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Field Guides Tour Report
May 17, 2012 to Jun 7, 2012
Phil Gregory & local guides

One of the main targets for many on this trip, the prehistoric-looking Shoebill (aka B. rex) is in a family of its own. This one pounced on, then devoured, a lungfish as we watched from close quarters on the first full day of the trip at Mabamba! (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

The Field Guides 2012 trip to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, was once more a great tour. It had again been a very wet start to the year with heavy rain well into April, so the countryside was verdant, and some birds seemed to be scarce or absent. But this was compensated by some great looks at some unusual species and terrific, charismatic mammal encounters, with gorillas, chimpanzees, leopard, and lions all being particularly memorable this year.

Our inaugural pre-trip walk to the Botanic Gardens was great, with Bat Hawk, Gray Parrot and African Pied Hornbill as a nice intro, repeated next day with an additional Wahlberg's Honeyguide and a pair of African Hobby. We again went for Shoebill in the papyrus swamps near Entebbe on the first day, which got us off to a terrific start with close and prolonged views (within 10 minutes!) of a Shoebill, which pounced on and devoured a lungfish. Lesser Jacana was a good bonus bird here, as was Orange Weaver and Blue-breasted Bee-eater.

The drive on the newly tarred road up to Masindi was good for birds, with Dwarf Bittern an unexpected find, and great views of widowbirds in breeding dress. Murchison is always a great park, and big game was particularly rewarding, with a sighting of a lioness with 2 large cubs on the north bank and fantastic giraffes too. Good birds included multiple sightings of Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Stanley and Black-bellied bustards, an immature Martial Eagle that stooped at a Nile Monitor and landed right beside us, and Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, one of which was endearingly using a rather perplexed warthog as an ideal perch! The very local Red-winged Gray Warbler came good, as did Rock Pratincole at the positively raging Murchison Falls. The Victoria Nile boat trip gave us a second Shoebill and a flight view of a pair of rare Black Crowned-Cranes heading north (the black body a dead giveaway, but how I wish they had been closer), plus curious hippos, though crocs were amazingly scarce.

Driving out down the Rift Valley we had a pleasant stop at a cloudy and for once less-than-sweltering Butiaba escarpment, with Mocking Cliff-Chat and Foxy Cisticola showing well, and a surprise Dwarf Bittern plus Shelley's Rufous Sparrow in the lowlands north of the village. Budongo and the famous Royal Mile gave us fabulous encounters with Shining-blue, Chocolate-backed, Blue-breasted, and African Dwarf kingfishers, plus a perched Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, whilst a male White-spotted Flufftail was very obliging. It was here we had an amazing time with the chimps, who were coming in to feed in a huge tree right by the track, followed by sundry primate researchers. We saw over 30 of these entertaining animals and got some great photos. The cultivation was also rewarding with the scarce White-thighed Hornbill, Black-bellied Firefinch, and Black Bishop.

The road to Kibale was, as usual, in poor condition, and it took a while to get there, stopping en route for Papyrus Gonolek and Yellow-spotted (Western) Nicator, plus White-crested Turaco. Kibale National Park gave a good series of chimp encounters, and the Bigodi Swamp walk gave us Speckle-breasted Woodpecker, Great Sparrowhawk and 4 species of primate feeding close together. It was great to see Grey-cheeked Mangabey so well, as well as Black-cheeked White-nosed Monkey, Mantled Guereza, and the rare Uganda Red Colobus.

The beautiful Lodge at Mweya in Queen Elizabeth NP was as ever a fantastic destination, and we all greatly enjoyed the boat trip down the Kazinga Channel with the 170+ African Skimmers and hippos at the waterside, with some brilliant encounters with bathing elephants. Sadly, this year a huge Congolese truck had broken a bridge through the Ishasha sector of QENP, so we had to detour via Kithagata and Kanungu to get to Bwindi, but it got us African Blue-Flycatcher and Black-throated Canary as unexpected additions.

The Bwindi-Impenetrable Forest is always a major highlight, with the gorillas seen really well by the gorilla trekkers, who were all back at camp by late lunchtime. Birds were also terrific, with Black Bee-eaters, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Red-fronted Antpecker, and the newly described cryptic species Willard's Sooty Boubou, plus Elliot's Woodpecker and the delightful Black-faced Rufous-Warbler. This led us neatly into the high altitude stop at Ruhija at the quite new and comfortable lodge there. Here a select band made the lovely 10 km trek down into the Mubwindi Swamp, seeing Grauer's Swamp-Warbler, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, a pair of Crowned Eagles with a noisy juvenile, and a fantastic perched Cassin's Hawk Eagle. We also had several sightings of the elusive Oriole Finch plus Sitatunga out in the swamp, though sadly there was no sign of nesting Grauer's Broadbill this year, maybe due to the late rains.

Other Albertine Rift goodies included Handsome Francolin for some, Archer's Robin-Chat, Blue-headed and Regal sunbirds, Grauer's Warbler, Strange Weaver, Ruwenzori Apalis, Ruwenzori Batis, Sharpe's and Waller's starlings, the astonishing Doherty's Bush-Shrike and both Least and Dwarf honeyguides —the endemic birds just kept on coming and we did extremely well.

Lake Mburo was also very pleasant, with the camp newly renovated and great birds like African Finfoot, Greater Painted-Snipe, Red-headed Lovebird, the very local Red-faced Barbet, and a close late afternoon encounter with Giant Eagle Owl, plus a wonderful daylight sighting of Pearl-spotted Owlet, with zebras, topi and impala also crowd-pleasers.

The finale at Mabira Forest added a bunch of new species still, with Forest Woodhoopoe, Lesser Bristlebill, Sooty Boubou, Purple-throated Cuckoo-Shrike, and a fantastic male Black-bellied Seedcracker perched by his nest.

My thanks to Livingstone for being a great driver and bird guide, also to Sharon for splendid arrangements, and to the truly remarkable fieldman Alfred with his infrared eyesight and bionic ears. Thanks also to Vincent, Moses, and Ismail, who helped us so effectively. An entertaining and throroughly enjoyable experience, we all had a really memorable tour—and my thanks to the group for coming along and getting on so well. This is a truly great trip, one of my favorites, so do it whilst you can!

