Friday, 21 October 2016

Birding Trip to Uganda - Jul 2016 (8 days). A pictorial travelogue...

A great birding destination...

The reason why Jul was chosen as the month to visit Uganda - the least amount of rainfall...

Day one

Inspite of everyone promising group photograph before boarding the plane at Mumbai - only the author along with 10 others could get together for one...
The plan for this trip had started six months back and finally it was time to catch a flight and go to Uganda. That too did not turn up as easy as I had envisaged, pleasure trips for me rarely are. The day was approaching and the anxiety was killing. The problem? Sixteen plus of layover at Mumbai - means - in simple terms - the tiredness was to break the body even before I had set out the foot at the destination. Finally, anxiety - well did not trouble me as expected - the reason - there was a great get-together in the house. With the kids now in college - every moment together is a true joy and something that I really really enjoy, the icing on the cake was that my brother - with whom I could not overlap my off period for last about six months - was home and what a rollicking time we had. Infact my flight was at 1430 from Chandigarh to Mumbai (Leg 1 with the 16 hours plus of layover). We were all sitting together cracking jokes and pulling each other legs (wondering why everyone in our family is taller than average Indian). In between I got a message that the flight is delayed by half an hour - well this is never good news. Half an hour is just informing you that there is more on the platter. Finally when I left home - half way I realised that I had forgotten my wallet at home - another half an hour killed as I was already midway to the Airport when I discovered this fact. The flight finally was an hour late - reached late, entered the International airport late - and suddenly there were only 14 hours to kill.
Selfie with the brain behind the trip, Mr Shafaat

Mumbai, International airport, this was my first pit stop at this particular airport as it has opened just an year back. I believe the entry is not allowed inside until four hours before the departure - and because of small mercies of having an pass did the trick. I was inside and sipping coffee waiting for the other 18 members of the group to trickle in (one member was joining us from US directly) and we have the planned - first group photograph together. Well we could never get everyone to sit still and together for a photograph so the whole idea was put in pending tray and we concentrated on creating a lot of ruckus, crack jokes and I was on to my favourite pastime - pulling legs. The night virtually melted away and our counters opened - we were on to the boarding gates. As the sky lighted up we saw the drizzle out of the window of the aircraft and sun peeping at us. At cruising altitude of 35,000 feet plus - there was not much to see out of the window expect that the monsoon clouds had covered most of our journey over the sea. Well that may be so be as we hit the great horn of Africa the clouds did not relent and we crossed most of the Somalia without seeing too much of land. coming closer to Kenya (our second stopover and change of planes) we saw Mt Kenya breaking above the clouds. After that the clouds were intermittent. Why so much observation on the clouds? Well - see the entire birding trip was planned during the month of Jul presuming that the weather is the best in Uganda during this time of the year. Clouds could make our presumption go up the hill and in turn birding would have suffered. Anyways - we crossed over equates - landed at Nairobi and then changed aircraft (same airlines) and were off to Entbee - our final destination. All going and coming was planned on Kenya Airlines. I must mention that the internet was not talking too well about them. frequent misplaced luggage, broken luggage during handling etc. Well though we lived the experience but then as to prove the online community right we had one tripod gone missing (retrieved after 4 days) and my personal suitcase broken. Other than this the experience was not as bad.

Mt Kenya peaking through the clouds above the engine cowling...
Crossing over the Arabian Sea - the reach and circulation of monsoon clouds did not let even a single glimpse of the sea

First view of the second largets fresh water lake in the world - Lake Victoria
Entebbe Airport 
At the entry point we surprised everyone at Entbee by producing VISA approval letters - the emigration just did not know how to handle us all. They sent us from one counter to another. Actually the procedure was just incorporated and too new for the emigration officers know what to do. The process of approval for visa was two day affair with eVisa arriving as a email. Well after the officers realised that we were part of a group and everyone had the papers in order - the entry to the country was smooth with no trouble whatever. Some of us then went in for changing the USD we were carrying to Uganda Shillings. Interesting fact here - if you change 100 dollars - you get 3,300 or 3,400 Shillings per dollar - if lower currency than 100 dollars then we were getting 2,400 shillings per dollars. We clubbed a few of us together and exchanged 100 dollars - getting the best price and then splitting the required amount among us. This problem was not faced when we exchanged the currency anywhere else - the difference was only 100 odd shilling to a dollar. Lesson learnt - get minimum 100 dollars exchanged if you required to do that at the airport - anywhere else it is okay. My suggestion do it in the airport itself. outside money exchange was far and in between.

Outside the gates Mr Stephen of Kjong Safaris Ltd greeted us with a mini bus that was to be with us for rest of our stay. To fit in all 20 of us, Mr Stephen himself, the driver and our luggage became quite a ordeal. For me personally - at 6 feet it was just slightly more uncomfortable than the airlines I was jostling in for past 16 hours. Well first things first, I had mailed Mr Stephen in advance and my sim card was with him. I recharged the sim card with data, turned off data on the device except eBird and whatsapp. I was happy that the connectivity was fairly okay over the entire stay there. The SIM card was of MTN, one of the service provider at Uganda. Next we proceeded to the a restaurant FAZE 3 for lunch. The place was just a km or two from the airport. Our birding started with a bang with Hadada Ibis, lots of pied crow, Piapiac and a lot of other birds. The list of bird observations are given later day and time wise at the end of the writeup. 
Lunch at FAZE 3
Hadada Ibis - it may have been the first bird seen and thereafter it was virtually everywhere we went... (Lifer)

One of the best birding spots: the Entebbe Botanical Gardens
Marabou Stork - adjudged one of the most ugly birds in the world was still a great sighting for us... (Lifer)

Great Blue Turaco - the biggest of the Turacos... (Lifer) 

The rarity - African Grey Parrot entertained us with great antics... (Lifer)

Crowned Hornbill - unfortunately these birds refued a better sighting than this... (Lifer)

Orange Weaver

Red-chested Sunbird  (Lifer)
African Openbill (Lifer)

Common Bulbul (Lifer)

Egpytian Goose

Woodland Kingfisher

Woodland Kingfisher

Black and White Casquade Hornbill

African Grey Parrots and their antics...

