Afternoon birding at Chimp's Nest Lodge (Kibale Forest, 9 Aug 10)

9 Aug: birding around property of Chimp's Nest (Lodge) including forest edge, main approach road and adjacent agricultural land. 12:40 - 18:20

View from Chimp's Nest dining area over garden edge toward Kibale Forest
Arriving at the lodge we were very glad to see the property was indeed adjacent to Kibale Forest and there was quite a variety of habitat around which would make for some good birding. Our biggest jaw-dropping moment was the two Acacia trees with colonies of Vieilot's Black Weavers - one tree alone had 50+ nests and weavers were flying to and fro in something that made Heathrow seem like a little backwater airport.

Vieillot's Black Weaver colony

Between getting our room sorted and having lunch, we were birding as well and it was all happening pretty rapidly with the more common being (in addition to the Vieillot's Black Weavers of course) Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Bronze Mannikin (with young), Speckled Mousebirds (with young), African Paradise Flycatcher and Thick-billed Weaver (nesting). A pair of Grey-headed Sparrows had chicks in a nest under the restaurant eaves and a lone Crowned Hornbill briefly perched in one of the garden trees. From the direction of the forest there were the calls of Red-chested Cuckoo, Black & White Casqued H0rnbill, Great Blue and Black-billed Turacos.

Vieillot's Black Weaver (breeding male)

Walking out to the forest edge and the campsite areas was a treat and we found Brown-crowned Tchagra, Red-faced Cisticola, African Harrier-hawk, African Black Swifts, Black-necked and Village Weavers, Pin-tailed Whydah, African Thrush (immature) and the ever present Little Greenbuls. Also good views of Green-headed Sunbirds, Snowy-crowned Robin-chat, Pale-chinned Prinia and White-browed Coucal (that subsequently called every morning at 4:30am!).

The primates could be heard from the forest edge and included Black & White Colobus, Red-tailed Monkey and Grey-cheeked Mangabey.

Compact Weaver

A pair of Compact Weavers were obliging enough to give us prolonged views just before we got some tantalising quick views of an African Pygmy Kingfisher. The fun wasn't over yet and closer to 6pm we got Speckled Tinkerbird, Cardinal Woodpecker, Alpine and Palm Swifts, Woodland Kingfisher and Red-billed Quelea. Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird was calling but remained unseen the afternoon.

Grey-headed Sparrow chick in nest


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