13 June - 4 July 2023

by Nik Borrow

Uganda is famously quoted as being the ‘Pearl of Africa’ and although neither Henry Morton Stanley nor Winston Churchill had birders and ecotourists in mind when they awarded the country this title, it is most certainly an appropriate one! Uganda is surely an essential destination for any world-travelling birdwatcher as it is home to the incredible Shoebill, a good number of Albertine Rift endemics and is also an excellent place to see a few otherwise difficult western African forest species. A visit to this friendly and welcoming country also offers a great mammal-watching experience including primates in particular with Eastern Gorilla and Chimpanzee obviously at the top of the list! It is not often that the mammals get a mention before the birds, but on this occasion, it is apt, as our encounters with the incredible Eastern ‘Mountain’ Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park were truly unforgettable! The incomparable Shoebill was a worthy rival and fortunately surrendered to our collective gaze on day one when we were privileged to watch an adult at the nest with a young chick where we were also lucky to find Lesser Jacana and Blue Swallow. In the afternoon we drove to Mabira Forest for a brief look before returning the following morning. Here we enjoyed an encounter with two parties of Nahan’s Partridge, battled with skulking Yellow-eyed Bristlebills and were introduced to a variety of lowland forest species including Forest Wood Hoopoe and Lowland Sooty Boubou. Heading north, Brightly coloured Papyrus Gonoleks, secretive White-winged Swamp Warbler and a surprise Golden-winged Sunbird allowed views en route to Soroti which was our base for an excursion towards Lake Opeta to see Uganda’s only endemic the hulking Fox’s Weaver. This once elusive species has now been ‘staked out’ and is much more reliable than previously thought when genuine sightings were few and far between. In this area we also saw Dwarf Bittern, Lesser Moorhen, Allen’s Gallinule, Red-pate Cisticola, Karamoja Apalis and Heuglin’s Masked Weaver. A long drive took us to the northwest of the country where we visited the impressive Murchison Falls and saw our first big game that include handsome Rothschild’s Giraffes. Of the avian specialities we scored with Dusky Babbler as well as Heuglin’s Spurfowl and Denham’s Bustard in the savannahs, sought out Puvel’s Illadopsis in the dark woodlands at Kaniyo Pabidi and found the tiny, brightly coloured Foxy Cisticola on the Butiaba escarpment. A day on the Royal Mile of Budongo Forest produced the diminutive Ituri Batis in the tops of the tall trees. A superb pair of Grey-headed Olivebacks enlivened the journey to Kibale National Park where we unfortunately suffered from excessive rain. The Chimpanzees kept to the tops of the trees and despite walking 25 kilometres over a day and a half the Green-breasted Pitta eluded us this year. Picking ourselves up, it was onwards to Queen Elizabeth National Park where the desirable Giant Forest Hog put in a grand appearance and African Crake was seen well whilst the fantastic boat trip along the Kazinga Channel produced a large flock of African Skimmers. In the wonderfully named Bwindi Impenetrable Forest we spent a magical hour with a family of Eastern Gorillas and watched a male Grauer’s (or African Green) Broadbill guarding his nest that presumably contained the sitting female. These steep hills and beautiful forests also held a whole host of Albertine Rift endemic specialties that included Regal Sunbird as well as Handsome Spurfowl, Rwenzori Batis, Stripe-breasted Tit, Grauer’s Warbler, Grauer’s Swamp Warbler, Neumann’s Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Rwenzori Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Willard’s Sooty Boubou, Blue-headed Sunbird and Strange Weaver. Near Lake Bunyonyi we found the rare Papyrus Yellow Warbler and Papyrus Canary and a visit to Mgahinga National Park produced the expected Rwenzori Turaco and Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird and Archer’s Ground Robin. We finished our African adventure at Lake Mburo along with Red-faced Barbet apparently teamed up with Black-collared Barbet and the boat trip on the lake was a lovely gentle way to end the tour with close views of families of African Finfoot and White-backed Night Heron. Amongst the many other mouth-watering specialities that we encountered were Clapperton’s Spurfowl, Black-shouldered and Montane (or Ruwenzori heard only) Nightjars, White-crested and Black-billed Turacos, Dusky and Barred Long-tailed Cuckoos, Red-chested Flufftail (heard only), Mountain Buzzard, ‘Congo’ African Pied Hornbill, White-thighed Hornbill, Grey-throated and ‘Eastern’ Yellow-billed Barbets, Dwarf and Willcocks’s (heard only) Honeyguides, Fine-banded, Speckle-breasted and Elliot’s Woodpeckers, Lagden’s Bushshrike (heard only), Doherty’s Bushshrike, Albertine Sooty Boubou, Petit’s Cuckooshrike, Mountain Oriole, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, White-tailed Lark, Kakamega, Olive-breasted and White-throated Greenbuls, White-headed Saw-wing, White-browed Crombec, Uganda Woodland Warbler, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Highland Rush Warbler, Trilling, Chubb’s, Carruthers’s and Long-tailed Cisticolas, Black-faced Prinia, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Grey-capped Warbler, Green-backed Eremomela, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Green White-eye, Scaly-breasted and Mountain Illadopsises, Black-lored Babbler, Grey-chested Babbler (heard only), Stuhlmann’s and Sharpe’s Starlings, Silverbird, Chapin’s Flycatcher, White-bellied, Grey-winged and Blue-shouldered Robin-Chats, ‘Eastern’ Forest Robin, Equatorial Akalat, Grey-headed and Red-chested Sunbirds, Shelley’s Sparrow, Dusky Crimsonwing, Kandt’s Waxbill, Quailfinch, Red-headed Bluebill, Red-winged Pytilia, Brown Twinspot and Western Citril.

Our action-packed journey around Uganda began in Entebbe where a visit to the Botanical Gardens gave us a gentle introduction to the birds with Bat Hawk and colourful Grey Parrots being highlights and after some searching produced the desired Orange Weaver. The next day we set off early for Mabamba Swamp to look for the species, which for many of us was to be the ‘ultimate’ bird of the tour – the enormous and totally unique Shoebill. The 90 minutes journey to the landing stage was uneventful and as the sun began to rise in the sky, we soon found ourselves on the water in three small, motorised wooden pirogues. We were fortunate to be taken to a recently discovered Shoebill nest where the adult stood towering over its tiny youngster which spent most of its time prostrate on the matted papyrus. We were certainly privileged to watch this very special species so intimately and whilst there we saw Blue Swallow fly over and hunted out a pair of diminutive Lesser Jacana pattering around on the extensive lily pads.

Time was limited as we only had the morning at Mabamba and we were hoping to reach Mabira Forest, our next destination for some late afternoon birding so we set off for a rather tedious journey that skirted the heavy traffic of Kampala. By the time we reached Mabira the shadowy afternoon had made the forest quiet but we managed to track down the desirable Yellow-eyed Greenbul before continuing to the town of Jinja that overlooks the source of the Nile and planned to return the following morning.

There is not much to recommend the town of Jinja but it is in easy reach of the sadly rather degraded remnants of Mabira Forest. It was only a short time ago that this extension of the Budongo Forests was seriously threatened by a proposed government-backed expansion of the sterile sugar cane plantations that surround it. A fierce protest followed in which several people died but it has saved this leafy haven at least for the time being. The cool forest therefore continues to provide a refuge for a number of interesting species and during our productive time here we managed to find some very special birds including some Nahan’s Partridges but they were very secretive and kept to the shadows of the dense undergrowth. With limited time in the forest, we concentrated on the specials and were pleased to have good views of both Forest Wood Hoopoe and Lowland Sooty Boubou. A Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat was seen and a brief view of White-spotted Flufftail was obtained before we found ourselves on the road once again. The next long drive took us northeastwards to the distant town of Soroti taking in a stop at a swamp that yielded a secretive White-winged Swamp Warbler, colourful Papyrus Gonolek and a surprise male Golden-winged Sunbird!

