Uganda Birding

Uganda Birding Trip Report - July 2013

Our 6-person group of birdwatchers from Poland (among us there were 3 professional ornithologists) have taken the trip to Uganda, proposed on www.birdingpal.org site by Deo Muhumuza. We arrived in Entebbe 2nd July 2013 in the afternoon and departed 16th July in the noon. Due to the zeal and efforts of our guides, Deo and Emmy Gongo, also these first and last days, of arrival and departure, were very fruitful and abundant with new species. The itinerary prepared by Deo – from Entebbe’s Botanical Gardens and Alexander Park, via Mabamba Swamp, Lake Mburo National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Ruhija – Neck – Buhoma), Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kazinga Channel, Semliki Forest, Kibale Forest National Park to the Royal Mile in Budongo Forest – was excellent, giving possibility to get acquainted with many Ugandian bird habitats: first of all, tropical forests, but to some extent also to water habitats (swamps, lakes, channels), savanna and agricultural fields. However, different types of forest in Western Uganda were definitely clou of the itinerary.

Such forests habitats are extremely difficult for birdwatchers; however, with the priceless help of our guides, due to their incredible perceptivity and amazing knowledge of the forest species, we manage to find, see, recognize and shot (by cameras) many very difficult and desirable species – among them such rarities as 13 of 24 endemits of Albert Rift, Crowned Eagle, Green-breasted Pitta, African and African Green Broadbills, White-starred Robin, Shining-blue, Dwarf, African Pygmy and Chocolate-backed Kingfishers, Red-faced, White-headed, Yellow-billed, Double-toothed, Grey-throated, Spot-flanked, Yellow-spotted and Hairy-breasted Barbets, Red-rumped, Yellow-rumped, Yellow-throated, Yellow-fronted and Speckled Tinkerbirds, African, Western and Montane Orioles, African, Red-chested, Levaillant’s, African Emerald, Diederik and Klaas’s Cuckoos, Narina and Bar-tailed Trogons, majority of Greenbuls, Apalises, Crombecs, Sunbirds, Weavers, Widowbirds and many, many others (total amount of species is a bit above 420 species in 15 days).

Itinerary proposed by Deo is excellent, seeming optimally to give opportunity to have „best birds of Uganda” in two weeks. He himself is not only excellent guide and organizer but also wonderful man, joyful and very helpful. Our second guide, Emmy, also joyful, helpful, wonderful man, is certainly one of the best guides we have ever met in our birding trips around the world: amazingly perceptive, quick-reflexive, with imposing knowledge of the birds and forest. Both Emmy and Deo as guides, and the Uganda itinerary proposed by Deo, should be strongly recommended for all birders around the world.

Tomasz Klys, Tadeusz Stawarczyk, Andrzej Wuczynski, Jan Lontkowski, Marcin Sidelnik, Marcin Solowiej – Poland

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