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xelas

@Galana, I am all ready to post our road birding ... but this trip report has to follow some narrative, and I am sure readers will be happy with a change from birds to mammals :).

As in any good scenario, @kittykat23uk knows that some suspension is always good for the storyline :rolleyes:.

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Thinking of our time at Mweya Lodge reminds me of another event that should not pass unrecorded. There is a band of Banded Mongoose to be found in the grounds that can give rise to some unusual e

Boat with Jo and Zvezda took a closer position, but the sun was behind the bird. We have stopped at a distance yet the sun position was more favourable. Then the clicking started. OK, clicking started

As the title is suggesting, there were 7 specials for Zvezda and me during this trip. As the number is not 5, the tale is not about the five travellers in our group; although all of them are special,

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kittykat23uk

Suspension of the trip report does indeed build up the suspense! 😉

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Galana
1 hour ago, kittykat23uk said:

Suspension of the trip report does indeed build up the suspense!

Well somebody needs some suspending. Now where did Emmy keep that rope?

 

I am all ready to cast off on Kazinga and you are in danger of missing the boat!

Edited by Galana
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kittykat23uk

CHIMPANZEE TREK

 

When Fred told me that none of the others were doing the chimp trek, I naturally assumed that @xelas and Zvezda had been to Uganda before and so had already "done" the Chimps. I was pretty sure Fred must have done it, given how many times he has been to Uganda and so I was even more surprised to find that neither Alex nor Zvezda have been to Uganda before. I mean, who would go to Uganda and not want to see it's most iconic primates, the Chimps and Gorillas right? :blink:

 

 

Well I knew that if I was going to go to Uganda I would have to see them, no matter what everyone else was doing, and Fred said it was easily doable with the itinerary he had planned so he kindly got onto Churchill and sorted out the permits. So after checking in at the Kanyanchu Visitor centre at 08.00, doing paperwork etc, we were separated into groups of six with a ranger and of course through a bit of Sherlocking work we find that in my group I am with the ranger Anette, and @ELIL and his wife. Plus three other currently anonymous participants. 

 

We are given a pep talk about what to expect before we embark on our trek. We will have an hour with the Chimps, hopefully. There are hundreds of chimps in the forest, living in groups of between 10-100 individuals but at the time we were there we were warned that they tend to be split into much smaller groups. We need to keep 8m from the chimps. No flash photography is allowed.

 

We were warned that they could be feeding up in the trees, or they could be chilling on the ground. It’s just luck as to how good the sighting is. We were then driven into the forest to start the trek. We saw a lot of people coming out of the forest in the direction we started towards and were initially told that they hadn’t found the chimps yet, but it wasn’t long before Anette found a group of chimps feeding up in the trees and so by 0835 there we were watching our closest primate relatives in the wild! 

 

49641231857_25c555bdb5_b.jpgP2110127 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

Well, these trees were huge and very tall and the chimps were right at the top so we were really only able to catch glimpses of them feeding by craning our necks into very unnatural positions. It got very uncomfortable very quickly and I was starting to worry if this was going to be how our one hour would go.

 

Thankfully by 0847 our luck changed. Having stated his appetite, the alpha male of the group descended from the trees, and headed off into the forest, with one of the younger members in tow. Anette suggested we follow them. This was easier said than done, and, whilst four of us plus Anette were able to keep up with the chimps, @ELIL and his wife fell behind! It wasn’t long before Anette realised we were two short of our group and she advised us to keep following the chimps whilst she doubled back for the others. 

 

49641231652_e51874d4d8_b.jpgP2110193 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641231432_af3d3c5076_b.jpgP2110232 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49659258497_9b990c02b2_b.jpgP2110241 (4) copy Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

Unfortunately, the two chimps disappeared over a log into some dense vegetation and before we knew it we could no longer see them. When the others caught up with us Anette suggested we return to the ones in the trees. So we did, but then Anette got word from some other rangers that a group of Chimps had been found resting on the forest floor. We had a bit of a trek to find them, to be honest I have no idea how they navigate in the forest, but they do! We arrived at about 0945 and were instantly surrounded by chimpanzees, and people photographing chimpanzees, since I guess they were the only show in town, so everyone out that day had descended on the same group.  They were spread out, some lone animals sitting around, others resting and grooming and a few also still feeding up in the trees. They pretty much just looked at us with expressions of total boredom on their faces. 

