23 July - 3 August 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 and 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 able to watch an adult at particularly close range for as long as we wished! We also managed to find Lesser Jacana, the often-elusive Weyns’s Weaver and at least one ‘wintering’ Blue Swallow nearby. Copulating Bat Hawks and Orange Weavers were found in Entebbe Botanical Gardens and on day two, brightly coloured Papyrus Gonoleks and a skulking White-winged Swamp Warbler both featured en route to Kibale National Park. In the forest we were truly ‘wowed’ by displaying Green-breasted Pittas, a splendid Red-chested Owlet was found and we spent a long time with the habituated Chimpanzees whilst the Bigodi Wetland walk produced great views of White-spotted Flufftail. Our stay in Queen Elizabeth National Park was most enjoyable although it was very dry and even burned in places. Highlights included African Crake, White-tailed Lark and glorious Red-throated Bee-eaters whilst the fantastic boat trip along the Kazinga Channel produced a large flock of African Skimmers and tremendous looks at Giant Forest Hogs. In the wonderfully named Bwindi Impenetrable Forest we spent a magical hour with a family of Eastern Gorillas and scored enormously with views of the speedy little Neumann’s Warbler and the decidedly rare Grauer’s (or African Green) Broadbill. 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 (heard only), Grauer’s Swamp Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Rwenzori Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Red-throated Alethe, Archer’s Ground Robin, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Albertine and Willard’s Sooty Boubous, Blue-headed Sunbird and Strange Weaver. We finished our African adventure with a bonus Red-faced Barbet near Lake Mburo. Amongst the many other mouth-watering specialities that we encountered were Montane (Rwenzori) Nightjar, Scarce Swift, Black-billed Turaco, Grey-throated (Grey-headed) Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Hairy-breasted (Streaky-throated) Barbet, ‘Eastern’ Yellow-billed Barbet, Dwarf Honeyguide, Speckle-breasted and Elliot’s Woodpeckers, Doherty’s Bushshrike (heard only), Pink-footed Puffback, Mountain Oriole, Olive-breasted, White-throated (heard only) and Toro Olive Greenbuls, Trilling, Chubb’s and Carruthers’s Cisticolas, Black-faced Prinia, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, Green White-eye, Mountain and Scaly-breasted (heard only) Illadopsises, Black-lored Babbler, Slender-billed, Stuhlmann’s and Sharpe’s Starlings, Chapin’s Flycatcher, White-bellied and Grey-winged Robin-Chats, Equatorial Akalat, Grey-headed Sunbird, Red-chested Sunbird, ‘Victoria Masked’ and Golden-backed Weavers and Dusky Crimsonwing.

Our action-packed journey around Uganda began in Entebbe with a gentle stroll in the Botanical Gardens for the group’s early arrivals which gave us a chance to locate the superb Grey-capped Warbler and Orange Weavers there. Our group of six was complete by the evening so the following day at dawn we set off for Mabamba Swamp to search 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 along dusty dirt roads to the landing stage produced only common birds and on arrival we soon found ourselves on the water in two small, motorised wooden pirogues. After a bit of a search our success with the Shoebill was ultimately a success and the boats were edged closer and closer to where the huge beast was resting so that we obtained some first-class, close-up views. We watched this prehistoric looking creature for as long as we wished and having had our fill of the Shoebill we went in search of other species.

As we wended our way around the creeks of the extensive swamps surrounding Lake Victoria, our boats gliding through the extensive lily pads, we flushed jewel-like Malachite Kingfishers that darted from the reeds whilst chequered Pied Kingfishers hovered overhead. The handsome Long-toed Lapwings were much in evidence, Blue-breasted Bee-eaters perched atop the dense swampland vegetation and there were numerous Yellow-billed Ducks, small numbers of Grey-headed Gulls, African Jacanas, Black Crakes, and African Swamphen with chicks. A single Rufous-bellied Heron was put up, African Marsh Harriers sailed past and we also managed to track down a pair of fairly obliging Lesser Jacana.

Back on land we went in search of the somewhat nomadic Weyns’s Weaver. We were lucky enough to track down a male in breeding plumage as there seemed to be very few around at this time. Also in the area were migrant ‘wintering’ Blue Swallows and a lone Grey-rumped Swallow. In the afternoon we returned to the Botanical Gardens so that those who hadn’t been there the previous day could catch up. We not only saw the Orange Weavers again but also added handsome male Golden-backed Weavers and a splendid pair of copulating Bat Hawks!

