Visit your favourite destinations
|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
ZAMBIAN TRIP REPORT, 22 November to 7 December 1997,
1. ITINERARY AND DIRECTIONS
I was driving a 1983 4cyl Landrover series 3, that averages 90kph over long distances. Fuel tank capacity was 230 litres, with 80 litres water, etc, etc - total weight approx 2.5 tons. I left Johannesburg on Saturday 22 November, returning early Sunday 7 December 1997.
Leave Johannesburg at 02:30 to try and get across the Beit Bridge border into Zimbabwe before it got too hot. Crossed at 09:00 when it was already 42°c! Arrive in Harare at 17:00. Drove east to Lake Chivero to camp.
I have seen many previous messages on the net about how this camp site has degenerated. Well, as far as I was concerned, it was still in excellent shape. Camp sites are spread out over approx 10 ha, on a reasonably level area in miombo woodland on the lake edge. The shower blocks and toilets were clean, with running water. The surprise was that this camp site was completely deserted! I was the only person there that night. If such a facility is going to remain under-utilized like this, then it would be no surprise it was to be abandoned by the Parks Board as being uneconomic. All I can do is suggest that this camp site be visited more often as it is in an excellent birding area.
Raining, so left at 08:00 driving north through Kariba to Kafue town, arriving at 03:00. Stayed overnight with Pete Leonard at Lechwe Lodge. Pete was able to give me invaluable information on the best birding areas in Zambia, and what I was likely to see - he is in the final stages of compiling the data (with Carl Beel) for the first Zambian Atlas. Any records from Zambia from whatever date should please be sent to him. Anyone planning a serious trip to Zambia should contact him, and if he has the time, will lead expeditions, etc to the good areas. The success of my trip is almost entirely due to the excellent information given to me, much of it included in the remainder of this report.
Assisted Pete with some ringing, leaving at 09:00. Continued north to Ndola/Kitwe. Pete directed me to the only Zambian endemic, Chaplin's Barbet (Lybius chaplini). Driving approx 45 km north of Lusaka (measured from the Independence arch), there is a sign-posted turn to the right to Chisamba. After about 7 km, an area of open parkland with large fig trees is reached. This is the favoured habitat of the barbet. I had to drive a further 5 km before I found them. Also seen were Black-collared Barbet (464), Crested Barbet (473) and the (northern) Grey-headed Sparrow (Passer griseus) which does not occur south of the Zambezi. Continued on to Kitwe to stay with a friend there.
Left Kitwe at 11:00, driving west towards Chingola. Stopped off at the COSETCO school to see Carl Beel, who added considerably to the information I had already received. Left there at about 14:00, and continued through Chingola towards Solwezi. 40 km beyond Chingola, turned right at the Coca-Cola sign to the Chimfunchi Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Centre. After approx 2 km, there is a signpost to the left to the centre, which is another 16 km down a reasonable dirt road. The camp site is clearly sign-posted.
Explore the mature Miombo woodland on the road into the centre.
Leave at 07:00 and return to the main road towards Solwezi. 30 km past Solwezi is the Mutanda bridge. This is now the most accessible site for the Red-throated Cliff Swallow - previously they could be found at every bridge. Was lucky enough to see one pair.
Carl Beel warned me that Angolan Swallow are now very rare even in this area, but it is still worth looking out - because if they are rare here, you're chance of seeing one in the Caprivi have to be minuscule! Didn't see any.
Continued to Mwinilunga, arriving at approx 14:00. In Mwinilunga, the tar continues to the north for a short distance. The road then continues north for a further 70 km to Ikelenge, and another 30km to the Angolan border. This is currently the main road for smuggling in cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo (ex-Zaire) and diamonds from Angola. Expect plenty of police road-blocks and a real distrust of the intention of a South African travelling in the area. Having said that, I experienced no problem at any road block.
The road from Mwinilunga to Ikelenge is very poor, being a compacted sand track, which is rough and pot-holed, but easy to drive on even when wet - although the puddles look intimidating in the rain. The road starts off through an extensive miombo reserve (now de-proclaimed), before crossing the Chitunta river, and then continues through more miombo until, after approx 60 km, a sign to the right points to Hillwood farm. The farm road is just as good as the main road, and after 7 km you will reach the church (the area being a Christian missionary stronghold). Expect the trip from Mwinilunga to take 1 and a 1/2 to 2 hours. From the church, turn right to the farm office and ask for Pete Fisher.