Our main reason for visiting this once dangerous region which had been out of bounds for so long was for a chance to see Uganda’s only endemic bird, the little-known Fox’s Weaver. Mysteriously there had been no published breeding records since 1996 when 47 nests were counted. We had managed to see the species in 2011 and 2012 in the Lake Bisina area but no nests were found and then only a few years ago a colony was discovered a little bit further east near Lake Opeta and suddenly what had been a true enigma of a bird was finally nailed down and accessible. We therefore followed in the footsteps of the Birdquest 2021 and 2022 tours and during our visit managed to see at least 10 birds at their nests which were not as once thought to be out on the lake itself but in the seasonally inundated grasslands that are dotted with whistling thorn. These strange trees that form a symbiotic relationship with an ant were also home to the localised Karamoja Apalis which we also managed to see, as well as observing a male Fox’s Weaver habit of actually feeding on the ants themselves! Whilst birding in the area we also saw Clapperton’s Spurfowls in the early morning calling loudly from overnight roosts, Dwarf Bitterns were positively common with a number of individuals seen incredibly well and a pair of African Rail was coaxed into view. Other species included Highland Rush Warbler and Shelley’s Sparrow whilst Cardinal and Red-billed Queleas, Black-winged Red and Northern Red Bishops were all in glorious technicoloured breeding plumage. In the afternoon we visited a Heuglin’s Masked Weaver colony, found roadside Red-pate Cisticola and watched Lesser Moorhens and Allen’s Gallinules skittering over the lily pads as the sun went down. The last bird of the day being our first Foxy Cisticola.

We departed the next morning, ticking off some gorgeous Abyssinian Rollers in Soroti town and a flock of Compact Weavers nearby before starting the long journey towards Masindi in the north-west of the country. The afternoon was spent birding the Kimengo Ranches where we gained super views of White-crested Turacos and a colourful array of starlings that included Lesser Blue-eared, Bronze-tailed and Purple Starlings.

From Masindi we headed into Murchison Falls National Park and made a prolonged stop in the forest at Kaniyo Pabidi where the main target was Puvel’s Illadopsis. We explored the network of trails that led into the superb rainforest with its magnificent mahogany and ironwood trees and despite the birds being very silent we still managed to find two individuals and enjoyed some amazing close and prolonged views. Canopy Black-billed Turacos were also seen and after a picnic lunch we continued on through the park managing to evade the biting jaws of fearsome Tsetse flies as they weren’t particularly bad this year and finished our day with a visit to the top of the spectacular Murchison Falls which produced the expected Rock Pratincoles. Good views of several Heuglin’s Spurfowl were obtained and Long-tailed Nightjar and a Greyish Eagle-Owl was spotted by the roadside near our comfortable lodge situated in the heart of the park.

The next morning, we took a trip by small boat downstream along the Nile to the delta, which gave us a marvellous opportunity to see the wildlife from a different perspective! Cruising down-river we watched numerous Hippopotamuses wallowing in the shallows, small numbers of Senegal Thick-knees eyed us warily from the banks and pairs of dapper Red-necked Falcon and White-backed Night Herons were a real treat. We disembarked at the Delta Point and were reunited with our car and driver and continued on a game drive through the north bank sector of the park. In contrast to the south bank which is for the most part heavily vegetated with shrubs and trees and tall grasses the habitat on the north bank comprises rolling hills and open Borassus Palm-studded grasslands inhabited by large herds of game that include numerous Uganda Kob, stately Rothschild’s Giraffes, some adorned with Yellow-billed Oxpeckers and many African Savanna Elephant, ‘Lake Chad’ Buffalo, Defassa Waterbuck, Sudan Oribi and Lelwel Hartebeest as well as the distinctive Patas Monkey. A close Denham’s Bustard on the short grass plains was much appreciated and spiky-crested Black-headed Lapwings were seen. We admired the colours of Swallow-tailed, Little, Northern Carmine and Red-throated Bee-eaters and were astonished by the hundreds of Piapiacs that were seen as we birded the scrubby savanna where we also found several prehistoric-looking Abyssinian Ground Hornbills. A trio of excitable Red-winged Grey Warblers was enjoyed and our day ended watching spectacular male Pennant-winged Nightjars gliding all around us at dusk.

As we left the park, a concerted effort was made to find the skulking and retiring Dusky Babbler, a species that can be notoriously difficult to find. The usual haunts had either been disturbed by roadworks or else were silent and it wasn’t until the very last opportunity that we got a response and a furtive group was finally seen. Our journey then took us onward across the now very much inhabited Buliisa Plains where we tracked down White-rumped Seedeater and then up the Butiaba escarpment which as usual we arrived at during the most inhospitable and hot hours of the day but ultimately, we did well birding the scrubby hillsides and found goodies such as Green-backed Eremomela and White-shouldered Black Tit.

The following day we were back in the woods, this time to a stretch of forest that is known as the Royal Mile. The tall trees meant that we were stretching our backs and craning our necks upwards to try to spot tell-tale movements in the canopy. White-thighed Hornbills were big enough but even these weren’t immediately apparent in the leafy mass above our heads. Imagine then how difficult it was to try to spot the tiny Lemon-bellied Crombec and the diminutive Uganda Woodland Warbler and Ituri Batis. Ultimately it was only the crombec that refused to be seen and we also managed views of both Chocolate-backed and African Dwarf Kingfishers and Sabine’s Spinetails amongst other more widespread forest species. In the late afternoon rain began to fall which curtailed our activities and was set to plague us over the following few days.

The next day was mainly a long travel day to Kibale Forest but we first spent time by one of Uganda’s many swamps. The vegetation was absolutely sodden, after overnight rain and we got ourselves soaking wet looking for Grey-headed Oliveback in the weedy fields. Yellow-shouldered and ‘all black’ Red-collared Widowbirds and Orange-breasted Waxbills were seen during our search but of the oliveback there was no sign, that is until we got back to the car where we found a pair posing nicely for us! The rest of the drive was uneventful but by the time we reached the edge of Kibale National Park situated near the town of Fort Portal in the mid-afternoon torrential rain was falling which put paid to any birding activities. We tried watching the birds at a small swamp near Fort Portal but the situation was really hopeless and we admitted defeat and headed to our lodge to dry out.

The following damp morning, we had to be up well before dawn in order to increase our chances of finding the elusive Green-breasted Pitta, a species that normally prefers to display at first light. A pair of African Wood Owls greeted us where we met our guide, Milka who led us through the gloom into the dark forest that was just beginning to stir. Sadly, we could not see or hear any pittas in the time available so we turned our attention to the forest’s other star attraction – Chimpanzee. Kibale National Park has surely got to be THE place to see Chimpanzee as it now boasts of at least a 90% hit rate chance of seeing members of their habituated troops of the eastern race schweinfurthii, although with time available it is highly unlikely that one could miss these great apes on a day visit to the forest. We were particularly unlucky on this trip as although we saw plenty of chimps they preferred to keep to the tops of the tall trees because it was so wet and muddy on the forest floor. Despite our best efforts at finding some on or nearer the ground the animals resolutely refused to come down so we returned to looking for pittas and this time with another guide, Benson who had also seen them recently but despite walking 25 kilometres over our given time the birds remained hidden. We tried everything we could and at one point were chased by a female elephant protecting her calf. This was a terrifying but also strangely exhilarating moment when several of us found that we were still able to run despite having thought we had lost the ability to do so but when the guard loads his gun as the huge beast crashes through the jungle towards us then run is exactly what one does! So, our stay at Kibale was somewhat of a disappointment this tour although incredible views of a pair of Scaly-breasted Illadopsis in the forest and a family of Speckle-breasted Woodpeckers and a pair of Verreaux’s Eagle-Owls at our lodge did something to heal the pain.

