLAND on 5/8, was the only sighting.
Lesser Striped Swallow Hirundo
Seen quite regularly around BUDONGO, SEMLIKI & BWINDI.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Several returning birds seen with Angola Swallows on roadside wires.
Angola Swallow Hirundo angolensis
Fairly common in the lowlands, especially around Kampala.
Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii
Recorded regularly on the boat trip along the Nile at MURCHISON FALLS on 10/8.
Black Saw-wing Psalidoprocne holomelas
Only recorded at BWINDI, where they were common around BUHOMA and RUHIZHA.
White-headed Saw-wing Psalidopcrone
Fairly common around the car park at MABIRA FOREST, and very common around the top of the falls at MURCHISON. Also recorded at LAKE MBURO.
Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea
1 seen flying over our boat at MABAMBA WETLAND on the 5th was a good record of this threatened species (classified as VULNERABLE, Birdlife International 2000).
African Pied Wagtail Motacilla aguimp
Regularly recorded throughout.
Cape Wagtail Motacilla capensis
2 sightings at BWINDI-2 by the Bwindi View Bandas at BUHOMA and by the road between RUHIZHA and Kabale.
Yellow-throated Longclaw Macronyx croceus
1 on the edge of Lake Victoria at PORTEBELLE, KAMPALA on 5/8; 2 by the road to BUDONGO on 7/8 and also recorded at LAKE MBURO.
Grassland Pipit Anthus cinnamomeus
Recorded on the game drive at MURCHISON FALLS and also around BWINDI and LAKE MBURO.
Plain-backed Pipit Anthus leucophrys
1 in a cultivated area, near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8.
Red-shouldered Cuckoo-shrike Campephaga
2 on the launch trip at MURCHISON FALLS on 10/8, and several sightings of Es around BUHOMA at BWINDI.
Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike Campephaga
2 sightings of single Es at MABIRA FOREST on the 6th & 7th.
Petit's Cuckoo-shrike Campephaga petiti
Only recorded at BUHOMA, BWINDI, where seen on both the 19th & 20th along the road and main trail.
Grey Cuckoo-shrike Coracina caesia
Only recorded at BWINDI-2 along the main trail at BUHOMA on 20/8, and also seen several times around RUHIZHA.
Western Nicator Nicator chloris
Heard regularly at BUDONGO and SEMLIKI, although only seen well a few times-2 along the ROYAL MILE on 8/8 and 1 along the Kirumia Trail, SEMLIKI on 14/8..
Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus
Very common bird throughout.
Yellow-whiskered Greenbul Abdropadus
Little Greenbul Andropadus virens
Probably the most frequently recorded forest greenbul (seen at MABIRA FOREST, BUDONGO, MARAMAGAMBO FOREST & BWINDI).
Mountain Greenbul Andropadus nigriceps
Only recorded at RUHIZHA, BWINDI, where they were seen regularly along the Mubwindi Swamp trail on 22/8, and also along the road in the bamboo zone.
Slender-billed Greenbul Andropadus
1 in the car Park at KANIYO PABIDI, BUDONGO on the 9th and 1 at MARAMAGAMBO FOREST on 17th.
Yellow-streaked Greenbul Phyllastrephus flavostriatus
Only recorded around RUHIZHA, where there were several seen along the Mubwindi Swamp trail on 22/8.
Cabanis's Greenbul Phyllastrephus cabanisi
1+ by the ranger post, near the start of the Mubwindi Swamp trail, RUHIZHA on 22/8.
Little Grey Greenbul Andropadus gracilis
1 MABIRA FOREST on 6/8, and another at MARAMAGAMBO FOREST (QUEEN ELIZABETH), on 17/8.
Ansorge's Greenbul Andropadus ansorgei
1 seen along the main trail at BUHOMA, BWINDI on 20th. N.B. This species has only very recently been described from Uganda (and is not stated to occur there in Stevenson's East Africa guide), but is apparently fairly common in Bwindi (as per Alfred).
Toro Olive Greenbul Phyllastrephus hypochloris
1 sighting at MABIRA FOREST on 6/8.
Icterine/Xavier's Greenbul Phyllastrephus
1-2 of these difficult-to-separate species seen along the Kirumia Trail, SEMLIKI on 14/8.
Leaf-love Pyrrhurus scandens
A single was seen along the Kirumia trail, SEMLIKI on the 14th.
Red-tailed Bristlebill Bleda syndactyla
An adult and an immature together at MABIRA FOREST on 6/8.
Red-tailed Greenbul Criniger calurus
1 in secondary forest at SEMLIKI on 13/8.
White-throated Greenbul Phyllastrephus albigularis
1 MABIRA FOREST 6/8.
Yellow-throated Greenbul Chlorocichla flavicollis
Fairly widespread greenbul-seen at a number of sites (e.g. PORTEBELLE, KAMPALA).
Swamp Palm Greenbul Thescelocichla leucopleura
2 taped into palms alongside the trail in the secondary forest, which leads to the Hot Springs at SEMLIKI. The on-site ranger records them very regularly from this section of trail. N.B. In East Africa this species is only known from Semliki.
Honeyguide Greenbul Baeopogon indicator
1 ROYAL MILE 8/8 and 1 KANIYO PABIDI, BUDONGO 9/8, and 2 at SEMLIKI on 13/8.
Spotted Greenbul Ixonotus guttatus
5-7 seen in forest along the road near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on the 8th.