We left Entebbe early the next morning and took the newly opened express way in order to avoid Kampala’s horrendous traffic problems. We were headed to Kibale National Park and the long journey was brightened considerably by a stop that produced marvellously top-knotted Great Blue Turacos. At a convenient roadside swamp, a simply stunning pair of colourful Papyrus Gonoleks put on a magnificent show and a skulking White-winged Swamp Warbler was coaxed into view. True to its nature the latter species did not exactly flaunt itself but we were still pleased to tuck this one under our belts!

The journey took us further and further west and a fortuitous lunch stop gave us a couple of Speckle-breasted Woodpeckers and we reached the edge of Kibale National Park situated near the town of Fort Portal in the mid afternoon and were able to begin our first explorations of the area with some roadside birding. It was somewhat quiet birdwise and the paved road meant that traffic thundered by somewhat too close for comfort at times but nonetheless we still managed to see some interesting species. Our main target was the Lowland Masked Apalis which gave itself up after a search and we also had good views of Red-tailed and Blue Monkeys and Ugandan Red Colobus whilst at a river crossing, we found the unassuming Cassin’s Flycatcher. The remaining drive to our lodge took us via Fort Portal where a small swamp gave us Northern Brown-throated and Black-headed Weavers as well as the mysterious ‘Victoria’ Masked Weaver which may be a hybrid or a good species in itself. It has not been proven that they are extralimital Northern Masked Weavers as suggested in the field guide. We managed to arrive at our comfortable lodge before dusk.

The following 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. We began our day in the darkness trying to tempt African Wood Owls into view and then our guide, Milka led us through the grey dawn into the sleeping forest that was just beginning to stir. We were fortunate because after a long period of silence in the area the pittas had started to become active again and it wasn’t long before we heard the first ‘blips’ of their display – a sound that appears to be mechanical rather than vocal. We were aided by local trackers who were keeping an eye on the displaying birds and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves watching these marvellous creatures. It was perched on a horizontal bough just a few metres away and we watched as it leapt into the air, forcefully flipping out its wings in order to make the distinctive noise, the luminous colours glowing in the dim forest light. Words cannot express our emotions but the whole experience was simply wonderful! Nearby a small flock of Western Guineafowl stole our attention and we eventually we lost the pittas.

Subsequently our thoughts turned 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. The great apes were found easily because they were feeding near where we had parked the car but they were feeding high in the trees. After a while the alpha male and his associates decided to descend from their lofty feeding place and then it was a dash through the forest to head them off to their next feeding place where we watched them on the ground and in low shrubs. The morning had been an unqualified success.

We returned to the forest in the afternoon and worked the main road so that by the end of the day we had also added a number of forest species to our lists but the highlight had to be the lovely little Red-chested Owlet that was persuaded to show itself and chose to do so on a surprisingly low perch for a change!

Early the next morning we embarked on a somewhat lengthy but thoroughly enjoyable walk around the nearby Bigodi Wetland that produced a number of interesting species. This is a community-operated nature reserve that always provides some excellent birding being a mixture of cultivation, papyrus swamp and riparian woodland. We started off well with flight views of a Shining-blue Kingfisher before starting the walk. The highlight of the morning had to be the super little White-spotted Flufftails that walked around in front of us but we also enjoyed good views of (Eastern) Yellow-billed Barbet, Compact Weaver, Black-bellied Seedcracker and Magpie Mannikin.

After a good final lunch at our lovely lodge, we set off for Queen Elizabeth National Park and a completely new set of birds. The main road was dry and dusty and we saw little but entering the park we began to notch up some of the common birds of the area including Senegal Lapwing and Green-winged Pytilia.

The time spent in Queen Elizabeth National Park is always considered to be yet another of the great highlights of this action-packed tour and after an early breakfast we set out to explore the park. Along the main road the desiccated grasslands were badly burned out in many places but in some protected areas in the cool of the morning we managed to get brief looks at African Crake and spotted small numbers of Black Coucal (mainly in non-breeding plumage) as well as Moustached Grass Warbler.

Scattered out over the close-cropped Kasenyi Plains were Crowned Lapwing, Black-bellied Bustard, Rufous-naped and Flappet Larks and best of all, we managed some perfect views of the much rarer White-tailed Lark. This habitat is home to good numbers of large mammals and we spent some time on the mating grounds watching the richly coloured and excitable Uganda Kob with a supporting cast of Common Warthog, ‘Lake Chad’ Buffalo (often sporting Yellow-billed Oxpeckers!) and Defassa Waterbuck. An incredibly lucky sighting of a Serval Cat creeping through the long grasses made everybody’s day. Good numbers of elephants were also 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 National Park is now deemed to be predominantly hybrid! Away from the plains, the landscape is dotted with thickets and punctuated by Candelabra Euphorbias and in this bushy territory we also found the impressive Martial Eagle and garrulous Black-lored Babblers.