African Grey Parrots

Snowy-crowned Robin-chat: Read about this bird by Clicking Here

African Thrush

Hammerkop: Read about the bird by Clicking Here

Lunch finished and there were two options in front of us - go to the guest houses - change, freshen up and go for birding or go first for birdwatching and then to the Guest houses. Well - no points for guessing that the bus was duly diverted to our first and one of the great birdwatching spots of Entebbe, the Entebbe Botanical Gardens. It was one place that gave us insight of the time we were going to have the next few days. The sightings started with Great Blue Turacos and Black and White Cascade Hornbills and African Grey Parrots on and on…. There once again I was caught up in one of my old habit interferences with birdwatching, one look at a few raptors - Oh the Black Kites, but here is where reading about the birding helped. I recalled that we had the Yellow-billed variant of Black Kites now treated as a separate species - bingo - one good look told me that we had atleast 50% that were Yellow-billed Kites. Close observation showed that not only the bills were yellow, even the heads were grey in colour and - yes birds on first glance could pass as Black Kites, but they were not the same at all. We did not have these sub-species in India so it was a great observation. Infact other than this all other ticks were lifers.
View from the guest house towards the setting sun over the Victoria Lake

Finally as the light starting fading we moved to our Guest houses. (Click Here to read about the Guest House) The place was Lake Victoria Guest House - building of British era - neat, clean and adequate. The rooms were distributed and after a quick gathering around a table we discussed the sightings, the plans for the next day, had dinner and were dead asleep. To think of it in the hind sight we had been up and barring some cat naps here and there had been awake for 36 hours straight.

Day Two
Birding in area of Mabamba Swamps

The Breakfast was scheduled for 0630 - activity was full swing by 0430 hrs other than our team leader who had not adjusted the time zone - got up at 0200, woke his room mate - got ready - realised the mistake, had a hearty laugh and were back in bed even before anyone else had realised what happened. 
Speckled Mousebird

The magnificient African Fish Eagle

Eastern Plantain-eater

Vieillot's Black Weaver

Black-headed Heron
The bus ride...

Hunting Shoebill in Mabamba Swamps

The target species: Shoebill

The Glare of the Shoebill - read more about it by Clicking Here

Click the picture to read about the bird: Shoebill

African Jacana

Long-toed Lapwing

Malachite Kingfisher - a beauty

Winding Cisticola

Grey-hooded Gulls

Yellow-billed Duck

Yellow-throated Longclaw

Long-tailed Cormorant

Pyparus Gonolek: read about Gonoleks by Clicking Here

Blue-breasted Bee-eater

Next birding was scheduled for Mabamba Swamps. Though we should have hit the road at 0700 - got a little late hurling into the bus and were off at 0730/0745. The entry point to the Mabamba Swamps was a point 3 hours by road so we reached the spot fairly late. There we were broken into small groups of three to four (please do the maths) and in all huddled into small country made motor boats and were on our way - hunting for the elusive Shoebill. eBird listed the possibility as 50% - that of our sighting the Shoebill. I was tense - I will not lie - flying 5000 odd km and you miss one of the historic birds - not happening. The shoebill did not disappoint us - one bird - standing stationary in the far distance - ours was the first boat on the site - a great great sighting. Good photography to hearts contents - with all possible combinations and the day was virtually made. The Shoebill, Papyrus Gonolek, Yellow-billed duck, African Jacana, Grey-headed Gulls were some of the great birds we say. I was lucky to have great sightings of White-chinned Prinia in addition to some more.
Birding in the vicinity of Lake Victoria Guest House

Black-headed Gonolek: Read about Gonoleks by Clicking Here

Northern Black Flycatcher

Red-billed Firefinch

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird

Olive Wookpecker

Tawny-flanked Prinia

Double-toothed Barbet

Grey Kestral

Pied Crow

Well this was in no way the end of the day - we reached back - had a quick bite and our birding guide along with a handful of us were on the road near our Guest house - birding. The birding there turned out to be rocking - great sightings of Grey Kestrel, Black-headed Gonolek, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Pink-backed Pelicans and Double-toothed Barbet were the main sightings. Sunbirds during the visit were a different ball game altogether and intend discussing them later some time.

Day Three
Birding at Mpanga Forest and Equator lIne

Day three was scheduled to be a famous Manga Forest. A pristine equatorial forest, we were joined up with three lady guides. One of them was a qualified bird guide and two of them were under trainees. My personal interaction was eye opening. The competition to become a Bird guide is tough to say the least - the bird guide told me that she was confident of identifying 75% of all birds by sound. Heck no - I told myself. Next few hours I tried and tested her. asked for every sound I heard, played it back in my collection and not once I found her to be wrong. It was a moment that I can but describe with a tear of joy in my eyes. She wore ordinary clothes but carried pride like no other. I did tip her to my capacity - and I remember some others walking and congratulating her and tipping her. Okay - let me get to the task at my hand - talking of the birding. Well as I had expected - the Rainforests of the kind there are not really good for birding. Infact even the sounds were far and in-between. On my suggestion we all turned back and went to the fringes of the reserved forest along the village there. Immediately the situation swung to rocking. The birds along the fringes were mind-boggling. Pied Hornbills, Wattle eye, Yellow White-eye, Red-cheeked Cordon Bleu were some of the birds. 
Two birds seen enroute to Mpanga Forest: the National Bird of Uganda - Grey Crowned Crane

Another bird that made us shout to get the bus to come to a screeching halt: Long-crested Eagle. The sightings were very common after this first one on almost all days
The rainforest Dwarfed us all...

Ah ! finally our first complete group photograph

Rest time...

