2 - 15 / 25 September 2022
by János Oláh
Tanzania is a fascinating country for birds and wildlife! Our tour is a very special one with most of the birding time spent in African mountain forests. Although birding in such forests can be challenging, seeing some of the rarest birds of Africa is definitely a great and rewarding experience! The aim of this unique tour is to find the great majority of Tanzania’s eastern specialities, including those that require camping in remote areas. In 2022 we visited the South Pare, West and East Usambara, Uluguru, Udzungwa, Rubeho and Ukaguru Mountains. The tour was divided into a main tour without camping and an extension to some superb areas that are very much off-the-beaten-track but require camping. We also made a short visit to Mikumi National Park, the Kilombero floodplain and the small island of Pemba to see its very special birds. This is definitely ‘The Other Tanzania’, far from the well-known safari route from Kilimanjaro to Serengeti, but the area where, by far, the greatest concentration of Tanzania’s endemic and other speciality birds occur.
Tanzania holds a total of 36 endemic bird species and many more endemic subspecies, as well as other near-endemics. Our 2022 tour was really successful in terms of specialty birds as we managed to see 21 endemic birds on the main tour and adding 8 more on the extension. We also had 13 endemic subspecies on the main tour and again an additional 8 on the extension. We recorded 469 bird species on this tour with only 11 heard-only’s, and 56 species were only seen on the extension. We also had 45 species of mammals. Tracking down the elusive Spot-throat was a major highlight as it is a much-wanted bird for our participants being the ‘most easily available’ species of the family. Other iconic and sought-after birds on the main tour included Pemba Scops Owl, Racket-tailed Roller, Böhm’s Bee-eater, Dickinson’s Kestrel, Uluguru Bushshrike, Fülleborn’s Boubou, Green-headed Oriole, Cinnamon-breasted Tit, Mountain Tiny Greenbul, Kretschmer’s Longbill, Kilombero and White-tailed Cisticolas – which are both described now as new species – Livingstone’s Flycatcher, Chapin’s Apalis, Winifred’s Warbler, Long-billed and Red-capped Forest Warblers, South Pare and Pemba White-eyes, Tanzania Illadopsis, Usambara Hyliota, Kenrick’s Starling, Usambara Thrush, White-chested Alethe, Sharpe’s and Usambara Akalats, Collared Palm Thrush, Bertram’s, Usambara, Ruvu and Kilombero Weavers as well as Oriole Finch. We also had a remarkable selection of special sunbirds on this tour like Uluguru Violet-backed, Banded Green, Golden-winged, Usambara and Forest Double-collared, Pemba, Moreau’s, Loveridge, Western Miombo and Hoffman’s Sunbirds.
The definite highlights of the extension were seeing the mythical Udzungwa and Rubeho Forest Partridges. The latter was a new bird for Birdquest and it was nice to hear the original story of discovery from our superb local guide Elia. The Udzungwa Forest Partridge was discovered in 1991 and it was a major news in the birding world then. Later, a second population was found in the Rubeho Mountains and it was first believed to be a distinctive subspecies but it has now been elevated to full species status. The supporting cast was also remarkable on the extension with Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill, African Broadbill, White-winged Apalis, Dapple-throat, Ashy Starling, Olive-flanked Ground Robin, Swynnerton’s Robin, Rubeho and Iringa Akalats, Rufous-winged and Whyte’s Double-collared Sunbirds. Plus, we also managed to see the recently discovered ‘Rubeho Green’ Sunbird which is still undescribed.
Out tour started in Kilimanjaro Airport and after a morning arrival we wasted no time to get out on the field. We were heading east towards the South Pare Mountains but, on the way, we have visited a dry habitat where we had our introductory birding with a good selection of special birds. Although some of these birds could be familiar for those who has been birding in Kenya before but nevertheless there were some new birds for all the participants. The best birds we managed to find included White-headed Mousebird, Red-and-yellow and D’Arnaud’s Barbets, Pygmy Batis, Pringle’s Puffback, Red-fronted Prinia, Tsavo and Black-bellied Sunbirds, Taveta Weaver, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu as well as Southern Grosbeak and White-bellied Canaries. It was dark by the time we arrived at our hotel and a proper night sleep was much needed after all the travels.
A little pre-breakfast foray in the garden next morning produced two Small-eared Greater Galagos but no birds. We were soon on our way towards the South Pare Mountains where we had to climb high on very basic roads to reach the Chome Forest Reserve. A few roadside stops on the way produced White-eared and Spot-flanked Barbets, Grey-headed and Orange-breasted Bushshrikes, East Coast Boubou, Bare-eyed Thrush, Southern Black Flycatcher as well as Cape and Red-capped Robin-chats. It was late morning we arrived at the required elevation and we soon found our main target a few South Pare White-eyes along a forest track. But the area was really birdy and we managed to see Hartlaub’s Turaco, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Olive Woodpecker, local Mountain and Stripe-faced Greenbuls, the endemic pareensis race of Bar-throated Apalis, the stirelingi race of African Hill Babbler, the helleri race of White-starred Robin, stunning male Golden-winged Sunbird and our first Usambara Double-collared Sunbirds of the tour as well as Red-faced Crimsonwings. We even got lucky and managed to see Usambara Thrush which is a tricky one to see! Delighted with our success we left the mountains and made our way towards the West Usambara Mountains.
After a civilized breakfast at our friendly hotel, we made our way to the Magamba Forest Reserve. Our birding started at the edge of the forest and as the sunshine started to warm up the mountain forest bird activity was really good. We soon found Shelley’s, Placid and Stripe-faced Greenbuls while a Red-capped Forest Warbler was playing hide-and-seek until it gave us some great looks. A male Oriole Finch was a real bonus and Black-fronted Bushshrike was also seen well. Crowned Eagle was heard frequently calling and we saw it in the sky a few times during the day, even displaying. Walking the forest track we heard some distant Spot-throats and most of the morning was spent looking for this ground dweller and his friend, the Usambara Akalat. Somehow the dry forest was not giving up these skulkers though, and only a few of us managed a brief glimpse of the akalat after hours of search. However, with persistence we did find Fülleborn’s Boubou, Mountain Tiny Greenbul and a pair of the rare Usambara Weavers. The endemic Swynnerton’s Bush Squirrel was also seen very well. Early next morning we visited a more secluded valley with really dense vegetation and there were several singing Spot-throats along the track. We even had a small ant-swarm where in the dim morning light White-chested Alethe, Usambara Akalat and Spot-throat were all present as well as yet another Usambara Thrush. But life is not so easy, and not everybody got views of all the shy skulkers so the rest of the day was also spent cleaning up for all. It gave us the chance to see as many as six Spot-throats during the day and at one stage we had two males singing to each other at close range. Great! A few more birds were seen while peering into the undergrowth all day such as the usambarae race of Evergreen Forest Warbler, Forest Batis and Yellow-streaked Greenbul. The mammal highlight was seeing the gorgeous Black-and-rufous Sengi or Elephant Shrew!