At lunchtime we shared the dining table with tame Swamp Flycatchers and Black-headed and Slender-billed Weavers as we gazed out at the spectacular view over the broad Kazinga Channel flowing below us and during the afternoon we 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. The star attraction had to be the flock of about 100 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 Pied Kingfishers were awe-inspiring and included a snowy-white leucistic individual. We got close to numerous Hippopotamus, ‘Lake Chad’ Buffalo (or perhaps again hybrids between Cape and Forest Buffalos), a few Nile Crocodiles and some thirsty African Elephants and we even got to see a few Giant Forest Hogs – a much wanted piggy! A large congregation of White-breasted Cormorants was gathered and also dotted along the shore were numbers of Egyptian Goose, Great White Pelicans, Yellow-billed and Marabou Storks as well as a few Reed Cormorant, African Sacred Ibis, Squacco, Goliath and Grey Herons, Great and Little Egrets, Hamerkop and Black Crake. A trio of Red-throated Bee-eaters added a brilliant splash of colour where African Fish Eagles stood sentinel. A totally superb day!

The next day we bade farewell to Mweya Lodge and 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. A productive stop in some open Acacia woodland gave us a fierce little Pearl-spotted Owlet and the gaudy Crested Barbet. We also hunted out Stout Cisticola in the grasslands before reaching the Ishasha sector of the park where we ate our picnic lunch on the Ishasha River on the border with Congo watching some Hippos hauled up on the sand in front of us. A number of Uganda Topi were spotted on the open plains but sadly there was no sign of the ‘famous’ tree-climbing Lions this trip.

It was then time to close the roof of the landcruiser and head on to our next destination and we arrived in the ever-growing village of Buhoma, situated at the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park at the end of the day and settled into our comfortable and welcoming lodge with its rooms that overlook 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 at any given time, we managed to see some of those important and coveted Albertine Rift endemic species such as Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Red-throated Alethe and the notoriously skulking Neumann’s Warbler. Even the recently described Willard’s Sooty Boubou was teased out of the tangles and its distinctive pale blue-grey iris was noted. Furtive Equatorial Akalats flitted in the undergrowth, Black-billed Turacos posed well as did the uncommon Chapin’s Flycatcher. A fine male African Broadbill twirled and displayed upon his perch and during our walk we also managed views of Bar-tailed Trogon and the pretty White-bellied Robin-Chat. A fine supporting cast of other species included Ansorge’s Greenbul, a species first discovered in the country during BirdQuest’s 2001 Uganda tour as well as Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Elliot’s Woodpecker, Pink-footed Puffback, Mountain Oriole, Black-faced Rufous Warbler and Stuhlmann’s Starling.

We had already seen a fine selection of primates that included Red-tailed, L’Hoest’s and Blue Monkeys, Vervet, 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 everyone 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! Here follows an account of the experience from one of the participants:

“The predawn rain dampened the roadway but not our spirits as we wound our way up the mountain to Ruhija, the starting point for our gorilla tracking adventure. Our arrival was met by a rousing welcome from a community dance troupe, after which we learned about the benefits that have accrued to both the human and gorilla communities by the presence of trekkers like us.

Anticipation rose as we met our guide and learned which gorilla family we would meet. The name of our family translated to “Happy” in English and derived from the demeanour of the silverback, who presided over a family of seven, including a four-months old.

A twenty-minute drive took us to the starting point for the trek where we met our porters and escorts. Immediately we began a steep descent through duff and wet vegetation, a porter holding one hand and the other hand grasping a bamboo hiking pole. After just forty-five minutes we stopped and, to our surprise, we were instructed to grab our cameras and leave our packs; our gorilla family had been found!

The magnificent silverback was the first member of the group that we saw and he dominated our viewing opportunities. Our individual porters were masters at getting each and every one of us into prime viewing positions and our wonderful trackers discretely cleared vegetation that obstructed our view. Our silverback alternated between action – a downhill charge followed by leisurely munching – and relaxation. In between he kept a watchful eye on his family, at least three of which (two adults and one baby) we could see through the vegetation.

There is no single word that adequately describes the experience, although spiritual, magical and enchanting all come quickly to mind. All too soon the given hour of viewing was over. The long climb back up began but the entire experience put a spring in our step that propelled us up the mountain. We summited to high-fives, hugs and a ‘diploma’ commemorating an experience none of us will ever forget”

Approximately just over 1,000 ‘mountain’ Gorillas have survived the ravages of modern times and a population of about 400 animals is believed to inhabit Bwindi itself. 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.