Begining of birding on the forest fringes

Pied Hornbills in a distance while entering the Mpanga forest

Another very common Hornbill obseved: Black and White Casqued Hornbill

The sparrow too was common in entire Uganda: Grey-headed Sparrow

Yellow White-eye

Yellow White-eye

Red-billed Firefinch

Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird

Blue-spotted Wood-dove

Speckle-breasted Woodpecker

Brown-throated Wattle-eye

Red-cheeked Cordonbleu

Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher
my Favourite girl guide at Mpanga - Proscovia Nanyombi

Balancing act at Equator

African Pied Wagtail

Having exhausted ourselves we were on to the Equator. Equator was a place of pure fun and lunch. We had lunch at a place called Flamingoz. The food ordering was a fairly complex problem. A large group - the food was to order - so we ordered - went around fooling at the equator points - looked around for curios - did photography, experiments and videography at equator - went back and Flamingoz was still preparing food. There is one bird there that I saw and photographed at an odd angle - it still adores my unidentified bird. I will get on to it eventually I am sure. The experience at equator was great and should not be missed if someone does go there. From there we were off to Zikka forest - the birthplace of Zikka virus. The birding apart from a few Black and White Cascade Hornbill taking a sand bath was nothing to talk about. Infact another thing was a trees that was being felled with chain saws in the distance. We heard the wailing of the last moments of another great tree perhaps. We checked out from the the Guest house we were staying for the last few days and moved on to the Anderita Beach Hotel. The location was great, food as good - infact we had dinner in moonlight on the beach of Victoria Lake. The rooms on the other hand were nothing to talk home about - but I was just too tired for any more thinking - was dead asleep in two minutes flat. A few birds worth a mention - Egyptian Goose, Sacred Ibis, Grey-crowned Crane (State bird of Uganda), African Pied hornbill and many more. But all in all other than Mpanga fringes - the entire day was a wash out as far as the birding was concerned.
I did get to pose with an African Elephant

Day Four

The day again started with a heavy breakfast, pledges to kick out by 0700 and in reality missing the target time by 0730. Not bad for a group of 20 with 13 males (in my experience the ladies never let us down except once). Well we were to go to Murchison falls via Ziwa Rhino sanctuary. Riwa Sanctuary is situated 180 km from Kampala. During the period of Idi Amin, Uganda lost all its Rhinos to poaching. After his regime political stability ensured an attempt to reintroduce the Rhinos in Uganda. With a few presents from international zoos here and there and a determined country got back the White Rhino - established a stable population and it is now thriving - though under watchful eyes of 78 park rangers and an electrified fence covering 70 square kilometres. It is a NGO initiative. The second interesting part was that there are no White Rhinos in the world. The word was ‘Wide’ spoken as Wijd in Africa - the early settlers in South Africa misinterpreted the “Wijd” for “white” and the rhino with a wide mouth ended up being called white rhino and the other one - the one with narrow pointed mouth was referred to as the black rhinoceros - so now you know - no white Rhinos - no black Rhinos. They are the Englishman’s misinterpretation of local language. Next was that we were taken on foot to see some of the Rhinos in the wild. My word ? - worth every penny. We walked around a group of wild Rhinos sleeping - seeing them stirring, wild and a stones thrown from us - Oh what a feeling it was. Should I continue ? well as this place was a planned visit - I read up all I could about the Sanctuary - well birding wise it was also rocking to say the least, so said the ebird and other dozen trip reports on the net. Birding did not disappoint a bit - we saw Wood Hoopoe, Drongos, African Black-headed Oriole to name a few. The sightings were great - got some great shots of Rûppelll’s Long-tailed Starling. Rest birds were not really tame here so thought record shots were great - no really great photo opportunities. 

Sacred Ibis along with egrets

Hadada Ibis

Saddle-billed Stork

African Green-pigeon

Copper Sunbird

Black Bishop

African Wattled Lapwing

Looking out White Rhino at Ziwa, must not miss experience...

Selfie with white Rhinos

Selfie session continues...

Marabou Stork

White Helmetshrike

Fork-tailed Drongo 

African Black-headed Oriole

Rüpppell's Starling

Cattle in the Ziwa Sanctuary

Broad-billed Roller

Helmeted Guineafowl

Laughing Dove

At the gates of Murchison falls...

Having trekked, watched Rhinos and birding it was time to move on. A quick lunch at the restaurant there only in the sanctuary and we were on our way to Murchison National Park. It was another long drive and reached the destination - Paraa Safari Lodge, after crossing the famous Masindi town. We reached the forest check-post at Bodongo at 5 pm. The formalities were completed by our Birdwatching guide and we crossed the nile along with our bus on a ferry. That experience too was great. The Paraa Safari Lodge was a five star facility - had great diner and slept off. A few were lucky to see a hippopotamus cross a few feet from them - as they were sitting in besides the pool in the Lodge.

Crossing Nile to Parra

Day Five

Next day a game drive along with birding was planned. Again vows were taken to ensure that we are on the safari on time. This time over the breakfast at the Lodges let  us down by about half an hour. All the same we were out and on the safari track - the animals were great - Water Bucks, Elephants, Giraffes, Cape Buffaloes and wart hogs to name a few. We missed the leopards and lions. The birding was even better. Three types of Bee-eaters, two partridges, one Bustard, Ground hornbills to name a few. The day was great and the icing was yet to come. After quick lunch at the Paraa lodge we were off for Murchison falls boat ride. Another great sightings of Elephants, Hippos, Crocs and a few birds. The few birds included another lifer - the Rock Pranticoles. The day score was great - infact one of the best ones so far. The boat ride was great and memorable - with the first ever utilisation of the Tripod and the Gimbal head combo that I was lugging all the way. The pictures were great just because I could rest the camera and avoid carrying the 5 kg dumbbell of a camera in my lap always ready to shoot. This one day of utilisation of tripod made it clear that I should have used it on atleast two other occasions and would have felt blessed. The first while we were in the boats hunting for Shoebill and the other day we had gone to the Mpanga forest. Well a lesson learnt and never too late in life. I did carry the tripod all the way - Okay !! 
No ID as of now

Green Sunbird

Black-headed Weaver

One of the most beautiful Bee-eater: the Red-throated Bee-eater
The selfie with Hippos and the birds hiking a ride...

Black-bellied Bustard

Rufous Sparrow

Northern Carmine Bee-eater

Rüppell's Griffon Vulture

Grey-headed Kingfisher

Northern Red Bishop

Red-headed Quellea

Male Pin-tailed Whydah dancing for a female

Female Whydah

Painted Snipe

African Darter and Cattle egret enjoying Hippo ride ...

African Grey Hornbill

Egrets and Darters in river Nile

Spur-winged Lapwing

Spur-winged Goose

Spotted Morning-thrush

Black-billed Wood-dove

Mourning Collared-dove

White-browed Sparrow-weaver

Grey-headed Kingfisher

White-throated Bee-eater

The River Nile Cruise...

