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Mfuwe's second year.


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Galana
8 hours ago, xelas said:

now 101 to reach the top of the board.

Your maths are impeccable my friend.

Here are another ten which include five more Albertine Rift Endemics and a worthy challenger for the EBC Cup.

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541. Dwarf Honeyguide. Broadbill track.

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542. Strange Weaver. Not a description. That is its name. Even in the scientific name Ploceus alienus.

Anybody know why? Seen on Ruhija main track.

 

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543. Mountain Greenbull. Broadbill camp.

 

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544. Stuhlman's Starling. Ruhija. How's this for an EBC?

 

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545. Blue-headed Sunbird. Broadbill Camp.

 

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547. Regal Sunbird. Broadbill and on the main road through Echuya Forest.

 

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548. Rwenzori Batis. Broadbill track.

 

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549. Grey Cuckoo-shrike. Broadbill track.

 

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550. Olive Woodpecker. Broadbill track.

 

That's it for now.

Very pleased you are enjoying the ride.

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A few more offerings with the only moan:-   178. Red-breasted Paradise Flycatcher.   179. Northern White-faced (Scops) Owl.   18

Not done all of today yet. I got called away.   67. Great Tit. Ballakesh Plantation.   68. Chaffinch. A nice male in the Pink, pink! Ballak

Another set that contains two 'specials' for me. 306. Hume's Groundpecker. Pseudopodoces humilis. Tso Kar.   307. Plain-backed Snowfinc

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Galana

Our time at Broadbill is drawing to a close but we are well content with what we saw. We dipped on Black-billed Touraco and declined to scramble after the African Green Broadbill 'just' to add one more. I have seen it regularly on other visits and peering into green foliage seeking a clear view of a leaf green little bird only holds so much appeal.

So we now head for another sector of Bwindi. Nkuringo is only 13km walk from Buhoma. I know as I did the walk last trip. but it is several hours 'round the mountain' by Land Cruiser.

Our route passes by Muko on Lake Bunyoni so some birding will be undertaken to break the journey and we also pass through Echuya Forest so.........!

 

Hardly out of Broadbill when another ARE is seen so the car screeches to a halt.

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551. Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher. Ruhija road.

 

Nearer to habitation...

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552. Mosque Swallow. A village in the valley.

 

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553. Tropical Boubou. Muko.  I wondered when one would show up.

 

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554. Greater Reed Warbler. Muko reed bed.

 

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555. Cape Wagtail. Muko track by Lake Bunyoni.

 

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556. Carruther's Cisticola. Reed bed off Lake Bunyoni. 7km from MUko.

 

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557. Papyrus Yellow Warbler. Reed bed Muko track. On the "Red list" so a great bird to see.

 

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558. Yellow Bishop. Muko track reedbed.

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559. Yellow-billed Ducks. Lake Bunyoni. Muko. We never saw another.

 

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560. African Golden-breasted Bunting. Seen at Nkuringo (1st photo) but the later photo is better. In the Garden from my chair at Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge where we spent a wonderful Christmas.

 

Finally a word about Lake Bunyoni and Muko. The lake is a natural Ria formed by the stream being blocked by volcanic flow.  Whilst the lakeside closest to Kabale has been over developed for use by overland trucks and sybarites, away from there the birding is very good. Muko is actually on the new tar road to Kisoro and yet it is peaceful. There is a good small lodge there and one can watch Spotted-necked Otters fishing in the bay.

There is a rough track from Muko along the northern shore and about 7km along a feeder stream joins in the typical tropical swamp larger than most and quite accessible. Well worth a side trip. Which we did.

 

 

 

 

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Zim Girl

Very well done on reaching the 500 - beautiful kingfisher.

 

Cool snake encounter and even cooler rhino chameleons.

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Galana

@Zim Girl thanks.

 

So we better keep moving along. There IS an end to it although I confess to finding it a bit of  a chore and trust there are some still awake.

The story so far:-

I am on a tour of Uganda with my wife and two friends and logistically we have confined ourselves to the south west of the country. We have had two stops in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and are on the way to the Nkuringo area. The ecology won't really change but the lodge we are heading for is one I like very much and I am going partly to fulfill a promise to the owner to return and try one of the new bungalows that were to be built.

I was not disappointed with what we found.

To the birds:-

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561. Sharpe's Starling. Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge.

 

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562. African Stonechat. Muko Swamp.

 

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563. African White-tailed Blue Flycatcher. Nkuringo Village.

 

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564. Variable Sunbird. Nkuringo. We had been thinking these were scruffy Regals but evidently the yellow version shows orange in this part of the world.

 

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565. Grey-throated Flycatcher. Nkuringo.

 

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000. Common Blackcap. Nice to have a reminder of home from so far away. Nkuringo.

 

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566. Little Rush Warbler. Nkuringo river swamp.

 

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567. Fawn-breasted Waxbill. Lake Mulehe Lodge.

 

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568. Knob-billed Coot. Lake Mulehe.

 

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569. Yellow-backed Weaver.  Lake Mulehe Lodge.

 

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570.  Singing Cisticola. Lake Mulehe.