After our two full days in the Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, it was time to relocate to the higher section of the park at Ruhija. The journey took us from the lower part of the forest and through the cultivated valleys. At ‘The Neck’, a narrow corridor of forest connecting two sections of the park we picked up a few more forest species and in particular Toro Olive Greenbul and Grey-headed Sunbird.

Ruhija was to be our base for the next two nights and the wooded hillsides here provided suitable habitat that allowed us to add to our growing collection of forest species and Albertine Rift endemics and some late afternoon birding provided us with brief views of Handsome Spurfowl as well as Western Tinkerbird and as dusk fell a pair of ‘Rwenzori’ Montane Nightjars were spot-lighted along the road.

For at least some of the group, perhaps the main reason for coming to Ruhija was to trek up and then down, down and down to the Mubwindi Swamp where some major targets occur. We followed a well-trodden trail through exceedingly birdy terrain and managed to see Albertine endemic Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori and Mountain Masked Apalises, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Strange Weaver, Albertine Sooty Boubou, Stripe-breasted Tit, pretty Archer’s Ground Robin, Blue-headed Sunbird and the sensational Regal Sunbird.

We already knew that the guides knew the locations of two nests of the decidedly rare Grauer’s (or African Green) Broadbill and as we neared the first, a bird was immediately on show sat by the side of it – a rather dishevelled ball of moss and lichen. We moved closer and fortunately enjoyed repeated views of a pair of these beautiful little lime-green and powder-blue birds foraging and returning with food for their hungry youngsters. Having rested and had our fill of these birds, we continued down to a second nest where we could see the entrance hole and a little head poking out waiting patiently for the eggs to hatch.

A bit further on we reached the Mubwindi Swamp itself where we sat and ate our lunch enjoying the view that has not changed significantly in centuries. The Grauer’s Swamp Warbler took a little time to see but ultimately, we all saw a few displaying birds leaping out of the sedges, dragging their tails behind them.

Our final day was strictly a travel day as we had to get all the way back to Entebbe to connect with late evening flights. However, the birds kept coming with stunning Grey Crowned Cranes en route. A brief stop at a convenient pool gave us small numbers of White-backed Duck before the journey took us past Mburo National Park an area that comprises of dry acacia bush surrounding the lake itself and much open grazing land for the ridiculously large-horned Ankole Cattle. Hence this was a new habitat which in turn supported a few new species of birds for us. We had just enough time to enable us to squeeze some more goodies in the form of a pair of restricted range Red-faced Barbets with a Black-collared Barbet in tow and we ended up munching our lunchtime sandwiches amongst Impala and Plains Zebra. The final new bird of the trip was Lilac-breasted Roller on the telegraph wires as we left Mburo.

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 hardworking driver guide who really made our tour a holiday to remember.