Why not join us for 2013 when Terry Stevenson will be doing the honors (whilst I hope to be in Ethiopia)?

--Phil Gregory - June 2012 Queensland

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – Just a few seen at Mabamba, Murchison and near Lake Mburo.
COMB DUCK (Sarkidiornis melanotos) – Just one up along the Nile at Murchison, now split from the South American species, this is Knob-billed Duck.
EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca) – Only in small numbers, seen at L. Victoria, Murchison, in QENP where a pair had 6 goslings along the Kazinga Channel, and then near Lake Mburo.
SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (Plectropterus gambensis) – Just a couple along the Nile at Murchison, it seems scarce in Uganda.
YELLOW-BILLED DUCK (Anas undulata) – Widespread in small numbers starting at Mabamba.

Though commonly seen in zoos and aviaries around the world, Gray Crowned-Cranes look even better in the wild! (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

RED-BILLED DUCK (Anas erythrorhyncha) – Three on flood waters near Mbarara, not a bird we see regularly.
Numididae (Guineafowl)
HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris) – One at L. Mburo ran ahead of us for ages and almost went under a fast travelling vehicle as it came to a junction!
CRESTED GUINEAFOWL (Guttera pucherani) – One was seen by a few folks at Bwindi, amongst some L'Hoest's monkeys!
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
CRESTED FRANCOLIN (Francolinus sephaena) – A few at Murchison and Lake Mburo.
SCALY FRANCOLIN (Francolinus squamatus) – One flushed and flew over the small pond at Kinyara Sugar estate, a lucky find.
HEUGLIN'S FRANCOLIN (Francolinus icterorhynchus) – Some good looks at this local species in Murchison Falls NP.
RED-NECKED FRANCOLIN (Francolinus afer) – Common at Lake Mburo where it is the default francolin.
HANDSOME FRANCOLIN (Francolinus nobilis) – Deborah and Ann-Charlotte had good views of this on the road at Ruhija whilst we were doing the swamp trek.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) – An adult and imm. on the smelly soda lake near QENP entrance, quite rare in Uganda where Alfred has yet to see it!
LESSER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus minor) – Ninety at the smelly soda lake and then 19 on the loop track lake, uncommon here and nice to see.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
AFRICAN OPENBILL (Anastomus lamelligerus) – Small numbers at various wetlands.
WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (Ciconia episcopus) – Three in the very wet fields near Buhoma, this seems to be a favourite spot for them.
SADDLE-BILLED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) – Very few, we had one on the shore of the lake at Entebbe, then a single up in the Luwero triangle the same day, with two singles at Murchison later.
MARABOU STORK (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) – This huge ungainly creature is still quite frequent around Kampala where it scavenges the waste, and also still at Entebbe and Mbarara, with just a few in the main parks.
YELLOW-BILLED STORK (Mycteria ibis) – A couple of colorful singles along the Kazinga Channel.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
GREAT CORMORANT (WHITE-BREASTED) (Phalacrocorax carbo lucidus) – A black phase one at Murchison looked just like regular Great Cormorant, and there were a few of these amongst the white-breasted ones at Kazinga Channel too. The IOC split this taxon.
LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax africanus) – Sparse, small numbers from the main wetlands only.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AFRICAN DARTER (Anhinga rufa rufa) – Amazingly few, just seen at Mabamba!
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
PINK-BACKED PELICAN (Pelecanus rufescens) – Likewise very few, the colony at Luwero is still at the nesting trees by the road, and we saw odd ones at Lake Victoria and near Lake Mburo, but with so much water around the pelicans have all dispersed out and we saw no Great Whites at all.
Balaenicipitidae (Shoebill)
SHOEBILL (Balaeniceps rex) – We got off to a great start at Mabamba where we got one within ten minutes, and quite close by too. It waited for ages then pounced with wings flapping on a lungfish, which it then swallowed whole! Fantastic, and we also got a back-up one in papyrus at the Nile delta with Lake Albert, seen from the boat roof! Much in demand from the family listers, a tremendous charisma bird as well.
Scopidae (Hamerkop)
HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta) – Widespread in small numbers, and quite a few of the huge untidy nests seen as well.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
LITTLE BITTERN (Ixobrychus minutus payesii) – Great looks at males on the Nile and at the Kazinga Channel.
DWARF BITTERN (Ixobrychus sturmii) – Some of us got a brief look at one that flushed in swampy ground in the Luwero Triangle, then everyone got fine looks at one that flew across then sat atop a bush in flooded fields near Butiaba. This can be a tough species to get and it was new for just about everyone.
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Just 4 day records from Entebbe, Murchison and QENP.
BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala) – Widespread in small numbers, more of a dry land bird than the Gray Heron.
GOLIATH HERON (Ardea goliath) – Very few, we one fly by the Paraa ferry (and looking enormous!) then saw 5 on the Nile cruise and had a single along the Kazinga Channel.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – Three at Mabamba and 5 from the Nile cruise was it.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Very few, only seen at Murchison, QENP and a single over Lake Mburo.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia) – One from Murchison was the only record.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Just five day records, most from Lake Victoria, Mabamba and Murchison with 6 at QENP and one at L. Mburo.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Small numbers were scattered around, this is the western form which is now split by the IOC.
SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides) – Seen at Mabamba, Murchison and the Kazinga Channel.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – One at Kazinga and one at Lake Mburo.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Just one at Lake Mburo where the water levels were very high and had caused the White-backed Night Herons to relocate.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus) – 15 at Kazinga and QENP, and then 8 at Lake Mburo.
HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash) – Widespread and endearingly vocal, their raucous "WAAAH" was even heard at The Boma.
AFRICAN SPOONBILL (Platalea alba) – Two at the Kazinga Channel were a useful pick-up of a low density species.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
EUROPEAN HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis apivorus) – A strange raptor soaring over near The Neck seems likely to be this species, the small head and barred tail seem right, and now confirmed by Valerie's photo.
BAT HAWK (Macheiramphus alcinus) – We saw two individuals on our two visits to the Entebbe Botanic Gardens, sat quietly high in tall trees. This does seem to be a good site for this elusive crepuscular species.
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Just 3 day records, the first from Mabamba then up at Masindi before the last near Lake Mburo.
BLACK KITE (YELLOW-BILLED) (Milvus migrans parasitus) – Widespread but no large numbers, though the kettle of 40 soaring high over Ruhija late in the afternoon must have been migrants. Split by most authorities these days.
AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer) – Some fantastic views from Murchison, QENP and Lake Mburo, and some nice photos.
PALM-NUT VULTURE (Gypohierax angolensis) – Six day records, with nice views from Entebbe in particular.
HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus) – The decline continues, we had 6 day records with no big numbers, just pairs in Entebbe, L. Mburo and Mabira and 4 at QENP.
WHITE-BACKED VULTURE (Gyps africanus) – 17 in QENP at one site, and 3 then a single from Lake Mburo, all sadly symptomatic of massive decline.
LAPPET-FACED VULTURE (Torgos tracheliotus) – Always scarce and paradoxically this year we saw 3 in QENP then 2 at Lake Mburo, which is better than normal for what is always a low density species.
WHITE-HEADED VULTURE (Trigonoceps occipitalis) – Just one female at QENP, always scarce and now downright rare.
BLACK-BREASTED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus pectoralis) – Two singles, from QENP then one near Lake Mburo.
BROWN SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinereus) – One near Murchison then 2 en route to Kibale.
BANDED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinerascens) – An immature near Masindi, then 2 en route to Butiaba and a single at Bigodi.
BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus) – Six day records with some good numbers of immatures in particular, with 2 eating a snake in Murchison Falls NP and a day count of 12 at Lake Mburo which was mainly immatures.
AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus ranivorus) – A couple at Mabamba, one at Luwero and Phil saw one near Kampala.
AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus) – Five day records, the first from Entebbe.
LIZARD BUZZARD (Kaupifalco monogrammicus) – Seven day records. all of singles bar two near Masindi.