White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata
2 on the Mubwindi Swamp trail, RUHIZHA on 22/8, 4+ on the bamboo zone road there on 23/8, and 1 in the bamboo zone on 24/8.
Equatorial Aqualat Sheppardia aequatorialis
Only recorded along the main trail at BUHOMA on 20/8, with 3+ there, in the area at the start of the trail and several brief views of other birds presumed to be this species.
Forest Robin Stiphrornis erythrothorax
2 sightings-1 at MABIRA FOREST on 6/8; 1 ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8 and also heard at SEMLIKI.
Brown-chested Alethe Alethe poliocephala
1 was seen perched at MABIRA FOREST on 7/8, and another was in a mixed flock following an ant swarm at MARAMAGAMBO FOREST (QUEEN ELIZABETH) on 17/8.
Red-throated Alethe Alethe poliophrys ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
This stunning endemic was recorded at BUHOMA, BWINDI, where 2 were seen feeding on the main trail on the 20th August. Buhoma is the best chance for this species as Ruhizha is generally too high (Alfred pers. comm.).
Fire-crested Alethe Alethe diademata
1 was seen well perched on a dead log by the trail for over 5 minutes at KANIYO PABIDI (BUDONGO) on 9/8, and another single was seen near the E Hot Springs at SEMLIKI on 13/8.
White-browed Robin-Chat Cossypha heuglini
1 in the grounds of the Red Chilli Hideaway (KAMPALA) at the start of the trip (6/8) and another at LAKE MBURO.
Snowy-headed Robin-Chat Cossypha niveicapilla
Only recorded at MABIRA FOREST, where they were frequently seen with at least 5 seen on the 6th.
Red-capped Robin-Chat Cossypha natalensis
1 by the road near Jacana Lodge, MARAMAGAMBO FOREST, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 17/8.
Grey-winged Robin-Chat Cossypha polioptera
2 sightings-1 by the crater lake trail at MARAMAGAMBO FOREST, QUEEN ELIZABETH on 17/8; and a single by Mantana Lodge, BUHOMA, BWINDI on 19/8 (where Alfred regularly sees them).
Archer's Robin-Chat Cossypha archeri ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
2-3 sightings of this species around RUHIZHA, BWINDI, in the Mubwindi Swamp area where they were heard regularly and readily came into tape.
White-bellied Robin-Chat Cossyphicula roberti
2 near the start of the main trail at BUHOMA on 20/8.
Olive Thrush Turdus olivaceus
Several sightings around RUHIZHA, BWINDI (where it replaces African Thrush).
African Thrush Turdus pelios
A few seen at most sites (e.g. KAMPALA, MABIRA FOREST, BUHOMA etc.), except Ruhizha where replaced by Olive Thrush.
White-tailed Ant-Thrush Neucossyphus
Only recorded at BUHOMA, where it was seen several times along the main trail on 20/8.
Red-tailed Ant-Thrush Neucossyphus rufus
2 KANIYO PABIDI 9/8, 1 SEMLIKI 13/8, and 1 MARAMAGAMBO FOREST (QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.) 17/8.
Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush Stizorhina
1 taped in at MABIRA FOREST 7/8 and 1 SEMLIKI 13/8.
Sooty Chat Myrmecocichla nigra
Fairly common (e.g. seen at MABIRA FOREST and MURCHISON FALLS, where they were particularly common).
White-fronted Black Chat Myrmecocichla albifrons
1 G along the approach road to Paraa Camp, MURCHISON FALLS on 9/8.
Common (African) Stonechat Saxicola
Only sightings were alongside roads on several journeys. N.B. This African race has recently been given full species status by some authorities (British Birds 2002).
White-browed Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas
1 watched singing in Acacia woodland on the game drive near Mweya, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8. N.B. The illustrations and text are misleading in Stevenson-the wings can have 2 clearly defined wing-bars, very like Brown-backed but the streaking on the throat is much more well-defined in White-browed and very diffuse in Brown-backed (these differences are well illustrated in Borrow's West African guide)
Brown-backed Scrub-Robin Cercothrichas
1 singing G between BUHOMA and THE NECK, BWINDI on 21/8.
Spotted Morning-Thrush Cichladusa guttata
Only recorded around the Paraa Camp, MURCHISON FALLS, where they were seen regularly (6+ sightings).
Dark-capped Yellow Warbler Chloropeta
1 seen between THE NECK and RUHIZHA at BWINDI on 21/8.
Mountain Yellow Warbler Chloropeta similis
1 seen in a vine tangle at RUHIZHA, near the Mubwindi Swamp on 22/8, was the only record.
Greater Swamp Warbler Acrocephalus
1 heard calling from dense papyrus at LAKE MBURO on 25/8.
African Reed Warbler Acrocephalus baeticatus
Several sightings around QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P., (along the Kazinga channel & on the edge of Lake Edward).
White-winged Warbler Bradypterus carpalis
1 seen well, when taped in, in an extensive area of papyrus en-route from MURCHISON FALLS to SEMLIKI on 12/8.
Cinnamon Bracken Warbler Bradypterus
1 seen at Mubwindi Swamp, RUHIZHA on 22/8, and another heard in the bamboo zone there the next day.