 

49640955736_d1489eb410_b.jpgP2110272 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641231022_6582e78e25_b.jpgP2110278 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640954736_afc499f6cb_c.jpg

P2110333 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641229692_d0ea842c82_b.jpgP2110380 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641229517_a26267fda7_b.jpgP2110390 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640953056_81fb85ef31_b.jpgP2110425 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

 

 

49641227572_eb192a5827_c.jpg

P2110478 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640428958_547f83567c_b.jpgP2110504 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640428528_3596baa29e_c.jpg

P2110548 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640950331_0856efefbd_b.jpgP2110574 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640949881_a164c5b0d6_b.jpgP2110606 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640427338_d82b67bcc6_b.jpgP2110613 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640426793_ccc394d73b_b.jpgP2110642 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641223737_785e74b4b6_b.jpgP2110666 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640425633_dbf39072fc_c.jpg

P2110673 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641222582_1db706c5c5_c.jpg

P2110719 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641222267_61dbfa43d5_c.jpg

P2110731 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640424153_85abcdf259_b.jpgP2110738 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641221467_6ca87a9cb1_b.jpgP2110745 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641221222_1148cec84e_b.jpgP2110755 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640422638_b3439fc152_b.jpgP2110773 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641219897_f56a4ce97b_b.jpgP2110784 Chimpanzee foot by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641219687_05221838d8_b.jpgP2110787 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641219477_56720975e7_b.jpgP2110792 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640421363_8ddbb128fb_b.jpgP2110801 Chimpanzee by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

I had a wonderful time, touring the individuals and groups, observing, taking snapshots and a bit of footage. Each chimp was quite distinctive. I found them very characterful, some looked like grumpy old men.  Towards the end of the hour a female in heat caused quite a stir among the hotheaded males, and I had one memorable moment when the alpha chimp ran right by me hooting loudly as he chased off a rival male! Unfortunately it was nearly eleven by this point and time for us to let the chimps have some privacy. And so we left these captivating creatures and headed back to the forest track where Emmy was waiting for me.  


49640421198_cbeaeca1ec_b.jpgP2110807 female Chimpanzee in heat by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

Video of some of the chimps

 

 

Edited by kittykat23uk
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xelas

Who needs to stumble through dense jungle with such wonderful reports !

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Looks like @kittykat23uk and I do not only have many chimp photos in common, but had the same thoughts during the first part of the trecking when we did see them only up in the trees. But when the alpha male decided to come down, the action started. I was very close to tree he came down and was surprised how fast he went down the tree. And from this close range the alpha male was much bigger and muscular than I expected. And he was really fast on the ground as well. When our guide said "Lets follow him" I turned around to look for Ghada, but could not find her. Since she is not able to run or even to walk fast on such a ground, I wanted to close the gap between her and the rest of the group. The rest of the group run past my position followed by another chimp who apparently wanted to follow the alpha male. But no sight of Ghada. But at least I could hear her and found her soon. As I feared when the run after the chimps started, this terrain was too difficult for her to keep up with the speed. And she was a little bit scared for a moment when more chimps appeared next to her, shouting and  running past her to follow the alpha male.  I think this whole episode did not last much more than one minute until we were with the group again and enjoyed the rest of the time with the chimps.

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BRACQUENE

Sorry to respond so late on a truly fantastic TR @xelas but my safaritalk activities have been on a serious hold the last few days by the Corona virus that has hit my country in his heart but those Uganda bird pictures make my day I can assure you !

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xelas

@BRACQUENE I am flattered that you took some of your precious free time to read my (our) trip report. Situation in Europe is worsening, and I can only imagine the stress on those who has to make decisions.

Lucky to be (freshly) unemployed at the moment, I have confined myself to self-isolation of our home from when returning from Uganda. That gives me time to do this report on time.

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Galana
4 hours ago, kittykat23uk said:

Took me a while, by looking at her feet, to work out which end was which. Luckily I don't have that problem often.

 

Happy to have arranged that for you Jo and pleased it went well.

 

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Awesome Chimp photo's :) 

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Kitsafari

you are right @kittykat23uk , they looked thoroughly bored looking at the human species! but how awesome to be able to watch them. doesn't sound like your group had a strenous trek. 

 

 

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BRACQUENE

@kittykat23uk

 

And of course my appreciation goes for your part in this TR as well !

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kittykat23uk

Thanks all! Well, chimps aren't the only animals to be seen in Kibale and the surrounding areas. On the way back to the lodge for lunch we sopteed more Schmidt's red-tailed monkeys and a party of baboons. 