In the same genus as the Bald Eagle of North America, the handsome African Fish-Eagle is a common sight at lakes and wetlands throughout Africa. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

DARK CHANTING-GOSHAWK (Melierax metabates) – Good views of two en route to Murchison, with one en route to Butiaba. These all had pinkish ceres and reddish legs.
GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar) – A good flight view from the boat of one going over the Nile.
AFRICAN GOSHAWK (Accipiter tachiro) – A calling bird high over Buhoma early one morning, and one sat in the forest at Bwindi.
SHIKRA (Accipiter badius) – Five day records, the first from Entebbe and always singles.
BLACK GOSHAWK (Accipiter melanoleucus) – A nest high in the gums at Bigodi belonged to this uncommon species, and a large presumed female duly came in then sat obligingly nearby for a while.
MOUNTAIN BUZZARD (Buteo oreophilus) – One soaring over the forest as we came out from Mubwindi Swamp.
AUGUR BUZZARD (Buteo augur) – Small numbers from the higher altitudes, the first near Kanungu then some nice looks at Ruhija.
CASSIN'S HAWK-EAGLE (Aquila africana) – One splendid adult came and sat in a tree by the track down to Mubwindi Swamp, my first perched record of what is an elusive species, and some nice photos.
WAHLBERG'S EAGLE (Hieraaetus wahlbergi) – Just 3 birds, from Entebbe Botanic Gardens then near Mabamba.
MARTIAL EAGLE (Polemaetus bellicosus) – A huge immature swept right by us in hot pursuit of a Nile Monitor lizard at Murchison, landing on the ground for some good photos. Another imm. was in QENP.
LONG-CRESTED EAGLE (Lophaetus occipitalis) – Quite widespread, often seen sat on power lines or poles by the road.
CROWNED HAWK-EAGLE (Stephanoaetus coronatus) – One soared high over primate camp at Kibale, then we had one over at Bwindi. Next day two magnificent adults came in to sit beside a fledged youngster at their nest down by Mubwindi Swamp, just fabulous views with the young one begging loudly for ages. Finally one at Mabira on the last day.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
GRAY KESTREL (Falco ardosiaceus) – Seen near Luwero then a couple at QENP, very sparse this trip.
AFRICAN HOBBY (Falco cuvierii) – A pair at Entebbe Botanic Gardens looked like they were about to commence nesting, this is a good site for a rather uncommon species.
Otididae (Bustards)
STANLEY BUSTARD (Neotis denhami denhami) – One Denham's Bustard was on the north bank at Murchison not too far from the lions, always a great bird to find.
BLACK-BELLIED BUSTARD (Lissotis melanogaster) – One calling bird in Murchison gave quite good looks before it flew away.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-SPOTTED FLUFFTAIL (Sarothrura pulchra) – A trip highlight was a very obliging calling male who crossed the trail three times at the Royal Mile, he was most interested in my i-pod loop! This is a family in the IOC list too, endemic to Africa.
RED-CHESTED FLUFFTAIL (Sarothrura rufa) – One was calling in dense reeds at Mabamba and was in too thick to lure out. [*]
AFRICAN CRAKE (Crecopsis egregia) – Seen very nicely as we came in to QENP, the wet season has suited this irruptive opportunist species.
BLACK CRAKE (Amaurornis flavirostra) – Good looks along the Nile and at the Kazinga Channel.
LESSER MOORHEN (Gallinula angulata) – Six of this scarce irruptive species were on a seasonal wetland at QENP.
Heliornithidae (Finfoots)
AFRICAN FINFOOT (Podica senegalensis) – Great views of a male at Lake Mburo, one of the best places to see this shy bird.
Gruidae (Cranes)
GRAY CROWNED-CRANE (Balearica regulorum) – Nice looks at Murchison, and over at Bwindi and Lake Mburo. Two birds flying in the distance from the Nile boat trip looked to have black bodies and were I think actually the rare Black Crowned Crane.....
BLACK CROWNED-CRANE (Balearica pavonina) – Two birds spotted from the Nile boat flying north had blackish bodies, not the the grey of Grey Crowned Crane, and I really think they were Black Crowned Crane. It's a very uncommon visitor in the north and is actually a lifer for Phil, albeit a BVD.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
WATER THICK-KNEE (Burhinus vermiculatus) – Just a few along the Nile where the water levels were very high, then seen again at Kazinga and then Lake Mburo.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
LONG-TOED LAPWING (Vanellus crassirostris) – Two flew over the garden at the The Boma, an unexpected record, then we saw them on the Mabamba trip and along the Nile.
SPUR-WINGED PLOVER (Vanellus spinosus) – Small numbers in Murchison and QENP.
SENEGAL LAPWING (Vanellus lugubris) – Three at QENP included an immature bird.
WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus senegallus) – Seen in the main national parks, and very vocal.
KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius) – Only along the Kazinga Channel, where we saw about 15, with one in the park earlier.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – Just a single along the Kazinga Channel.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
LESSER JACANA (Microparra capensis) – Two of this elusive wanderer were at Mabamba, but they took some finding, this was one that Deborah particularly wanted.
AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus) – Good looks at the main wetlands.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
COLLARED PRATINCOLE (Glareola pratincola) – A few along the Kazinga Channel.
ROCK PRATINCOLE (Glareola nuchalis) – A good look at about 15 at Murchison Falls itself, this is the nominate race.
Rostratulidae (Painted-Snipes)
GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE (Rostratula benghalensis) – Valerie found us a fine pair at floodwater as we came out from Lake Mburo, a new Uganda bird for Phil.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus) – Just a handful at the lake delta on the Nile Cruise, and one at Kazinga Channel.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – About 50 along the Kazinga Channel, in winter dress.
WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus) – Just a couple of winter dress non-breeding birds were spending the northern summer along the Kazinga Channel.
AFRICAN SKIMMER (Rynchops flavirostris) – This is a scarce and declining species, so seeing a large flock of about 170 at the Kazinga Channel was a treat and is the biggest concentration I've ever seen.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – A few Feral Pigeons were seen in some of the towns and Kampala. [I]
SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea) – This has an odd rather restricted urban distribution in Uganda, we saw it near Kabale and in Kampala.
AFEP PIGEON (Columba unicincta) – Nice scope views of a bird at the escarpment near Fort Portal, an uncommon species and a very good pick-up for the trip.
RAMERON PIGEON (Columba arquatrix) – Small numbers of this big striking pigeon at Ruhija, they gave good looks.
BRONZE-NAPED PIGEON (Columba iriditorques) – A bird that called briefly at Bwindi unfortunately stayed out of view. [*]
MOURNING COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decipiens) – Seen along the Nile at Murchison, the pale eye is a useful field character.
RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata) – Common, seen at all the drier places.
RING-NECKED DOVE (Streptopelia capicola) – Widespread from Lake Mburo onwards, the call of "Cape terr dul" is very distinctive.
VINACEOUS DOVE (Streptopelia vinacea) – Quite common from Masindi north this trip, we sometimes find it scarce but this looks to be a good season.
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) – Amazingly few, we had one near Butiaba. then a handful of sightings from the QENP area.
EMERALD-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur chalcospilos) – Good looks at Lake Mburo, the green wing spots really show well in good light.
BLACK-BILLED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur abyssinicus) – Great looks in Murchison, feeding in the track at times.
BLUE-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur afer) – Common in the north and central regions.
TAMBOURINE DOVE (Turtur tympanistria) – Very few, only seen at Bwindi for most, with one from the boat at Lake Mburo being unexpected
AFRICAN GREEN-PIGEON (Treron calvus) – Small numbers seen, with several good views at Luwero and Entebbe.
Psittacidae (Parrots)
RED-HEADED LOVEBIRD (Agapornis pullarius) – Six noisy ones flew by the Land Rover as we were leaving Lake Mburo, always elusive and hard to find and good we finally got it.
GRAY PARROT (Psittacus erithacus) – A 33 year old pet African Gray called Clyde brought Jill to Uganda, and during a pre-trip walk we got great looks at one in Entebbe Botanic Gardens, with one there again next day. Then we had a more typical fly by of one at Murro near Masindi, two at Kibale, then the amazing sight of a flock of 19 flying past in good light at Bigodi Swamp, with 3 later- this was my largest flock ever! Finally we had 3 giving a farewell flyby at Mabira, a very good trip for this declining species.
MEYER'S PARROT (Poicephalus meyeri) – Small numbers seen, starting at The Boma and ending at Mabira.
Musophagidae (Turacos)
GREAT BLUE TURACO (Corythaeola cristata) – This huge spectacular and noisy turaco was widespread and gave great looks.
BLACK-BILLED TURACO (Tauraco schuettii) – Heard at Kibale, and seen briefly a couple of times at Ruhija and Mubwindi, they were very wary this time,
WHITE-CRESTED TURACO (Tauraco leucolophus) – A terrific view of 2 at a lunch stop in the Luwero Triangle, with a great flyover and even a photo! Then one was scoped nicely at the Murro farmbush stop.
ROSS'S TURACO (Musophaga rossae) – Three sightings, with 2 near Masindi the first , then near Bwindi and Lake Mburo. A fabulous bird, the red and violet colour combination is quite something.
BARE-FACED GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides personatus) – Some good sightings over at Lake Mburo but as ever only a few birds seen.

The evocatively-named Bare-faced Go-away-bird is rather local in Uganda, and as usual we saw this large turaco only in the acacia scrub around Lake Mburo. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