Evergreen Forest Warbler Bradypterus
1 taped in beside the road to THE NECK from BUHOMA, BWINDI on 21st.
Little Rush Warbler Bradypterus baboecala
1 seen well, when taped in, in a small marshy area by the football pitch in BUHOMA village on 19/8.
Grauer's Rush Warbler Bradypterus graueri ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
4+ taped in at MUBWINDI SWAMP, RUHIZHA (BWINDI) on 22/8. This threatened species is classified as ENDANGERED (Birdlife International 2000).
Uganda Woodland Warbler Phylloscopus
1 along the trail between the car park and the top of the falls (just after the small bridge) at MURCHISON FALLS on 9/8.
Red-faced Woodland Warbler Phylloscopus umbrovirens ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
3 along the main trail at BUHOMA on 20/8, 1 near the camping area at RUHIZHA on 21/8, and several small flocks along the Mubwindi Swamp trail there on 22/8.
Green Hylia Hylia prasina
Recorded at MABIRA FOREST, and ????????????
Short-tailed Warbler Hemitesia neumanni ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
A superb endemic, which was eventually seen well on the third attempt (2 being seen poorly as they circled us in response to the tape!), along the main trail at BUHOMA, BWINDI. N.B. They are only found at Buhoma at Bwindi, as Ruhizha is too high.
White-browed Crombec Sylvietta
3 main trail, BUHOMA, BWINDI on 20/8.
Green Crombec Sylvietta virens
Singles seen at MABIRA FOREST, SEMLIKI and BUHOMA.
Lemon-bellied Crombec Sylvietta
1 seen singing in the forest canopy by the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8.
Yellow Longbill Macrosphenus flaviscans
1 singing G at KANIYO PABIDI (BUDONGO) on 9th.
Red-faced Crombec Sylvietta whytii
Several seen at MURCHISON FALLS (along the Nile Safari Lodge road) and a single seen at LAKE MBURO on 25/8.
Green-capped Eromomela Eromomela scotops
1 seen well by the tented camp at LAKE MBURO on 24/8.
Rufous-crowned Eromomela Eromomela
3+ seen feeding in the forest canopy with a Chestnut-capped Flycatcher near the ROYAL MILE at BUDONGO, on the 8th.
Black-faced Rufous Warbler Bathmocercus
Heard frequently along the main trail at BUHOMA on 20/8, where 2 were seen well on the same day (G & E), also heard at THE NECK, BWINDI and a E was seen at RUHIZHA on 22/8.
African Moustached Warbler Melocichla
1 in a cultivated area near the ROYAL MILE at BUDONGO on 8/8, and another beside the approach road to MARAMAGAMBO FOREST on 17/8.
Grauer's Warbler Graueria vittata ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
2 were calling from high in a vine tangle by the main trail at BUHOMA on 20/8, and were taped in low; and 1 was also seen at RUHIZHA on 21/8.
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Stout Cisticola Cisticola robustus
2 seen in an area of scrub en-route to BUHOMA, BWINDI on 18/8.
Croaking Cisticola Cisticola natalensis
Several sightings around MURCHISON FALLS.
Rattling Cisticola Cisticola chiniana
Several seen around MURCHISON FALLS.
Winding Cisticola Cisticola galactotes
Seen at MABAMBA WETLAND on 5/8.
Carruther's Cisticola Cisticola carruthersi
1 taped-in at a papyrus swamp, en-route to SEMLIKI (at the same site as White-winged Warbler) on 12/8.
Red-faced Cisticola Cisticola erythrops
1 in a cultivated area near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8 and 3+ along the approach road to MARAMAGAMBO FOREST on 17/8.
Chubb's Cisticola Cisticola chubbi
Seen regularly in montane areas-en-route to RUHIZHA from Buhoma on 21/8 and daily around RUHIZHA.
Trilling Cisticola Cisticola woosnami
Whistling Cisticola Cisticola lateralis
1 seen singing in a cultivated area near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8.
Long-tailed Cisticola Cisticola angusticaudus
2 LAKE MBURO 25/8.
Red-winged Grey Warbler Drymocichla
3+ by the car park, at the top of the falls at MURCHISON on 9/8, and 2 in acacia woodland near the Nile Safari Lodge, MURCHISON FALLS on 10/8.
Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava
White-chinned Prinia Prinia leucopogon
2 in the car park at MABIRA FOREST on 6/8, and also recorded at LAKE MBURO on .
Banded Prinia Prinia bairdii
(Black-faced Prinia Prinia melanops)
Only recorded at RUHIZHA, where 2+ seen near the ITFC camp, in the area of the road junction to the Neck on 21/8 and another single seen in forest, near the swamp on 22/8, and a single seen near the bamboo zone on 23/8. N.B. Some authorities split this highland form from the lowland race to become Black-faced Prinia Prinia melanops.
Grey-capped Warbler Eminia lepida
First seen at PORETBELLE (KAMPALA) on 5/8, and also seen near THE NECK, BWINDI on 21/8 and LAKE MBURO on 25/8.
Grey-backed Camaroptera Camaroptera
Seen regularly (although more frequently than seen) in forested areas on the trip-MABIRA FOREST, BUDONGO etc. (and also in cultivation near KAMPALA).