In the afternoon we started our drive through picturesque crater highlands to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The conditions were still very wet which meant that seeing African Crake by the roadsides was a lot easier. Our time spent in Queen Elizabeth National Park is always considered to be yet another of the great highlights of the tour and after an early breakfast we set out to explore the park which is predominantly open grasslands dotted with thickets and punctuated by Candelabra Euphorbias. There were plenty of Senegal Lapwings and small numbers of Greater and Lesser Flamingos could be seen on a sulphurous crater lake. The often-elusive White-tailed Lark was in full song and could be seen displaying over the kob mating grounds where some sleepy lions were resting. Good numbers of elephants were seen, the population here being curious as the gene pool of African ‘Savanna’ Elephants has been infiltrated by that of the smaller Forest Elephant (perhaps those fleeing from devastated forests in Congo, seeking safer lands) so that the population in Queen Elizabeth and Kibale National Parks is now deemed to be predominantly hybrid!

At lunchtime we gazed out at the spectacular view over the broad Kazinga Channel flowing below us and then in the afternoon, sat back and enjoyed the fantastic experience of an afternoon boat trip on the waters, an event that offered excellent wildlife viewing with plenty of photographic opportunities for waterside birds and mammals. The star attraction had to be the flock of about 300+ African Skimmers that our boat glided right up to for some close-up views and having had our fill we cruised along the banks where there were huge numbers of Hippopotamus, ‘Lake Chad’ Buffalo and a few Nile Crocodiles. Star attraction though was a family of Giant Forest Hogs that had come to a salt lick. As usual there were amazing numbers of Pied Kingfishers catching and carrying fish everywhere. We even found a snowy white leucistic individual – quite a striking bird! A large congregation of White-breasted Cormorants was gathered and dotted along the shore was a selection of common waterbirds and African Fish Eagles standing sentinel that all offered fine photographic opportunities as the day came to a spectacular end.

The following morning, we embarked upon what was basically a very long ‘game drive’ that took us through some wild country into the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. At the bridge over the Kazinga Channel we had superb views of a pair of Papyrus Gonoleks and a great selection of bush birds included the unassuming Trilling Cisticola and the comical Crested Barbet. In the Ishasha sector of the park we found two ‘tree-climbing’ lionesses comfortably wedged in one of the spreading fig trees there but ultimately it was time to close the roof of the landcruiser and head on to our next destination, the village of Buhoma that is situated at the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. We arrived at the end of the day and settled into our comfortable and welcoming lodge with its rooms overlooking a deep valley and the impressive steep forested slopes beyond. This beautiful forest dates back to before the Pleistocene ice age, which makes it at over 25,000 years old, one of the most biologically diverse in Africa and goes by the name wonderfully evocative name the ‘Impenetrable Forest’, due to the steepness of its hills as opposed to the density of its vegetation and with this view came the promise of seeing a selection of fascinating Albertine Rift endemics and other exciting birds.

The next few days were spent trying to hunt out the specialties of the region and we started our explorations in the forest above Buhoma. The trail itself was pleasantly birdy and without being overwhelmed by birds we managed to see some of those important and coveted Albertine Rift endemic species such as Red-faced Woodland Warbler and Red-throated Alethe. The notoriously skulking Neumann’s Warbler was only heard this year but the recently described Willard’s Sooty Boubou was teased out of the tangles and its distinctive pale blue-grey iris was noted. A fine male African Broadbill twirled and displayed upon his perch and furtive Equatorial Akalats were also seen and headed a fine supporting cast of other species that included Ansorge’s Greenbul, a species first discovered in the country during BirdQuest’s 2001 Uganda tour as well as Elliot’s Woodpecker, Pink-footed Puffback, Lühder’s Bushshrike, Black-faced Prinia, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Mountain Illadopsis, Grey-winged and White-bellied Robin-Chats and Blue-headed Sunbird.

We had already encountered a fine selection of primates during the tour that included Red-tailed, L’Hoest’s, Blue, Tantalus and Patas Monkeys, Guereza, Uganda Grey-cheeked Mangabey, Olive Baboon, Uganda Red Colobus and of course Chimpanzee but Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is particularly famous for its gorilla trekking opportunities and this ‘Great Ape’ was the star attraction and most of us had opted to go in search of our close cousins.

Of course, we were wondering just how easy (or difficult depending on how you view your half-filled glass) it was going to be to see these gentle giants! This year we had permits to visit ‘Katwe’ group from Buhoma. After the lengthy briefing session, we set off on our ‘trek’. It was the luck of the draw how far away the animals are as the gorillas obviously move daily in search of food and this year it seemed that our group was pretty close and it was only a short hike up through the forest over tangled roots and knotted vegetation before we found them. During the excursion, the pace is always geared to that of the slowest member of the group and expert guides, guards, porters and trackers ensured the safety of all. Approximately just over 1,000 ‘mountain’ Gorillas have survived the ravages of modern times and a population of about 459 animals is believed to inhabit Bwindi itself. Patiently our guides and trackers led us deeper amongst the troop thus introducing us to the various family members and revealing an ever-moving, somewhat theatrical tableau, at times carefully peeling the vegetation away from the animals so that we could see them better.

The emotional and spiritual experience of seeing these huge apes always more than compensates for any physical discomfort (briars and stinging nettles!) or hardship (those steep hills!) that is required. Although these habituated troops might occasionally object to our human presence, mostly it seems that they are either oblivious to our attentions or, in the case of the youngsters, a little too curious for their own good and it is normal to be able to watch these creatures at rest and play. However, for the most part, all they are usually intent on doing is sleeping or packing more food into their already distended stomachs and passing wind loudly!

The taxonomy of the ‘mountain’ Gorillas has been hotly debated in recent decades. Most taxonomists seem to agree now on two species of Gorilla, Western Lowland Gorilla (G. gorilla) and Eastern Gorilla (G. beringei). The eastern group includes both the Eastern Lowland Gorilla (G. beringei graueri) and two mountain populations of the nominate form G. b. beringei. The Bwindi population is at the centre of the argument and has been suggested to form a third subspecies G. beringei bwindi. It has been claimed that these are not ‘mountain’ gorillas at all on morphological and ecological grounds. Mitochondrial DNA research however reveals the Bwindi and Virunga populations to be indistinguishable.

Three nights had sped by far too fast and we left the following morning bound for Ruhija. On the journey we found Little Green Woodpecker and at ‘The Neck’, an area of forest that connects smaller and larger regions of the park we found Black Bee-eater but otherwise the forest was disappointingly quiet. It wasn’t until we reached higher elevations that things started to happen and we found our first higher altitude specialties with Dwarf Honeyguide, Rwenzori Apalis, the gorgeous Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver and ultimately a splendid Handsome Spurfowl by the roadside.

Ruhija was to be our base for the next two nights and the wooded hillsides provided suitable habitat that allowed us to add to our growing collection of forest species and Albertine Rift endemics. Perhaps the main reason for coming to Ruhija was to trek up and down and then down, down and down to the Mubwindi Swamp where some major targets occur. It was a fine, dry morning and the views over the forest were superb. We followed a clear trail that had in places been enhanced by the crater-like footprints of elephants. We were aiming to get to the bottom as early as we could because we knew that two pairs of Grauer’s (or African Green) Broadbills were nesting. The trail was very birdy so with the avian distractions, getting to our destination was not an easy task. Along the way we gathered views of Rwenzori Batis, Mountain Oriole, Olive-breasted Greenbul, Mountain Masked Apalis, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Stripe-breasted Tit and Sharpe’s and Waller’s Starlings.

We finally reached the valley bottom where the first nest was still hanging intact in the tree and we didn’t have to wait long before we spotted the male sitting close nearby. Presumably the female was sitting inside the nest as we never saw her and the male didn’t go very far during the time that we spent there which meant that we had prolonged and ultimately walkaway views of the bird through the scope. Flushed with success we continued down to the swamp itself where we ate our lunch and gazed out on the beautiful view where Grauer’s Swamp Warblers performed whirring little display flights over the rushes. After lunch we checked on the second nest but no birds were to be seen so we started the climb back. The return journey was of course almost entirely uphill but we took it slowly and there were rewards scattered along the way which included looks at the rather dull little Grauer’s Warbler with its soft purring trill that enabled us to locate it.