EASTERN PLANTAIN-EATER (Crinifer zonurus) – Quite common around Entebbe, including at The Boma, and also at Masindi.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
LEVAILLANT'S CUCKOO (Clamator levaillantii) – One near Mabamba for most, then one at The Neck and then a concentration at Lake Mburo with up to 6 in a day.
RED-CHESTED CUCKOO (Cuculus solitarius) – Seen very well at Entebbe Botanic Gardens, also at Budongo and Bigodi as well as being often heard, the "tic tac toe" call is a characteristic sound.
BLACK CUCKOO (Cuculus clamosus clamosus) – One calling and taped in at Ziwa Ranch near Masindi looked to be this unbarred nominate form.
AFRICAN CUCKOO (Cuculus gularis) – Two were seen well at Lake Mburo, with another as we were driving out.
DUSKY LONG-TAILED CUCKOO (Cercococcyx mechowi) – This skulker was seen very well at the Royal Mile, and heard at Bwindi. Yay, these things are really tough to see well.
BARRED LONG-TAILED CUCKOO (Cercococcyx montanus) – The non-Mubwindi swamp trekkers got a great view of one perched along the Ruhija road, a very fortunate find of another mega-skulker.
KLAAS'S CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx klaas) – Much scarcer than Didric Cuckoo which was everywhere this trip, heard on just 2 days and with a wonderful view of a male calling near Mabamba Swamp.
AFRICAN EMERALD CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx cupreus) – Two fine males seen near Mabamba Swamp at our lunch stop, and heard on several other days, with a female seen at Mabira by some.
DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius) – Heard on most days, they were very much in evidence this season and we had multiple looks.
YELLOWBILL (Ceuthmochares aereus) – Great looks at Budongo and also Kibale, this is sometimes split as Blue Malkoha these days.
BLACK COUCAL (Centropus grillii) – Just one at QENP in the usual grassland area gave nice views.
BLUE-HEADED COUCAL (Centropus monachus) – Good looks in the papyrus along the Victoria Nile, and one at Bigodi.
WHITE-BROWED COUCAL (Centropus superciliosus) – Widespread, with multiple sightings, the most being 3 in QENP.
Strigidae (Owls)
AFRICAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus senegalensis) – One was calling at Masindi and another at Lake Mburo. [*]
VERREAUX'S EAGLE-OWL (Bubo lacteus) – A wonderful bird perched up right by the track as we came into Lake Mburo, and just sat there, the pink eyelids are amazing! We left him there, and flushed his mate from the track nearby.
PEARL-SPOTTED OWLET (Glaucidium perlatum) – A lovely daylight bird in Lake Mburo NP at what is by now our traditional spot!
AFRICAN WOOD-OWL (Strix woodfordii) – Heard at Primate Camp at Kibale, then very vocal at the Rainforest Lodge at Mabira where at least 3 were calling after dinner. [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
BLACK-SHOULDERED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus nigriscapularis) – Two heard calling at dusk at Lake Mburo, this was a Uganda tick for Phil but what a shame it stayed out of sight. [*]
MONTANE NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus ruwenzorii) – Heard up at Ruhija but way off as usual. Ruwenzori Nightjar is a far better and less confusing name. [*]
SQUARE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus fossii) – The other species of nightjar heard at Lake Mburo, again too far off to respond to tape. [*]
Apodidae (Swifts)
SABINE'S SPINETAIL (Rhaphidura sabini) – Phil saw two calling low over the clearing at Budongo, but I think they were so quick no-one else got onto them?
SCARCE SWIFT (Schoutedenapus myoptilus) – Just a few over the forest at Bwindi.
ALPINE SWIFT (Apus melba) – Just one overhead at Kibale, no doubt a wanderer from the Ruwnnzori's where they breed.
LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis) – Widespread, with some big flocks near Kampala at road bridges.
HORUS SWIFT (Apus horus) – Two at QENP over the entrance road gave good views, the mid-depth rather rounded fork tail was distinctive.
WHITE-RUMPED SWIFT (Apus caffer) – Sparse, we saw 2 at Butiaba, then 4 at Kibale.
AFRICAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus) – Common in the north.
Coliidae (Mousebirds)
SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD (Colius striatus) – Widespread and common in the drier country.
BLUE-NAPED MOUSEBIRD (Urocolius macrourus) – Four day records from the drier areas, much scarcer than Speckled.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
NARINA TROGON (Apaloderma narina) – A lovely look at one at Kaniyo Pabidi, and heard at Kibale.
BAR-TAILED TROGON (Apaloderma vittatum) – Great looks at one at Bwindi on two days.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
SHINING-BLUE KINGFISHER (Alcedo quadribrachys) – My best ever trip for them, with one at a pond near Kinyara Sugar estate that gave amazing scope views in good light, that blue colour is so intense it's unbelievable. Then another at Bigodi at the far end of the swamp, and one glimpsed briefly at the Royal Mile.
MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus) – Common at the riverine and lake sites, and one was endearingly taking a bath at the bird bath at The Boma!
AFRICAN PYGMY-KINGFISHER (Ispidina picta) – Some good looks at this diminutive sprite out in the dry country at Murchison and QENP, but for the first time ever we saw none at Budongo
DWARF KINGFISHER (Ispidina lecontei) – The Royal Mile is always the place, and again we got great views of 3 of this mainly western forest species. This is still the only site I have ever found this bird!
