Birding at Bujagali Falls, Jinja (UGANDA)

Last week I spent a few days in Bujagali Falls where I stayed at Nile River Explorers. Located outside Jinja town, this area is not only the hub for kayaking and white-water rafting activities but also provides a great diversity in bird species. For those keen on the more obvious of insects, dragonflies and butterflies, there's a host of species and rather easy photo opportunities.

I didn't need to go far for some impressive sightings with the highlight probably the not often seen migrant Common/European Cuckoo although seeing the African Grey Parrots (photo on right) virtually everyday is always a special is my book. There was widespread evidence of successful breeding with immatures everywhere with adults, the most notable being the number of young with some pairs of Scarlet-chested Sunbirds who have clearly had a good breeding season. Red-chested Sunbirds were busy nesting in one of the large acacia trees. The Collared Sunbird pair also had one youngster with them.

Migrants in addition to the cuckoo were seen regularly with European Bee-eaters flying over, Olivaceous Warblers foraging in the acacia trees and a couple of sightings of Common Sandpipers in the eddy below the camp.

As far as numbers go the Long-tailed and Great Cormorants top as usual followed by the Sand Martins who appeared occasionally in flocks varying between 40 and 100. Although common, the Black Kites and Pied Crow never come close in numbers to the Cormorants and Martins. At one stage the Openbill Storks were around 20 birds with some soaring and others perched near the river.

Birds of prey are always great here with the most prominent (and verbal) being the African Fish Eagles. Long-crested Eagle and African Harrier-hawk made brief appearances overhead as did a Shikra (Little Banded Goshawk). A Lizard Buzzard perched close to the viewing deck with some prey and offered a great photo opportunity, albeit through the leaves and branches - not unlike the skulking but loud Black-headed Gonoleks.

Black-headed Gonolek

Other species seen here; Eastern Plantain-eater, Yellow White-eye, Little and Baglafecht Weavers, African Blue Flycatcher, Little Egret, Lesser Striped-Swallow, Grey-backed Camaroptera, African Darter and Black-headed Heron.
Eastern Plantain-Eater


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