Walked around Hillwood.
Drove back to Chitunta Plain which is reached approx 30 km south on the road back to Mwinilunga - identified as a narrow plain, and the only one with 2 wooden bridges 50m apart. The confluence where the Weaver's can be found can be reached by walking on the near bank to the right (when driving from Hillwood) along the river edge. There are no clear tracks, but it is relatively easy going (or maybe I was lucky that it had been burnt a few months previously).
Drove to the Zambezi Rapids, 20km to the north of Ikelenge. A guide is essential!
Walked around Hillwood.
Drove to the Source of the Zambezi, which is approximately 15km south of Hillwood on the Mwinilunga road. A large sign on the left (from the north) indicates the road to the source. You must sign a book at the barrier, and then drive along an excellent track for 5km to the source. Be aware that the road follows the border with the Congo (the Congo being on the right). It is possible to camp there, but there are no facilities - and the birds are the same as can be found at Hillwood.
Drove back to Chimfunchi.
Walked around the unfenced Chimp reserve at Chimfunchi
Drove back to Makuti in northern Zimbabwe.
Drove back to Johannesburg.
2. GLOSSARY, CONTACT LIST AND TRAVEL ADVICE
There are 4 Zambian terms that are in common usage:
DAMBO - seasonally inundated grassland / marshland, often along a drainage line
MUSHITU - moist evergreen forest
MAVUNDA - dry evergreen forest
MIOMBO - Brachystegia dominated woodland
(1) Your favourite Southern African guide (Newman's for me)
(2) Newman's Birds of Malawi (several species well illustrated)
(3) van Perlo's Illustrated Checklist of Birds of East Africa (many species illustrated - but no maps or details on habitat, etc)
(4) Benson's Birds of Zambia (out of print - but has illustrations of the species not found in southern or eastern guides (Please note that I am already on Russell Friedman's waiting list!).
(5) Birds of Africa (if you have the space - why not? Surely it is not just to look pretty on your bookshelf! I found it invaluable.)
(6) ADDITION AFTER TRIP - There is now a new book by Carl Beel & Dylan Aspinall on the Birds of Zambia not covered by the southern African guides. An absolute must for any traveller.
(1) Guy Gibbons 6 cassette set of Southern Africa bird calls
(2) Bob Stjernstedt's "Rare Birds of Zambia" (available from Russell Friedman - email@example.com )
Essential if heading south from Mwinilunga. Very useful to have 1: 250 000, but 1: 1 500 000 the minimum recommended. Maps are available from Mulugushi House in Lusaka. For the NW area, suggest buying the following 1:250 000 maps: Mwinilunga, Ntambu, Kabompo, Zambezi. To cover the area east to Kitwe, buy Solwezi and Kitwe. To cover the area to the south down to Caprivi, buy Kaoma, Luampa, Mulobezi and Sesheke.
Essential if heading south from Mwinilunga. Always useful for atlasing.
On the trip described to Hillwood Farm, all roads were tar except from Mwiniliunga to Ikelenge. However, the tar roads are potentially lethal since there is often 5 km of good tar, before a pothole stretching across the road which will rip off your axle at any speed over 20 kph. This makes driving in the rainy season very dangerous, and a strong vehicle is definitely recommended. In the dry season, no problems driving to Hillwood should be expected, so long as the driver pays attention and does not drive too fast.
An ordinary car would get to Chimfunchi and Hillwood in the dry season, and a two wheel drive bakkie in the wet season. However, if any other routes are to be considered (including driving anywhere within Chimfunchi or Hillwood), the experience of the driver usually matters more than the vehicle itself - the real key is being able to determine when it is not advisable to continue! In the wet season, extreme caution even in an appropriate 4-wheel drive is essential.
(1) Bob Stjernstedt: runs Tongabezi Camp on the northern banks of the Zambezi - firstname.lastname@example.org
(2) Pete Leonard: works at Lechwe Lodge just outside Kafue town - email@example.com
(3) Carl Beel: although he has no e-mail facilities, he can be contacted through some friends (Paul & Caroline van Daele) 30 km away on firstname.lastname@example.org
(4) Ian & Lorraine Forbes (Chimfunchi): No e-mail, so try snail-mail to Box 10332, Chingola, or Phone/Fax +260 (2) 311-293.