The following morning, we continued birding in the Ruhija area for a short time but it was cold and windy with no activity so we decided to move on. Near Lake Bunyonyi we stopped at a very productive area of degraded papyrus swamp. The drainage of the swamp and spread of the potato fields continue to threaten this fragile habitat and the site is looking like it might disappear at any time. Our main quarry here was the inexplicably localised Papyrus Yellow Warbler and we were amazed that it took no time at all to get a response but the view was fleeting and most of the group had missed it. The water levels were very high this year and the track through the papyrus totally flooded but by donning our rubber boots we waded into the middle where we located another pair and gained close views of a pair of this inexplicably rare and somewhat unusual warbler in the papyrus. Our luck then continued because shortly after, we found three individuals of the localised Papyrus Canary and happily set off on our journey again. Stopping for a short time at Echuya Forest, a Western Tinkerbird, particularly showy Regal Sunbirds and a Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo that flaunted itself were the highlights before ending our day at the famous Traveller’s Rest in Kisoro which was besieged by huge numbers of Straw-coloured Fruit Bats.

Mgahinga National Park was our penultimate destination and lies in a truly very beautiful setting under the shadow of the three inactive volcanoes situated right on the borders with Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. In glorious surroundings with the towering cones of these impressive peaks dominating the skyline we easily found the glittering Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird as well as Dusky Turtle Dove, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler and White-tailed Crested Flycatcher. Archer’s Ground Robin and Dusky Crimsonwing showed well and we enjoyed great looks at several Albertine Sooty Boubous. Doherty’s Bushshrike was coaxed out from dense vegetation for the briefest of views but perhaps the most ‘special’ bird that we saw came in the shape of the incredible Rwenzori Turaco. We heard the strange cries echoing around us in the still air before we saw the first bird but when we did it was simply a “Wow!” of delight. The incredible combination of colours was a joy to behold and we spent time watching these beauties – a must-see bird if you are a turaco fan! Our walk took us as far as the bottom of the impressive Sabinyo Gorge and several ‘Golden’ Monkeys were seen along the way as well as three Montane Side-striped Chameleons before our time in the far southwest finally run out.

It was then a long haul in the landcruiser, retracing our steps back and then onwards to Lake Mburo National Park. A roadside pool produced the usual White-backed Ducks and we arrived at the park in the early afternoon encountering a totally different environment from where we had been for the past week, it being a thorn-bush haven surrounded by grazing land for the ridiculously large-horned Ankole Cattle.

In the late afternoon we found the much hoped for Red-faced Barbet teamed up with a Black-collared Barbet, the latter a recent colonist to the region and the dry park also produced Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Nubian and Little Spotted Woodpeckers, Long-tailed Cisticola and Southern Black Flycatcher. As dusk fell, we found a pair of Swamp Nightjars, a non-reeding male Pennant-winged Nightjar and a most obliging African Scops Owl.

Before dawn we added a super Black-shouldered Nightjar to our list before a relaxing morning boat trip on the lake which delivered a pair of nesting White-backed Night Herons with two youngsters and allowed us to get extra close to an obliging immature African Finfoot that was then followed by a female with two chicks for amazingly prolonged views. One wonders if these are now truly habituated because they seem to ignore the boat entirely! These marvellous birds brought the tour to a close although we did manage to add some Lilac-breasted Rollers on the journey back to Entebbe.

It had surely been an amazing trip with so many memories to cherish! Uganda is the proud owner of an extensive network of well-managed parks and reserves which contain a wide range of habitats: high to low altitude rain forests, vast open wetlands, thorn-bush and dry savannahs. The country boasts a bird list of over 1,000 species, as well as large numbers of big game and wonderful facilities for unrivalled primate watching, making this one of the most outstanding eco-destinations anywhere in the world. All of these natural wonders are complemented by the extremely high standard of comfortable accommodation that is now available (and is improving every year). The people are friendly and helpful and in particular thanks to our driver and all of our local guides who really made our tour a holiday to remember.




White-faced Whistling Duck  Dendrocygna viduata

Fulvous Whistling Duck  Dendrocygna bicolor

White-backed Duck  Thalassornis leuconotus

Spur-winged Goose  Plectropterus gambensis

Egyptian Goose  Alopochen aegyptiaca

Yellow-billed Duck  Anas undulata

Helmeted Guineafowl  Numida meleagris

Nahan’s Partridge ◊  Ptilopachus nahani

Crested Francolin  Dendroperdix sephaena

Handsome Spurfowl ◊  Pternistis nobilis

Heuglin’s Spurfowl   Pternistis icterorhynchus

Clapperton’s Spurfowl   Pternistis clappertoni

Red-necked Spurfowl  Pternistis afer

Fiery-necked [Black-shouldered] Nightjar   Caprimulgus [pectoralis] nigriscapularis

Montane [Ruwenzori] Nightjar  Caprimulgus [poliocephalus] ruwenzorii

Swamp Nightjar (Natal N, African White-tailed N)  Caprimulgus natalensis

Long-tailed Nightjar  Caprimulgus climacurus

Square-tailed Nightjar (Gabon N)  Caprimulgus fossii

Pennant-winged Nightjar  Caprimulgus vexillarius

Sabine’s Spinetail  Rhaphidura sabini

African Palm Swift  Cypsiurus parvus

Alpine Swift  Tachymarptis melba   A couple over Kibale NP.