Olive-green Camaroptera Camaroptera chloronata
1 Kirumia Trail, SEMLIKI 14/8.
Yellow-browed Camaroptera Camaroptera
1 MABIRA FOREST 6/8.
Yellow-breasted Apalis Apalis flavida
2 sightings at LAKE MBURO (beside the road and in the main HQ car park).
Grey Apalis Apalis cinerea
2+ Kirumia Trail, SEMLIKI on 14/8 and also recorded once at BWINDI.
Chestnut-throated Apalis Apalis porphyrolaema
Only recorded at RUHIZHA where, once the call is known, appear to be fairly common (readily taped in by the first junction on the left towards the Neck from the centre).
Buff-throated Apalis Apalis rufogularis
The most frequently recorded Apalis-seen at MABIRA FOREST, BUDONGO, MARAMAGAMBO FOREST and BWINDI.
Collared Apalis Apalis ruwenzorii ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
3+ seen very well, by the road, near the first left-hand junction from the ITFC towards The Neck at RUHIZHA on 21/8.
Black-throated Apalis Apalis jacksoni
1 ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO 8/8 and 1 by the main trail at BUHOMA on 20/8.
Mountain Masked Apalis Apalis personata ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
One of the easiest endemics at BWINDI-being seen regularly at both BUHOMA and RUHIZHA in mixed species flocks, and regularly coming to mob taped calls of Red-chested Owlet. Also readily taped in low from the canopy to it's own calls.
White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher Melaenornis
Only recorded around BWINDI, where they were seen regularly (especially at RUHIZHA).
Northern Black Flycatcher Melaenonrnis
Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher Melaenornis ardesiacus ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
Only recorded along the Mubwindi Swamp Trail at RUHIZHA, with several sightings there on 22nd.
Pale Flycatcher Bradornis pallidus
Recorded regularly (especially along the road to Paraa Camp) at MURCHISON FALLS.
Ashy Flycatcher Muscicapa caerulescens
African Dusky Flycatcher Muscicapa adusta
Lead-coloured Flycatcher Myioparus plumbeus
1 seen at MABIRA FOREST on 6/8, and another seen at SEMLIKI on 13/8. 1 also recorded at LAKE MBURO on 24/8.
Grey-throated Flycatcher Myioparus griseigularis
1 seen at MABIRA FOREST on 7/8 and another single along the ROYAL MILE (BUDONGO) on 8/8 (at both sites they were heard a few more times in addition to this).
Swamp Flycatcher Muscicapa aquatica
A few seen at MABAMBA WETLAND on 5/8; and a few seen beside the Kazinga Channel, at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P on 16/8..
Cassin's Grey Flycatcher Muscicapa cassini
1 seen fly-catching from rocks along the river at THE NECK, BWINDI on 21st August.
Dusky-blue Flycatcher Muscicapa comitata
1 main trail, BUHOMA (BWINDI) on 20/8.
Chapin's Flycatcher Muscicapa lendu
2 of this threatened species (classified as VULNERABLE), were seen together, along the main trail at BUHOMA, BWINDI on 20/8. N.B. This species is listed as an Albertine Rift Endemic in Rossouw & Sacchi (1998) but has also been recorded in Western Kenya (Birdlife International 2000; Stevenson & Fanshawe 2002).
Sooty Flycatcher Muscicapa infuscata
1 along the main trail at BUHOMA, BWINDI on 20/8 was the only sighting.
Chin-spot Batis Batis molitor
Surprisingly only recorded around RUHIZHA, BWINDI where there were several sightings.
Black-headed Batis Batis minor
The most frequently recorded Batis-seen at BUDONGO, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. and MURCHISON FALLS.
Rwenzori Batis Batis diops ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
2 RUHIZHA, BWINDI 21/8 (by the road to the left, off the main road, when leaving left out of the ITFC centre), and another at RUHIZHA on 23/8.
African Shrike-flycatcher Megabias
3 (1 G) at MABIRA FOREST on 7/8 and also several sightings of pairs along the main trail at BUHOMA on 20/8.
Black-and-White Shrike-flycatcher Bias musicus
1 G MARAMAGAMBO FOREST 17/8, 1 E BUHOMA 18/8 and another E BUHOMA 20/8.
Brown-throated Wattle-eye Platysteira
Seen a few times at a number of sites throughout the trip (e.g. KAMPALA, MURCHISON FALLS, MABIRA FOREST, BWINDI).
Chestnut Wattle-eye Dyaphorophyia castanea
African Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis
Red-bellied Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone rufiventer
Silverbird Empidornis semipartitus
Regularly seen around Paraa Camp, MURCHISON FALLS.
White-tailed Crested-flycatcher Trochocercus
1 was seen in dense bamboo at RUHIZHA, in the bamboo zone, on the 23rd.
White-bellied Crested-flycatcher Trochocercus
1 by the main trail at BUHOMA (BWINDI) on 20/8.
African Blue Flycatcher Elminia
White-tailed Blue Flycatcher Elminia albicauda
Chestnut-capped Flycatcher Erythrocercus mccallii
1 was watched feeding in the forest canopy with Rufous-crowned Eremomelas along the road, near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on the 8th.
Scaly-breasted Illadopsis Illadopsis
1 taped in at MABIRA FOREST on 7/8.