Yellow-billed Stork

White-faced Whistling Duck

Goliath Heron

Rock Pratincole
Selfie with Murchison falls in the background
Ride in Nile Queen...

Abyssinian Ground-hornbill

Heuglin's Francolin

The main birds were: Red-throated Bee-eater, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Black-bellied Bustard, Red-headed Quela, Northern Red Bishop, Pin-tailed Wydah and the iconic Abyssinian Ground Hornbill. Detailed list as told - are appended in the end.

Day Six

On everyone’s suggestion the next day was unanimously declared a leisure day - the leisure day declaration entailed that instead of getting up and running early morning like every day - we will start the day at 0730 am. This one hour were a boon for old bones - though unfortunately being a creature of habit I was up and ready to move at the old time - morning 0530. That gave me a great time to roam around the lodge - the birding in a lot of trip reports was great around this lodge but I was unfortunate perhaps - did not find any new bird. What I did discover was the beauty and serenity of the surroundings and they were a bliss in themselves. We were to drive back to Kampala and the ride was a long one. Firstly the route was decided by our birding guide and that was not the one on which we came. The route - was not the one commonly travelled upon and had a few - but great stops enroute for birding. Such was enroute at Hoima town and at Hoima Kopling Hotel. The lunch done  and we hit the road again reaching Kampala at around 6 pm. We checked in Forest Cottage Lodge, while others settled in - myself with two others headed to a nearby swimming (Same resorts, different location) and had a nice evening dip. 
Small but beautiful Kingfisher: Malechite Kingfisher

Ross Turaco

Heuglin's Francolin

White-rumped Seed-eater

White-rumped Seed-eater

Silverbird (The male did not present such great photo opportunity)

Black-faced Waxbill

Foxy Cisticola

Blue-naped Mousebird

Mocking Cliff-chat

Gree-backed Camaroptera

Dark Chanting-Goshawk

Swallow-tailed Bee-eater

Western-banded Snake-eagle

The day was mostly spent travelling but the few stops enroute gave us Blue-naped Mousebird, Madasgar Bee-eater, Black-faced Waxwing, Dark Chanting-goshawk among others. I will rate the day as just about okay.

Day Seven

Okay - I had a feeling that people were getting used to the leisure lifestyle as again it was voted to start the day lazily - 0800 was the time decided this time. The aim for the day was to hit the source of river nile. The point was almost two and half an hour drive from our place of stay. We reached the spot as anticipated at 1030 and hired a 20 plus seater boat and were off in Lake Victoria - the place designated at source of river nile. The point was well demarcated and it is said that the source as depicted is a place where a certain percentage of the water is flowing through natural springs underground. The river starts a 6,400km journey that takes this water three months to empty into the Mediterranean sea. The boat ride was enjoyable - albeit a few km in all with some good birds - African Black Crake, African Palm-nut Vulture and Swamp flycatcher were a few birds during our boat ride. There were tons of other like Long-tailed Cormorant - those will find mention in the list of course. One bird that I was very - very keen on finding was the Giant Kingfisher. I promptly declared a 20,000 Shilling award to our birdwatcher if he shows us one. Unfortunately it did not happen though the award did keep the interest very high I must day. 

As we waited for our ride to come this Common Bulbul sat in front of us and had an early breakfast...

Also while waiting this Ross Turaco made its appearance...
At the source of Nile

The opposite end at the Source of Nile

This place in Victoria Lake marks the origin of Nile with some underground streams that end here - contribute upto 50% water of Nile

Fantastic birding at Source of Nile

Long-tailed Cormorant at the source of Nile

African Darter

Striated Heron (Common to India)

Pied Kingfisher (Very common and common to India)

Malachite Kingfishers - where ever present gave good sightings

Second of the only cormorants of Uganda - the Great Cormorant sitting in centre (Common to India)

Black Crake - the bird really made my day

Black Crake

Swamp Flycatcher another bird that obliged us well by posing

Palm Nut Vulture : Do read about it by clicking here

Piapiac: Read about crows of Uganda by Clicking Here

Bronze Mannikin: very commonly seen

Red-chested Sunbird: a bird that reminds me of a foolish mistake. This bird came and sat on this flower and I was so excited that I forgot to extend the lens to 500 mm. I could have easily got a full frame if I did not goof up.

After the boat ride we were granted half an hour of curio shopping time. The bird guide promptly took me aside - not giving up his chance of 20,000 shilling award money and made me run to two spots where the birds were nesting - but it was one of those days when the bird denies you the privilege. Both of us were sweating by the time we reached back and gave the guide 5,000 shillings as his effort. I have finally returned back without this - one of my personal target bird.

It was lunch time was we started back - lunch was at a Forest Beach Resort - another beautiful serene place with great gardens and a lake. Within the complex there were not too many birds - but just outside the gate - there was a banana plantation and I ticked off a few lifers there too. After the short much break we headed back to Kampala and halted at a curio shop called Banana Boat. The shop was swamped by 20 of us and had a great time shopping African handicrafts. Though I cannot really comment on the prices as I did shopping at no other place but I did pick up hand crafted curios there.

Day Eight

This was the day we were to bid farewell to Uganda. The reporting time at airport was 1430 hrs in the afternoon. We had some time - so we packed up and were off to Bahai Temple and then to Entebbe Botanical Gardens to spend some last birding time in Uganda. Bhai temple turned out to be a great spot with Ross Turacos, Yellow-fronted Canary and Olive Woodpecker to name a few. The birding in Entebbe Botanical gardens is good - though I had almost run out of lifers - but the pleasure was still great. The last bird - also a lifer that I got here was the incredibly small African Pygmy Kingfisher. That bird made my day - if not the largest - I did get the smallest kingfisher and that is okay I suppose. At 11 cm I stared at it and wondered what fish would if be catching and eating. It sat so very close to me and I continued to stare at the bird. The bird was really beautiful and I don’t know why but I do have gripes every now and then. This bird - though sitting so close - it was on my head and the pictures are not to my satisfaction. All the same - the problem is more in my head than anywhere else so I will let it pass.