Next day we left the West Usambara Mountains after a morning session in the higher elevation. A stop in the dryer habitat along the lower slopes gave us a few goodies like Brown-breasted Barbets, Pale Batis, Grey-olive Greenbul and East Coast Boubou but the hoped-for Striped Pipit was not located. On the way towards the East Usambara we had a roadside lunch stop by a ‘wetland’ area which was thoroughly dry but a showy Coastal Cisticola was the only one for the tour! Upon arriving to the Eastern Usambara Mountains we had some time to do birding on the lower parts of the Amani Nature Reserve. Activity was not at its peak but eventually we came across a flock which gave us Green Malkoha, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Little Yellow Flycatcher and a stunning male Narina’s Trogon. Slightly higher up the mountain we tracked down the rather rare Usambara Hyliota as two birds were seen on the top of a flowering tree. We also had here Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbirds and party of three Black-and-white Shrike-flycatchers. It was dark by the time we rolled into our tented camp higher up the mountain. After dinner we had chocolate-coloured Derby’s Anomalure or Flying Squirrel but no sign of the vosseleri race of the Fraser’s Eagle Owl which used to be a separate species, the Usambara Eagle Owl.
We were up well before down and walked the forest track in search of the Fraser’s Eagle Owl which was heard calling rather distantly after much of standing in the dark. We changed position a few times but never got closer to the birds though African Wood Owl was seen. We were soon back to camp for a breakfast where we had African Golden and Green-headed Orioles singing above our restaurant table allowing good looks. We were soon off to explore the Amani Nature Reserve for a few goodies as we had only one full day for this fantastic area. Our number one target was the critically endangered Long-billed Forest Warbler and we were very lucky as found a pair on our first trial and had wonderful views. Next target was a more skulking bird, the Kretschmer’s Longbill and indeed it was not easy to locate one and took plenty of time to see it. But we all got it and started to look for the recently split Tanzania Illadopsis. Wow this bird proved to be though! Just as things would have been on an increasing level of difficulty. It took us four attempts of different birds and plenty of time, and by the end almost everybody managed to see it. In the late afternoon we had enough of bushwhacking and concentrated on finding the Banded Green and Amani Sunbirds. Spending time at various flowering trees gave us great looks of male and female Banded Green, Uluguru Violet-backed and Purple-banded Sunbirds but not a sniff of Amani Sunbird. Other notable birds were Scarce Swift, Kenrick’s Starling and Little Rush Warbler. We were back to the area where we heard the owls at pre-dawn and waited well into the dark without any success.
Next morning, we tried again to locate the Fraser’s Eagle Owl pre-dawn but it remained heard-only again. A pair was heard calling in deep forest but they not moved anywhere and we could not cross the river. So that was it unfortunately and dawn quickly arrived. After we left camp, we tried yet another forest track where finally we all connected with Tanzania Illadopsis as well as Red-tailed Ant Thrush while on our way down from the mountain, we found Ayre’s Hawk Eagle and a distant Southern Banded Snake Eagle – only identified from images high up in the sky. Lunch stop gave us Green Tinkerbird and a male Plain-backed Sunbird. We had to leave this fantastic area and travel to Dar es-Salaam. It was a long drive but we managed two short birding stops giving us a few more goodies like Böhm’s Bee-eater and Ruvu Weaver! In the evening our fancy seaside resort was rather noisy after the tented camp of the East Usambara.
Pemba Island! Still in darkness we left the hotel – after some baggage issues – and drove to the airport where coffee and toasted sandwiches were welcome before our short flight to Pemba via Zanzibar. On arrival our local driver and guide was waiting and we started our drive to the northern part of the island. A few stops along the way produced Yellow-collared Lovebird, Dickinson’s Kestrels, Olive Bee-eaters and great looks of the endemic Pemba White-eye and Pemba Sunbird. Well, half the job done, two out of the four endemics seen! We drove to our seaside resort for lunch and sea watching which produced the best fish dish of the tour and at least one White-cheeked Tern. Our hotel ground also had African Goshawk of the endemic pembaensis race and more Pemba White-eyes and Pemba Sunbirds. In the afternoon we birded in a nearby forest in search of the Pemba Green Pigeon which is definitely the most difficult of the island’s endemics. We have been looking at various stake-outs for the species in the afternoon but no success at all. A small wetland gave us Malagasy Pond Heron and a migrant Eleonora’s Falcon. We were inside Ngezi Forest by dusk and Mangrove Kingfisher was heard not much before Pemba Scops Owl started calling nearby. We easily had good looks of this special endemic bird and was happy to return for some well-deserved sleep. We were out early morning in search for the green pigeon. The first location drew a blank but a singing pair of Mangrove Kingfisher was a great bonus! Eventually after many hours of search we had two fly by Pemba Green Pigeons in the perfect light. What it was a relief! Needless to say, we found two perched individuals in our hotel garden when we returned for packing. It was time to leave but, on the way back to the airport, we checked out a large Pemba Flying Fox roost site with thousands of individuals. We flew back to Dar and the rest of the afternoon was spent on the busiest road towards Morogoro.
We had the toughest climb of the main tour next day in the Uluguru Mountains in search of the endangered Uluguru Bushshrike which has an estimated population of around 2000 individuals. It was an all-day operation, starting with a bumpy drive to a remote village and then a trail up to the ridge. The first section took us through forest edge and grassy habitat where we found Moustached Grass Warbler and Bertram’s Weavers. We gradually climbed into superb mountain forest and started to look for our main target. We picked up a few goodies like Livingstone’s Turaco, Dark Batis, Bar-tailed Trogon and fine male Loveridge’s Sunbird. The search for the bushshrike was a slow process and a patience game but eventually we located one individual in a mixed flock, and we all got good looks! On our slow descent back to the car we had a fine Sharpe’s Akalat and back in the hotel the beer tasted great that night! On our second day we had a morning session in the Bunduki area of the Uluguru Nature Reserve where we got a superb Winifred’s Warbler and more Bertram’s Weavers before continuing to Hondo Hondo. We still had a little time to explore around the camp and managed to find Magpie Mannikins in a big manikin flock. Our planned night outing to look for owls was eventually not possible as the particular forest patch where we wanted to go had huge number of elephants due to the drought.
Early next morning a short drive took us to the Kilombero Floodplain which is home to a few special birds. We were in search for two endemic cisticolas – which were eventually described to science just in 2021 – as well as an endemic weaver. The floodplain of the Kilombero River was rather dry with some pools around where masses of egrets were aggregating. We had a large flock of mixed herons and egrets where we also picked up a Black Heron and also a Rufous-bellied Heron. Finding all three endemics were straightforward and we had excellent looks of the distinctive cisticolas and even seeing them displaying! We also had many Kilombero Weavers though they were all in non-breeding plumage. Identification was straightforward, however. Other interesting birds were also seen such as the endemic songweensis race of the Coppery-tailed Coucal and suahelicus race of Common Reed Warbler. The river itself gave us White-crowned Lapwing. After this morning birding we were back to camp for breakfast and just as we left Hondo Hondo three Udzungwa Red Colobus were found, a great mammal lifer for all! We were travelling in the heat of the day and birded dry miombo habitat in the afternoon with a great set of special birds! Best birds of the afternoon were Speckle-throated Woodpecker, Brown-necked Parrot, Cinnamon-breasted Tit, Miombo Blue-eared Starling, Arnot’s Chat and Hofmann’s Sunbird. Our luxurious lodge produced outstanding evening meal with a superb Banana Banoffee.