Mountain Illadopsis Illadopsis pyrrhoptera
2 sightings at BWINDI-1-2 along the main trail at BUHOMA on 20/8, and 4+ at THE NECK on the way to Ruhizha.
Brown Illadopsis Illadopsis fulvescens
2 taped in at MABIRA FOREST on 7/8.
Puvel's Illadopsis Illadopsis puveli
1 seen very well, singing from a perch 3-4 feet off the ground, at KANIYO PABIDI, BUDONGO on 9th. The bird was near the start of the trail, close to the car park, where they are also regularly seen by the local ranger/guide.
Grey-chested Illadopsis Illadopsis poliothorax
Brief views of this beautiful Illadopsis were seen in dense bamboo, in the bamboo zone at RUHIZHA, BWINDI on 23/8.
African Hill-Babbler Pseudoalcippe abyssinica
1 at RUHIZHA on 21/8, and 2+ seen along the Mubwindi Swamp trail there the next day. N.B. Some authorities treat this black-headed race as a separate species.
Arrow-marked Babbler Turdoides jardineii
Several small groups on the game drive at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8.
Black-lored Babbler Turdoides sharpei
Recorded on game drives at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. and LAKE MBURO.
Dusky Tit Parus funereus
2-3 in a mixed feeding flock by the main trail at BUHOMA on 20/8.
White-winged Tit Parus leucomelas
2 LAKE MBURO on 25/8.
White-shouldered Tit Parus guineensis
1 en-route to SEMLIKI on 12/8.
Stripe-breasted Tit Parus fasciiventer ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
Seen in mixed species feeding flocks at RUHIZHA on 21st (alongside the left-hand road to the Neck from the ITFC centre at Ruhizha) & on the 22nd (several sightings in flocks along the Mubwindi Swamp trail).
Tit-Hylia Pholidornis rushiae
2 of these rarely seen birds were watched for 10 min perched in the canopy by the HQ at MABIRA FOREST on 6th August.
African Penduline-Tit Anthoscopus caroli
1 QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. 16/8 and 1 carrying nesting material at LAKE MBURO on 25/8.
N.B. Rossouw's book does not list this species for either of these sites!
Yellow White-eye Zosterops senegalensis
Fairly common bird-especially in feeding flocks at BWINDI.
Bronze Sunbird Nectarinia kilimensis
Green-headed Sunbird Cyanomitra verticalis
Only recorded at BWINDI-several along the main trail and around the bandas at BUHOMA on 20/8.
Blue-headed Sunbird Cyanomitra alinae ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
Northern Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris preussi
Olive-bellied Sunbird Cinnyris chloropygia
Regal Sunbird Cinnyris regia ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
A really stunning sunbird, seen regularly around RUHIZHA, BWINDI, including in the camp area itself.
Green-throated Sunbird Chalcomitra
Green Sunbird Anthreptes rectirostris
Olive Sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea
Regularly seen low in the understorey of forested areas (e.g. MABIRA FOREST, SEMLIKI, BWINDI).
Grey-headed Sunbird Deleornis axillaris
3 along the Kirumia Trail, SEMLIKI on 14/8.
Copper Sunbird Cinnyris cuprea
Marico Sunbird Cinnyris mariquensis
Several recorded at LAKE MBURO on 25/8.
Purple-banded Sunbird Cinnyris bifasciata
Scarlet-chested Sunbird Chalcomitra senegalensis
Beautiful Sunbird Cinnyris pulchella
Only recorded around the top of the falls at MURCHISON FALLS (where they were seen a number of times).
Red-chested Sunbird Cinnyris erythrocerca
Variable Sunbird Cinnyris venusta
Collared Sunbird Hedydipna collaris
Common Fiscal Lanius collaris
Grey-backed Fiscal Lanius excubitoroides
Fairly common roadside bird, particularly around KAMPALA and MURCHISON FALLS.
Mackinnon's Fiscal Lanius mackinnoni
Only recorded at BWINDI (RUHIZHA & BUHOMA), where a few were seen daily.
Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
1 seen near BUHOMA village on 18/8 was the only sighting.
Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus
Heard several times at QUEEN ELIZABETH, although only 1 G seen on 16/8.
Lüdher's Bush-shrike Laniarius luehderi
Only seen at BWINDI-2 seen at BUHOMA on 20/8 and 1 RUHIZHA on 21/8.
Black-headed Gonolek Laniarius erythrogaster
2 seen at PORTEBELLE (KAMPALA) on 5/8 and very regularly seen around Mweya, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P., where it appeared to be a fairly common bird (up to 4 seen together).
Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri
2 taped-in at PORTEBELLE (KAMPALA) 5/8, and 1 taped in by the road en-route to SEMLIKI from MURCHISON 12/8 (in the same area as the White-winged Warbler).
Mountain Sooty Boubou Laniarius
Heard several times but only glimpsed once briefly along the road in the bamboo zone at RUHIZHA, BWINDI on 23rd.
Brubru Nilaus afer
2 sightings-1 imm. by Nile Safari Lodge, MURCHISON FALLS on 10/8, and an adult at LAKE MBURO on 25/8.