Little Swift  Apus affinis

White-rumped Swift  Apus caffer

Great Blue Turaco  Corythaeola cristata

Bare-faced Go-away-bird (Black-faced G)   Crinifer [personatus] leopoldi

Eastern Plantain-eater (E Grey P-e)  Crinifer zonurus

Rwenzori Turaco   Gallirex johnstoni

Ross’s Turaco  Musophaga rossae

White-crested Turaco   Tauraco leucolophus

Black-billed Turaco   Tauraco schuettii

Denham’s Bustard ◊  Neotis denhami

Senegal Coucal  Centropus senegalensis

Blue-headed Coucal  Centropus monachus

White-browed Coucal  Centropus superciliosus

Black Coucal  Centropus grillii

Blue Malkoha (Yellowbill)  Ceuthmochares aereus   heard-only

Levaillant’s Cuckoo (African Striped C)  Clamator levaillantii

Jacobin Cuckoo (Black-and-white C)  Clamator jacobinus

Diederik Cuckoo (Didric C)  Chrysococcyx caprius

Klaas’s Cuckoo  Chrysococcyx klaas

African Emerald Cuckoo  Chrysococcyx cupreus

Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo  Cercococcyx mechowi

Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo ◊  Cercococcyx montanus

Black Cuckoo  Cuculus clamosus

Red-chested Cuckoo  Cuculus solitarius   heard-only

Rock Dove (introduced) (Feral Pigeon)  Columba livia

Speckled Pigeon  Columba guinea

Afep Pigeon Columba unicincta

African Olive Pigeon (Rameron P)  Columba arquatrix

Western Bronze-naped Pigeon  Columba iriditorques   heard-only

Lemon Dove  Columba larvata

Dusky Turtle Dove  Streptopelia lugens

Mourning Collared Dove (African M D)  Streptopelia decipiens

Red-eyed Dove  Streptopelia semitorquata

Ring-necked Dove  Streptopelia capicola

Vinaceous Dove  Streptopelia vinacea

Laughing Dove  Spilopelia senegalensis

Emerald-spotted Wood Dove  Turtur chalcospilos

Black-billed Wood Dove  Turtur afer

Blue-spotted Wood Dove  Turtur afer

Tambourine Dove  Turtur tympanistria

Bruce’s Green Pigeon  Treron waalia

African Green Pigeon  Treron calvus

African Finfoot  Podica senegalensis

White-spotted Flufftail  Sarothrura pulchra

Red-chested Flufftail ◊  Sarothrura elegans   heard-only

African Rail (A Water R)  Rallus caerulescens

African Crake  Crex egregia

Lesser Moorhen  Paragallinula angulata

Common Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus

Red-knobbed Coot  Fulica cristata

Allen’s Gallinule  Porphyrio alleni

African Swamphen  Porphyrio madagascariensis

Black Crake  Amaurornis flavirostra

Grey Crowned Crane  Balearica regulorum

Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis

Greater Flamingo  Phoenicopterus roseus

Lesser Flamingo  Phoeniconaias minor

Senegal Thick-knee  Burhinus senegalensis

Water Thick-knee (W Dikkop)  Burhinus vermiculatus

Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus

Long-toed Lapwing (L-t Plover)  Vanellus crassirostris

Spur-winged Lapwing (S-w Plover)  Vanellus spinosus

Black-headed Lapwing (B-h Plover)  Vanellus tectus

Senegal Lapwing (Lesser Black-winged Plover)  Vanellus lugubris

Crowned Lapwing (C Plover)  Vanellus coronatus

African Wattled Lapwing (A W Plover)  Vanellus senegallus

Kittlitz’s Plover  Charadrius pecuarius

Three-banded Plover  Charadrius tricollaris

Lesser Jacana  Microparra capensis

African Jacana  Actophilornis africanus

Temminck’s Courser  Cursorius temminckii

Rock Pratincole (White-collared P)  Glareola nuchalis

African Skimmer  Rynchops flavirostris

Grey-headed Gull  Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus

Yellow-billed Stork  Mycteria ibis

African Openbill (A Open-billed Stork)  Anastomus lamelligerus

Woolly-necked Stork (African W-n S))   Ciconia [episcopus] microscelis

Saddle-billed Stork  Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis

Marabou Stork  Leptoptilos crumenifer

African Darter  Anhinga rufa

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

Little Bittern  Ixobrychus minutus

Dwarf Bittern ◊  Ixobrychus sturmii

White-backed Night Heron ◊  Gorsachius leuconotus

Black-crowned Night Heron  Nycticorax nycticorax

Striated Heron (Green-backed H)  Butorides striata

Squacco Heron (Common S H)  Ardeola ralloides

Western Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis

Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea

Black-headed Heron  Ardea melanocephala

Goliath Heron  Ardea goliath

Purple Heron  Ardea purpurea

Great Egret (Western G E)   Ardea alba

Intermediate Egret (Yellow-billed E)  Ardea [intermedia] brachyrhyncha

Little Egret  Egretta garzetta

Hamerkop  Scopus umbretta

Shoebill   (Whale-headed Stork)  Balaeniceps rex

Pink-backed Pelican  Pelecanus rufescens

Osprey. Pandion haliaetus

Black-winged Kite (B-shouldered K)  Elanus caeruleus

African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene)  Polyboroides typus

Palm-nut Vulture (Vulturine Fish Eagle)  Gypohierax angolensis

Hooded Vulture  Necrosyrtes monachus

White-backed Vulture (African W-b V)  Gyps africanus

Rüppell’s Vulture (R’s Griffon V)  Gyps rueppelli

White-headed Vulture  Trigonoceps occipitalis

Lappet-faced Vulture  Torgos tracheliotus

Black-chested Snake Eagle  Circaetus pectoralis

Brown Snake Eagle  Circaetus cinereus

Western Banded Snake Eagle  Circaetus cinerascens

Bateleur  Terathopius ecaudatus

Bat Hawk  Macheiramphus alcinus

Crowned Eagle  Stephanoaetus coronatus

Martial Eagle  Polemaetus bellicosus

Long-crested Eagle  Lophaetus occipitalis

Wahlberg’s Eagle  Hieraaetus wahlbergi

Lizard Buzzard  Kaupifalco monogrammicus

Gabar Goshawk  Micronisus gabar

Dark Chanting Goshawk  Melierax metabates

African Goshawk  Accipiter tachiro

Shikra  Accipiter badius

Black Sparrowhawk (Great S)  Accipiter melanoleucus

African Marsh Harrier  Circus ranivorus

Yellow-billed Kite  Milvus aegyptius

African Fish Eagle  Haliaeetus vocifer

Mountain Buzzard  Buteo oreophilus

Augur Buzzard  Buteo augur

Pearl-spotted Owlet  Glaucidium perlatum

Red-chested Owlet  Glaucidium tephronotum   heard-only

African Scops Owl  Otus senegalensis

Greyish Eagle-Owl  Bubo cinerascens

Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl (Giant E-O)  Bubo lacteus

African Wood Owl  Strix woodfordii

Speckled Mousebird  Colius striatus

Blue-naped Mousebird  Urocolius macrourus

Narina Trogon  Apaloderma narina

Bar-tailed Trogon  Apaloderma vittatum

Forest Wood Hoopoe ◊ (F Scimitarbill)  Phoeniculus castaneiceps

White-headed Wood Hoopoe  Phoeniculus bollei

Green Wood Hoopoe  Phoeniculus purpureus

Black Scimitarbill (B Wood-hoopoe)  Rhinopomastus aterrimus

Common Scimitarbill  Rhinopomastus cyanomelas

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill  Bucorvus abyssinicus

Crowned Hornbill  Lophoceros alboterminatus

African Pied Hornbill  (Congo P H) Lophoceros [fasciatus] fasciatus

African Grey Hornbill  Lophoceros nasutus

White-thighed Hornbill   Bycanistes albotibialis

Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill  Bycanistes subcylindricus