White-backed Duck  Thalassornis leuconotus

Egyptian Goose  Alopochen aegyptiaca

African Black Duck  Anas sparsa  leader-only

Yellow-billed Duck  Anas undulata

Helmeted Guineafowl  Numida meleagris

Western Crested Guineafowl  Guttera verreauxi

Crested Francolin  Ortygornis sephaena

Handsome Spurfowl ◊ (H Francolin)  Pternistis nobilis

Red-necked Spurfowl  Pternistis afer

Montane Nightjar ◊ (Ruwenzori N)  Caprimulgus [poliocephalus] ruwenzorii

Scarce Swift ◊  Schoutedenapus myoptilus

Sabine’s Spinetail  Rhaphidura sabini

African Palm Swift  Cypsiurus parvus

Alpine Swift*  Tachymarptis melba

Little Swift  Apus affinis

White-rumped Swift  Apus caffer

Great Blue Turaco  Corythaeola cristata

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

Ross’s Turaco  Tauraco rossae

Black-billed Turaco ◊  Tauraco schuettii

Black-bellied Bustard  Lissotis melanogaster

Blue-headed Coucal  Centropus monachus

White-browed Coucal  Centropus superciliosus

Black Coucal  Centropus grillii

Blue Malkoha (B Yellowbill)  Ceuthmochares aereus

Levaillant’s Cuckoo (Striped C)  Clamator levaillantii

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  heard-only

Red-chested Cuckoo  Cuculus solitarius

African Cuckoo  Cuculus gularis

Rock Dove (introduced)  Columba livia

Speckled Pigeon  Columba guinea

Afep Pigeon  Columba unicincta  leader-only

African Olive Pigeon  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

Laughing Dove  Spilopelia senegalensis

Blue-spotted Wood Dove  Turtur afer

Tambourine Dove  Turtur tympanistria

African Green Pigeon  Treron calvus

White-spotted Flufftail  Sarothrura pulchra

African Rail (A Water R)  Rallus caerulescens  heard-only

African Crake  Crecopsis egregia

Common Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus

African Swamphen  Porphyrio madagascariensis

Black Crake  Zapornia flavirostra

Grey Crowned Crane  Balearica regulorum

Lesser Flamingo  Phoeniconaias minor

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

Senegal Lapwing (Lesser Black-winged L)  Vanellus lugubris

Crowned Lapwing (C Plover)  Vanellus coronatus

African Wattled Lapwing (A W Plover)  Vanellus senegallus

Kittlitz’s Plover  Charadrius pecuarius

Lesser Jacana  Microparra capensis

African Jacana  Actophilornis africanus

Temminck’s Courser  Cursorius temminckii

Collared Pratincole  Glareola pratincola

African Skimmer  Rynchops flavirostris

Grey-headed Gull  Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus

Yellow-billed Stork  Mycteria ibis

African Openbill (A Open-billed Stork)  Anastomus lamelligerus

African Woolly-necked Stork  Ciconia microscelis

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

Striated Heron (Green-backed H)  Butorides striata

Squacco Heron  Ardeola ralloides

Rufous-bellied Heron  Ardeola rufiventris

Western Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis

Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea

Black-headed Heron  Ardea melanocephala

Goliath Heron  Ardea goliath

Purple Heron  Ardea purpurea

Great Egret  Ardea alba

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

Little Egret  Egretta garzetta

Hamerkop  Scopus umbretta

Shoebill ◊  Balaeniceps rex

Great White Pelican  Pelecanus onocrotalus

Pink-backed Pelican  Pelecanus rufescens

Black-winged Kite  Elanus caeruleus

African Harrier-Hawk (Gymnogene)  Polyboroides typus

Palm-nut Vulture  Gypohierax angolensis

Hooded Vulture  Necrosyrtes monachus

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

Lappet-faced Vulture  Torgos tracheliotos

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 (African C E)  Stephanoaetus coronatus

Martial Eagle  Polemaetus bellicosus

Long-crested Eagle  Lophaetus occipitalis

Wahlberg’s Eagle  Hieraaetus wahlbergi

Lizard Buzzard  Kaupifalco monogrammicus

Ovambo Sparrowhawk  Accipiter ovampensis

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

African Wood Owl  Strix woodfordii  heard-only

Speckled Mousebird  Colius striatus

Blue-naped Mousebird  Urocolius macrourus

Narina Trogon  Apaloderma narina  heard-only

Bar-tailed Trogon  Apaloderma vittatum

African Hoopoe  Upupa africana

White-headed Wood Hoopoe  Phoeniculus bollei

Common Scimitarbill  Rhinopomastus cyanomelas

Crowned Hornbill  Lophoceros alboterminatus

African Grey Hornbill  Lophoceros nasutus

Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill  Bycanistes subcylindricus

Lilac-breasted Roller  Coracias caudatus

Blue-throated Roller  Eurystomus gularis

Broad-billed Roller  Eurystomus glaucurus

Grey-headed Kingfisher  Halcyon leucocephala

Striped Kingfisher  Halcyon chelicuti

Blue-breasted Kingfisher  Halcyon malimbica

Woodland Kingfisher  Halcyon senegalensis

African Pygmy Kingfisher  Ispidina picta

Malachite Kingfisher  Corythornis cristatus

Shining-blue Kingfisher  Alcedo quadribrachys

Pied Kingfisher  Ceryle rudis

Black Bee-eater  Merops gularis

Little Bee-eater  Merops pusillus

Blue-breasted Bee-eater  Merops variegatus

Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater  Merops oreobates

Red-throated Bee-eater  Merops bulocki

White-throated Bee-eater  Merops albicollis

Olive Bee-eater  Merops superciliosus

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

Speckled Tinkerbird  Pogoniulus scolopaceus

Western Tinkerbird (W Green T)  Pogoniulus coryphaea

Yellow-throated Tinkerbird  Pogoniulus subsulphureus

Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird  Pogoniulus bilineatus

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird  Pogoniulus chrysoconus  heard-only