Northern Puffback Dryoscopus gambensis
1 E at PORTEBELLE (KAMPALA) on 5/8, and several singles seen at RUHIZHA, BWINDI on 21/8 & 23/8.
Pink-footed Puffback Dryoscopus angolensis
Singles seen at BUHOMA, BWINDI on 18/8 & 20/8.
Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra
Brown-crowned Tchagra Tchagra australis
Marsh Tchagra Tchagra minuta
Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike Malaconotus sulfureopectus
2-3 sightings at LAKE MBURO.
Many-coloured Bush-shrike Malaconotus
1 seen in a mixed feeding flock by the main trail at BUHOMA on 20th.
Bocage's Bush-shrike Malaconotus bocagei
Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis
Velvet-mantled Drongo Dicrurus modestus
Piapiac Ptilostomus afer
Pied Crow Corvus albus
Recorded regularly throughout.
White-naped Raven Corvus albicollis
A few small groups (2+) seen around RUHIZHA.
Western Black-headed Oriole Oriolus brachyrhynchus
Montane Oriole Oriolus percivali
Commonly heard and seen regularly from the Mubwindi Swamp trail, RUHIZHA on 22nd.
Yellow-billed Oxpecker Buphagus africanus
Stuhlman's Starling Poeoptera stuhlmanni
Narrow-tailed Starling Poeoptera lugubris
Waller's Starling Onychognathus walleri
3-4 sightings along the Mubwindi Swamp trail, RUHIZHA (BWINDI) on 22nd.
Lesser Blue-eared Starling Lamprotornis
Rüppell's Long-tailed Starling Lamprotornis purpuropterus
Splendid Starling Lamprotornis splendidus
Violet-backed Starling Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea
Several flocks seen around game in QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Rufous Sparrow Passer rufocinctus
5 on the game drive at MURCHISON FALLS on the 11th.
Speckle-fronted Weaver Sporopipes
Several sightings beside Paraa Camp, MURCHISON FALLS.
Grey-headed Sparrow Passer griseus
Seen regularly , especially in urban areas.
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser superciliosus
Only recorded at MURCHISON FALLS, where there were several sightings around the Paraa Camp and along the road near the camp.
Black-headed Weaver Ploceus cucullatus
Vitelline Masked Weaver Ploceus velatus
2G by Paraa Camp, MURCHISON FALLS on 9/8.
Spectacled Weaver Ploceus ocularis
Black-necked Weaver Ploceus nigricollis
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht
Grosbeak Weaver Amblyospiza albifrons
1G seen nesting in a cultivated area, near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO; and also recorded along the Kirumia Trail, SEMLIKI.
Little Weaver Ploceus luteolus
2 seen in savannah woodland on the game drive at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. between Mweya and the crater area.
Slender-billed Weaver Ploceus pelzelni
Golden-backed Weaver Ploceus jacksoni
Yellow-backed Weaver Ploceus melanocephalus
Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops
Only recorded (3G) from the boat at MABAMBA WETLAND on 5/8.
Compact Weaver Ploceus siperciliosus
Just one sighting, of a non-breeding G, in a cultivated area near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8.
Holub's Golden Weaver Ploceus
Several sightings around QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. and LAKE MBURO.
Weyns's Weaver Ploceus weynsi
Several large flocks (20+) seen flying around the papyrus swamp at MABAMBA WETLAND on 5/8. This localised species is generally a forest canopy bird and so is presumably normally found in the surrounding woodland.
Strange Weaver Ploceus alienus ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
2 sightings at RUHIZHA-2+ along the first road left off the main road on 21st, after turning left out of the ITFC centre; and single seen on the Mubwindi Swamp trail on 22nd.
Brown-capped Weaver Ploceus insignis
Several sightings around BWINDI-at BUHOMA and RUHIZHA.
Yellow-mantled Weaver Ploceus
1 G in the forest canopy at MABIRA on 7/8.
Black-billed Weaver Ploceus melanogaster
Vieillot's Black Weaver Ploceus nigerrimus
Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea
Cardinal Quelea Quelea cardinalis
At least 1 G in a mixed Quelea flock by the Nile Safari Lodge, MURCHISON FALLS on 10/8.
Red-headed Quelea Quelea erythrops
Red-headed Weaver Anaplectes rubriceps
Red-headed Malimbe Malimbus rubricollis
Crested Malimbe Malimbus malimbicus
2+ along the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8; and 2 groups (of 3+) along the Kirumia Trail, SEMLIKI on 14th August.
Red-collared Widowbird Euplectes
2 breeding Gs in a cultivated area near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8.
Fan-tailed Widowbird Euplectes axillaris
1 non-breeding G with 2E at a swamp between LAKE MBURO and Kampala on 25/8.
Black Bishop Euplectes gierowii
3 G+ seen around BUDONGO on 8/8.
Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis
A few non-breeding G birds were seen travelling between BUHOMA and THE NECK, BWINDI on 18/8.
Southern Red Bishop Euplectes orix
2 (1 G) at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on the 17th.
Northern Red Bishop Euplectes franciscanus
Black-winged Red Bishop Euplectes hordeaceus
Grey-headed Negrofinch Nigrita canicapilla
Regularly recorded throughout the trip (e.g. MABIRA, SEMLIKI, BUDONGO, BWINDI).
White-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita
Singles seen several times around MABIRA FOREST, BUDONGO and other singles seen at SEMLIKI on 15/8 and BWINDI.