Our last full day of the tour was spent in the Mikumi National Park where we were still in search of some remaining miombo birds as well as some other goodies. It was a long day on the field with well over 100 bird species seen plus we also had several Lions and Hippos in amongst the 17 species of mammals seen. There were many goodies but as experience perhaps the obliging male Harlequin Quail and Common Buttonquail almost side by side was top although the displaying male Racket-tailed Rollers were close contenders. Plus, we should not forget the hunt for the Red-throated Twinspots which eventually allowed excellent looks while superb Livingstone’s Flycatchers fleeting above us. Our other highlights for the day were Pale-billed Hornbill, skulking Stierling’s Wren Warblers, Brown-breasted Barbet, Retz’s Helmetshrike, stunning Western Violet-backed Sunbird and Orange-winged Pytilia. Around the lodge we had African Scops Owl. Our last morning in Mikumi and the main tour started with Fiery-necked Nightjar and followed by Red-necked Spurfowl, Greater Painted Snipe, Green Tinkerbird, Eastern Black-headed Batis, Flappet Lark and a superb Collared Palm Thrush. It was an excellent morning birding to finish the tour. It was time to say goodbye for some of our travelling companions and with a reduced party we continued towards Iringa while they were heading back to Dar. On our afternoon drive towards Iringa, we saw several Ashy Starling and also Tanzania Red-billed Hornbill amongst some majestic Baobab trees.
Our extension had three major parts with three major hikes, two into the Udzungwa Mountains and one into the remote Rubeho Mountains. It was a really exciting adventure! Our first destination was the Udzungwa Scrap Forest Reserve near Uluti. After a pre-dawn African Wood Owl at Masumbo it was a fair drive from Iringa to the village although we had some birding stops with some exciting birds such as Marsh Tchagra, Angola Swallow, Fan-tailed Grassbird, Black-lored and Churring Cisticolas, Brown-headed Apalis, Forest Double-collared Sunbird, Bertram’s Weaver and Yellow-browed Seedeater. Once we arrived at the small village porters were organized and we were off to climb towards the forest and the reserve. After reaching the forest in the early afternoon we slowly walked to our camp, birding all the way along. The afternoon was quiet and we heard both Swynnerton’s Robin and Iringa Akalat but none of them were showing. Our best bird was an Illadopsis species what we put down as Mountain Illadopsis on our list but obviously a new and undescribed species (Udzungwa Mountain Illadopsis) not looking like the Tanzania Illadopsis at all. It was great to get settled into camp after the hiking. African Broadbill was calling above our tent, and this was its regular roosting area for both nights we were up there. Eastern Tree Hyraxes were easily seen around camp at night but the endemic Mountain Dwarf Galago remained heard-only. Next morning, we were up early and eager to go after our main targets. It was a classic African mountain forest birding all day with rather rainy, misty and dark conditions in the morning. It was a lot of hide and seek with some shy birds but slowly we got the results. Although the Dapple-throat was mostly a shape in the dark for today but Swynnerton’s Robin and Iringa Akalat eventually showed well and our long hunt for the extraordinary stunning Rufous-winged Sunbird was crowned by great looks of a pair feeding on some low flowers! Next morning, we were still after better looks of the super shy Dapple-throat. It was really hard work but it’s fair to say we all got proper looks of this enigmatic bird at the end. Surely one of the shyest African species I have ever come across. All happy we descended from the camp to village and drove back to Masumbo where we finished the day with a Purple-crested Turaco.
Our second adventure and hike were still into the Udzungwa Mountains but this time to the famous Luala Camp which is fair way into the national park. Our drive to Udekwa was uneventful apart from a short birding stop with a fine male Western Miombo Sunbird and a flock of Orange-breasted Waxbills. We had to stop twice at various checkpoints before we reached Chui Camp where porters were waiting, and our second hike started. This was a longer hike and we had to reach over 2000-meter elevation. The first part of the trail was through open country and when we reached proper forest we started climbing. It was a bit steep until we got to a ridge but then we followed it all they to the pass, easy! We had not much time to stop at the beginning but the last hours of the day were spent in mixed bamboo understorey montane forest, it was amazing habitat. Our best bird of the day was a shy Kipengere Seedeater which was not very showy but all of us had good looks! This is a species rarely seen, perhaps rarer than the partridge. When we got to high elevation, we started to see Yellow-throated Greenbuls, Chapin’s Apalises and Moreau’s Sunbirds while some of us even glimpsed an Olive-flanked Ground Robin. Just before we reached camp, we heard Udzungwa Forest Partridge in a dense valley quite far away. But it was very promising! Our tents were all up at camp by the time we arrived and dinner was being prepared. At dusk we walked to a little clearing where we heard Montane Nightjar and a distant African Grass Owl. They all sounded far but after a few minutes waiting and with a bit of coaxing we had a wonderful African Grass Owl circling around us! Fantastic bird and after this success we were back to camp for dinner. Eastern Tree Hyraxes were calling above us all night. Next morning, we had coffee and Montane Nightjar then off to search for the mythical Udzungwa Forest Partridge. We were back to the same place we heard them the previous day and after a few minutes of bush-whacking and positioning operation ‘UFP’ started. We had a pair of these partridges slowly coming close to us and as we were motionless, we could watch them feeding in the deep leaf litter for minutes. Absolutely amazing encounter and fully satisfied we retreated for breakfast with huge smiles on our face. With this early success we changed plan and started our descent to a lower camp birding all the way. In the afternoon we lured another pair of Udzungwa Forest Partridge into even better views! Amazing day with two sightings of this special bird. Next morning to our surprise a Swynnerton’s Robin was singing by the camp and we had good looks of this specialty again. After breakfast all we had to do is leisurely walk back to Chui camp where our trustful driver Exaud was waiting for us. From here it was a long way back to Mikumi National Park where we spent the night.
The third and final leg of the extension was into the ‘unknown’, a new site in the remote Rubeho Mountains where very few birders has ever been. Our guide Elia found this location and we were hoping to connect with the rare Rubeho Forest Partridge. We started with a drive from Mikumi NP to Lufusi Village with a short breakfast stop in miombo habitat where we had Brown-necked Parrot and Green-capped Eremomela. The drive was long and winding and when we arrived at the village and yet again, we had to organize porters. This was quickly arranged and we were soon off for our last hike. It was definitely the toughest hike of all three and it was a climb from 1000 meter to 1800 meter through hot dry landscape. On the way up we had a few new birds to our tour like Chin-spot Batis, Grey-throated Tit-Flycatcher and Ashy Flycatcher but it was at the forest edge where we eventually found our first target a pair of Whyte’s Double-collared Sunbird. To be precise the isolated skye race of it which ought to be an endemic species if we would apply phylogenetic species concept and confined to the Rubeho Mountains. When we eventually arrived at camp, we were pretty exhausted but wasted no time and did our first exploration of the Ipondero Forest while our team was setting up tents and cooking dinner. Our first exploration had no results but it was quickly dark in the forest. However, we realized the terrain is very different from our previous two location with really steep hillsides and very dense undergrowth. Our next day way spent inside thick undergrowth. It was challenging terrain and conditions plus the partridge seem to be much shyer than the previous species in the Udzungwas. All in all, we had a pair coming into view two times and we got to see it. It was a new bird for Birdquest and definitely a species not many birders have ever seen! During our time in the undergrowth, we managed to see Rubeho Akalat, Olive-flanked Ground Robin and also the new sunbird species which was discovered by Ross Gallardy in 2021. Luckily a fine male showed up for us! After this hard day on the field, we slept well, and even Mountain Dwarf Galago showed well near to camp. Next day we slowly descended back to village seeing Whyte’s Double-collared Sunbirds, Bertram’s Weaver and Reichard’s Seedeater along the trail. From Lufusi we drove to the Ukaguru Mountains to see if we could get Rubeho Warbler on our next morning but torrential rain overnight and in the morning quickly cancelled our last morning birding excursion. Our farewell breakfast was at a great lookout point with lynesi race of White-headed Barbet while on the way back to airport a roadside stop produced Bare-faced Go-away Bird a good selection of water birds and some fantastic Yellow-winged Bats. Our extension has ended in Dar es-Salaam where we said goodbye to our super team of Elia and Exaud and departed home. All in all, we had a fantastic birding holiday in some amazing highland forest in remote areas of Africa. Something to remember for a long time!