Their camp is on the floodplain of the Kafue river, so is flooded from the end of December to end April (during which period the whole site is closed) and liable to be a bit muddy (and probably smelly) until the grass re-grows. However, when I was there it was a lovely place to camp, although the flying ants were a bit irritating at night. There are basic rondavels there, but little else. Long-drop toilets, a basic hot-cold shower and cleanish water from a 44 gallon drum complete the facilities. Cold drinks may be obtainable, but otherwise all food, drinking water, etc must be brought. The nearest store will be at Chingola, a one-hour drive away.
(5) Pete Fisher (Hillwood): Hasn't confirmed an e-mail address, but is hoping to use Sakeji School, which has e-mail & a web site and is located on Hillwood Farm. Snail-mail to Nchila Wildlife Reserve, Box 20241, Kitwe. Could also try to fax +260 (2) 226-219 c/o SKF Bearings. Can also contact Pete direct on his satellite phone 00-871-682-345-486.
Hillwood is the only commercial farm north of Livingstone and west of Kitwe. Started by Pete Fisher's grandfather, it is a serious commercial dairy & cereal farm. The reserve is a new addition, and is only to be formally opened as from 1 May 1998. Due to the heavy rains in the area (400 mm in the week I was there), the reserve will be closed from 1 November to 1 May every year. The camp offers 3 thatched stone-walled huts with two beds & mattresses in each, with separate kitchen and bathroom blocks. The former has a gas cooker, while the latter has flush toilet, bath and shower. Camping is also allowed. However, even though these facilities are excellent, you must remember that it is approx 1000 km to Lusaka, where supplies & spares can be bought. You must bring all supplies, including drinking water. However, the farm shop can supply meat, dairy products and some other basics (no guarantees on availability). Access is also possible by air, as Pete has his own airstrip - but with the current state of emergency, all flight plans must be approved in Lusaka 48 hours in advance. Although the reserve has its game guards, they have no birding knowledge, but I am sure that will change as birders flock to the farm - please help train them in birding.
(6) Esther Townsend (Hillwood). Can be contacted through Pete Fisher. Esther runs the children's orphanage (also on the farm). She is a keen birdwatcher, although only knows the farm area well, and an invaluable source of information on the local birds.
3. BIRDING AT CHIMFUNCHI
There were two areas I birded here. The first was on the road to the sanctuary, approx 2 km after the left turn towards the reserve (200m after a farm entrance with a yellow sign on the left. This was (to me) remarkable for Miombo, since there was constant activity throughout the whole day - with no clear bird-parties. Interesting species seen (based on a very lazy technique of sitting on a chair reading a book - and looking up whenever I didn't recognize a particular sound) included: Bataleur (146), Lesser Spotted Eagle (134), Schalow's Turaco (370), Broad-billed Roller (450), Pale-billed Hornbill (Tockus pallidrostris), Miombo Pied Barbet (Tricholaema frontata), Slender-billed Honeyguide (479), Mosque Swallow (525), Tree Pipit (722), White-breasted Cuckoo-Shrike (539), Miombo Bearded Scrub-Robin (Cercotrichas barbata), Arnot's Chat (594), Miombo Rock Thrush (584), African Thrush (Turdus pelios), Tabora Cisticola (Cisticola angusticauda) - split from Neddicky in Birds of Africa, Vol 5, Trilling Cisticola (Cisticola woosnami), Black-collared Eremomela (Eremomela atricollis), Red-capped Crombec (650), Boehm's Flycatcher (Muscicapa boehmi), Miombo Grey Tit (553), Rufous-bellied Tit (556), Spotted Creeper (559), Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver (Plocepasser rufoscapulatus), Black-eared Seedeater (882), Stripe-breasted Seedeater (Serinus reichardi) and Cabanis's Bunting (883).
Another worthwhile stop is about half way along the road to the camp site, where it crosses a small concrete bridge. At this point is a small mushitu area, and I found Moustached Warbler (663) in the adjoining grassland, and Bocage's Akalat (Sheppardia bocagei) in the interior of the mushitu. On the edge of the extensive puddles in the road further along was a Green Sandpiper (265).
The second area was in the new Chimp reserve. Although the Miombo looks excellent, I was a little unlucky in that during the whole day I only came across one bird party, and saw virtually nothing for the remainder of the day.