Woodhouse's Antpecker Parmoptila
1 lone E at BUHOMA, BWINDI just before entering the main trail. N.B. Some authorities have split this species (e.g. Clement et al.199), so that the species found in western Uganda becomes Red-fronted Antpecker, Parmoptila rubrifrons.
Green-winged Pytilia Pytilia melba
3 (1 G) seen near the car park (just beyond the small bridge to the falls), at the top of the falls at MURCHISON on 11th. A E was also seen around Paraa Camp there.
Brown Twinspot Clytospiza monteiri
2+ seen in cultivated areas en-route back from the Royal Mile to our accommodation, at BUDONGO on the 8th.
Dusky Twinspot Euschistospiza cinereovinacea
2 sightings (of 2 birds) between BUHOMA and RUHIZHA (1 prior to reaching THE NECK, and 1 after); and single between RUHIZHA and KABALE town on 24/8.
Dusky Crimsonwing Cryptospiza jacksoni ALBERTINE RIFT ENDEMIC
2 sightings at RUHIZHA-2+ immatures alongside the first left-hand road off the main road left from the ITFC centre/camping area; and an adult on the Mubwindi Swamp trail.
Red-headed Bluebill Spermophaga ruficapilla
2 seen at MABIRA FOREST on 6/8; 1 E in secondary forest at SEMLIKI on 13/8; 2 imm. BUHOMA on 18/8; and a E at BUHOMA on 19/8.
Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu Uraeginthus bengalus
Only recorded at MURCHISON FALLS, where they were seen daily around the Paraa Camp area and near the car park at the top of the falls.
Red-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta senegala
Several seen around PORTEBELLE, KAMPALA on 5/8.
African Firefinch Lagonosticta rubricata
First recorded in a cultivated area, near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO and later recorded regularly at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P., and LAKE MBURO.
Bar-breasted Firefinch Lagonosticta rufopicta
1 watched feeding at very close range beside the Paraa ferry jetty at MURCHISON FALLS on 11/8.
Yellow-bellied Waxbill Estrilda quartinia
2+ between BUHOMA and RUHIZHA on 21/8, and another small group seen at LAKE MBURO on 25/8.
Common Waxbill Estrilda astrilid
Seen around BUDONGO, SEMLIKI and QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Crimson-rumped Waxbill Estrilda rhodopyga
2 seen by the crater lake at MARAMAGAMBO FOREST (QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.) on 17/8.
Black-crowned Waxbill Estrilda
Seen (often in mixed flocks with common waxbills) at BUDONGO and BWINDI.
Black-headed Waxbill Estrilda atricapilla
2+ seen at the forest edge by Mubwindi swamp, RUHIZHA on 22/8.
Bronze Mannikin Lonchura cucullata
Fairly common-recorded regularly in cultivated areas throughout.
Black-and-white Mannikin Lonchura
Recorded at KANIYO PABIDI, MARAMAGAMBO FOREST (QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.) & BUHOMA (BWINDI).
Magpie Mannikin Lonchura fringilloides
3 sightings of this localised species around the Kirumia Trail, SEMLIKI on 14/8.
Pin-tailed Wydah Vidua macroura
Seen in cultivated areas at a number of sites (e.g. BUDONGO, MURCHISON FALLS, SEMLIKI etc.)
Village Indigobird Vidua funerea
Only recorded around BUDONGO, where they were on roadside wires around the villages near the Royal Mile.
Brimstone Canary Serinus sulphuratus
2 sightings around Mweya, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Yellow-fronted Canary Serinus mozambicus
Several seen around PORTEBELLE, KAMPALA on 5/8.
Thick-billed Seedeater Serinus burtoni
1 by BUHOMA village on 20/8, and several others seen between BUHOMA and THE NECK on 21/8.
African Citril Serinus citrinelloides
A few sightings on the drive up to RUHIZHA, from BUHOMA, on 21/8.
Black-throated Seedeater Serinus atrogularis
1 between BUHOMA and THE NECK, BWINDI on 21/8.
White-rumped Seedeater Serinus
2 sightings (by Paraa Camp and by the Paraa Ferry jetty) of this localised species, at MURCHISON FALLS on 10/8.
Streaky Seedeater Serinus striolatus
1 between BUHOMA and THE NECK, BWINDI on 21/8, and several sightings between RUHIZHA and KABALE on 24/8.
Oriole-Finch Linurgus olivaceus
1 G seen in the forest canopy, along the main trail at BUHOMA, on 20/8.
African Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza
1 adult in the crater area, near Mweya, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8 and 1 adult at LAKE MBURO on 24/8.
Cabanis's Bunting Emberiza cabanisi
2 sightings-1 G in a cultivated area, near the ROYAL MILE, BUDONGO on 8/8 and another by the road between SEMLIKI and Fort Portal on 15/8.
Nomenclature follows that used by Kingdon (1997) in The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals.
Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes
At least 4 seen crossing the trails while chimp-tracking at KANIYO PABIDI on the 9th. This can be arranged when arriving on-site, although it is best to clarify with Uganda Bird Guides that this is required on the itinerary in advance. When we were there the apes were feeding on the ground and as such were more difficult to locate as they fled readily. Normally they can be seen fairly easily if resting in a tree. Chimp-tracking can also be arranged at Kibale and Queen Elizabeth N.P.