BIRD OF THE TRIP (MAIN TOUR)
2nd: Uluguru Bushshrike
3rd: Pemba Scops Owl
4th: Racket-tailed Roller
5th: Usambara Weaver
BIRD OF THE TRIP (EXTENSION)
1st: Udzungwa Forest Partridge
2nd: Rufous-winged Sunbird
3rd: African Grass Owl
SYSTEMATIC LIST OF SPECIES RECORDED
White-faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna viduata
Knob-billed Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca
Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris
Udzungwa Forest Partridge ◊ Xenoperdix udzungwensis Endemic. Cracking and prolonged views of this mythical bird in the Luala Valley on the extension! Endangered.
Rubeho Forest Partridge ◊ Xenoperdix obscuratus Endemic. This Birdquest lifer was seen by most of us in the Rubeho Mountains on the extension. It is distinctly shyer and prefers denser habitat than the previous species. Critically endangered.
Crested Francolin (Kirk’s F) Ortygornis sephaena Heard only.
Harlequin Quail Coturnix delegorguei Superb views in Mikumi NP.
Scaly Spurfowl Pternistis squamatus Extension only.
Red-necked Spurfowl Pternistis afer
Fiery-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus pectoralis Seen twice in Masumbo Camp.
Montane Nightjar ◊ (Ruwenzori N) Caprimulgus [poliocephalus] guttifer It was only seen in the Luala Valley.
Square-tailed Nightjar (Gabon N) Caprimulgus fossii
Scarce Swift Schoutedenapus myoptilus
Mottled Spinetail Telacanthura ussheri
Böhm’s Spinetail Neafrapus boehmi
African Palm Swift Cypsiurus parvus
Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba
Mottled Swift Tachymarptis aequatorialis
Common Swift (Eurasian S) Apus apus
African Black Swift Apus barbatus
Little Swift Apus affinis
White-rumped Swift Apus caffer
Bare-faced Go-away-bird (Black-faced G-a-b) Crinifer personatus Extension only.
White-bellied Go-away-bird Crinifer leucogaster
Purple-crested Turaco Gallirex porphyreolophus It was seen at Masumbo camp on the extension.
Livingstone’s Turaco Tauraco livingstonii Several great looks in the Uluguru Mountains.
Fischer’s Turaco ◊ Tauraco fischeri Eventually good views in the East Usambara Mountains. Near-threatened.
Hartlaub’s Turaco Tauraco hartlaubi Our best sightings were in the South Pare Mountains.
Buff-crested Bustard Lophotis gindiana
Black-bellied Bustard Lissotis melanogaster
Coppery-tailed Coucal Centropus cupreicaudus We saw the songweensis endemic subspecies on the Kilombero Floodplain.
White-browed Coucal Centropus superciliosus
Green Malkoha (G Yellowbill) Ceuthmochares australis
Klaas’s Cuckoo Chrysococcyx klaas Heard only.
Red-chested Cuckoo Cuculus solitaries Heard only on the extension.
Rock Dove (introduced) Columba [livia] domestica
African Olive Pigeon (Rameron P) Columba arquatrix
Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon Columba delegorguei
Lemon Dove Columba larvata
Mourning Collared Dove Streptopelia decipiens
Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata
Ring-necked Dove Streptopelia capicola
Laughing Dove Spilopelia senegalensis
Emerald-spotted Wood Dove Turtur chalcospilos
Blue-spotted Wood Dove Turtur afer
Tambourine Dove Turtur tympanistria
Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
African Green Pigeon Treron calvus
Pemba Green Pigeon ◊ Treron pembaensis Endemic. It gave us the run-around but eventually excellent looks were granted on Pemba Island. Definitely the trickiest of the island’s endemics. Vulnerable.
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Black Crake Zapornia flavirostra
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Common Buttonquail (Small B) Turnix sylvaticus
Water Thick-knee (W Dikkop) Burhinus vermiculatus
Blacksmith Lapwing (B Plover) Vanellus armatus
Spur-winged Lapwing (S-w Plover) Vanellus spinosus
White-crowned Lapwing (W-headed Plover) Vanellus albiceps A breeding pair was seen on the Kilombero River.
Senegal Lapwing (Lesser Black-winged Plover) Vanellus lugubris
Crowned Lapwing (C Plover) Vanellus coronatus
African Wattled Lapwing (A W Plover) Vanellus senegallus
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris Extension only.
Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis
African Jacana Actophilornis africanus
Eurasian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Ruff Calidris pugnax
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea Near-threatened.
Little Stint Calidris minuta
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola
Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii
Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
White-cheeked Tern ◊ Sterna repressa At least two were identified on Pemba Island.
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis
African Openbill (A Open-billed Stork) Anastomus lamelligerus
Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis
Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumenifer
Reed Cormorant (Long-tailed C) Microcarbo africanus
White-breasted Cormorant Phalacrocorax lucidus
African Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
Hadada Ibis Bostrychia hagedash
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Striated Heron (Green-backed H) Butorides striata
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
Malagasy Pond Heron ◊ Ardeola idae One was seen on Pemba Island. Endangered.
Rufous-bellied Heron Ardeola rufiventris One was seen on the Kilombero Floodplain.
Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala
Great Egret Ardea alba
Intermediate Egret (Yellow-billed E) Ardea [intermedia] brachyrhyncha
Black Heron (B Egret) Egretta ardesiaca One was seen on the Kilombero Floodplain.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus
Pink-backed Pelican Pelecanus rufescens
Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
African Harrier-Hawk Polyboroides typus
Palm-nut Vulture (Vulturine Fish Eagle) Gypohierax angolensis
Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus Critically endangered.
White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus Critically endangered.
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotos Endangered.
Black-chested Snake Eagle Circaetus pectoralis Extension only.
Brown Snake Eagle Circaetus cinereus
Southern Banded Snake Eagle ◊ Circaetus fasciolatus Distant look in the East Usambara Mountains. Near-threatened.
Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus Endangered.
Crowned Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus Several looks over the forests in the Usambara Mountains. Near-threatened.
Long-crested Eagle Lophaetus occipitalis
Wahlberg’s Eagle Hieraaetus wahlbergi
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle Hieraaetus ayresii
Lizard Buzzard Kaupifalco monogrammicus
Gabar Goshawk Micronisus gabar
Dark Chanting Goshawk Melierax metabates
Eastern Chanting Goshawk (E Pale C G) Melierax poliopterus
African Goshawk Accipiter tachiro Several looks of the sparsimfasciatus race on the mainland, and we have also seen the endemic pembaensis race on Pemba Island.
Little Sparrowhawk Accipiter minullus
Black Sparrowhawk (Great S) Accipiter melanoleucus
Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegyptius
African Fish Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer
Mountain Buzzard Buteo oreophilus Near-threatened.
Augur Buzzard Buteo augur
Western Barn Owl Tyto alba Heard only.
African Grass Owl ◊ Tyto capensis One was seen in the Luala Valley on the extension.
Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum
African Barred Owlet ◊ (Scheffler’s B O) Glaucidium [capense] scheffleri It was heard only in Mikumi NP.
Pemba Scops Owl ◊ Otus pembaensis Endemic. Superb looks on Pemba Island. Vulnerable.
African Scops Owl Otus senegalensis
Fraser’s Eagle-Owl ◊ Bubo poensis The endemic vosseleri race used to be treated as a separate species but has recently been lumped. Despite much effort it remained heard only.
African Wood Owl Strix woodfordii
Speckled Mousebird Colius striatus
White-headed Mousebird ◊ Colius leucocephalus Group of six were seen at Nyumba Ya Mungu: nominate.
Blue-naped Mousebird Urocolius macrourus
Narina Trogon Apaloderma narina
Bar-tailed Trogon Apaloderma vittatum
African Hoopoe Upupa africana
Green Wood Hoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus
Common Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus cyanomelas
Southern Ground Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri Vulnerable.
Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill ◊ (Ruaha R-b H) Tockus ruahae Endemic. It was seen on our way south on the extension in a fantastic Baobab Valley.
Northern Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus
Von der Decken’s Hornbill Tockus deckeni
Crowned Hornbill Lophoceros alboterminatus
African Grey Hornbill Lophoceros nasutus
Pale-billed Hornbill ◊ Lophoceros pallidirostris Several good looks in the Mikumi NP.
Trumpeter Hornbill Bycanistes bucinator
Silvery-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes brevis
Racket-tailed Roller ◊ Coracias spatulatus Two males were seen displaying in the Mikumi NP.
Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudatus
Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus
Grey-headed Kingfisher (Chestnut-bellied K) Halcyon leucocephala
Brown-hooded Kingfisher Halcyon albiventris
Striped Kingfisher Halcyon chelicuti
Mangrove Kingfisher ◊ Halcyon senegaloides A singing pair was seen well on Pemba Island.
Malachite Kingfisher Corythornis cristatus
Giant Kingfisher Megaceryle maxima
Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus
Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater Merops oreobates
White-fronted Bee-eater Merops bullockoides Extension only.
Böhm’s Bee-eater ◊ Merops boehmi Six were seen at the Wami River bridge.
European Bee-eater (Eurasian B) Merops apiaster Heard only.
Olive Bee-eater ◊ Merops superciliosus Two were seen on Pemba Island.
White-eared Barbet Stactolaema leucotis
Green Barbet Stactolaema olivacea Commonly seen in the Eastern Arc Mountains. We also observed the endemic howelli race in the Udzungwa Mountains on the extension.
Green Tinkerbird ◊ (Eastern G T) Pogoniulus simplex Great looks in the East Usambara Mountains and in Mikumi NP.
Moustached Tinkerbird (M Green T) Pogoniulus leucomystax
Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird* (Golden-r T) Pogoniulus bilineatus
Red-fronted Tinkerbird Pogoniulus pusillus
Spot-flanked Barbet Tricholaema lacrymosa
Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala
White-headed Barbet Tricholaema leucocephalus The endemic lynesi race was seen on our last morning of extension in the Ukaguru Mountains.
Black-collared Barbet Lybius torquatus
Brown-breasted Barbet ◊ Lybius melanopterus A total of eight were seen! Best looks in the East Usambara Mountains.
Crested Barbet Trachyphonus vaillantii
Red-and-yellow Barbet ◊ Trachyphonus erythrocephalus Two were seen in the Nyumba Ya Mungu area: nominate.
D’Arnaud’s Barbet Trachyphonus darnaudi
Green-backed Honeybird (Eastern H) Prodotiscus zambesiae
Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor
Scaly-throated Honeyguide Indicator variegatus
Greater Honeyguide (Black-throated H) Indicator indicator
Speckle-throated Woodpecker ◊ Campethera scriptoricauda Three were seen in Miombo near Mikumi NP.
Nubian Woodpecker Campethera nubica
Golden-tailed Woodpecker Campethera abingoni
Bearded Woodpecker Chloropicus namaquus
Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens
Olive Woodpecker Dendropicos griseocephalus We saw the endemic kilimensis race in the South Pare Mountains.
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Dickinson’s Kestrel ◊ Falco dickinsoni Five were seen on Pemba Island.
Red-necked Falcon (Red-headed F) Falco [chicquera] ruficollis
Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae One was seen on Pemba Island.
Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus
Brown-necked Parrot ◊ (Grey-headed P) Poicephalus [fuscicollis] suahelicus It was seen twice in Miombo near Mikumi NP: suahelicus.
Meyer’s Parrot (Brown P) Poicephalus meyeri It was only seen on the extension: matschiei.
Brown-headed Parrot Poicephalus cryptoxanthus
Red-bellied Parrot Poicephalus rufiventris
Yellow-collared Lovebird ◊ Agapornis personatus Endemic. Just one was seen on Pemba Island.
African Broadbill Smithornis capensis It was regularly roosting above our camp in the Udzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve on the extension.
Forest Batis Batis mixta
Dark Batis ◊ Batis crypta Great looks, first seen in the Uluguru Mountains.
Chinspot Batis Batis molitor Extension only.
Pale Batis (East Coast B) Batis soror
Eastern Black-headed Batis ◊ Batis minor Excellent looks in the Mikumi NP.
Pygmy Batis ◊ Batis perkeo About four were seen in the Nyumba Ya Mungu area.
Black-throated Wattle-eye Platysteira peltata
Grey-headed Bushshrike Malaconotus blanchoti
Uluguru Bushshrike ◊ Malaconotus alius Endemic. Shy! One was eventually seen in the Uluguru Mountains. Endangered.
Black-fronted Bushshrike Chlorophoneus nigrifrons
Orange-breasted Bushshrike (Sulphur-b B) Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus
Marsh Tchagra (Anchieta’s T) Bocagia [minuta] anchietae One was seen on our drive to Uluti on the extension.
Brown-crowned Tchagra Tchagra australis
Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegalus
Black-backed Puffback Dryoscopus cubla
Pringle’s Puffback ◊ Dryoscopus pringlii A pair was seen in the Nyumba Ya Mungu area.
Fülleborn’s Boubou ◊ Laniarius fuelleborni Regular sightings, first in the West Usambara Mountains. This is the endemic usambaricus race.
Slate-coloured Boubou Laniarius funebris
Tropical Boubou Laniarius major
East Coast Boubou ◊ Laniarius sublacteus Best looks on our way out of the West Usambara Mountains.
Brubru Nilaus afer
White-crested Helmetshrike Prionops plumatus
Retz’s Helmetshrike Prionops retzii
Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher (B-a-w Flycatcher) Bias musicus
White-breasted Cuckooshrike Ceblepyris pectoralis
Grey Cuckooshrike Ceblepyris caesius
Black Cuckooshrike Campephaga flava
Northern White-crowned Shrike Eurocephalus ruppelli
Long-tailed Fiscal Lanius cabanisi
Northern Fiscal Lanius humeralis
Green-headed Oriole ◊ Oriolus chlorocephalus Great looks in the East Usambara Mountains.
Black-headed Oriole (Eastern B-h O) Oriolus larvatus
African Golden Oriole Oriolus auratus
Fork-tailed Drongo (Common D) Dicrurus adsimilis
Common Square-tailed Drongo Dicrurus ludwigii
‘Usambara’ Drongo ◊ Dicrurus sp. nov. This undescribed species was seen in the West Usambara Mountains.
Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher Trochocercus cyanomelas
African Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis Several looks of the endemic ungujaensis race.
House Crow (introduced) Corvus splendens
Pied Crow Corvus albus
White-necked Raven (W-naped R) Corvus albicollis
White-tailed Crested Flycatcher Elminia albonotata
White-bellied Tit Melaniparus albiventris Extension only.
Cinnamon-breasted Tit ◊ Melaniparus pallidiventris Four were seen in Miombo near Mikumi NP.
Grey Penduline Tit (African P T) Anthoscopus caroli
Eastern Nicator Nicator gularis
Pink-breasted Lark Calendulauda poecilosterna
Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea
Sombre Greenbul (Zanzibar S G) Andropadus importunus
Yellow-bellied Greenbul Chlorocichla flaviventris
Shelley’s Greenbul ◊ Arizelocichla masukuensis Regularly seen in the West Usambara Mountains and on the extension. This is the endemic roehli race.
Yellow-throated Greenbul ◊ (Green-t G) Arizelocichla chlorigula Endemic. It was only seen on the extension. Great looks in the Luala Valley in the Udzungwa Mountains but also seen in the Rubeho Mountains.
Mountain Greenbul ◊ (Black-headed M G) Arizelocichla nigriceps A few were seen in the South Pare Mountains.
Stripe-faced Greenbul ◊ Arizelocichla striifacies Regularly seen in the various mountain ranges.
Little Greenbul Eurillas virens
Montane Tiny Greenbul ◊ Phyllastrephus albigula Endemic. Hard work but one was seen in the West Usambara Mountains. Near-threatened.
Northern Brownbul Phyllastrephus strepitans
Grey-olive Greenbul ◊ Phyllastrephus cerviniventris Two were seen on the lower slopes of the West Usambara Mountains.
Placid Greenbul ◊ Phyllastrephus placidus Regularly seen in the various mountain ranges.
Yellow-streaked Greenbul Phyllastrephus flavostriatus We saw the tenuirostris race in the Usambara Mountains and the endemic uzungwensis race in the Udzungwa Mountains.
Dark-capped Bulbul Pycnonotus tricolor
Black Saw-wing Psalidoprocne [pristoptera] holomelas
Rock Martin Ptyonoprogne fuligula
Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Angolan Swallow (Angola S) Hirundo angolensis Extension only.
Lesser Striped Swallow Cecropis abyssinica
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
Moustached Grass Warbler (African M W) Melocichla mentalis
Kretschmer’s Longbill ◊ Macrosphenus kretschmeri It took some work to get reasonable looks of this skulker in the East Usambara Mountains.
Northern Crombec Sylvietta brachyura
Red-faced Crombec Sylvietta whytii
Little Yellow Flycatcher ◊ Erythrocercus holochlorus Just two were seen in the East Usambara Mountains.
Livingstone’s Flycatcher ◊ Erythrocercus livingstonei Three were tracked down in the Mikumi NP. Beauty!
Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler Phylloscopus ruficapilla
Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus
Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus The African Reed Warbler has recently been lumped with Eurasian Reed Warbler. The subspecies baeticatus/suahelicus was seen on the Kilombero Floodplain.
African Yellow Warbler (Dark-capped Y W) Iduna natalensis
Fan-tailed Grassbird Catriscus brevirostris Superb looks on our way to Uluti on the extension: alexinae.
Evergreen Forest Warbler Bradypterus [lopezi] mariae
Cinnamon Bracken Warbler Bradypterus cinnamomeus Extension only.
Little Rush Warbler Bradypterus baboecala
Trilling Cisticola Cisticola woosnami Extension only.
Kilombero Cisticola ◊ Cisticola bakerorum Endemic. Easy to see and conspicuous on the Kilombero Floodplain. Vulnerable.
Black-lored Cisticola ◊ Cisticola nigriloris Several excellent looks on the extension.
Rattling Cisticola Cisticola chiniana
Churring Cisticola ◊ Cisticola njombe We got excellent look on the extension. Endemic nominate race.
White-tailed Cisticola ◊ Cisticola anderseni Endemic. Great looks of this distinctive but just recently described species on the Kilombero Floodplain. Near-threatened.
Winding Cisticola Cisticola marginatus
Coastal Cisticola ◊ Cisticola haematocephalus Just a singleton seen on our way to the East Usambara Mountains.
Croaking Cisticola Cisticola natalensis Heard only on the extension.
Neddicky (Piping Cisticola) Cisticola fulvicapilla
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Desert Cisticola Cisticola aridulus
Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava
Red-fronted Prinia Prinia rufifrons
Bar-throated Apalis Apalis thoracica Regularly seen. We managed to see several races such as griseiceps, murina and the endemic pareensis and uluguru.
Yellow-breasted Apalis (Black-b A) Apalis flavida
White-winged Apalis ◊ Apalis chariessa Fantastic bird with that long tail! Seen very well near Uluti on the extension! Near-threatened.
Black-headed Apalis Apalis melanocephala
Chapin’s Apalis ◊ Apalis chapini We saw two races; the endemic nominate race in the Uluguru Mountains and the strausae race elsewhere.
Brown-headed Apalis ◊ Apalis alticola Four were seen on the drive to Uluti on the extension.
Green-backed Camaroptera Camaroptera brachyura
Grey-backed Camaroptera Camaroptera brevicaudata
Grey Wren-Warbler Calamonastes simplex
Stierling’s Wren-Warbler Calamonastes stierlingi
Winifred’s Warbler ◊ Scepomycter winifredae Endemic. Great looks of a singing bird in the Uluguru Mountains. Near-threatened.
Long-billed Forest Warbler ◊ (L-b Apalis) Artisornis moreaui The endemic nominate race was seen in the East Usambara Mountains. Critically endangered.
Red-capped Forest Warbler ◊ (African Tailorbird) Artisornis metopias We saw two races, the endemic altus in the Uluguru Mountains and the nominate race elsewhere.
Yellow-bellied Eremomela Eremomela icteropygialis
Green-capped Eremomela Eremomela scotops Extension only.
African Hill Babbler (Abyssinian H B) Sylvia abyssinica The endemic stirelingi race was seen several times.
Brown Parisoma Curruca lugens One was seen in the Rubeho Mountains on the extension.
Pale White-eye Zosterops flavilateralis
Southern Yellow White-eye Zosterops anderssoni
South Pare White-eye ◊ Zosterops winifredae Endemic. Great looks in the South Pare Mountains. Near-threatened.
Pemba White-eye ◊ Zosterops vaughani Endemic. Bright yellow white-eye seen very well on Pemba Island.
Tanzanian Illadopsis ◊ (Grey-breasted I) Illadopsis distans It has been recently split from rufipennis. It took some work but eventually all got good looks in the East Usambara Mountains.
‘Udzungwa’ Mountain Illadopsis ◊ Illadopsis sp. nov. We observed this Illadopsis in the Udzungwa Mountains on the extension. It differs from Tanzanian Illadopsis and most closely resembles to pyrrhoptera. Undescribed.
Arrow-marked Babbler Turdoides jardineii
Spot-throat ◊ Modulatrix stictigula About six were seen in the West-Usambara Mountains before we all got excellent looks. It is a shy bird but nothing like the next species.
Dapple-throat ◊ (Dappled Mountain-robin) Arcanator orostruthus Extreme skulker! Eventually one was lured into view in the Udzungwa Mountains on the extension. This is the endemic sanjei race. Near-threatened.