Yellow-spotted Barbet ◊  Buccanodon duchaillui

Hairy-breasted Barbet ◊ (Streaky-throated B)  Tricholaema hirsuta

Spot-flanked Barbet  Tricholaema lacrymosa

Red-faced Barbet ◊  Lybius rubrifacies

Black-collared Barbet  Lybius torquatus

Double-toothed Barbet  Lybius bidentatus

Yellow-billed Barbet ◊ (Eastern Y-b B)  Trachyphonus purpuratus

Crested Barbet  Trachyphonus vaillantii

Cassin’s Honeybird  Prodotiscus insignis

Dwarf Honeyguide ◊  Indicator pumilio

Willcocks’s Honeyguide  Indicator willcocksi  heard-only

Least Honeyguide  Indicator exilis  heard-only

Lesser Honeyguide  Indicator minor  leader-only

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

Nubian Woodpecker  Campethera nubica

Yellow-crested Woodpecker  Chloropicus xantholophus

Speckle-breasted Woodpecker ◊  Dendropicos poecilolaemus

Cardinal Woodpecker  Dendropicos fuscescens

Elliot’s Woodpecker ◊  Dendropicos elliotii

African Grey Woodpecker  Dendropicos goertae

Common Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus

Grey Kestrel  Falco ardosiaceus

African Hobby  Falco cuvierii

Grey Parrot  Psittacus erithacus

Meyer’s Parrot (Brown P)  Poicephalus meyeri

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

African Broadbill  Smithornis capensis

Green-breasted Pitta ◊  Pitta reichenowi

Rwenzori Batis ◊  Batis diops

Chinspot Batis  Batis molitor  heard-only

Western Black-headed Batis  Batis erlangeri  heard-only

Chestnut Wattle-eye  Platysteira castanea  leader-only

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

Many-colored Bushshrike  Chlorophoneus multicolor

Bocage’s Bushshrike  Chlorophoneus bocagei

Orange-breasted Bushshrike (Sulphur-b B)  Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus  heard-only

Doherty’s Bushshrike ◊  Telophorus dohertyi  heard-only

Brown-crowned Tchagra  Tchagra australis

Black-crowned Tchagra  Tchagra senegalus

Pink-footed Puffback ◊  Dryoscopus angolensis

Northern Puffback  Dryoscopus gambensis

Albertine Sooty Boubou ◊  Laniarius holomelas

Willard’s Sooty Boubou ◊ (Mountain S B)  Laniarius willardi

Lühder’s Bushshrike  Laniarius luehderi

Tropical Boubou  Laniarius major

Papyrus Gonolek ◊  Laniarius mufumbiri

Black-headed Gonolek  Laniarius erythrogaster

Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher (Vanga F)  Bias musicus

Grey Cuckooshrike  Ceblepyris caesius

Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike  Campephaga phoenicea

Petit’s Cuckooshrike  Campephaga petiti

Mackinnon’s Shrike (M Fiscal)  Lanius mackinnoni

Grey-backed Fiscal  Lanius excubitoroides

Northern Fiscal  Lanius humeralis

Western Oriole (W Black-headed O)  Oriolus brachyrynchus

Mountain Oriole ◊ (Montane O)  Oriolus percivali

Fork-tailed Drongo (Common D)  Dicrurus adsimilis

Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher  Terpsiphone rufiventer

African Paradise Flycatcher  Terpsiphone viridis

Pied Crow  Corvus albus

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

African Blue Flycatcher  Elminia longicauda

White-tailed Blue Flycatcher  Elminia albicauda  leader-only

White-bellied Crested Flycatcher  Elminia albiventris

Dusky Tit  Melaniparus funereus

Stripe-breasted Tit ◊  Melaniparus fasciiventer

Rufous-naped Lark  Mirafra africana

Flappet Lark  Mirafra rufocinnamomea

White-tailed Lark ◊  Mirafra albicauda

Slender-billed Greenbul  Stelgidillas gracilirostris

Red-tailed Bristlebill  Bleda syndactylus

Yellow-throated Leaflove  Atimastillas flavicollis

Honeyguide Greenbul  Baeopogon indicator

Kakamega Greenbul ◊  Arizelocichla kakamegae

Olive-breasted Greenbul ◊ (O-b Mountain G)  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 albigularis  heard-only