 

The more observant among you will realise we did not add many new birds on our 3 day stay at Nkuringo Gorilla Camp and we have now come out of Bwindi to a small lake at lower altitude.

The prime purpose was to spend Christmas here and be able to let our driver/guide and good friend have a couple of days off to spend with his family. We have often 'stolen' him for our December trips and this time we had decided he should be with his growing family.

More about Lake Mulehe in the next set.

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Galana

On we go.

We left Nukuringo Gorilla Camp after a pleasant stay and having added a few birds and/or added better photos of some earlier ECBs.

We descended the same track and after passing a promising swamp arrived at our new location at Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge. http://ugandaculturallodges.com/lake-mulehe-gorilla-lodge/

This is a new venture by my good friend Maama Kitiibwa, otherwise known as Ether Birungi owner of Churchill Safaris in Kampala.

The idea as stated was to locate somewhere for Christmas whilst sending Emmy and the car back to spend time with his family. We were not disappointed. It was a terrific place set on the slopes above the eponymous lake with views over to the mighty Mahavura in the Virungas.

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Dawn breaks.

And the birding was not too bad either although the resident Red-chested Cuckoo failed to get his photo taken despite driving us all mad with his calling but remaining invisible in the tree each day. But this was a R&R stay and so I can move on now to our final stop in Lake Mburo NP.

To the birds:-

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571. Yellow-breasted Apalis. Mulehe.

 

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572. LBR. Everywhere a low altitude but it took us a while to get one.

 

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573. Verreaux's Eagle Owl. Lake Mburo NP.

 

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574. Spot-flanked Barbet. Lake Mburo NP.

 

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575. White-winged Black Tit.  Lake Mburo NP.

 

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576. Green-capped Erenomela. Lake Mburo NP. A bit of an EBC but enough to confirm the bird.

 

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577. Mountain Buzzard. Echuya Forest.

 

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578. Fork-tailed Drongo at last. Lake Mburo NP.

 

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579. Striped Kingfisher. Lake Mburo NP.

 

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580. Long-tailed (Tabora) Cisticola. Lake Mburo NP.

 

That's it for now. The next ten are also Lake Mburo but due to rain our boat trip was cancelled so no specials such as African Finfoot and White-backed Night Heron were seen.

 

 

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Dave Williams

I totally emphasise with your feeling about posting a huge number in a relatively short time Fred , even more so when you have a new BY to crack on with.

On the other hand perhaps I sense the Hare is developing an urge to start checking files for missed additions for his 2018 count!!!!!

The Lodge for Christmas looked idyllic. Did you visit any Gorillas, and how much are they charging in Uganda nowadays?

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That was a nice touch to let your guide stay with his family over Christmas.

Still seeing some lovely birds, and good to see our familiar Blackcap 

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Galana
52 minutes ago, TonyQ said:

That was a nice touch to let your guide stay with his family over Christmas.

I really am going soft in my old age. Actually Emmy has been a good friend over several years and never fails to say 'yes' when asked to drive for us. So I felt I could do this small thing for him (and get a rest ourselves.)

 

@Dave WilliamsDo you sense him worrying? I am enjoying the feeling too.

Spoiler alert. I have saved a good one for #600. Right up your street.

UWA charges $600 these days. Worth every penny. One of if not THE best wildlife experiences you can get. I have done it four times.

We don't do official visits now. My lips are sealed.

I am plotting a return in February.

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Dave Williams
11 minutes ago, Galana said:

 

I am plotting a return in February.

 

What, this February?!!

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Dave Williams

I'm really looking forward to your 650th shot, never mind the 600th :) Do you think Alex is starting to get a complex that we are ganging up on him?

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No hard feelings on this side, my birding friends. Being surpassed by The Mentor is a priviledge! Four years ago I have known pigeons,  black bird and small brown birds. Now we have been able to collect 641 different birds ... what more could I ask for?!

@Galana I am looking forward to your #600, and if time is your enemy I am willing to help you posting the rest of your 2018 birds; there must be a splendid one on stock to celebrate #650 :) !

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Dave Williams
43 minutes ago, xelas said:

No hard feelings on this side, my birding friends. Being surpassed by The Mentor is a priviledge! Four years ago I have known pigeons,  black bird and small brown birds. Now we have been able to collect 641 different birds ... what more could I ask for?!

@Galana I am looking forward to your #600, and if time is your enemy I am willing to help you posting the rest of your 2018 birds; there must be a splendid one on stock to celebrate #650 :) !

 

Sound sentiments Alex but personally I think you have used the wrong tense. should read "would have been" a privilege.

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Galana
3 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

What, this February?!!

Er, no sorry. February 2020. This thread has taken so much time I lost track of where I was. :)

 

1 hour ago, Dave Williams said:

I think you have used the wrong tense. should read "would have been" a privilege.

Arbitrary but should it not be "would be"? Future tense.

And of course it is always pleasing to see the Apprentice eventual beat the Mentor.

Maybe he can help out with this one I found today:-

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In Bwindi but the long primaries overlapping the tail have me puzzled.

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Galana

Onwards ever onwards.....