Usambara Hyliota ◊ Hyliota usambara Endemic. Two birds were seen twice on the same tree in the East Usambara Mountains. Endangered.
Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea
Black-bellied Starling Notopholia corusca We saw the endemic vaughani race on Pemba Island while the nominate on the mainland.
Greater Blue-eared Starling (Blue-eared S) Lamprotornis chalybaeus
Miombo Blue-eared Starling Lamprotornis elisabeth Just a few were seen in Miombo near Mikumi NP.
Superb Starling Lamprotornis superbus
Ashy Starling ◊ Lamprotornis unicolor About 60 were seen on the extension in the Baobab Valley.
Violet-backed Starling Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio
Slender-billed Starling Onychognathus tenuirostris
Waller’s Starling Onychognathus walleri
Kenrick’s Starling ◊ Poeoptera kenricki The endemic nominate race was seen at several locations in the Eastern Arc Mountains.
Yellow-billed Oxpecker Buphagus africanus
Red-billed Oxpecker Buphagus erythrorynchus
Red-tailed Ant Thrush Neocossyphus rufus
Orange Ground Thrush Geokichla gurneyi Two were seen by some on the extension.
Abyssinian Thrush (Northern Olive T, Mountain T) Turdus abyssinicus Heard only on the extension
Usambara Thrush ◊ Turdus roehli Endemic. Yet another shy bird but we had good looks in the South Pare and West Usambara Mountains. Near-threatened.
Kurrichane Thrush Turdus libonyana
Bare-eyed Thrush ◊ Turdus tephronotus One was seen on our way to the South Pare Mountains.
White-browed Scrub Robin Cercotrichas leucophrys
Grey Tit-Flycatcher (Lead-coloured F) Myioparus plumbeus Extension only.
White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher Melaenornis fischeri Extension only.
Southern Black Flycatcher Melaenornis pammelaina
African Grey Flycatcher Melaenornis microrhynchus
Ashy Flycatcher Muscicapa caerulescens Extension only.
African Dusky Flycatcher Muscicapa adusta
White-chested Alethe ◊ Chamaetylas fuelleborni Great looks in the West Usambara Mountains.
Olive-flanked Ground Robin ◊ (O-f Robin-Chat) Cossypha anomala The endemic grotei race was seen in the Udzungwa and Rubeho Mountains on the extension.
Cape Robin-Chat Cossypha caffra
White-browed Robin-Chat Cossypha heuglini
Red-capped Robin-Chat Cossypha natalensis
Swynnerton’s Robin ◊ Swynnertonia swynnertoni The endemic rodgersi race was seen in the Udzungwa Mountains on the extension. Vulnerable.
White-starred Robin (W-s Forest R) Pogonocichla stellata
Sharpe’s Akalat ◊ Sheppardia sharpei Superb looks of this skulker in the Uluguru Mountains. Nominate.
Rubeho Akalat ◊ Sheppardia aurantiithorax Endemic. We got to see it well in the Rubeho Mountains on the extension. Endangered.
Usambara Akalat ◊ (U Ground Robin) Sheppardia montana Endemic. It was really difficult this year but eventually we had one in the West Usambara Mountains. Endangered.
Iringa Akalat ◊ Sheppardia lowei Endemic. We got to see it at two locations in the Udzungwa Mountains on the extension. Vulnerable.
Collared Palm Thrush (C Morning T) Cichladusa arquata
Spotted Palm Thrush (S Morning T) Cichladusa guttata
African Stonechat Saxicola torquatus
Mocking Cliff Chat (Cliff C) Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris
Arnot’s Chat Myrmecocichla arnotti
Familiar Chat (Red-tailed C) Oenanthe familiaris Extension only.
Plain-backed Sunbird ◊ Anthreptes reichenowi A male was seen in the East Usambara Mountains. Near-threatened.
Western Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes longuemarei
Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes orientalis
Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird ◊ Anthreptes neglectus Several excellent looks in the East Usambara Mountains.
Banded Green Sunbird ◊ Anthreptes rubritorques Endemic. We got great views in the East Usambara Mountains. Vulnerable.
‘Rubeho Green’ Sunbird ◊ Anthreptes sp. nov Probably endemic. We observed a male of this newly discovered taxon in the Rubeho Mountains on the extension. It was first photographed and mentioned by Ross Gallardy in 2021.
Collared Sunbird Hedydipna collaris
Green-headed Sunbird Cyanomitra verticalis A nice male of the viridisplendens race was seen in the Rubeho Mountains on the extension.
Olive Sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea
Amethyst Sunbird Chalcomitra amethystina
Scarlet-chested Sunbird Chalcomitra senegalensis
Hunter’s Sunbird Chalcomitra hunteri
Bronzy Sunbird (Bronze S) Nectarinia kilimensis Extension only.
Malachite Sunbird Nectarinia famosa Extension only.
Golden-winged Sunbird ◊ Drepanorhynchus reichenowi Fantastic looking sunbird seen well in the South Pare Mountains.
Western Miombo Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris gerturdis A pair was seen on our way to Udekwa on the extension.
Whyte’s Double-collared Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris whytei The endemic skye race was seen well in the Rubeho Mountains on the extension.
Usambara Double-collared Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris usambaricus Repeated good looks in the South Pare and West Usambara Mountains. Near-threatened.
Forest Double-collared Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris fuelleborni Several were seen on our way to Uluti on the extension.
Moreau’s Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris moreaui Endemic. Repeated good looks in the Udzungwa and Rubeho Mountains on the extension. Near-threatened.
Loveridge’s Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris loveridgei Endemic. Great views in the Uluguru Mountains. Endangered.
Beautiful Sunbird Cinnyris pulchellus Extension only.
Hofmann’s Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris hofmanni Endemic. Excellent views in Miombo near Mikumi NP.
Black-bellied Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris nectarinioides A male was seen at Nyumba Ya Mungu: nominate.
Purple-banded Sunbird Cinnyris bifasciatus
Tsavo Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris tsavoensis About five were seen in dry habitat at Nyumba Ya Mungu.
Pemba Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris pembae Endemic. Several good views on Pemba Island.
Rufous-winged Sunbird ◊ Cinnyris rufipennis Endemic. Amazing sunbird and great looks in the Udzungwa Mountains on the extension. Vulnerable.
Variable Sunbird Cinnyris venustus
Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow Gymnoris superciliaris
Yellow-spotted Bush Sparrow Gymnoris pyrgita
Swahili Sparrow ◊ Passer suahelicus A few were seen in the Baobab Valley on the extension.
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow Passer diffusus
House Sparrow (introduced) Passer domesticus
White-headed Buffalo Weaver Dinemellia dinemelli
White-browed Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser mahali We saw the melanorhynchus race in the north and the pectroalis race in Mikumi NP.
Thick-billed Weaver (Grosbeak W) Amblyospiza albifrons
Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht
Bertram’s Weaver ◊ Ploceus bertrandi Several excellent looks on the main tour and on the extension too.
Spectacled Weaver Ploceus ocularis
Black-necked Weaver Ploceus nigricollis
Eastern Golden Weaver ◊ Ploceus subaureus A few were seen on the lower slopes of the West Usambara Mountains.
Taveta Weaver ◊ Ploceus castaneiceps We saw a breeding colony at Nyumba Ya Mungu.
Ruvu Weaver ◊ Ploceus holoxanthus Endemic. Three males were seen on our way to Dar es-Salaam.
Kilombero Weaver ◊ Ploceus burnieri Endemic. Several seen on the Kilombero Floodplain but all were in non-breeding plumage. Vulnerable.