CHOCOLATE-BACKED KINGFISHER (Halcyon badia) – The Royal Mile is also the place for this bird, and this year it was calling and eventually picked up near the bridge, a species it is real easy to miss. Great scope views of a fine bird.
GRAY-HEADED KINGFISHER (Halcyon leucocephala) – Small numbers in the north, they may be breeding as they seemed less obvious this trip.
WOODLAND KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegalensis) – A common roadside species that showed very nicely.
BLUE-BREASTED KINGFISHER (Halcyon malimbica) – They proved a tad awkward this trip, being heard at Budongo in two areas, then heard along the Nile at Murchison. One flew across the sugar estate pond, before finally a nice look at two at Mabira on the last day nailed if for everyone.
STRIPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon chelicuti) – Good views from the dry country.
GIANT KINGFISHER (Megaceryle maximus) – One flying high over the road at Murro after a couple of sightings along the Nile and one at the sugar estate pond. This is the biggest kingfisher in Africa, they resemble Striated Herons in flight!
PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis) – Common along the lakes and rivers, with 200 along the Nile and at the Kazinga Channel.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
BLACK BEE-EATER (Merops gularis) – This gem showed nicely at Kibale and Bwindi this year.
RED-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops bulocki) – A couple of great sightings of this lovely bird in Murchison.
LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus) – Just a scattering, with one at Masindi and a few at QENP and Lake Mburo.
BLUE-BREASTED BEE-EATER (Merops variegatus) – Two at Mabamba swamp, one of the more tricky to find members of the family.
CINNAMON-CHESTED BEE-EATER (Merops oreobates) – Small numbers around Kibale/Bwindi/Ruhija.
SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATER (Merops hirundineus) – Two sightings in Murchison, with some nice views.
WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops albicollis) – A migrant flock of 25 near Masindi were the only record, though I think they may have flown over us at Mubwindi Swamp as well where I glimpsed a small flock, not confirmed.
MADAGASCAR BEE-EATER (Merops superciliosus) – A small flock flew over near Mabamba, then 4 seen well along the Kazinga Channel.
NORTHERN CARMINE BEE-EATER (Merops nubicus) – This stunner was back at Murchison and we had some great views, seeing about 20 birds. One of the sights of the trip was the one that was perching on a Warthog's back, and kept flying low above him as he trotted away, before landing again when he stopped, I guess warthogs are the right height for ideal hunting perches but the hog seemed a tad perplexed!
Coraciidae (Rollers)
LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (Coracias caudatus) – As ever, this one only came late in the trip at Lake Mburo, and what a stunner it is.
BROAD-BILLED ROLLER (Eurystomus glaucurus) – 8 day records, and some very good views, starting at Entebbe, but only small numbers. One at L. Mburo was very obliging.
BLUE-THROATED ROLLER (Eurystomus gularis) – Very sparse this trip, we had just 2 at Kibale bridge then a flock of 6 hawking insects and calling an odd dry raspy note at dusk along the road there. Phil saw one at Bwindi too.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (AFRICAN) (Upupa epops africana) – One flew across the road at Ziwa Ranch, usually split these days as the voice is distinct and the wing pattern quite different to the Eurasian variety.
Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitar-bills)
GREEN WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus) – Seen nicely at Lake Mburo.
WHITE-HEADED WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus bollei) – A responsive group of 3 at the escarpment near Fort Portal, then 6 at Bwindi.
FOREST WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus castaneiceps) – This uncommon bird showed twice at Mabira on the last day, with a single chestnut-headed bird both times.
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
CROWNED HORNBILL (Tockus alboterminatus) – Just 4 day records, but seen very well at Entebbe early on.
AFRICAN PIED HORNBILL (Tockus fasciatus) – Good looks at one at Entebbe Bot Gardens, then one at Mabira late in the tour, this is quite a localised bird.
AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Tockus nasutus) – A few at Murchison would be the nominate race, whilst those at Lake Mburo are the taxon epirhinus.
BLACK-AND-WHITE-CASQUED HORNBILL (Ceratogymna subcylindrica) – Widespread and noisy, with day totals of 6 around Budongo the maxima. Interestingly several at Budongo were with White-thighed Hornbill, then best told by the bicolored bill and the tail pattern. There was also an interesting interaction here between a White-thighed and a Black and White Casqued who seemed extremely interested in each other, I wonder if they do hybridize?
WHITE-THIGHED HORNBILL (Ceratogymna albotibialis) – One at the entrance to Murchison NP, one at Bisingira at Budongo, and a couple near the Royal Mile, the usual area for this uncommon and mainly western species. One was very closely allied to a Black and White Casqued Hornbill.....
ABYSSINIAN GROUND-HORNBILL (Bucorvus abyssinicus) – One sighting of 3 birds in the Luwero Triangle was unexpected, then we had a total of 7 in Murchison, a bizarre huge creature with a strange life history. Also now separated out as a new family these days, they are very different to regular hornbills.
Lybiidae (African Barbets)
YELLOW-BILLED BARBET (Trachyphonus purpuratus) – Heard at several forest sites. [*]
GRAY-THROATED BARBET (Gymnobucco bonapartei) – Quite common at Bwindi and on the escarpment near Fort Portal.

