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New Trip Report: Uganda and Rwanda

August 28, 2012

This year’s journey through southern Uganda and Rwanda was a resounding success in all respects, with great views obtained of the four main target birds, namely Shoebill, Green-breasted Pitta, Grauer’s (African Green) Broadbill and Red-collared (Mountain) Babbler. This short trip focussed on these four desirable species plus the lofty Albertine Rift forest and its endemics, and took in various other habitats en route. During the two weeks we visited wetlands at Lake Victoria’s Mabamba Swamp and Lake Bunyoni, mid-altitude forests at Kibale National Park (specifically for the pitta) and “The Neck” of Bwindi Impenetrable NP, grasslands and savannas at Queen Elizabeth NP, and montane forests at the Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable NP and Nyungwe NP. A day was also dedicated to seeing Eastern Gorillas at Ruhija. Little time was spent birding marginal habitats, with the bulk of our time focussed on finding the tricky specials.

Besides the four biggies, other highlights included Lesser Jacana, Long-toed Lapwing and brilliant views of Weyns’s Weaver at Mabamba, Papyrus Gonolek nearby, Toro Olive Greenbul, Grey Parrot, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Brown-backed Scrub Robin, Black Bishop, Red-chested Owlet, Narina Trogon, Uganda Spotted Woodpecker, Crested Guineafowl and Yellow-mantled Weaver at Kibale NP, Senegal Lapwing, Temminck’s Courser and five species of vulture at Queen Elizabeth NP, Red-throated Wryneck en route to Bwindi Impenetrable NP, Chapin’s Flycatcher and Many-coloured Bushshrike at “The Neck”, Handsome Francolin, White-headed Wood Hoopoe, Grauer’s Warbler, Regal Sunbird and Dusky Crimsonwing at Ruhija, African Hobby, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, White-winged Swamp Warbler, Carruther’s Cisticola and Victoria Masked Weaver at Lake Bunyoni, African Cuckoo-Hawk, Mountain Buzzard, Red- chested Flufftail, Red-throated Alethe, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Equatorial Akalat, Grauer’s Swamp Warbler, African Broadbill, Lagden’s Bushshrike, Doherty’s Bushshrike, Neumann’s Warbler and Purple-breasted Sunbird at Nyungwe NP, and Ruaha Chat on our way back to Kigali. We logged a total of just over 400 bird species.

On the mammal front, we enjoyed great views of specials such as Leopard, Giant Forest Hog, Chimpanzee, Eastern Gorilla (for those who went gorilla tracking) and 5 more primate species.

See the detailed trip report.

To join Michael Mills in 2013, email or call +27 21 531 9148.

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