There was also another mushito patch, but this yielded very little. New birds seen in this area included Purple-throated Cuckoo-Shrike (Campephaga quiscalina), Yellow-bellied Hyliota (623) and Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike (748). How easy it will be to walk around this area once the fence is complete and the chimps have been released, I am not sure.
At the camp site itself, there were the normal waterbirds, as well as Openbill (87), White-headed Vulture (125), Long-crested Eagle (139) and Brown Firefinch (843).
With all that, I still missed a few specials of the local Miombo, including Souza's Shrike (734) (be careful since there are some shy Red-backed Shrikes (733) there), Sharp-tailed Starling (767) (not be confused with the Lesser Blue-ears (766)), White-tailed Blue Flycatcher (Elminia albicauda) and Anchieta's Barbet (Stactolaema anchietae).
4. BIRDING AT HILLWOOD
The Hillwood reserve covers approx 5000 ha, and is about to be expanded. The reserve has a small river running along one edge, and four mushito lines following small streams up slope from the river. Between the mushito is open grassland, some short where burnt, and in other areas much longer. There is also a small dam.
The short grass was in places flooded, and under 10 - 20cm of water, while further upslope it dried out considerably. Birds found here included a single Blue Quail (202), many Black-rumped Buttonquail (206), a single Great Snipe (285), Fuelleborn's Longclaw (729), Angola Lark (Mirafra angolensis), Black-tailed Cisticola (Cisticola dambo) and Locust Finch (853). Species that could also be expected included Pink-throated Longclaw (730) and Black-chinned Quailfinch (Ortygospiza gabonensis).
In the longer grass, some areas of which were dry and others flooded, were found Corncrake (211), Natal Nightjar (407), Sooty Chat (Myrmecocichla nigra), White-chinned Prinia (Prinia leucopogon) and Marsh Widowbird (Euplectes hartlaubi). Overflying the grass were Dickinson's Kestrel (185) and African Marsh Harrier (165).
The mushito produced a wide variety of birds including Afep Pigeon (Columba unicincta) flying overhead, Meyer's Parrot (364), Ross's Turaco (372), Olive-long-tailed Cuckoo (Cerococcyx olivinus) heard every afternoon from the camp, Emerald Cuckoo (384), Crowned Hornbill (460), African Broadbill (490) calling just behind the camp, Cabanis's Greenbul (Phyllastrephus cabanisi) and a whole lot more I wasn't 100% certain of - I was just too lazy to confirm them sufficiently to submit atlas records, Grey-winged Robin-Chat (Cossypha polioptera), Whistling Cisticola (Cisticola lateralis) in the nearby long grass, Red-capped Crombec (652), Red-bellied Paradise Flycacther (Terpsiphone rufiventer), Margaret' Batis (Batis margaritae) as well as the very similar Chinspot Batis (701), Bates's Sunbird (Nectarinia batesi) as well as the similarly coloured but much larger Olive Sunbird (790), and Bannerman's Sunbird (Nectarinia bannermani). There were many other species to be seen, but things were very quiet due to the heavy rains. If lucky, White-spotted Flufftail (Sarothrura pulchra), Rufous Ant-Thrush (Neocossyphus fraseri), Laura's Warbler (Phylloscopus laurae) and Bamboo Warbler (Bradypterus alfredi) - amongst others - can also be found.
The dam produced Black Duck (105) and Palmnut Vulture (147), but I missed the Black-bellied Seedcracker (Pirenestes ostrinus).
Leaving the reserve and walking around the farm itself, other species were found, including Grey Waxbill (848) and Fawn-breasted Waxbill (Estrilda paludicola), but the real special, Black-collared Bulbul (Neolestes torquatus) which according to Pete Fisher I just couldn't miss - I did.