 

49640420623_0cddd6df4e_b.jpgP2110817 P2090687 Schmidt's red-tailed monkey  Cercopithecus ascanius schmidti by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640420368_cc70431f1f_b.jpgP2110859 P2090687 Schmidt's red-tailed monkey  Cercopithecus ascanius schmidti by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640942471_5af59456d7_b.jpgP2110901 Olive baboon ;Papiocynocephalus anubis by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

We returned to the lodge for lunch. Afterwards people did their own thing, either having a nap, or exploring the grounds. It gets pretty hot being so close to the equator, so birding between the hours of 1100 and 1500 can be quite uncomfortable,  but not really being one for naps,  I still spent some time looking for birds, trying to keep to the shade where I could. Sadly I didn't connect with that superb sunbird!

 

49640419723_cf138acdd1_c.jpg

P2111020  Speckled Mousebird (Colius striatus) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640941956_ab87869bb9_b.jpgP2111033 scarlet-chested sunbird (Chalcomitra senegalensis) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640941746_89a17c7a1c_b.jpgP2111043 Yellow-fronted Canary (Crithagra mozambica) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640419133_e921f00058_b.jpgP2111063 Northern Grey-headed Sparrow (Passer griseus) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640418888_88fea53496_b.jpgP2111079 Bronze Sunbird (Nectarinia kilimensis) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641216467_ba39315c7d_b.jpgP2111115 pin-tailed whydah (Vidua macroura) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640418448_b7c78fd716_b.jpgP2111136  little swift (Apus affinis) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640418193_d633c9c707_b.jpgP2111143 Lesser Striped Swallow (Cecropis abyssinica) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640940406_8934c48abe_b.jpgP2111148 Violet-backed Starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

When the heat got too much, I retreated to my balcony, but there we still birds to see.

 

49641215572_849553d74b_b.jpgP2111178 African Pied Wagtail (Motacilla aguimp) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640940016_8d1bc58d12_b.jpgP2111184 Blue-spotted Wood Doves (Turtur afer) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

We were going to meet up to head out for birding along the road at 3pm. We didn't get far though as the double-toothed barbets were nesting in the trees right above our car. Zvezda and I couldn't resist snapping a few shots. What awesome looking birds these are!

 

49640939801_eca84377b9_c.jpg

P2111256 Double-toothed Barbet (Pogonornis bidentatus) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49641214847_b940cfccd4_c.jpg

P2111294 Double-toothed Barbet (Pogonornis bidentatus) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

49640939136_091087fd8b_b.jpgP2111306 Double-toothed Barbet (Pogonornis bidentatus) by Jo Dale, on Flickr

 

 

 

Edited by kittykat23uk
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Soukous
15 hours ago, kittykat23uk said:

who would go to Uganda and not want to see it's most iconic primates, the Chimps and Gorillas

 

Me :rolleyes:

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Soukous

I should also say that I am happy @kittykat23uk is not participating in BY as it would mean yet another person is way ahead of me. 

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xelas

KIBALE ROAD BIRDING

 

 

Years ago when this was still a gravel road, and traffic was slower, the section of the road that goes through part of Kibale Forest NP was prime birding destination. It has remained very much the same also after the road was paved. Only that now us birders we have to be careful not to forget about those passing by vehicles. Luckily traffic was only sporadic. And birding was excellent!

 

379858901_UGN103.JPG.c2b5f3e4882600b61799593019d6bdb4.JPG

 

504284354_UGN104.JPG.acf5b5c2145cf52e04dfd466b8fc19a5.JPG

 

1626433854_UGN105.JPG.dbff87a07eb721e970b9e7a2bc6af44a.JPG

 

1044772690_UGN106.JPG.faa9ec404341b070d76489b130c1e87d.JPG

 

 

After leaving Jo to have her close encounter of the chimp kind, Emmy took us to have our roadside birding. Vegetation is dense but sun was up and birds were attracted by sunrays. The edge of the forest was close enough for some excellent sightings, and in the morning the sun was behind our backs. Here below is a sample to give you an overview of what birders can expect.

 

BLACK-AND-WHITE MANNIKIN

539371501_UGN107.JPG.6f4d94b034d832545ae498d8284b5a3a.JPG

 

SPECKLED TINKERBIRD

2125938118_UGN108.JPG.68aaed958942cc46fa8f7f9d6179600b.JPG

 

OLIVE-BELLIED SUNBIRD

1823323855_UGN109.JPG.9cce55f108447197e53d7011a9af8665.JPG

 

COMMON BULBUL

130625605_UGN110.JPG.8ba53a3d9cf188a1327f6825ccbc1ba6.JPG

 

VIEILLOT’S BLACK WEAVER

1567813611_UGN111.JPG.b8764f30f03cf8d687a891450e80e536.JPG

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xelas

Suddenly, a small blue shinning bird flew over the road to our side. Emmy first then Fred got all excited, starting to take photos. Quickly also Zvezda joined the spectacle!

