Bigodi Swamp, (Kibale Forest, Aug 2010)

11 Aug: Birding Bigodi (Wetland Sanctuary) Swamp with local guide Julius 15:25 - 18:30

Boardwalk in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

We started the walk down the main road to start of the actual trail and got pleasantly distracted by some White-throated Bee-eaters with an immature, a new addition to our trip list. There was also the obligatory Vieillot's Black Weaver colony and Speckled Mousebirds with young, Red-billed Firefinches, Yellow-backed Weavers (P. melanocephalus), Common Bulbul, Grey-headed Sparrows, Red-faced Cisticola and a couple of White-headed Saw-wings.

Onto the trail and along the forest we also encountered our 1st primates for the walk, Black & White Colobus and a little further on some Grey-cheeked Mangabey. The birds were oddly only showing themselves in singles this time and we got Green-headed and Olive-bellied Sunbirds, African Thrush, African Shrike Flycatcher (female), Green Pigeon, Great Blue Turaco, Little Greenbul, Purple-headed Starling and a flyover by an African Grey Parrot.

Great Blue Turaco

Into the more forested areas Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher turned up, Black-necked Weaver, African Blue Flycatcher and we heard Grey-crowned Crane (in the distance over the open areas), Papyrus Gonolek (an individual revealed itself later), Green-backed Camaroptera and Tambourine Dove. With open areas on our left and forest and swamp on the right we had a good array of species although flycatcher species were plentiful with Dusky Blue and Cassin's Grey Flycatchers alternating with the African Blue and Red-bellied Paradise Flycatchers. Great Blue Turaco and Black & White Casqued Hornbills were suddenly all over the shop but Buff-throated Apalis, Snowy-crowned Robin-chat and Brown-crowned Tchagra did get their moment on stage.

Wetland view from viewing platform

The area around the viewing platform wasn't overly active but we added Double-toothed Barbet, Pied Wagtail and Bronze Mannikins. From here we went onto the boardwalk that leads through the swampy areas, also where we eventually got a view of Papyrus Gonolek and an even better close view of Yellow-billed Barbet. White-spotted Flufftails were calling but eluded us - this is fast becoming my bogey bird.

On the far side as we made our way back to the sanctuary office, there was Woodland Kingfisher, more Great Blue Turaco, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater and Western Nicator. A pair of Crowned Hornbills was our last sighting although a Red-chested Cuckoo was still calling its heart out. I would love to come back to Bigodi again but do a long morning walk starting just before first light - there just has to be some awesome birds hiding in here.

Black & White Casqued Hornbills


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