Driving out to Chitunta Plain, it is advisable to arrange with Pete to take an off-duty game guard to look after the vehicle, since a walk of several km is required. There are three real specials here that cannot be found elsewhere in southern or eastern Africa. Black-and-Rufous Swallow (Hirundo nigrorufa) normally fly around the plain, but leave in November - they had. Bocage's Weaver (Ploceus temporalis) nest approx 2 km away near the confluence of the Chitunta and Luakela rivers. Their nests were still visible, but only a single Golden Weaver (816) was seen. Grimwood's Longclaw (Macronyx grimwoodi) is supposedly common right at he bridge, but while there were plenty of Fuelleborn's Longlaws (729), no Grimwoods. However, there were still a variety of species to be found including Black Coucal (388), Half-collared Kingfisher (430) looking very like the Shining-Blue Kingfisher (Alcedo quadribrachys) which could occur there but is more easily found elsewhere, Stout Cisticola (Cisticola robusta), and Short-tailed Pipit (724).
Between Hillwood and the Chitunta plain, the miombo woodland is supposedly a good area for the Bar-winged Weaver (Ploceus angolensis), another west African species - but again no luck.
Driving out to the Source of the Zambezi yielded nothing that was not found at Hillwood, but good sightings of Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo and Grey-winged Robin-chats were achieved.
Driving up to the Zambezi rapids requires arranging another off-duty game guard to direct you, since it involves a relatively minor track out of a village just north of Ikelenge. Birds were scarce here, but a solitary Forbes Plover (Charadrius forbesi) was seen - up to 1000 pairs breed there earlier in the year. Also seen there were Ross's Turaco (372), Broad-billed Roller (450), Little Greenbul (Andropadus virens), Sedge Warbler (634), and Bannerman's Sunbird (Nectarinia bannermani). As always one fails on something, and it was Cassin's Grey Flycatcher (Muscicapa cassini) here.
Further to the north-west in less accessible areas, a few rare species used to be found, but the habitat seems to have been destroyed - White-bellied Kingfisher (Corythornis leucogaster), Spotted Thrush Babbler (Ptyrticus turdinus), Sooty Flycatcher (Muscicapa infuscata) and Orange-tufted Sunbird (Nectarinia bouvieri). I didn't even try for them.
5. OTHER INFORMATION GATHERED
It must be admitted that a week at Hillwood is too short a time. Both it and the Chimfunchi areas each have approx 400 species to be found. Birders on their first visit to Zambia could easily spend a three week holiday just at these two sites and never stop seeing new species. Remember that I was not birding full-time, so only positively identified (for atlassing purposes) 250 species. A serious birder should have found nearly double that number in the same period and on the same ground.
I was originally planning to drive south from Mwinilunga down to Zambezi town. This would have passed through mavunda, where Margaret's Batis and Perrin's Bush Shrike (Malaconotus viridis) are found. It is also the place where the single specimen of the White-chested Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus makawai) was collected. It has never been seen or collected since - a good challenge for the twitchers amongst you!
From Zambezi town I was intending to travel north to Chavuma, and cross the Zambezi river there to drive across the Minyanya Plain where White-throated Francolin (Francolinus albogularis) can be heard in the early morning.
Continuing west to the Angolan border, south and then turning east back towards Zambezi town one crosses the South Kasiji river, a good site for the Shining-Blue Kingfisher (Alcedo quadribrachys), also in the early morning.
From there I was planning to zig-zag south reaching Katima Mulilo in Namibia, or possibly turning east while still in Zambia and looking for the Black-cheeked Lovebirds (369).
However, all above plans were dropped due to the high rainfall, and the fact that an old problem with my leg was starting to trouble me. It just gives me the excuse to return again, although this time at a more sensible time, such as September well before the rains.
I have included here the initial responses I received from Pete Leonard and Carl Beel on my request to them for info.
Please understand that I was only enquiring after species that I had not previously seen - there are many more that I had seen in Uganda which occur in the area and so would be new to any southern African birder. Needless to say, buy the Atlas when it is released, and all will be revealed!
I shall give 1. habitat 2. rough area 3. your chance of seeing it. You'll appreciate that you chances for vagrants and rare migrants (as marked) are very slim.
Carl's comments are in italics.
White-throated Francolin - west of Zambezi in western Zambezi District; dry plain; fair if you go to right place. Only found in western Zambezi District. Occurs on large dry open plains. A good place to try could be Minyanya Plain (not indicated on maps), c35-40 km after crossing the Zambezi at Chavuma. Although the vegetation on these plains is very low, birds may be difficult to find. Best chances probably are early in the morning when they call (sounds very much like Coqui Francolin). Camp on the plain.
Little Crake - unconfirmed vagrant. Not on the Zambian list.
Pacific Golden Plover - very rare migrant. Vagrant.
