Birding in Buhoma, (2) Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)

African Dusky Flycatcher

The afternoon at the lodge was not wasted with stacks of species coming through and/or flitting about here and at the adjacent UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) offices. Olive-bellied and Northern Double-collared Sunbirds seemed frantic in their search for nectar whilst the Bronze Mannikins, Bronze Sunbirds, Vieillot's, Baglafecht and Black-billed Weavers were all working on their nests. Brown-capped Weaver was rather active but there were no obvious indications of nesting.

Luhder's and Bocage's Bush-shrikes were calling constantly in competition with the Black Cuckoo (later sightings confirmed it as the gabonensis race) and Speckled Tinkerbird. Around the UWA offices the Blue-spotted Wood Dove (photo on right), African Dusky (photo above) and White-tailed Blue Flycatchers were posing for photos. Red-capped Robin-chat made a brief appearance but refused to pose long enough for a 'good' photo. The lunchtime line-up was completed by Cape Wagtail, Cabani's and Cameroon Sombre Greenbuls, Black-necked Weaver, Yellow White-eye, Tambourine Dove and Thick-billed Seedeater.

The afternoon walk (all along the same trail as in the morning) kicked off with a proverbial heavy-weight in the form a very obliging Bar-tailed Trogon, (photo below) even allowing for photographs and more time for other birders to join in the great views. This was only beaten by yet another Bar-tailed Trogon 10 minutes later perching along the trail!

Our sightings of cuckoos weren't over, however brief, as an Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo flew over our heads (was this the one that flew over the cuckoo's nest??) after much and constant calling, as they do! It only got better with an Olive Sunbird appearing and a great view of a nesting Red-tailed Greenbul followed by Narrow-tailed and Waller's Starlings, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Grey-throated Barbets and White-headed Wood-hoopoes - the latter 2 species in close proximity to each other. The Black-billed Turaco was calling from some trees but seemed adamant that it would remain hidden from Byron.

Bar-tailed Trogon

African Shrike Flycatcher was a welcome addition to our lists with an African Broadbill displaying, ending the walk on a very high note. Relaxing stroll uphill to the showers before dinner was interrupted by a cracking view of Ross' Turaco - never a dull bird at the best of times!

The next morning kicked off with pretty much the shed load of species mentioned before, around the lodge. We did add some of the more "common" species to the list like Grey-capped Warbler, Red-billed Firefinches with young and Black-crowned Waxbills. Early morning bonus was the Bocage's Bush-shrike that was out and about with a juvenile and only bettered (relatively speaking of course) by a fantastic view of an African Wood Owl at the Buhoma Homestead (thanks to the lodge staff for kindly allowing us to go and see & photograph it).

African Wood Owl

Entering the forest on our now 'known' trail, was like running into nature's own peak hour traffic with L'Hoest's Monkeys all over the place, another brilliant sighting of Black-fronted Duiker and Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo calling. We heard at least 3 African Broadbills displaying (sightings eluded us today) and then a Buff-throated Apalis provided an eyeful after which the huge, slightly ungainly but great Great Blue Turacos, 5 of them, made an entrance. Red-tailed Monkeys and Red-legged Sun Squirrels added to the mammal activities.

During this all, Dusky Tits and a pair of Petit's Cuckoo-shrikes showed well and a Black-throated Apalis added itself to the warblers list which was built on again with better views of Black-throated Rufous Warbler and Red-faced Woodland Warbler. Not to be outdone, Equatorial Akalat and Mountain Illadopsis showed up but a calling Scaly-breasted Illadopsis pointedly refused to make itself visible to us mere humans.

The award for the show of the day goes to the magnificent Purple-breasted Sunbirds feeding in the sun, highlighting their spectacular array of colours. Nobly trying to compete were the Green-throated, Collared and Olive-bellied Sunbirds with another pair of Petit's Cuckoo-shrikes watching from a distance. An Olive-green Camaroptera started calling and obligingly showed itself although not long enough at a time for photos. Black & White Colobus monkeys were calling deeper inside the forest.

After a Red-throated Alethe and a Yellow-backed Duiker made sure we had good views, we set ourselves down for a lunch snack.

Yellow-backed Duiker


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