Still at Arcadia cottages in Lake Mburo NP. We like this place as it is the most central with wildlife in the grounds. Only three lodges actually inside the NP but many clustered around the edge with a long drive in each time.

A bad rain storm in the morning wrecked out plans as we only had two nights here but  we did get some worthy photos on the one game drive we managed in the late afternoon.

Mburo is an extension of Masai mara/Serengeti eco system so there are similarities with the fauna too.

The lake is 'guaranteed' to yield Finfoot.ad maybe Papyrus Gonalek, Shoebill and other Papyrus specials.

Off we go.

 

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581. Little BeeEater. Lake Mburo,

 

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582. Greater Blue-eared Starling. Lake Mburo NP.

 

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583. Crested Barbet. Lake Mburo.

 

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584. Red-rumped Swallow. Lake Mburo.

 

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585. Nubian Woodpecker. Lake Mburo NP.

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586. Brown Snake-Eagle. Mburo.

 

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587. Western Banded Snake-Eagle. Lake Mburo.

 

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588. Shikra or Little Banded Goshawk. Actually at Papyrus Guest House in Entebbe.

 

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589. Bare-faced GoAway Bird. Lake Mburo NP.

 

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590. Rosy-faced Lovebird. Lake Mburo NP.

 

So there you have it. We are leaving Lake Mburo tomorrow for Entebbe now but it's not over yet..

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Galana

After Lake Mburo we had the drive to Entebbe for our flights home. After a brief stop in Kampala to meet some old friends and a Team Photo....

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we made our way to Entebbe.

 

But the game was not yet played out. We had booked dinner and an overnight in Papyrus Guest House again and they had birds and another species of chameleon to show us.

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000. Side-striped Chameleon.  Papyris GH. Entebbe.

 

And before we go to new birds here as another old friend from home on his holidays too.

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000. Spotted Flycatcher. Lake Mburo NP.

 

Now we move on:-

 

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591. European BeeEater. Lake Mburo NP.

 

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592. Southern Black Flycatcher. Papyrus GH. The two species overlap on the equator in Uganda. I suppose it is something to do with the Coriolis effect.;)

And, whilst 'they think it is all over' is a well known expression in our case it was not.

We now had a morning to explore the renowned birding spot of Entebbe Botanical Gardens n d here are some of the birds that we found:-

 

First up. A firm favourite:-

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593. African Grey Parrot.  Botanical Gardens.  Often seen flying over but here they come to feed on the fruit trees. Nice to see them outside cages.

 

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594. Orange Weaver. Entebbe Botanical Gardens where they nest in the reeds around Lake Victoria.

 

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595. Red-necked Falcon. Botanical Gardens.

 

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596. Golden-backed (Jackson's) Weaver. Botanical Gardens, Entebbe.

 

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597. Village Indigobird. Papyrus GH. Entebbe.

 

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598. Sooty Chat. Entebbe.

 

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599. Grassland Pipit. IN Grassland.

 

And finally and a tad controversial:-

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600. Baltic Gull. Kazinga Channel and all the way from Finland to greet us.

I will stop here for comments before proceeding.

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Zim Girl

An incredible array of birds from Uganda @Galana

Congratulations on hitting the 600!

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Well done on 600. I don't know enough about birds to know why the Baltic Gull is controversial (a bit like a Herring Gull?)

Grey Parrot is lovely.

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Kitsafari

Congrats on hitting the Big 60 so rapidly.

 

that western banded snake eagle is a thing of beauty!

What a huge diversity of birds in uganda.

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Congratulations on reaching the Six-0-0 team! How high can you go?

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michael-ibk

Congratulations Fred, great stuff all the way!

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Dave Williams

600....very impressive!

Baltic Gull  in Uganda , just googled them.Thought it might have been a first Fred.Not too common though.

 

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Galana

Thanks everyone. I raised the tease of the Baltic Gull more for a joke than a point.

Here is the full photo before I 'cut its legs' off.:)

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You can see what I saw when I got home.

It has a very visible ring. C-VOT.

So as I always try to report rings I traced it via the Interweb thingy and submitted the sighting late on 2nd January.

I was really pleased to find a response waiting for me next morning.

1107161263_BirthCert031.jpg.339a83848b08f7ea2af1f0c846f70fe5.jpg

So I not only have a photo but the bird's 'Birth Certificate' to back my ID.

It is of course "just" the Eastern race of Lesser Black-backed Gull to the purists but in the true spirit of this Forum and EBCs I felt it merited a tick.

 

5 hours ago, xelas said:

How high can you go?

Not much further. I do have about six such EBCs but I feel it would be wrong to use them to steal @michael-ibk's Silver medal given the quality of his offerings so I will rest at 600 with a Bronze with apologies to my friend @TonyQ who also put up some lovely images.

But I did give my 'Apprentice' a good run for his money and enjoyed the fun of the challenge and the memories it brought back.

 

Edited by Galana
Corrected text.
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PeterHG

Congatulations on a worthy and thoroughly investigated #600 @Galana ! It's been a joy to follow your Uganda harvest.

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Peter Connan

Congratulations from me as well. Some really stunning birds from central Africa!

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Congratulations! Uganda is firmly on my list for the future! 

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