Little Ringed Plover - very rare migrant.
Forbes's Plover - large wet rocks; Zambezi rapids, northern Mwinilunga; fair. Occurs on expanses of bare rock at the Zambezi Rapids in northern Mwinilunga District. The Zambezi Rapids are about 5 km from Kalene Hill.
Jack Snipe - very rare vagrant. Vagrant.
Afep Pigeon - mushitu (moist evergreen forest) canopy and sky; northern Mwinilunga; good. Present throughout forests in northern Mwinilunga. Most easily seen in flight, with some luck and perseverance good views can be obtained while perched.
Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo - mushitu and mavunda (dry evergreen forest - 'cryptosepalum'); Mwinilunga; fair if heard. Forests in Mwinilunga District. Easily detected when calling but extremely difficult to see.
Pallid Swift - very rare vagrant. Vagrant.
White-bellied Kingfisher - mushitu not necessarily near water; northern Mwinilunga; poor (only 2 good records). Known in forest near Salujinga in northernmost Mwinilunga District. Has been caught in nets but no reliable field observations as yet.
Shining-blue Kingfisher - well forested streams; NW Province; fair at Southern Kashiji River where I saw it last year. Sparse on forested river. A good locality is the South Kasiji, where the road from Zambezi to Chinyama Litapi crosses the South Kasiji. Most easily found in the morning.
Anchieta's Barbet - miombo and sometimes forest canopy; widespread north of c14 degrees; just need patience and luck - probably common but unobtrusive. Found throughout North Western Province in well developed miombo and forest. Not easily located because not noisy.
White-chested Tinkerbird - mavunda; southern Mwinilunga; give it a go please, though still only known from type specimen and some people think it a freak aberration. May not exist.
Lemon-rumped Tinkerbird - Golden-rumped Tinkerbird (subspecies mfumbiri) is common in most forests.
Chaplin's Barbet - sycamore fig trees; Choma/Blue Lagoon/Chisamba; good at right place. Not in North Western Province. This could be another reason to go to Blue Lagoon NP. Occurs in large fig trees. Sometimes reacts well to tapes.
Angola Lark - plains; northern Mwinilunga and Zambezi Ds; good. Common on plains in northern Mwinilunga, e.g. on Chitunta Plain, or in the game farm at Hillwood Farm.
Red-throated Cliff Swallow - bridges and bush fires; NWProvince; fair - seem to be thin on ground this year and I've not found birds at several regular sites. Used to occur on every bridge between the Copperbelt and Mwinilunga. Last year only on Mutanda Bridge, c30 km past Solwezi. Migrating flocks could be seen in November anywhere in Mwinilunga District.
Black-and-Rufous Swallow - plains; northern Mwinilunga; good. Common over large plains in Mwinilunga District, e.g. Chitunta Plain.
Angola Swallow - plains/bridges; could turn up anywhere in north, Chitunta Plain best bet, but rare; poor. Very rare on Copperbelt and in northern Mwinilunga District. No recent observations in either locality.
Red-throated Pipit - very rare vagrant. Vagrant
Grimwood's Longclaw - wet plains; northern Mwinilunga - esp Chitunta Plain; very good at Chitunta Plain. Common on Chitunta Plain, right at the bridge
Purple-throated Cuckoo-Shrike - mushitu & mavunda; northern Zambia; good. Locally common in forest, e.g. on the Copperbelt. Also found in Mwinilunga District.
Black-collared Bulbul - scrub & secondary growth; northern Mwinilunga; fairly good, esp Hillwood. Locally common, e.g. near game farm at Hillwood Farm
Bocage's Akalat - mushitu; northern Zambia; good if heard. Common in forest in northern Zambia, except in northern Mwinilunga where replaced by next species.
Grey-winged Robin-Chat - mushitu; northern Mwinilunga; good if heard. See above
Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush - mushitu; northern Mwinilunga; good if heard. Common in forests in northern Mwinilunga. Has a very loud and distinctive call. Found e.g. on the game farm at Hillwood.
Bamboo Warbler - forest undergrowth; northern Mwinilunga; fair if heard - extreme skulker. Rare, but probably widespread in northern Mwinilunga. Hopeless unless calling.