Red-faced Barbet is a localized east African endemic, found only in a small area to the west of Lake Victoria. We did well to find three of these at Lake Mburo, pretty much the only site for this species in Uganda. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

SPECKLED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus scolopaceus) – Some nice sightings in all the rainforest habitats, this is quite a common bird in Uganda.
WESTERN TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus coryphaeus) – Good looks eventually at one at Ruhija, and seen well the previous day by the non-swamp trekkers. This is one of the most striking of the tinkerbirds.
YELLOW-THROATED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus subsulphureus) – Three day records of singles at Royal Mile and Bwindi, the throat colour is a poor character, but the yellow not white head stripes work well
YELLOW-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus bilineatus) – Seen well at Kibale and Bwindi/Ruhija.
YELLOW-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus chrysoconus) – Good view near Masindi and near Budongo.
YELLOW-SPOTTED BARBET (Buccanodon duchaillui) – Three day records, the first at Kibale, then Bigodi and also seen at Bwindi.
HAIRY-BREASTED BARBET (Tricholaema hirsuta) – More often heard than seen, we saw one very nicely at Kibale, then again Bigodi.
SPOT-FLANKED BARBET (Tricholaema lacrymosa) – Seen near Masindi, then at QENP and Lake Mburo.
WHITE-HEADED BARBET (Lybius leucocephalus) – Several at figs at Ziwa Ranch near Masindi, the usual place we see this species, and we also saw one briefly at Lake Mburo.
RED-FACED BARBET (Lybius rubrifacies) – This just creeps into Uganda at Lake Mburo, otherwise it's basically a Rwandan endemic. We did well with 3 birds one afternoon, then a couple of sightings next day on the way out.
BLACK-BILLED BARBET (Lybius guifsobalito) – A couple of sightings in Murchison Falls NP, a very striking small barbet.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED BARBET (Lybius bidentatus) – This large and spectacular barbet was seen on five days, the first at Mabamba.
Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)
CASSIN'S HONEYGUIDE (Prodotiscus insignis) – A great view of one along the road at Kibale one afternoon.
WAHLBERG'S HONEYGUIDE (Prodotiscus regulus) – One at Entebbe Botanic Gardens was a real surprise and a Uganda tick for Phil. Terry calls it Wahlberg's Honeybird, also known as Brown-backed Honeyguide.
DWARF HONEYGUIDE (Indicator pumilio) – This is an Alfred special, and an Albertine Rift Endemic. We got one calling persistently and showing amazingly well as we neared the end of the bamboo zone at Ruhija. We had had one the previous day down in the swamp, calling well and seen in flight but not scoped.
LEAST HONEYGUIDE (Indicator exilis) – This was a terrific find up at Ruhija, where a bird along the primary school track looked like this species- it lacked a loral spot and malar stripe, and seemed too large for Dwarf Honeyguide.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
RUFOUS-NECKED WRYNECK (Jynx ruficollis) – We eventually got fine views of one at a new site at the Dusky Crimsonwing area, after dipping in scrubby farmland near The Neck where we used to find it.
NUBIAN WOODPECKER (Campethera nubica) – One near Masindi was the only record for the trip though it was also heard at Lake Mburo.
BROWN-EARED WOODPECKER (Campethera caroli) – One at Mabira on the last morning.
SPECKLE-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Dendropicos poecilolaemus) – One along the roadside at Kibale was missed by some, then we had great looks at 2 at Bigodi next day, this is always elusive.
CARDINAL WOODPECKER (Dendropicos fuscescens) – A couple of sightings at Luwero and near Masindi.
GOLDEN-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Dendropicos xantholophus) – Great looks at the Royal Mile, the usual site for this species, and also seen at Bigodi.
ELLIOT'S WOODPECKER (Dendropicos elliotii) – Good views at Bwindi, with 3 on one day and a single later.
GRAY WOODPECKER (Dendropicos goertae) – Great looks at one in the Botanic Gardens at Entebbe and one at Busingiro near Budongo.
OLIVE WOODPECKER (Dendropicos griseocephalus) – Great views of one up at Ruhija, and also seen on the swamp trek where a female was tapping away down in the swamp flats and showed very well.
Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)
AFRICAN SHRIKE-FLYCATCHER (Megabyas flammulatus) – One male at Mabira was a good pick up of an uncommon bird.
BLACK-AND-WHITE SHRIKE-FLYCATCHER (Bias musicus) – Good views at Entebbe, Bigodi and Bwindi. I greatly prefer the old name of Vanga Flycatcher instead of the prosaic and cumbersome new name!
BROWN-THROATED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira cyanea) – Seen nicely at Mabamba, then again at Murchison. The species is named after the brown throat of the female.
CHESTNUT WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira castanea) – Good looks at the Royal Mile, Bwindi and Mabira.
JAMESON'S WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira jamesoni) – Heard at Budongo and Mabira but sadly did not want to show, this is now the fourth trip on which I've only heard this elusive bird. [*]
RUWENZORI BATIS (Batis diops) – This Albertine Rift Endemic gave nice looks at Ruhija, where it is sympatric with Chinspot Batis.
CHINSPOT BATIS (Batis molitor) – A couple at Ruhija and Lake Mburo.
BLACK-HEADED BATIS (Batis minor) – The only sighting came from the dry scrub at Luwero, it is usually seen more frequently.
ITURI BATIS (Batis ituriensis) – Heard high in the canopy at the Royal Mile, but impossible to pick out. [*]
Prionopidae (Helmetshrikes and Allies)
WHITE HELMETSHRIKE (Prionops plumatus) – A nice view of a small group up at Murchison., and an endemic African family of course
Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)
BRUBRU (Nilaus afer) – Seen very nicely once again in Lake Mburo NP.
NORTHERN PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus gambensis) – Six day records starting at Entebbe.
PINK-FOOTED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus angolensis) – One at Bwindi was a nice sighting.
MARSH TCHAGRA (Tchagra minutus minutus) – We got this one very nicely at Murro farmbush after missing it at Budongo.
BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra senegalus) – A few records from the drier areas, more often heard than seen.
BROWN-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra australis) – Five day records were more than usual, we saw them very well near Masindi and also at QENP and Ruhija.
