NW Tanzania - Minziro Forest (1)

The next morning started early with some birds at the place we stayed with loads of Village Indigobirds, Lesser Striped Swallows and White-rumped Swifts. Next to the bridge over the Akagera River there was a Black-headed Heron breeding colony with at least 3 chicks in evidence. The trip to the forest got us yet some more Broad-billed Rollers, Bronze Sunbird, White-headed Saw-wing, Woodland Kingfisher and some Grey-back Fiscals.

A cracking sighting was a
Moustached and a Broad-tailed Warbler displaying almost alongside each other. Scarlet-chested Sunbird was our next sunbird for the list. We were trying to push on to meet the forest guide for our walk but we were being distracted so much, especially by FIVE Great Blue Turacos having a bath next to the road - they scampered off too quick though for the amazing photo it would've made.

Eventually setting off on foot to the forest from a hill, we were descending about 150m through tall grass and past some Ankole cattle

The clouds were looking rather threatening so we hurried on past the Pin-tailed Whydah,
Black-crowned Waxbill, Black & white and Bronze Mannikins. Blue-spotted Wood Dove was calling and Baglafecht Weaver, Tambourine Dove and Yellow-fronted Canary made brief appearances.

The first rain-drops were felt as we entered the forest and it started to rain and while trying to shelter (unsuccessfully) a
Red-tailed Ant-thrush showed itself obligingly. The forest was dense and very wet and muddy and sadly rather quiet due to the rain.

A brief respite in the weather got us walking further and a very young, fluffy
Wood Owl made its appearance, staring at us in what seemed to be irritated shock.
Crowned and B&W Casqued Hornbills were around as was an African Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Little Greenbuls and Red-chested Cuckoo. At the forest edge we found a little shelter from the now pouring rain but very soon left it due to its other steroid mozzie inhabitants which would cover one's clothes and/or bare arm in seconds! This also gives a bit of perspective of the forest canopy height.
We set off uphill out of the forest and as we progressed, the rain stopped - naturally! More rain was settling in over the forest further away but we had some great vistas to enjoy.

Akagera River winding its way through the forest on its way to Lake Victoria

The drive back (it was past midday already) wasn't uneventful with a lovely close sighting of a Blue-spotted Wood Dove and a lifer with White-headed Barbet - the latter gave me a chance for a record shot at least.

In town the market was in full swing as well - photo taken as we drove past

Lunch and a couple of Kilimanjaro beers got us in relax mode for a couple of hours before we set off back to the forest, determined to walk the stretch we had driven through about 3 times now.


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