Salvadori's Eremomela - woodland; west NW Province; good - although I saw what I suppose were these a few days ago and they look and sound just like icteropygialis to me. Split in Birds of Africa V. Don't know much about this one. Probably rare in western Mwinilunga and Zambezi Districts.
Black-collared Eremomela - miombo; northern Zambia; good. Common in miombo. Often with bird parties.
Red-capped Crombec - miombo canopy; all Zambia; good. Common in miombo. Often with bird parties.
Laura's Warbler - mushitu canopy; northern Zambia; good. Common in forest, e.g. game farm at Hillwood Farm
Yellow-bellied Hyliota - miombo; everywhere; good. Common in miombo, often alongside Southern Hyliota.
Dambo (Black-tailed) Cisticola - wet plains; northern Mwinilunga; good. Common on plain in northern Mwinilunga District, e.g. Chitunta Plain, game farm at Hillwood
Stout Cisticola - wet plains; northern Mwinilunga; fair (in northern Province it is common). Long grass on wet plain in Mwinilunga District
Slender-tailed (Pearson's) Cisticola - miombo canopy?; northern Mwinilunga??; no records from Zambia, but worth looking for I suppose, very poorly known. Not on Zambian list
Whistling Cisticola - scrub/bracken briar etc; northern Mwinilunga; good. Fairly common in northern Mwinilunga. Found e.g. at Hillwood
Cassin's Grey Flycatcher - forested streams; northern Mwinilunga (Zambezi Rapids); fair. Always low over water or on rocks in the water. Found e.g. at Zambezi Rapids, upstream of the rapids.
Sooty Flycatcher - mushitu; extreme northern Mwinilunga; poor. Found in forest tops in northernmost Mwinilunga, e.g. along Jimbe River near Salujinga
Margaret's Batis - mushitu, mavunda; NW Province; good in Mavunda. Occurs in Mavunda forest (dry evergreen forest) in Kabompo District. Locally also in wet evergreen forest. Good spot is Mayau, c 90 km south of Mwinilunga towards Kabompo
White-tailed Blue Flycatcher - miombo; northern Zambia; fair, patchy. In miombo. Joins bird parties. Strangely localised.
Spotted Thrush Babbler - mushitu undergrowth; extreme northern Mwinilunga; good if heard. Forest near Salujinga
White-winged Black Tit - woodland; everywhere; good. Throughout Zambia in fairly open areas, e.g. edge of dambo
Red-and-Blue Sunbird - miombo; northern Zambia; rare where you're going, common Northern Province. Northern Province. Few records elsewhere
Bates's Sunbird - mushitu canopy; northern Mwinilunga; good. Common in forest in northern Mwinilunga, e.g. at Hillwood
Bannerman's Sunbird - mushitu interior; northern Mwinilunga; good. Same as Bates's Sunbird
Orange-tufted Sunbird - mushitu; Mwinilunga; poor, only 3 records. Few records
Souza's Shrike - miombo; northern Zambia; good with patience & luck. Throughout Zambia in miombo. Most active in the morning. Does not perch conspicuously.
Perrin's Bush-Shrike - mavunda; southern Mwinilunga; good. Common in dry evergreen forest in Kabompo District, cf. Margaret's Batis
Sharp-tailed Starling - woodland; NW Province; good. Throughout miombo woodland in Copperbelt and North Western Province.
Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver - miombo; northern Zambia; fair, patchy. In good miombo woodland on Copperbelt and in North Western Province.
Bocage's Weaver - bushes over water; Chitunta/Luekela confluence; good. On plains in northern Mwinilunga District, e.g. at Chitunta Plain (near confluence with Luakela River)
Bar-winged Weaver - miombo and mavunda; northern Zambia; fair. In miombo woodland with lot of Usnea, e.g. woodland north of Mwinilunga on road to Chitunta Plain and Hillwood Farm.
Red-headed Quelea - wet grassland; widespread migrant after good rain; depends on weather. November is too early, a migrant
Pied Mannikin - various esp bamboo; widespread but highly erratic; poor. Needs bamboo
Locust Finch - dambos, wet plains; northern Zambia; good. Common on wet plains, e.g. at Hillwood Farm
Black-faced Canary - forest edge; northern Zambia; fair. Near forest on Copperbelt and in North Western Province
As can be seen from the above, Pete and Carl provided invaluable assistance, and please assist them by sending them all your Zambian records - and buy the atlas when it is published.