Cabanis’s Greenbul  Phyllastrephus cabanisi

Yellow-streaked Greenbul  Phyllastrephus flavostriatus

Toro Olive Greenbul ◊  Phyllastrephus hypochloris

Dark-capped Bulbul  Pycnonotus tricolor

Black Saw-wing  Psalidoprocne pristoptera

White-headed Saw-wing  Psalidoprocne albiceps

Grey-rumped Swallow  Pseudhirundo griseopyga

Rock Martin  Ptyonoprogne fuligula

Blue Swallow ◊  Hirundo atrocaerulea

Wire-tailed Swallow  Hirundo smithii

Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica

Angola Swallow  Hirundo angolensis

Red-breasted Swallow (Rufous-chested S)  Cecropis semirufa

Mosque Swallow  Cecropis senegalensis

Lesser Striped Swallow  Cecropis abyssinica

Moustached Grass Warbler (African M W)  Melocichla mentalis

Red-faced Crombec  Sylvietta whytii

Green Crombec  Sylvietta virens

Neumann’s Warbler ◊ (Short-tailed W)  Hemitesia neumanni

Green Hylia  Hylia prasina

Red-faced Woodland Warbler ◊  Phylloscopus laetus

Grauer’s Warbler ◊  Graueria vittata  heard-only

Lesser Swamp Warbler  Acrocephalus gracilirostris

Evergreen Forest Warbler  Bradypterus lopezi. heard-only

Cinnamon Bracken Warbler  Bradypterus cinnamomeus

White-winged Swamp Warbler ◊ (W-w Warbler)  Bradypterus carpalis

Grauer’s Swamp Warbler ◊  Bradypterus graueri

Red-faced Cisticola  Cisticola erythrops

Trilling Cisticola ◊  Cisticola woosnami

Chubb’s Cisticola ◊  Cisticola chubbi

Winding Cisticola  Cisticola marginatus

Carruthers’s Cisticola ◊  Cisticola carruthersi

Stout Cisticola  Cisticola robustus

Croaking Cisticola  Cisticola natalensis

Zitting Cisticola  Cisticola juncidis

Tawny-flanked Prinia  Prinia subflava

Black-faced Prinia ◊  Prinia melanops

White-chinned Prinia  Schistolais leucopogon

Rwenzori Apalis ◊ (Collared A)  Oreolais ruwenzorii

Buff-bellied Warbler  Phyllolais pulchella

Yellow-breasted Apalis  Apalis flavida

Lowland Masked Apalis (Masked A)  Apalis binotata

Mountain Masked Apalis ◊ (Black-faced A)  Apalis personata

Black-throated Apalis  Apalis jacksoni

Chestnut-throated Apalis ◊  Apalis porphyrolaema

Buff-throated Apalis  Apalis rufogularis

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

Rwenzori Hill Babbler ◊  Sylvia atriceps

Green White-eye ◊  Zosterops stuhlmanni

Brown Illadopsis  Illadopsis fulvescens

Mountain Illadopsis ◊  Illadopsis pyrrhoptera

Scaly-breasted Illadopsis ◊  Illadopsis albipectus  heard-only

Arrow-marked Babbler  Turdoides jardineii

Black-lored Babbler ◊  Turdoides sharpei

Wattled Starling  Creatophora cinerea

Purple-headed Starling  Hylopsar purpureiceps

Splendid Starling  Lamprotornis splendidus

Rüppell’s Starling (R Long-tailed S)  Lamprotornis purpuroptera

Slender-billed Starling ◊  Onychognathus tenuirostris

Stuhlmann’s Starling ◊  Poeoptera stuhlmanni

Narrow-tailed Starling  Poeoptera lugubris

Sharpe’s Starling ◊  Pholia sharpii

Yellow-billed Oxpecker  Buphagus africanus

Fraser’s Rufous Thrush  Stizorhina fraseri

African Thrush  Turdus pelios

Abyssinian Thrush  Turdus abyssinicus

White-browed Scrub Robin  Cercotrichas leucophrys

Grey-throated Tit-Flycatcher (G-t F)  Myioparus griseigularis

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

White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher  Melaenornis fischeri

Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher ◊  Melaenornis ardesiacus

Northern Black Flycatcher  Melaenornis edolioides

Swamp Flycatcher  Muscicapa aquatica

Cassin’s Flycatcher (C Grey F)  Muscicapa cassini

Chapin’s Flycatcher ◊  Muscicapa lendu

African Dusky Flycatcher  Muscicapa adusta

Dusky-blue Flycatcher  Muscicapa comitata

Sooty Flycatcher  Muscicapa infuscata

Red-throated Alethe ◊  Chamaetylas poliophrys

White-bellied Robin-Chat ◊  Cossyphicula roberti

Archer’s Ground Robin ◊ (A Robin-Chat)  Cossypha archeri

White-browed Robin-Chat  Cossypha heuglini

Red-capped Robin-Chat  Cossypha natalensis  heard-only

Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat (Snowy-headed R-C)  Cossypha niveicapilla