The world religion temple in Kampala tourned out to be a wonderful birding spot, the Bahai Temple

One of my all time favourite sunbirds: Scarlet-chested Sunbird

Yellow-fronted Canary

Another pic of same Canary bird as above

Northern Black Flycatcher

African Harrier-hawk

African Pygmy Kingfisher

Yellow-billed Black Kite

Pied Crow: Read about crows of Uganda by Clicking Here

Our flight was on time and so were the two connecting flights out from Nairobi and Mumbai. Thankfully I did not break or loose anything. Travelling due east we lost a day and the date changed.

Closing Notes

To start with the fact remains that we had a rollicking time birding in Uganda. Uganda with  1050 odd species is a birding heaven without doubt. Though I had targeted 300 species - I came back with a personal record of 174. This will vary a few species here and there due to some birds that I have in my kitty but not yet identified. Uganda is a birding heaven because the interference of man is still not as great as over populated countries with bulging middle classes of our country (India). I will post the picture here in the end that says it all - it is not about the number of birds in the photograph. I took of the Common Bulbul and that is the only one there but it is about the million insects visible in the picture. The problem I see here in rest of the places is - fertilisers, insecticides and everything anti bug. The birds are part of an ecosystem. Bugs, fish, small and big birds are all part of it and take out one of the parts - the entire ecosystem collapses. It is very important to protect this ecosystem and over use of chemicals to wipe out everything that humans take as an irritant. The population density of Uganda is plus minus that of India but the ecosystem so far is cleaner and not exposed to human vagaries. Hope it remains this way.

Look at this picture in detail - see the no of insects - no pesticides and human intervention speaks for itself why Uganda is a birding heaven so far...
Second part is that you have to have local currency while in Uganda - though US Dollars are more than welcome at most big places - that bottle of beer and bottle of water is best paid in local Uganda Shillings. So change them at airport or the first opportunity. How much? Well like I said - I exchanged 100 dollars and I could generously tip anyone I wanted, buy water or beer and everything in-between for the eight odd days we were there. Rest - it will depend upon you. I had 33,00,000 shillings in all and carried back 1000. rest all remained there only.

Thirdly, I think had we known the trip distances in terms of travel times - it would have been better than the distance alone - as we spent far too long travelling. Take for example we go to place X - and that is three hours of drive from our location - sunrise is 0700 - if we were to start at 0730 - reach at 1030 then the best birding time is already spent on the road. The activity starts tapering down around 1030 - 1100 and then once again peaks around sunset. So if you plan a birding trip to Uganda - do keep some days aside for travelling and do birding at take it easy pace...

Fourthly, preparation - I think we as a group were over-prepared and I am talking about various facets. I do not say that there was anything wrong about that, but still I feel that my preparation could have toned down a bit for me atleast personally. Four months of serious pouring over the ebird reports, books on birds of East Africa and a dozen trip reports - well I was identifying more than 80% birds as I came across them. So far so good - but we lugging around rain capes, bug sprays and the works. Not to mention the clothes for daily wear. I was carrying a change for every day we were planning staying there. The weather pattern was studied a dozen times and still - I feel visit to a continent like Africa has to be paced down. Lower pace - less places and more time at every place would have been great. We were on an average pushing between places. Well this is absolutely my personal observation - at least my next birding visit abroad will be definitely at a slower pace.

Fifthly, the Kjong Safaries did a great job and all the bird guides were very educated and great. The problem was that this was the first time Kjong Safaris was conducting a birdwatching tour and they admitted that there were short comings that need to be ironed out. The initial itinerary was muddled on daily basis - a small thing like packed lunch that turned out to be - order and eat at a restaurant struck off neat 2 hours of birding time. Stay places were changed - some of the changes were for good - other for worse. But once committed it would have been great to stick to the itinerary - but it did not happen.

Sixthly the travel in a mini bus with capacity of 20 - for me personally was a nightmare. At 114 kg and six feet I was barely fitting in the seats of the bus. Travelling in a group of 20 was great as we had a lots of fun but our team leader was always under pressure of 19 different suggestion for the same thing. Also a mass of 20-22 people moving together was hardly a birding group - we might have scared all the lions and leopards on the tracks we treaded, birds were no game.

Finally I have nothing other than a lot of pride to the core group who could not only plan but pull off a visit like this without irking anyone. It has been easy giving the above points - the fact was that being from Armed forces background - the visit for 20 people from different walks of life was nothing but a logistics nightmare. I close this trip report with a vote of thanks to Mr Shafaat, Miss Surekha and Mr Vikram to conceive this trip and put it to action. Mr Stephen Muhumuza was a gem of a person and really went out of his way to look after the group. Our driver was Ronald - he really know how to handle his bus - not one bump we jumped the bus over - I really mean it. Main birding guides were Alex Gabiito and Robert Agaba. The girl guide at Mpanga was Proscovia Nanyombi. She was the one I almost put her interrogation. I am super impressed by her and her knowledge of birds, birds calls and bird behaviour. I am sure I saw her during one of the youtube videos I saw on Uganda birding - but could not trace back to that video.
The birding group ;-)

Final Score

Total of 174 birds


6 Hornbills
5 Kingfishers
6 Bee-eaters
8 Weavers
7 Sunbirds
5 Starlings
5 Storks including the National Bird of Uganda

Expenditure during the visit:
  1. Kjong Safaries Ltd: $ 715 per head (included all stay, travel and park entry fees other than one or two where individual had to pay)
  2. VISA: $ 100
  3. Air tickets Chandigarh - Mumbai - Entebbe and back (including medical insurance): 43,000/- ($ 635 roughly)
  4. Collected centrally (for misc expenditure): $ 20
  5. Personal expenditure : $ 100

Trip cost total: $ 1,570/- (₹ 1,09,000/- @₹ 69 to $ 1) 

psst - I am not going to reveal the money I spent on curios and scotch  (duty free type)

List of birds:

Entebbe Intl Airport, Central, UG
Jul 14, 2016 2:17 PM - 3:47 PM

Protocol: Stationary
Comments:     Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70
10 species (+1 other taxa)

Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer)  2
Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)  7
Black Kite (Milvus migrans)  2
Black Kite (Yellow-billed) (Milvus migrans aegyptius/parasitus)  2
Speckled Mousebird (Colius striatus)  1
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)  4
Piapiac (Ptilostomus afer)  1
Pied Crow (Corvus albus)  2
Plain Greenbul (Eurillas curvirostris)  2
Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus)  2
Lesser Blue-eared Starling (Lamprotornis chloropterus)  2

Entebbe Botanical Garden, Central, UG
Jul 14, 2016 3:56 PM - 6:26 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.485 mile(s)
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70
21 species

African Openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus)  1
Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer)  1
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)  3
Striated Heron (Little Heron) (Butorides striata)  2
Black Kite (Yellow-billed) (Milvus migrans aegyptius/parasitus)  2
African Fish-Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)  1
Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata)  2
Eastern Plantain-eater (Crinifer zonurus)  1
Crowned Hornbill (Lophoceros alboterminatus)  2
Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill (Bycanistes subcylindricus)  4
Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis)  2
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)  2
Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus)  2
Pied Crow (Corvus albus)  3
Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat (Cossypha niveicapilla)  1
African Thrush (Turdus pelios)  2
Mariqua Sunbird (Cinnyris mariquensis)  2
Red-chested Sunbird (Cinnyris erythrocercus)  3
Orange Weaver (Ploceus aurantius)  2
Northern Brown-throated Weaver (Ploceus castanops)  2
Golden-backed Weaver (Ploceus jacksoni)  2

Mabamba Swamp, Central, UG
Jul 15, 2016 6:52 AM - 11:52 AM
Protocol: Traveling
3.107 mile(s)
Comments:     With Birdguide Alex
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70
32 species

Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata)  2
African Openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus)  X
Long-tailed Cormorant (Microcarbo africanus)  4
Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)  1
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)  X
Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala)  1
Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath)  2
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)  2
Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)  1
Palm-nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis)  1
Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus)  1
Long-toed Lapwing (Vanellus crassirostris)  4     3 chicks
African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus)  1
Grey-hooded Gull (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus)  3
White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus)  3
Ring-necked Dove (Streptopelia capicola)  3
Blue-headed Coucal (Centropus monachus)  1
Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill (Bycanistes subcylindricus)  4
Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus)  5
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)  2
Blue-breasted Bee-eater (Merops variegatus)  3
Marsh Tchagra (Tchagra minutus)  1
Papyrus Gonolek (Laniarius mufumbiri)  1
Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike (Campephaga phoenicea)  1
Rufous-chested Swallow (Cecropis semirufa)  1
White-chinned Prinia (Schistolais leucopogon)  2
Winding Cisticola (Cisticola galactotes)  1
African Pied Wagtail (Motacilla aguimp)  1
Yellow-throated Longclaw (Macronyx croceus)  1
Vieillot's Weaver (Black) (Ploceus nigerrimus nigerrimus)  5
Black-headed Weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus)  10
Bronze Mannikin (Spermestes cucullata)  20

UG-Central Region-Entebbe-Airport Road - 0.0539x32.4616, Central, UG
Jul 15, 2016 3:37 PM - 3:42 PM

Protocol: Stationary
Comments:     Outside the hotel.
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

2 species

African Hobby (Falco cuvierii)  1
Rüppell's Starling (Lamprotornis purpuroptera)  1

UG-Central Region-Entebbe-Nakiwogo - 0.0673x32.4602, Central, UG
Jul 15, 2016 4:24 PM - 6:54 PM

Protocol: Traveling
3.728 mile(s)
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

31 species

African Openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus)  1
Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer)  5
Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens)  3
Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala)  1
Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)  1
Lizard Buzzard (Kaupifalco monogrammicus)  1
Black Kite (Yellow-billed) (Milvus migrans aegyptius/parasitus)  1
Red-eyed Dove (Streptopelia semitorquata)  4
Ring-necked Dove (Streptopelia capicola)  2
Ross's Turaco (Musophaga rossae)  1
Eastern Plantain-eater (Crinifer zonurus)  4
Speckled Mousebird (Colius striatus)  8
Broad-billed Roller (Eurystomus glaucurus)  2
Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus chrysoconus)  1
Double-toothed Barbet (Lybius bidentatus)  2
Olive Woodpecker (Dendropicos griseocephalus)  2
Grey Kestrel (Falco ardosiaceus)  1
Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus)  2
Black-headed Gonolek (Laniarius erythrogaster)  4
Pied Crow (Corvus albus)  4
African Blue-Flycatcher (Elminia longicauda)  1
Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus)  5
Tawny-flanked Prinia (Prinia subflava)  3
Rüppell's Starling (Lamprotornis purpuroptera)  7
Greater Blue-eared Starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus)  1
Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Chalcomitra senegalensis)  1
Red-chested Sunbird (Cinnyris erythrocercus)  10
Northern Grey-headed Sparrow (Passer griseus)  7
Vieillot's Weaver (Black) (Ploceus nigerrimus nigerrimus)  10
Black-headed Weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus)  5
African Firefinch (Lagonosticta rubricata)  2

Mpanga Central Forestry Reserve, Central, UG
Jul 16, 2016 8:56 AM - 12:11 PM

Protocol: Traveling
2.485 mile(s)
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

20 species

African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus)  1
Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus)  1
Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)  1
Grey Crowned-Crane (Balearica regulorum)  2
Blue-spotted Wood-Dove (Turtur afer)  1
Red-chested Cuckoo (Cuculus solitarius)  1
African Pied Hornbill (Lophoceros fasciatus)  1
Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill (Bycanistes subcylindricus)  8
Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus bilineatus)  4
Speckle-breasted Woodpecker (Dendropicos poecilolaemus)  1
Brown-throated Wattle-eye (Platysteira cyanea)  3
Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher (Bias musicus)  3     Saw one male, one female and a juv
Angola Swallow (Hirundo angolensis)  3
African Yellow White-eye (Zosterops senegalensis)  1
Western Olive Sunbird (Cyanomitra obscura)  2
African Pied Wagtail (Motacilla aguimp)  3
Northern Grey-headed Sparrow (Passer griseus)  2
Black-headed Weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus)  3
Red-cheeked Cordonbleu (Uraeginthus bengalus)  3
Magpie Mannikin (Spermestes fringilloides)  2