 

SHINNING-BLUE KINGFISHER

2138472784_UGN112.JPG.0f6aca84462176c25f242e81a798196d.JPG

 

18420452_UGN113.JPG.21342aab7c716c41d7dbe4db5c82b5df.JPG

 

1983049048_UGN114.JPG.72c16b7651a412fdf85c03525e04d3ae.JPG

 

122159279_UGN115.JPG.0866b4473b573eeaed6b7c7e2821816b.JPG

 

796230326_UGN116.JPG.4a83e7ae150f09f78ba33a22c1c57440.JPG

 

When Fred got excited, and he is a regular visitor to Uganda and that part of Africa in general, then the bird must be a Special one.

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xelas

To calm the nerves down and to let cameras to cool off, we have changed the subject, from birds to monkeys.

 

OLIVE BABOON

800754407_UGN117.JPG.c557cee3fb538d940c9ff01a8a05fda9.JPG

 

1837364832_UGN118.JPG.2d672d13a0a354438051af2a0d6dfb4b.JPG

 

1325667717_UGN119.JPG.6f17f321d34f6d756fb8a5c9a2bb42d3.JPG

 

442181784_UGN120.JPG.6a25c70d6215f10680a997d999153fd4.JPG

 

 

RED-TAILED MONKEY

1257736077_UGN121.JPG.06e8082529c4feda0d9fc7390c12b622.JPG

 

1657558144_UGN122.JPG.8a09b514ced323c9d091a6bd6e6c26dd.JPG

 

BLACK-AND-WHITE COLOBUS

1007619571_UGN123.JPG.765d7de9a205ad9bd59b7f8df5c3dff1.JPG

 

618257444_UGN124.JPG.c6ebc9c1e62c7d3d1e722338986d2f89.JPG

 

366941585_UGN125.JPG.d81e9a55b14b8d402a483ec889927777.JPG

 

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xelas

In the afternoon, after we have had a lunch and a cold beer at the lodge, we have returned to that same location, for more birds and monkeys. This time sun was not on our side. But luck was. At least for Jo. A few more regulars from Kibale Forest.

 

 

CASSIN’S GREY FLYCATCHER

310858272_UGN126.JPG.df4e56e41bd5ef0de84d85f4ea2121ab.JPG

 

CHESTNUT WATTLE-EYE

1624429382_UGN127.JPG.4b1d63d18e22d442a5e0db310c54b270.JPG

 

HAIRY-BREASTED BARBET

1206612088_UGN128.JPG.61a547675e8d9cc2be73426abb251982.JPG

 

AFRICAN DUSKY FLYCATCHER

1956001072_UGN129.JPG.49678ed35bed362e417ec92379065d0c.JPG

 

AFRICAN CROWNED EAGLE

1186872550_UGN130.JPG.a2d12d88a80a3b8c5f3d7cfd40ea7ede.JPG

 

1240102813_UGN131.JPG.6957326af742815eb9fbb26f7ef621b2.JPG

 

Also seen were many monkeys, mostly baboons. Plus first sighting of another Old World moneky.

 

UGANDA MANGABAY

873337236_UGN132.JPG.17596828c21f1cdaa52ccf62e61c3ef8.JPG

 

75993506_UGN133.JPG.7155b36f90ef9bc376cfd91444cd0669.JPG

 

This was a day filled with special encounters. In hindsight, at least one of us (Zvezda or me) should join Jo on the chimp trek. It did not looked very demanding, topography wise. Oh well, something has to be to left behind, for next visit.

Edited by xelas
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Peter Connan

Stunning sightings and photos all round!

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Soukous

Wonderful photos, and a Bulbul too! 

 

 

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xelas
31 minutes ago, Soukous said:

Wonderful photos, and a Bulbul too! 

 

you see, Alex can do also other things beside taking photos of bathrooms :D.

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janzin
4 hours ago, Soukous said:

 

Me :rolleyes:

 

Me too :) I have a (illogical, maybe pathological I know!) real aversion to monkeys of any kind. Sort of like people's aversion to clowns. But I am loving the birds.  And like @kittykat23uk I am not one for naps and will go out birding in a safari camp, even in the heat of the midday when my other half is napping. I didn't travel all that way to nap :)

 

(ps I should clarify...not one for napping on safari. At home, I love to nap ;)

 

Edited by janzin
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TonyQ

Excellent photos. Great views of the Chimpanzees, and beautiful birds.

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