LUEHDER'S BUSHSHRIKE (Laniarius luehderi) – Seen well at Bwindi as usual, always good to get this one to show.
TROPICAL BOUBOU (Laniarius aethiopicus) – A couple near Masindi and again at The Neck where one was in the road for some strange reason.
BLACK-HEADED GONOLEK (Laniarius erythrogaster) – This striking bird was very visible and showed well at The Boma, Masindi, QENP and Lake Mburo.
PAPYRUS GONOLEK (Laniarius mufumbiri) – Glimpsed along the Nile, then seen really well at at a small swamp near Murro.
SOOTY BOUBOU (Laniarius leucorhynchus) – Great views once again of this scarce species at Mabira on the last day.
WILLARD'S SOOTY BOUBOU (Laniarius willardi) – Livingstone got us onto this newly described cryptic species along the track at Bwindi, and I was able to set the scope up on it for some amazing views- we could even see the grey eye which is the main distinguishing feature from Mountain Sooty Boubou of the higher altitudes. This one did not vocalize, but we heard it call at The Neck later, a dry scolding "sschsh skshh" which was quite distinct to the higher level species and explaining some of the wide variations in the call of that bird before this was split out. This was a lifer for Phil, and it's an Albertine Rift Endemic too.
MOUNTAIN SOOTY BOUBOU (Laniarius poensis) – Heard at Ruhija, with a different call to the Willard's Sooty Boubou at Bwindi and The Neck, which are the newly described cryptic species [*]
GRAY-GREEN BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus bocagei) – Some good looks at Bwindi of this odd small bush-shrike.
SULPHUR-BREASTED BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus sulfureopectus) – Elusive, but eventually a nice view of one as we left Lake Mburo after brief looks at Luwero.
DOHERTY'S BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus dohertyi) – This fantastic bird eventually showed really well in the bamboo zone at Ruhija, being very responsive and posing in a tall tree for some while. One of the best of a great family.
GRAY-HEADED BUSHSHRIKE (Malaconotus blanchoti) – Heard near Masindi but stayed unseen. [*]
Campephagidae (Cuckoo-shrikes)
GRAY CUCKOO-SHRIKE (Coracina caesia) – One by the primary school at Ruhija.
PETIT'S CUCKOO-SHRIKE (Campephaga petiti) – We did well for them starting at the Fort Portal escarpment where we had a pair, then seen again at Kibale and Bwindi.
BLACK CUCKOO-SHRIKE (Campephaga flava) – A male at Lake Mburo was the only sighting.
PURPLE-THROATED CUCKOO-SHRIKE (Campephaga quiscalina) – A male at Mabira was one of the last trip additions.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
GRAY-BACKED FISCAL (Lanius excubitoroides) – Quite common in the drier areas, usually in small groups of 3-4.
MACKINNON'S SHRIKE (Lanius mackinnoni) – Good views of a couple near Bwindi after the first near Kanungu on our detour to get here.
COMMON FISCAL (Lanius collaris) – Scarce as always, we had three sightings of single birds in the Kabale area.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
WESTERN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus brachyrhynchus) – Two at the Royal Mile. Also heard quite often in the wet forests, this is the one that sounds like the start of the theme from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"!
AFRICAN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus larvatus) – One at Entebbe and a single at Mabira.
BLACK-TAILED ORIOLE (Oriolus percivali) – Seen well on the Mubwindi Swamp trek.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
FORK-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus adsimilis) – The first was at Luwero, and we had others at QENP and Lake Mburo.
VELVET-MANTLED DRONGO (Dicrurus modestus modestus) – A couple at Mabira were a nice find of this forest dwelling species.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-HEADED PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone rufiventer) – Quite common in the rainforest areas, though one at Entebbe Botanic Gardens was unexpected.
AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER (Terpsiphone viridis) – Widespread in the drier forest areas, with a stunning white morph bird near Masindi.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
PIAPIAC (Ptilostomus afer) – Quite common in the north from Masindi on, it's an odd long-tailed corvid where the imm. has a rosy pink bill with a dark tip.
PIED CROW (Corvus albus) – Widespread in small numbers.
WHITE-NECKED RAVEN (Corvus albicollis) – One flying over at Bwindi was surprise, with one there next day too, then seen well up at the Forest Camp at Ruhija.
Nicatoridae (Nicators)
YELLOW-SPOTTED NICATOR (Nicator chloris) – We were able to tape one in in the farmbush at Murro, great as it's now placed in its own family. More usually called Western Nicator.
Alaudidae (Larks)
WHITE-TAILED LARK (Mirafra albicauda) – This was a nice surprise, with several in the road at QENP.
RUFOUS-NAPED LARK (Mirafra africana) – Just one sighting in QENP this trip.
FLAPPET LARK (Mirafra rufocinnamomea) – The distinctive flappeting noise was often heard, and we saw them in Murchison, QENP and Lake Mburo.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PLAIN MARTIN (Riparia paludicola) – Only along the Kazinga Channel this year, with 20+ birds seen.
BANDED MARTIN (Riparia cincta) – One over the Nile at Murchison was the only sighting.
ROCK MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) – A few seen on the way into Bwindi near Kanungu.
ANGOLA SWALLOW (Hirundo angolensis) – Widespread around Entebbe and Mabamba, with a few at Kibale and Ruhija.
WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii) – A few along the Nile and at the Kazinga Channel.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – One at Mabamba and 3 near the The Neck.
LESSER STRIPED-SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica) – Seen most days in the lowlands, a striking species.
RUFOUS-CHESTED SWALLOW (Cecropis semirufa) – Three day records, at Mabamba, QENP and Lake Mburo.
MOSQUE SWALLOW (Cecropis senegalensis) – Two near Masindi and two at Bwindi, sat on the power lines.
WHITE-HEADED SAWWING (Psalidoprocne albiceps) – Common and quite widespread in the lowlands and hills, the males are distinctive but females very tricky.
BLACK SAWWING (Psalidoprocne pristoptera) – Seen at Bwindi and up at Ruhija, seems to be a high altitude species here. I am still bothered by the many all black birds we saw at the Royal Mile, field separation from White-headed Saw-wing is very tricky..... All black birds at Mabamba may be one of the eastern races.