UG-Central Region-Kisubi - 0.1225x32.5270 - 16-Jul-2016, 17:19, Central, UG
Jul 16, 2016 5:19 PM - 6:18 PM

Protocol: Stationary
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

3 species

African Openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus)  4
Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer)  1
Angola Swallow (Hirundo angolensis)  10

UG-Central Region-Entebbe Road - 0.0854x32.4843 - 16-Jul-2016, 18:37, Central, UG
Jul 16, 2016 6:37 PM - 6:47 PM

Protocol: Stationary
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

10 species

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)  2
Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer)  6
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)  2
Little Egret (Western) (Egretta garzetta garzetta)  8
Sacred Ibis (African) (Threskiornis aethiopicus aethiopicus)  5
Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)  10
Palm-nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis)  1
Spur-winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus)  1
African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus)  2
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)  1

UG-Central Region-Entebbe Road - 0.0849x32.4837 - 17-Jul-2016, 07:17, Central, UG
Jul 17, 2016 7:17 AM - 7:27 AM

Protocol: Stationary
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

8 species

Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis)  2
Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer)  7
Long-tailed Cormorant (Microcarbo africanus)  4
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)  2
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)  10
Palm-nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis)  3
African Fish-Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)  1
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)  3

UG-North Buganda Province-Luwero - 0.9704x32.4743 - 17-Jul-2016, 09:53, Central, UG
Jul 17, 2016 9:53 AM - 10:03 AM

Protocol: Stationary
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

5 species

Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala)  1
Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)  1
African Green-Pigeon (Treron calvus)  2
Village Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus)  1
Black Bishop (Euplectes gierowii)  1

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Central, UG
Jul 17, 2016 11:13 AM - 2:33 PM

Protocol: Stationary
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

20 species

Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris)  10
Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer)  1
Banded Snake-Eagle (Circaetus cinerascens)  3
Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)  1
Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus senegallus)  2
Eastern Plantain-eater (Crinifer zonurus)  2
Green Woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus)  2
Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis)  1
Broad-billed Roller (Eurystomus glaucurus)  2
Spot-flanked Barbet (Tricholaema lacrymosa)  1
Double-toothed Barbet (Lybius bidentatus)  1
White Helmetshrike (Prionops plumatus)  2
African Black-headed Oriole (Oriolus larvatus)  1
Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis)  1
African Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis)  1
Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus)  1
Dusky-brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa adusta)  1
Northern Black-Flycatcher (Melaenornis edolioides)  1
Rüppell's Starling (Lamprotornis purpuroptera)  2
African Pied Wagtail (Motacilla aguimp)  4

Murchison Falls NP--boat trip Paraa to Murchison Falls, Western, UG
Jul 18, 2016 7:15 AM - 12:35 PM

Protocol: Traveling
12.427 mile(s)
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

45 species (+1 other taxa)

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)  10
Spur-winged Goose (Northern) (Plectropterus gambensis gambensis)  12
Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris)  10
Crested Francolin (Francolinus sephaena)  1
Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer)  1
African Darter (Anhinga rufa)  6
Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens)  1
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)  50
Sacred Ibis (African) (Threskiornis aethiopicus aethiopicus)  1
White-backed Vulture/Rüppell's Griffon (Gyps africanus/rueppelli)  3
Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus)  1
Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus)  1
Long-crested Eagle (Lophaetus occipitalis)  1
Wahlberg's Eagle (Hieraaetus wahlbergi)  1
Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax)  1
African Fish-Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)  1
Black-bellied Bustard (Lissotis melanogaster)  1
Spur-winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus)  3
Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus senegallus)  6
Greater Painted-Snipe (Rostratula benghalensis)  2
African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus)  4
Mourning Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decipiens)  1
Black-billed Wood-Dove (Turtur abyssinicus)  2
Eastern Plantain-eater (Crinifer zonurus)  2
Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus)  2
Grey-headed Kingfisher (Halcyon leucocephala)  2
Red-throated Bee-eater (Merops bulocki)  3
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (Merops hirundineus)  3
White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis)  6
Northern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicus)  10
Grey-backed Fiscal (Lanius excubitoroides)  2
African Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis)  2
Piapiac (Ptilostomus afer)  10
Rattling Cisticola (Cisticola chiniana)  1
Spotted Morning-Thrush (Cichladusa guttata)  1
African Thrush (Turdus pelios)  2
Violet-backed Starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster)  2
Rüppell's Starling (Lamprotornis purpuroptera)  10
Shelley's Rufous Sparrow (Passer shelleyi)  1
White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (Plocepasser mahali)  5
Black-headed Weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus)  2
Red-headed Quelea (Quelea erythrops)  5
Northern Red Bishop (Euplectes franciscanus)  2
Red-cheeked Cordonbleu (Uraeginthus bengalus)  2
African Silverbill (Euodice cantans)  1
Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura)  4

Murchison Falls NP--boat trip Paraa to Murchison Falls, Western, UG
Jul 18, 2016 2:35 PM - 5:35 PM

Protocol: Traveling
6.214 mile(s)
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

16 species

White-faced Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna viduata)  3
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)  5
Spur-winged Goose (Plectropterus gambensis)  4
Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis)  1
Yellow-billed Stork (Mycteria ibis)  1
African Darter (Anhinga rufa)  2
Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath)  1
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)  1
African Fish-Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)  3
Spur-winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus)  1
African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus)  2
Rock Pratincole (Glareola nuchalis)  1
African Grey Hornbill (Lophoceros nasutus)  1
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)  12
Red-throated Bee-eater (Merops bulocki)  1
Yellow-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus africanus)  2

Murchison Falls NP--boat trip Paraa to Murchison Falls, Western, UG
Jul 19, 2016 8:03 AM - 8:23 AM

Protocol: Stationary
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

4 species

Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris)  10
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  2
Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii)  4
Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura)  4

Murchison Falls NP--boat trip Paraa to Murchison Falls, Western, UG
Jul 19, 2016 8:03 AM - 8:23 AM

Protocol: Stationary
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

4 species

Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris)  10
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  2
Wire-tailed Swallow (Hirundo smithii)  4
Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura)  4

UG-Hoima-Buliisa - 2.1208x31.4448 - 19-Jul-2016, 09:20, Western, UG
Jul 19, 2016 9:20 AM - 12:30 PM