Lilac-breasted Roller  Coracias caudatus

Abyssinian Roller  Coracias abyssinicus

Blue-throated Roller  Eurystomus gularis

Broad-billed Roller  Eurystomus glaucurus

Chocolate-backed Kingfisher  Halcyon badia

Grey-headed Kingfisher  Halcyon leucocephala

Striped Kingfisher  Halcyon chelicuti

Blue-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon malimbica

Woodland Kingfisher  Halcyon senegalensis

African Dwarf Kingfisher  Ispidina lecontei

African Pygmy Kingfisher  Ispidina picta

Malachite Kingfisher  Corythornis cristatus

Pied Kingfisher  Ceryle rudis

Black Bee-eater  Merops gularis

Swallow-tailed Bee-eater  Merops hirundineus

Little Bee-eater  Merops pusillus

Blue-breasted Bee-eater  Merops variegatus

Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater  Merops oreobates

Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki

Olive Bee-eater (Madagascar B-e)  Merops superciliosus

Northern Carmine Bee-eater  Merops nubicus

Grey-throated Barbet (G- headed B)  Gymnobucco [bonapartei] cinereiceps

Speckled Tinkerbird  Pogoniulus scolopaceus

Western Tinkerbird (W Green T)  Pogoniulus coryphaei

Yellow-throated Tinkerbird Pogoniulus subsulphureus

Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird  Pogoniulus bilineatus

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird  Pogoniulus chrysoconus

Yellow-spotted Barbet  Buccanodon duchaillui   heard-only

Hairy-breasted Barbet (Streaky-throated B)  Tricholaema [hirsuta] ansorgii

Spot-flanked Barbet  Tricholaema lacrymosa

White-headed Barbet  Lybius leucocephalus

Red-faced Barbet   Lybius rubrifacies

Black-billed Barbet  Lybius guifsobalito

Black-collared Barbet  Lybius torquatus

Double-toothed Barbet  Lybius bidentatus

Yellow-billed Barbet (Eastern Y-b B)  Trachyphonus [p.] purpuratus

Crested Barbet  Trachyphonus vaillantii

Cassin’s Honeybird  Prodotiscus insignis

Dwarf Honeyguide  Indicator pumilio

Willcocks’s Honeyguide  Indicator willcocksi   heard-only

Lesser Honeyguide (Thick-billed H)   Indicator [minor] conirostris   heard-only

Lesser Honeyguide  Indicator minor   heard-only

Greater Honeyguide  Indicator indicator

Brown-eared Woodpecker  Pardipicus caroli   non-leader

Nubian Woodpecker  Campethera nubica

Little Green Woodpecker  Campethera maculosa

Little Spotted Woodpecker  Campethera cailliautii

Fine-banded Woodpecker   Campethera taeniolaema

Bearded Woodpecker  Chloropicus namaquus

Yellow-crested Woodpecker  Chloropicus xantholophus

Speckle-breasted Woodpecker   Dendropicos poecilolaemus

Cardinal Woodpecker  Dendropicos fuscescens

Elliot’s Woodpecker   Dendropicos elliotii

African Grey Woodpecker  Dendropicos goertae

Brown-backed Woodpecker  Dendropicos obsoletus

Common Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus

Grey Kestrel  Falco ardosiaceus

Red-necked Falcon  Falco [chicquera] ruficollis

African Hobby  Falco cuvierii

Grey Parrot  Psittacus erithacus

Meyer’s Parrot (Brown P)  Poicephalus meyeri

Red-headed Lovebird  Agapornis pullarius

Grauer’s Broadbill ◊ (African Green B)  Pseudocalyptomena graueri

African Broadbill  Smithornis capensis

Rwenzori Batis   Batis diops

Chinspot Batis  Batis molitor

Western Black-headed Batis  Batis erlangeri

Ituri Batis   Batis ituriensis

Chestnut Wattle-eye  Platysteira castanea

Brown-throated Wattle-eye (Common W-e)  Platysteira cyanea

Lagden’s Bushshrike  Malaconotus lagdeni   heard-only

Many-coloured Bushshrike  Chlorophoneus multicolor

Bocage’s Bushshrike  Chlorophoneus bocagei

Orange-breasted Bushshrike  Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus

Doherty’s Bushshrike   Telophorus dohertyi

Marsh Tchagra (Blackcap T)  Bocagia minuta

Brown-crowned Tchagra (Brown-headed T)  Tchagra australis

Black-crowned Tchagra  Tchagra senegalus

Pink-footed Puffback  Dryoscopus angolensis

Northern Puffback  Dryoscopus gambensis

Lowland Sooty Boubou ◊  Laniarius leucorhynchus

Albertine Sooty Boubou   Laniarius poensis

Willard’s Sooty Boubou   Laniarius willardi

Lühder’s Bushshrike  Laniarius luehderi

Tropical Boubou  Laniarius major

Papyrus Gonolek   Laniarius mufumbiri

Black-headed Gonolek  Laniarius erythrogaster

Brubru  Nilaus afer

White-crested Helmetshrike  Prionops plumatus

African Shrike-flycatcher  Megabyas flammulatus

Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher  Bias musicus

Black Cuckooshrike  Campephaga flava

Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike  Campephaga phoenicea

Petit’s Cuckooshrike  Campephaga petiti

Purple-throated Cuckooshrike  Campephaga quiscalina

Mackinnon’s Shrike  Lanius mackinnoni

Grey-backed Fiscal  Lanius excubitoroides

Northern Fiscal  Lanius humeralis

Western Oriole Oriolus brachyrhynchus

Mountain (Montane) Oriole   Oriolus percivali

Velvet-mantled Drongo  Dicrurus modestus

Fork-tailed Drongo (Common D)  Dicrurus adsimilis

Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher  Terpsiphone rufiventer

African Paradise Flycatcher  Terpsiphone viridis

Piapiac  Ptilostomus afer

Pied Crow  Corvus albus

White-necked Raven (W-naped R)  Corvus albicollis

African Blue Flycatcher  Elminia longicauda

White-tailed Blue Flycatcher   Elminia albicauda

White-bellied Crested Flycatcher ◊  Elminia albiventris

White-tailed Crested Flycatcher  Elminia albonotata

White-shouldered Black Tit  Melaniparus guineensis

White-winged Black Tit  Melaniparus leucomelas

Dusky Tit  Melaniparus funereus

Stripe-breasted Tit  Melaniparus fasciiventer

Grey Penduline Tit (African P T)  Anthoscopus caroli

Western Nicator  Nicator chloris

Rufous-naped Lark  Mirafra africana

Flappet Lark  Mirafra rufocinnamomea

White-tailed Lark ◊  Mirafra albicauda

Red-capped Lark  Calandrella cinerea

Slender-billed Greenbul  Stelgidillas gracilirostris

Red-tailed Bristlebill  Bleda syndactylus

Yellow-eyed Bristlebill ◊  Bleda ugandae

Yellow-throated Leaflove Atimastillas flavicollis

Spotted Greenbul  Ixonotus guttatus

Honeyguide Greenbul  Baeopogon indicator   heard-only

Olive-breasted Greenbul  Arizelocichla kikuyuensis

Red-tailed Greenbul  Criniger calurus

Little Greenbul  Eurillas virens

Yellow-whiskered Greenbul  Eurillas latirostris

Plain Greenbul (Cameroon Sombre G)  Eurillas curvirostris

Little Grey Greenbul  Eurillas gracilis

Ansorge’s Greenbul  Eurillas ansorgei

White-throated Greenbul   Phyllastrephus albogularis

Cabanis’s Greenbul  Phyllastrephus cabanisi   heard-only

Yellow-streaked Greenbul  Phyllastrephus flavostriatus

Dark-capped Bulbul   Pycnonotus tricolor

Black Saw-wing   Psalidoprocne pristoptera

White-headed Saw-wing   Psalidoprocne albiceps

Banded Martin  Riparia cincta

Grey-rumped Swallow  Pseudhirundo griseopyga

Rock Martin  Ptyonoprogne fuligula

Blue Swallow ◊  Hirundo atrocaerulea

Wire-tailed Swallow  Hirundo smithii

Angolan Swallow  Hirundo angolensis

Red-breasted Swallow  Cecropis semirufa

Mosque Swallow  Cecropis senegalensis

Lesser Striped Swallow  Cecropis abyssinica

Red-rumped Swallow  Cecropis daurica

Moustached Grass Warbler  Melocichla mentalis

Yellow Longbill  Macrosphenus flavicans   heard-only

Grey Longbill  Macrosphenus concolor

Northern Crombec  Sylvietta brachyura

Red-faced Crombec  Sylvietta whytii

Green Crombec  Sylvietta virens

Lemon-bellied Crombec  Sylvietta denti   heard-only

White-browed Crombec   Sylvietta leucophrys

Neumann’s Warbler ◊  (Short-tailed W)  Urosphena neumanni   heard-only

Chestnut-capped Flycatcher  Erythrocercus mccallii

Green Hylia  Hylia prasina

Red-faced Woodland Warbler  Phylloscopus laetus

Uganda Woodland Warbler  Phylloscopus budongoensis

Grauer’s Warbler   Graueria vittata

Greater Swamp Warbler  Acrocephalus rufescens

Lesser Swamp Warbler  Acrocephalus gracilirostris

Mountain Yellow Warbler ◊  Iduna similis

Papyrus Yellow Warbler ◊  Calamonastides gracilirostris

Fan-tailed Grassbird (F-t Warbler)  Catriscus brevirostris

Evergreen Forest Warbler  Bradypterus lopezi   heard-only

Cinnamon Bracken Warbler  Bradypterus cinnamomeus

White-winged Swamp Warbler  Bradypterus carpalis

Grauer’s Swamp Warbler  Bradypterus graueri

Highland Rush Warbler ◊  Bradypterus centralis

Red-faced Cisticola  Cisticola erythrops

Singing Cisticola  Cisticola cantans

Whistling Cisticola  Cisticola lateralis

Trilling Cisticola   Cisticola woosnami

Chubb’s Cisticola   Cisticola chubbi

Rattling Cisticola  Cisticola chiniana

Winding Cisticola  Cisticola marginatus

Carruthers’s Cisticola   Cisticola carruthersi

Stout Cisticola   Cisticola robustus

Croaking Cisticola  Cisticola natalensis

Red-pate Cisticola   Cisticola ruficeps

Short-winged Cisticola (Siffling C)  Cisticola brachypterus

Foxy Cisticola Cisticola troglodytes

Long-tailed Cisticola ◊ (Tabora C)  Cisticola angusticauda

Zitting Cisticola (Fan-tailed C)  Cisticola juncidis

Tawny-flanked Prinia  Prinia subflava

Black-faced Prinia   Prinia melanops

Red-winged Prinia (R-w Warbler)  Prinia erythroptera

White-chinned Prinia  Prinia leucopogon

Ruwenzori Apalis (Collared A)  Oreolais ruwenzorii

Red-winged Grey Warbler   Drymocichla incana

Buff-bellied Warbler  Phyllolais pulchella

Yellow-breasted Apalis  Apalis flavida

Mountain Masked Apalis   (Black-faced A)  Apalis personata

Black-throated Apalis  Apalis jacksoni

Chestnut-throated Apalis   Apalis porphyrolaema

Buff-throated Apalis  Apalis rufogularis

Karamoja Apalis   Apalis karamojae

Grey Apalis  Apalis cinerea

Grey-capped Warbler   Eminia lepida

Grey-backed Camaroptera   Camaroptera brevicaudata

Olive-green Camaroptera  Camaroptera chloronota

Black-faced Rufous Warbler  Bathmocercus rufus

Green-backed Eremomela  Eremomela canescens

Rufous-crowned Eremomela  Eremomela badiceps

Rwenzori Hill Babbler   Sylvia atriceps

Green White-eye   Zosterops stuhlmanni

Brown Illadopsis  Illadopsis fulvescens   heard-only

Mountain Illadopsis   Illadopsis pyrrhoptera

Scaly-breasted Illadopsis   Illadopsis albipectus

Puvel’s Illadopsis   Illadopsis puveli

Brown Babbler  Turdoides plebejus

Arrow-marked Babbler  Turdoides jardineii

Dusky Babbler   Turdoides tenebrosa

Black-lored Babbler    Turdoides sharpei

Grey-chested Babbler ◊ (G-c Illadopsis) Kakamega poliothorax   heard-only

Yellow-bellied Hyliota  Hyliota flavigaster

Wattled Starling  Creatophora cinerea

Purple-headed Starling  Lamprotornis purpureiceps

Greater Blue-eared Starling  Lamprotornis chalybaeus

Lesser Blue-eared Starling  Lamprotornis chloropterus

Brownze-tailed Starling  Lamprotornis chalcurus

Splendid Starling  Lamprotornis splendidus

Purple Starling (P Glossy S)  Lamprotornis purpureus

Rüppell’s Starling  Lamprotornis purpuroptera

Superb Starling  Lamprotornis superbus

Violet-backed Starling (Amethyst S)  Cinnyricinclus leucogaster

Waller’s Starling  Onychognathus walleri

Stuhlmann’s Starling  Poeoptera stuhlmanni

Narrow-tailed Starling  Poeoptera lugubris

Sharpe’s Starling   Poeoptera sharpii

Yellow-billed Oxpecker  Buphagus africanus

Red-billed Oxpecker  Buphagus erythrorhynchus

Fraser’s Rufous Thrush (Rufous Flycatcher T)  Stizorhina fraseri

White-tailed Ant Thrush  Neocossyphus poensis

Red tailed Ant Thrush  Neocossyphus rufus

African Thrush  Turdus pelios

Abyssinian Thrush (Mountain T)  Turdus abyssinicus

Fire-crested Alethe  Alethe castanea

Brown-backed Scrub Robin  Erythropygia hartlaubi

White-browed Scrub Robin  Erythropygia leucophrys

Fraser’s Forest Flycatcher  Fraseria ocreata

Grey-throated Tit-Flycatcher  Myioparus griseigularis

Grey Tit-Flycatcher (Lead-coloured F)  Myioparus plumbeus   heard-only

White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher  Melaenornis fischeri

Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher   Melaenornis ardesiacus

Northern Black Flycatcher  Melaenornis edolioides

Southern Black Flycatcher  Melaenornis pammelaina

Pale Flycatcher  Melaenornis pallidus

Silverbird ◊  Empidornis semipartitus

Ashy Flycatcher  Muscicapa caerulescens

Swamp Flycatcher  Muscicapa aquatica

Cassin’s Flycatcher (C’s Grey F)  Muscicapa cassini

Chapin’s Flycatcher   Muscicapa lendu

African Dusky Flycatcher  Muscicapa adusta

Dusky-blue Flycatcher  Muscicapa comitata

Red-throated Alethe   Chamaetylas poliophrys

White-bellied Robin-Chat ◊  Cossyphicula roberti

Archer’s Ground Robin   Cossypha archeri

Grey-winged Robin-Chat   Cossypha polioptera

Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat   Cossypha cyanocampter

White-browed Robin-Chat (Heuglin’s R)  Cossypha heuglini

Red-capped Robin-Chat  Cossypha natalensis   heard-only

Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat (S-headed R-c)  Cossypha niveicapilla

White-starred Robin  Pogonocichla stellata

Forest Robin   (Eastern F R)  Stiphrornis [erythrothorax] xanthogaster

Equatorial Akalat   Sheppardia aequatorialis

Spotted Palm Thrush (S Morning T)  Cichladusa guttata

African Stonechat  Saxicola torquatus

Sooty Chat  Myrmecocichla nigra

Grey-headed Sunbird     Deleornis axillaris

Little Green Sunbird  Anthreptes seimundi

Collared Sunbird  Hedydipna collaris

Green-headed Sunbird  Cyanomitra verticalis

Blue-throated Brown Sunbird  Cyanomitra cyanolaema

Blue-headed Sunbird    Cyanomitra alinae

Olive Sunbird  Cyanomitra olivacea

Green-throated Sunbird  Chalcomitra rubescens

Scarlet-chested Sunbird  Chalcomitra senegalensis

Bronzy Sunbird (Bronze S)  Nectarinia kilimensis

Golden-winged Sunbird ◊  Drepanorhynchus reichenowi

Olive-bellied Sunbird  Cinnyris chloropygius

Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird   Cinnyris stuhlmanni

Northern Double-collared Sunbird  Cinnyris reichenowi

Regal Sunbird  Cinnyris regius

Beautiful Sunbird  pulchellus

Red-chested Sunbird   Cinnyris erythrocercus

Variable Sunbird  Cinnyris venustus

Copper Sunbird  Cinnyris cupreus

Shelley’s Sparrow    Passer shelleyi

Northern Grey-headed Sparrow  Passer griseus

House Sparrow (introduced)  Passer domesticus

White-browed Sparrow-Weaver  Plocepasser mahali

Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver  Plocepasser superciliosus