This eastern form is classified as VULNERABLE by IUCN.
Mountain Gorilla Gorilla beringei
As there was 8 of us and the group sizes for gorilla tracking are limited to 6 people per group, we split into 2 groups of 4 and visited the 'H' gorilla group and 'M' group separately on the same day. Fortunately this worked out well, with both of our groups having excellent views of the gorillas as they rested and fed in the middle of the day, with between 9 and 15 gorillas seen in H group, and the silverback seen in both groups. Although the distance limits are set at 5m there were occasions when the gorillas were a little closer than this, allowing good opportunities for photography. It should be noted though that the use of flashes is prohibited, and so fast film speeds (I used 800) are required for decent photos. N.B. Some authors have suggested that these gorillas may be taxonomically distinct from the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda (Kingdon, 1997), although recent genetic findings suggest otherwise (Hanson, 2001). Mountain Gorillas are categorised as ENDANGERED by IUCN.
Guereza Colobus Colobus guereza
Recorded regularly at a number of sites-MARAMAGAMBO FOREST (QUEEN ELIZABETH), BUDONGO, SEMLIKI & BWINDI.
Olive Baboon Papio anubis
Seen at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P., MURCHISON FALLS and LAKE MBURO.
Grey-cheeked Mangabey Lophocebus
Only recorded at MABIRA FOREST and SEMLIKI.
Vervet/Tantalus Monkey Cercopithecus
1 seen near the falls at MURCHISON on 11/8, and seen regularly around LAKE MBURO. N.B. It is unclear whether these are pure Vervets or hybrids in this region.
L'Hoest's Monkey Cercopithecus l'hoesti
Only recorded at BWINDI, where seen at both BUHOMA and RUHIZHA, where several large groups (16+) were observed crossing the road. This species is listed as VULNERABLE by IUCN.
De Brazza's Monkey Cercopithecus neglectus
7+ seen in secondary forest by the E Hot Springs at SEMLIKI on the 13th.
Blue (Gentle) Monkey Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmanni
Seen at BUDONGO, BWINDI & SEMLIKI.
Red-tailed Monkey Cercopithecus ascanius
The most frequently seen primate-recorded at MABIRA FOREST, BWINDI, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P., SEMLIKI & BUDONGO.
Yellow-winged Bat Lavia frons
Several sightings of this very distinctive bat around MURCHISON FALLS, including in the Paraa Camp restaurant roof.
Uganda Grass-hare Poelagus marjorita
2 seen by the road to the top of the falls at MURCHISON FALLS.
Ichneumon (Egyptian) Mongoose Herpestes ichneumon
2 sightings around Mweya, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Banded Mongoose Mungos mungo
A group of these (6+) was seen coming to food in the gardens of the hostel at Mweya, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Spotted Hyaena Crocuta crocuta
3 sightings at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. 2 adults along the approach road to Mweya on 17/8, with another seen feeding on a dead hippo beside the Kazinga Channel on the same day; and an adult with 2 cubs along the approach road on 18/8.
Lion Panthera leo
1G and 1E seen on the approach road to Mweya, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 15/8.
African Elephant Loxodonta africana
8+ from the boat to the bottom of the falls at MURCHISON on 10/8; 5 on the game drive at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. on 16/8; a very close group of 8 (including a few calves) there, along the approach road to Mweya, early on 17/8; and a group of 10 along the same road in the evening of the 17th.
Common Zebra Equus quagga boehmi
Only recorded at LAKE MBURO (only occurs here in Uganda), where they were frequently seen along the road (20+).
Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius
Common and conspicuous along the Nile at MURCHISON FALLS, and also at LAKE MBURO & along the Kazinga Channel at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Giant Hog Hylochoerus meinertzhageni
3 sightings around Mweya at QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.-16 on 16/8, 2 by the approach road on 17/8 & 2 by the approach road on 18/8.
Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus
Very common at MURCHISON FALLS, QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. & LAKE MBURO.
Giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis
Only recorded at MURCHISON FALLS, with 2 from the boat to the falls on the 10th and at least 25 seen on the game drive, north of the Nile there on the 11th.
African Buffalo Syncerus caffer
A common sight around MURCHISON FALLS (massive herds on the north of the Nile), and also seen around QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P. and LAKE MBURO.
Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus
Several sightings, at both MURCHISON FALLS and QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Ruwenzori Red Duiker Cephalophus rubidus
1 on the road in the bamboo zone at RUHIZHA (BWINDI) on 24/8. Several other unidentified Duikers were also seen around Ruhizha.
Oribi Ourebia ourebi
Seen regularly on the game drive north of the Nile, MURCHISON FALLS on 11th.
Uganda Kob Kobus kob thomasi
Regularly recorded at MURCHISON FALLS and QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus
One of the commonest herbivores in the parks, being seen regularly at MURCHISON FALLS, QUEEN ELIZABETH & LAKE MBURO.
Impala Aepyceros melampus
Only present at LAKE MBURO, where they were recorded regularly along the park tracks.
Topi Damaliscus lunatus topi
Several groups seen at LAKE MBURO, the only place where they were recorded.
Kongoni (Hartebeest) Alcelaphus
Regularly seen around MURCHISON FALLS, along the Nile and on the game drive.