Protocol: Traveling
37.281 mile(s)
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

42 species

Heuglin's Francolin (Pternistis icterorhynchus)  1
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)  2
Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala)  21
African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus)  1
Banded Snake-Eagle (Circaetus cinerascens)  1
Dark Chanting-Goshawk (Melierax metabates)  2
Vinaceous Dove (Streptopelia vinacea)  1
Speckled Mousebird (Colius striatus)  5
Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus)  2
Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus)  1
Grey-headed Kingfisher (Halcyon leucocephala)  2
Red-throated Bee-eater (Merops bulocki)  1
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (Merops hirundineus)  5
White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis)  6
Madagascar Bee-eater (Merops superciliosus)  10
Black-billed Barbet (Lybius guifsobalito)  2
Grey Kestrel (Falco ardosiaceus)  1
Black-headed Gonolek (Laniarius erythrogaster)  2
Grey-backed Fiscal (Lanius excubitoroides)  9
African Black-headed Oriole (Oriolus larvatus)  1
Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis)  2
Flappet Lark (Mirafra rufocinnamomea)  1
Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus)  2
Green-backed Camaroptera (Grey-backed) (Camaroptera brachyura [brevicaudata Group])  2
Foxy Cisticola (Cisticola troglodytes)  1
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)  1
Buff-bellied Warbler (Phyllolais pulchella)  1
Spotted Morning-Thrush (Cichladusa guttata)  2
Mocking Cliff-Chat (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris)  2
Wattled Starling (Creatophora cinerea)  3
Lesser Blue-eared Starling (Lamprotornis chloropterus)  4
Superb Sunbird (Cinnyris superbus)  1
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting (Emberiza tahapisi)  2
White-rumped Seedeater (Serinus leucopygius)  20
Northern Grey-headed Sparrow (Passer griseus)  10
Chestnut Sparrow (Passer eminibey)  2
Black-winged Bishop (Euplectes hordeaceus)  2
Black-faced Waxbill (Estrilda erythronotos)  3
Red-cheeked Cordonbleu (Uraeginthus bengalus)  11
Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala)  2
African Silverbill (Euodice cantans)  2
Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura)  2

Source of the Nile Gardens, Central, UG
Jul 20, 2016 9:44 AM - 12:44 PM

Protocol: Traveling
2.485 mile(s)
Comments:     Boating at source of Nile.
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

22 species (+1 other taxa)

African Openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus)  6
Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer)  2
Long-tailed Cormorant (Microcarbo africanus)  20
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)  1
Great Cormorant (White-breasted) (Phalacrocorax carbo lucidus)  3
African Darter (Anhinga rufa)  2
Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens)  1
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)  1
Striated Heron (Little Heron) (Butorides striata)  2
Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)  5
Palm-nut Vulture (Gypohierax angolensis)  3
Black Crake (Zapornia flavirostra)  2
Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus)  5
Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis)  3
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)  5
Piapiac (Ptilostomus afer)  4
Pied Crow (Corvus albus)  5
Yellow-throated Greenbul (Atimastillas flavicollis)  1
Swamp Flycatcher (Muscicapa aquatica)  2
Red-chested Sunbird (Cinnyris erythrocercus)  2
African Pied Wagtail (Motacilla aguimp)  2
Lesser Masked-Weaver (Ploceus intermedius)  2
Bronze Mannikin (Spermestes cucullata)  10

UG-North Buganda Province-Mukono - 0.3595x32.8293 - 20-Jul-2016, 15:11, Central, UG
Jul 20, 2016 3:11 PM - 4:11 PM

Protocol: Stationary
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

7 species

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)  10
White-shouldered Black-Tit (Melaniparus guineensis)  2
African Thrush (Turdus pelios)  2
Red-chested Sunbird (Cinnyris erythrocercus)  3
Grosbeak Weaver (Amblyospiza albifrons)  4
Black-and-white Mannikin (Spermestes bicolor)  100
Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura)  4

UG-Central Region-Kampala-Kikaya - 0.3643x32.5892, Central, UG
Jul 21, 2016 9:21 AM - 9:56 AM

Protocol: Stationary
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

17 species

Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)  2
Shikra (Accipiter badius)  1
Red-eyed Dove (Streptopelia semitorquata)  3
Ross's Turaco (Musophaga rossae)  2
Eastern Plantain-eater (Crinifer zonurus)  4
Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis)  2
Double-toothed Barbet (Lybius bidentatus)  1
Olive Woodpecker (Dendropicos griseocephalus)  2
Meyer's Parrot (Poicephalus meyeri)  2
Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis)  2
Pied Crow (Corvus albus)  2
Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus)  6
Rüppell's Starling (Lamprotornis purpuroptera)  3
Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Chalcomitra senegalensis)  6
Yellow-fronted Canary (Serinus mozambicus)  2
Red-cheeked Cordonbleu (Uraeginthus bengalus)  1
Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala)  1

Entebbe Botanical Garden, Central, UG
Jul 21, 2016 11:37 AM - 1:19 PM

Protocol: Traveling
1.243 mile(s)
Comments:     Bird of the day Pygmy Kingfisher
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.2.2 Build 70

22 species (+1 other taxa)

Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)  3
African Openbill (Anastomus lamelligerus)  2
Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens)  2
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)  2
Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash)  12
African Harrier-Hawk (Polyboroides typus)  1
Black Kite (Milvus migrans)  11
Black Kite (Yellow-billed) (Milvus migrans aegyptius/parasitus)  5
Red-eyed Dove (Streptopelia semitorquata)  2
Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata)  5
Speckled Mousebird (Colius striatus)  3
Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill (Bycanistes subcylindricus)  3
African Pygmy-Kingfisher (Ispidina picta)  1
Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis)  1
Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis)  5
Black-headed Gonolek (Laniarius erythrogaster)  4
Pied Crow (Corvus albus)  2
Common Bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus)  2
Swamp Flycatcher (Muscicapa aquatica)  2
African Thrush (Turdus pelios)  2
Rüppell's Starling (Lamprotornis purpuroptera)  4
Collared Sunbird (Hedydipna collaris)  3
Red-chested Sunbird (Cinnyris erythrocercus)  1