Speckle-fronted Weaver   Sporopipes frontalis

Thick-billed Weaver (Grosbeak W)  Amblyospiza albifrons

Baglafecht Weaver   Ploceus baglafecht

Slender-billed Weaver  Ploceus pelzelni

Little Weaver  Ploceus luteolus

Spectacled Weaver  Ploceus ocularis

Black-necked Weaver  Ploceus nigricollis

Strange Weaver   Ploceus alienus

Black-billed Weaver  Ploceus melanogaster

Holub’s Golden Weaver  Ploceus xanthops

Orange Weaver  Ploceus aurantius

Heuglin’s Masked Weaver     Ploceus heuglini

Northern Brown-throated Weaver  Ploceus castanops

Lesser Masked Weaver  Ploceus intermedius

Vitelline Masked Weaver  Ploceus vitellinus

Fox’s Weaver    Ploceus spekeoides   Endemic

Village Weaver (Black-headed W)  Ploceus cucullatus

Vieillot’s Black Weaver  Ploceus nigerrimus

Black-headed Weaver (Yellow-backed W)  Ploceus melanocephalus

Golden-backed Weaver (Jackson’s G-b W)  Ploceus jacksoni

Compact Weaver  Ploceus superciliosus

Brown-capped Weaver  Ploceus insignis

Red-headed Malimbe  Malimbus rubricollis

Red-headed Weaver  Anaplectes rubriceps

Cardinal Quelea  Quelea cardinalis

Red-headed Quelea  Quelea erythrops

Red-billed Quelea  Quelea quelea

Black Bishop  Euplectes gierowii

Black-winged Red Bishop  Euplectes hordeaceus

Southern Red Bishop  Euplectes orix

Northern Red Bishop  Euplectes franciscanus

Fan-tailed Widowbird (Red-shouldered W)  Euplectes axillaris

Yellow-mantled Widowbird (Y-shouldered W)  Euplectes [macroura] macrocercus

Yellow-mantled Widowbird  Euplectes [macroura] macrocercus

Marsh Widowbird  Euplectes hartlaubi

White-winged Widowbird  Euplectes albonotatus

Red-collared Widowbird  Euplectes ardens

Bronze Mannikin  Spermestes cucullata

Black-and-white Mannikin  Spermestes bicolor

Green Twinspot (G-backed T)  Mandingoa nitidula

Dusky Crimsonwing   Cryptospiza jacksoni

White-breasted Nigrita (W-b Negrofinch)  Nigrita fusconotus

Grey-headed Nigrita (G-crowned Negrofinch)  Nigrita canicapillus

Grey-headed Oliveback ◊  Delacourella capistrata

Black-faced Waxbill  Brunhilda erythronotos

Kandt’s Waxbill ◊  Estrilda kandti

Fawn-breasted Waxbill  Estrilda paludicola

Common Waxbill  Estrilda astrild

Black-rumped Waxbill  Estrilda troglodytes

Quailfinch   Ortygospiza atricollis

Cut-throat Finch  Amadina atricollis

Orange-breasted Waxbill (Zebra W)  Amandava subflava

Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu  Uraeginthus bengalus

Red-headed Bluebill ◊  Spermophaga ruficapilla

Green-winged Pytilia (Melba F)  Pytilia melba   non-leader

Red-winged Pytilia ◊  Pytilia phoenicoptera

Brown Twinspot  Clytospiza monteiri

Red-billed Firefinch  Lagonosticta senegala

African Firefinch  Lagonosticta rubricata

Black-bellied Firefinch  Lagonosticta rara

Bar-breasted Firefinch  Lagonosticta rufopicta

Village Indigobird (Red-billed Firefinch I)  Vidua chalybeata

Pin-tailed Whydah  Vidua macroura

Cuckoo-finch  Anomalospiza imberbis

Cape Wagtail  Motacilla capensis

Mountain Wagtail  Motacilla clara

African Pied Wagtail  Motacilla aguimp

Yellow-throated Longclaw  Macronyx croceus

African Pipit (Grassland P)  Anthus cinnamomeus

Plain-backed Pipit  Anthus leucophrys

Western Citril   Crithagra frontalis

Papyrus Canary ◊  Crithagra koliensis

White-rumped Seedeater  Crithagra leucopygia

Yellow-fronted Canary  Crithagra mozambica

Brimstone Canary  Crithagra sulphuratus

Thick-billed Seedeater  Crithagra burtoni

Streaky Seedeater  Crithagra striolatus

Yellow-crowned Canary  Serinus flavivertex

Cinnamon-breasted Bunting  Emberiza tahapisi

Golden-breasted Bunting  Emberiza flaviventris

Cabanis’s Bunting  Emberiza cabanisi



African Elephant  Loxodonta africanaIt has been suggested that there are two species of African Elephant however a paper in Molecular Ecology (2015) 24, 6134-6147 by Samrat Mondol et al. suggests that the border of DRC and Uganda forms a major hybrid zone between African Savanna Elephant Loxodonta [a.] africana and Forest Elephant Loxodonta [a.] cyclotis this is somewhat surprising as Queen Elizabeth National Park is just outside the current known range of forest elephants but may be explained by ‘savanna’ elephants moving into the forests for food and ‘forest’ elephants fleeing the effects of poaching into the park from DRC or simply moving into the savannas for food.

Lion  Panthera leo

Marsh Mongoose  Atilax paludinosus

Banded Mongoose  Mungos mungo

Spotted-necked Otter  Hydrictis maculicollis

Plains Zebra (Common Z)  Equus quagga

Forest Hog (Giant F H)  Hylochoerus meinertzhageni

Common Warthog  Phacochoerus africanus

Giraffe (Rothschild’s G)  Giraffa [camelopardalis] rothschildi

Impala (Common I)  Aepyceros melampus

Hartebeest (Lelwel)  Alcelaphus [buselaphus] lelwel

Black-fronted Duiker  Cephalophus nigrifrons

Yellow-backed Duiker  Cephalophus silvicultor

Topi (Uganda T)  Damaliscus [lunatus] ugandae

Waterbuck (Defassa W)  Kobus [ellipsiprymnus] defassa

Kob (Uganda K)  Kobus [kob] thomasi

Oribi (Sudan O)  Ourebia [ourebi] montana

Bohor Reedbuck  Redunca redunca

African Buffalo (Cape B)  Syncerus caffer

African Buffalo (Lake Chad B)  Syncerus [caffer] brachyceros

Common Eland  Tragelaphus oryx

Bushbuck (Nile B)  Tragelaphus [scriptus] bor

Hippopotamus  Hippopotamus amphibius

Yellow-winged Bat  Lavia frons

African Straw-coloured Fruit Bat  Eidolon helvum

Franquet’s Singing Fruit Bat  Epomops franqueti

Hammer-headed Fruit Bat  Hypsignathus monstrosus   heard-only

Mauritian Fruit Bat  Taphozous mauritianus   non-leader

Spectacled Lesser Galago  Galago matschei

Demidoff’s Dwarf Galago. Galagoides demidoff

L’Hoest’s Monkey  Cercopithecus lhoesti

Red-tailed Monkey  (Black-cheeked White-nosed M)  Cercopithecus ascanius

Blue Monkey (Gentle M)  Cercopithecus mitis

Blue Monkey (Golden M)  Cercopithecus [mitis] kandti

Vervet  (Savanna Monkey)  Cercopithecus pygerythrus

Tantalus Monkey  Cercopithecus [pygerythrus] tantalus

Guereza (Eastern Black-and-white Colobus)  Colobus guereza

Patas Monkey  Erythrocebus patas

Uganda Grey-cheeked Mangabey (U Crested M)  Lophocebus [albigena] ugandae   heard-only

Olive Baboon   Papio anubis

Uganda Red Colobus (Central African R C)  Piliocolobus tephrosceles

Eastern Gorilla  Gorilla beringei

Chimpanzee  Pan troglodytes

African Savanna Hare  Lepus victoriae

Bunyoro Rabbit  Poelagus marjorita

Carruthers’s Mountain Squirrel (M Tree S)  Funisciurus carruthersi   heard-only

Red-legged Sun Squirrel  Heliosciurus rufobrachium

Ruwenzori Sun Squirrel (Montane S S)   Heliosciurus ruwenzorii

Alexander’s Bush Squirrel  Paraxerus alexanderi

Boehm’s Bush Squirrel  Paraxerus boehmi

Giant Bush Squirrel (G Forest S)  Protoxerus stangeri

Striped Ground Squirrel  Xerus erythropus   non-leader

African Grass Rat  Arvicanthis niloticus  

Peters’ Hybomys (Hump-nosed Mouse)  Hybomys univittatus