Lesser Masked Weaver Ploceus intermedius
Vitelline Masked Weaver Ploceus vitellinus
Village Weaver (Layard’s W) Ploceus cucullatus
Dark-backed Weaver (Forest W) Ploceus bicolor
Usambara Weaver ◊ Ploceus nicolli Endemic. A pair was seen in the West Usambara Mountains. Near-threatened.
Red-headed Weaver Anaplectes rubriceps
Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea
Zanzibar Red Bishop ◊ Euplectes nigroventris A fast fly by flock was seen on Pemba Island.
Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis
Fan-tailed Widowbird Euplectes axillaris
White-winged Widowbird Euplectes albonotatus
Bronze Mannikin Spermestes cucullata
Magpie Mannikin ◊ Spermestes fringilloides About eight were seen at Hondo Hondo Camp.
Red-backed Mannikin Spermestes nigriceps
African Silverbill Euodice cantans Just a few seen at Nyumba Ya Mungu.
Yellow-bellied Waxbill Coccopygia quartinia
Red-faced Crimsonwing ◊ Cryptospiza reichenovii We had three sightings on the main tour: australis.
Black-faced Waxbill Brunhilda erythronotos Seen at Nyumba Ya Mungu on the main tour: delamerei.
Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild
Crimson-rumped Waxbill ◊ Estrilda rhodopyga A flock was seen on our way to Uluti on the extension.
Cut-throat Finch Amadina fasciata
Orange-breasted Waxbill (Zebra W) Amandava subflava
Purple Grenadier Granatina ianthinogaster
Blue Waxbill (Southern Cordon-bleu) Uraeginthus angolensis
Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu Uraeginthus bengalus
Blue-capped Cordon-bleu ◊ Uraeginthus cyanocephalus Seen at Nyumba Ya Mungu on the main tour:
Green-winged Pytilia Pytilia melba
Orange-winged Pytilia Pytilia afra Just a pair was seen at Mikumi NP.
Red-throated Twinspot Hypargos niveoguttatus Eventually great looks in Mikumi NP.
Red-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta senegala
African Firefinch (Blue-billed F) Lagonosticta rubricata
Village Indigobird Vidua chalybeata
Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura
Straw-tailed Whydah Vidua fischeri Extension only.
Mountain Wagtail Motacilla clara
African Pied Wagtail Motacilla aguimp
Yellow-throated Longclaw Macronyx croceus
African Pipit (Grassland P) Anthus cinnamomeus
Oriole Finch ◊ Linurgus olivaceus Great looks of two males in the West Usambara Mountains.
Southern Citril ◊ (East African C) Crithagra hyposticta Common throughout the tour.
Reichenow’s Seedeater (Kenya Yellow-rumped S) Crithagra reichenowi Extension only.
Yellow-fronted Canary Crithagra mozambica
White-bellied Canary ◊ Crithagra dorsostriata About ten were seen at Nyumba Ya Mungu: taruensis.
Southern Grosbeak Canary ◊ Crithagra buchanani About eight were seen at Nyumba Ya Mungu.
Brimstone Canary Crithagra sulphurata Two were seen on the way to Uluti on the extension: sharpii.
Reichard’s Seedeater ◊ Crithagra reichardi It was seen twice in the Rubeho Mountains on the extension.
Streaky Seedeater Crithagra striolata
Yellow-browed Seedeater ◊ Crithagra whytii Several good views, especially in the Udzungwa Mountains.
Kipengere Seedeater ◊ Crithagra melanochroa Endemic. Rare bird and we got great looks in the Luala Valley. It was shy and retreating.
Yellow-crowned Canary Serinus flavivertex
Golden-breasted Bunting (African G-b B) Emberiza flaviventris
Cabanis’s Bunting Emberiza cabanisi
Eastern Tree Hyrax Dendrohyrax validus It was seen daily in the Udzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve on the extension.
Southern Tree Hyrax Dendrohyrax arboreus Heard only.
Yellow-spotted Hyrax Heterohyrax brucei
African Elephant (A Savanna E) Loxodonta africana
Chequered Sengi ◊ Rhynchocyon cirnei One was seen briefly in the Mikumi NP.
Black-and-rufous Sengi ◊ (B and R Elephant Shrew) Rhynchocyon petersi Great looks in the West Usambara Mountains.
Four-toed Hedgehog Atelerix albiventris One was seen at Masumbo Camp on the extension.
Lion Panthera leo Nine were seen in Mikumi NP.
Common Genet Genetta genetta One was seen in the East Usambara Mountains.
Marsh Mongoose Atilax paludinosus One was seen by some on the Kilombero Floodplains.
Slender Mongoose Herpestes sanguineus One was seen in Mikumi NP.
Plains Zebra (Common Z) Equus quagga
Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus
Masai Giraffe Giraffa tippelskirchi
Impala Aepyceros melampus
Common Wildebeest (Eastern White-bearded W) Connochaetes taurinus
Kirk’s Dikdik Madoqua kirkii
African Buffalo (Cape B) Syncerus caffer
Common Eland Tragelaphus oryx
Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus
Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius
Yellow-winged Bat Lavia frons Great looks on our last day of the extension!
African Straw-coloured Fruit-bat Eidolon helvum Hundreds in Dar Es-Salaam.
Pemba Flying Fox ◊ Pteropus voeltzkowi About 5000 at a roost on Pemba Island.
Angolan Fruit Bat Lissonycteris angolensis A few seen in the forest in the East Usambara were identified to be this species from the photos.
Egyptian Rousette Rousettus aegyptiacus A few were seen on Pemba Island in our hotel garden.
Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bat Epomophorus wahlbergi One was seen at Hondo Hondo Camp.
Ethiopian Epauletted Fruit Bat Epomophorus labiatus It was seen at Masumbo camp on the extension.
Lander’s Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus landeri A few were roosting in under the restaurant in Vuma Hills.
Thick-tailed Greater Galago Otolemur crassicaudatus Great looks at Masumbo Camp on the extension.
Small-eared Greater Galago Otolemur garnettii Regular sightings.
Mountain Dwarf Galago ◊ Paragalago orinus Eventually one was tracked down close to our camp in the Rubeho Mountains on the extension.
Blue Monkey Cercopithecus mitis
Vervet (V Monkey) Chlorocebus pygerythrus
Angola Colobus Colobus angolensis We got the best looks in the East Usambara Mountains.
Yellow Baboon Papio cynocephalus
Udzungwa Red Colobus ◊ (Iringa R C) Piliocolobus gordonorum Three were seen at Hondo Hondo. Great!
African Savanna Hare Lepus victoriae
Zanj Sun Squirrel (Eastern S S) Heliosciurus undulates It was seen in the Usambara Mountains.
Black And Red Bush Squirrel ◊ Paraxerus lucifer Just a few seen in the Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains.
Red Bush Squirrel Paraxerus palliatus It was seen in the East Usambara Mountains.
Swynnerton’s Bush Squirrel ◊ (Lushoto B S) Paraxerus vexillarius Great looks in the West Usambara Mountains.
Unstriped Ground Squirrel Xerus rutilus
Derby’s Flying Squirrel Anomalurus derbianus About five were seen in the East Usambara Mountains. All were rather dark chocolate coloured.
Eastern Arc Wood Mouse Hylomyscus arcimontensis One was seen in the East Usambara Mountains while looking for Fraser’s / Usambara Eagle Owl.