White-starred Robin (W-s Forest R)  Pogonocichla stellata

Grey-winged Robin-Chat (G-w Robin)  Sheppardia polioptera

Equatorial Akalat ◊  Sheppardia aequatorialis

African Stonechat  Saxicola torquatus

Sooty Chat  Myrmecocichla nigra

Grey-headed Sunbird ◊  Deleornis axillaris

Little Green Sunbird  Anthreptes seimundi

Grey-chinned Sunbird (Green S)  Anthreptes tephrolaemus

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

Olive-bellied Sunbird  Cinnyris chloropygius

Northern Double-collared Sunbird  Cinnyris reichenowi

Regal Sunbird ◊  Cinnyris regius

Red-chested Sunbird ◊  Cinnyris erythrocercus

Purple-banded Sunbird (Little P-b S)  Cinnyris bifasciatus

Superb Sunbird  Cinnyris superbus

Northern Grey-headed Sparrow  Passer griseus

House Sparrow (introduced)  Passer domesticus

Thick-billed Weaver (Grosbeak W)  Amblyospiza albifrons

Baglafecht Weaver  Ploceus baglafecht

Slender-billed Weaver  Ploceus pelzelni

Spectacled Weaver  Ploceus ocularis

Black-necked Weaver  Ploceus nigricollis

Strange Weaver ◊  Ploceus alienus

Black-billed Weaver  Ploceus melanogaster

Orange Weaver  Ploceus aurantius

Northern Brown-throated Weaver  Ploceus castanops

Lesser Masked Weaver  Ploceus intermedius

‘Victoria Masked Weaver’ ◊  Ploceus sp. nov.

Village Weaver  Ploceus cucullatus

Vieillot’s Black Weaver  Ploceus nigerrimus

Weyns’s Weaver ◊  Ploceus weynsi

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 Quelea  Quelea erythrops

Southern Red Bishop  Euplectes orix

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

Bronze Mannikin  Spermestes cucullata

Magpie Mannikin  Spermestes fringilloides

Black-and-white Mannikin  Spermestes bicolor

Yellow-bellied Waxbill  Coccopygia quartinia

Dusky Crimsonwing ◊  Cryptospiza jacksoni

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

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

Black-crowned Waxbill  Estrilda nonnula

Fawn-breasted Waxbill  Estrilda paludicola

Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu  Uraeginthus bengalus

Black-bellied Seedcracker  Pyrenestes ostrinus

Green-winged Pytilia (Melba F)  Pytilia melba

Red-billed Firefinch  Lagonosticta senegala

Village Indigobird  Vidua chalybeata

Pin-tailed Whydah  Vidua macroura

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

Yellow-fronted Canary  Crithagra mozambica

Brimstone Canary  Crithagra sulphurata

Golden-breasted Bunting (African G-b B)  Emberiza flaviventris



African Elephant  Loxodonta africana

Serval  Leptailurus serval

Rusty-spotted Genet  Genetta maculata

Common Dwarf Mongoose  Helogale parvula

Banded Mongoose  Mungos mungo

Plains Zebra  Equus quagga

Forest Hog (Giant F H)  Hylochoerus meinertzhageni

Common Warthog  Phacochoerus africanus

Impala (Common I)  Aepyceros melampus

Black-fronted Duiker  Cephalophus nigrifrons

Topi (Uganda T)  Damaliscus lunatus

Waterbuck (Defassa W)  Kobus [ellipsiprymnus] defassa

Kob (Uganda K)  Kobus [kob] thomasi

African Buffalo (Lake Chad B)  Syncerus caffer

Hippopotamus  Hippopotamus amphibius

Yellow-winged Bat  Lavia frons

Spectacled Lesser Galago  Galago matschiei

L’hoest’s Monkey  Allochrocebus lhoesti

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

Blue Monkey  Cercopithecus mitis

Vervet (Green Monkey)  Chlorocebus pygerythrus

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

Grey-cheeked Mangabey (Uganda G-c M)  Lophocebus [albigena] ugandae

Olive Baboon  Papio anubis

Ugandan Red Colobus (Uganda R C)  Piliocolobus tephrosceles

Eastern Gorilla (Mountain G)  Gorilla beringei

Chimpanzee  Pan troglodytes

African Savanna Hare  Lepus victoriae

Carruther’s Mountain Squirrel (M Tree S)  Funisciurus carruthersi

Red-legged Sun Squirrel  Heliosciurus rufobrachium

Ruwenzori Sun Squirrel (Mountain S S)  Heliosciurus ruwenzorii

Boehm’s Bush Squirrel (B Dwarf S)  Paraxerus boehmi

Giant Forest Squirrel  Protoxerus stangeri