Though Gray Parrot numbers are declining in many regions, you wouldn't have known it from this trip, as we saw them in higher than normal numbers, starting with this very cooperative bird at the Entebbe Botanical Gardens. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

GRAY-RUMPED SWALLOW (Pseudhirundo griseopyga) – Just 2 near Mabamba once again were a nice find of what is a scarce bird in Uganda.
Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)
AFRICAN BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Elminia longicauda) – Great views of 2 in a eucalypt grove at a pit stop on the detour to Bwindi, near the Kithagata hot springs.
WHITE-TAILED BLUE-FLYCATCHER (Elminia albicauda) – This beautiful little bird showed very well at Gorilla Camp Bwindi, and was seen later near Ruhija.
WHITE-BELLIED CRESTED-FLYCATCHER (Elminia albiventris) – Phil saw this along the track at Bwindi, then the Mubwindi Swamp trekkers got 2 showing nicely down there.
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)
WHITE-WINGED BLACK-TIT (Melaniparus leucomelas) – We got just one of this scarce East African bird at Lake Mburo.
WHITE-SHOULDERED BLACK-TIT (Melaniparus guineensis) – We saw 4 near Mabamba, an unexpected site.
DUSKY TIT (Melaniparus funereus) – Seen nicely at Bwindi and Ruhija.
STRIPE-BREASTED TIT (Melaniparus fasciiventer) – Singles were seen nicely twice up at Ruhija, this is an Albertine Rift Endemic.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
SLENDER-BILLED GREENBUL (Stelgidillas gracilirostris gracilirostris) – Seen well at the Royal Mile, Bwindi and Kibale, nice that it sits up high!
COMMON BRISTLEBILL (Bleda syndactylus woosnami) – One was seen briefly at Bigodi then again at Bwindi, far more often heard.
LESSER BRISTLEBILL (Bleda notatus ugandae) – One was seen flitting over the track at Mabira, now split from the Green-tailed Bristlebill of West Africa too.
SHELLEY'S GREENBUL (KAKAMEGA) (Arizelocichla masukuensis kakamegae) – Phil saw this at Bwindi but it was otherwise only heard briefly there.
EASTERN MOUNTAIN-GREENBUL (OLIVE-BREASTED) (Arizelocichla nigriceps kikuyuensis) – Confusion time- on the checklist this is puzzlingly called Western Mountain Green Bulbul A. tephrolaemus, but it is now split out and is actually this species, which we saw very nicely at Mubwindi and Ruhija. Just to clarify, the IOC now split this as Olive-breasted Greenbul A. kikuyuensis so the choice is yours!
HONEYGUIDE GREENBUL (Baeopogon indicator) – Heard at The Neck. [*]
YELLOW-THROATED GREENBUL (Atimastillas flavicollis) – Singles seen well at Masindi then up at Bwindi.
SPOTTED GREENBUL (Ixonotus guttatus) – A small flock of 6 of this striking species were at The Royal Mile. Uncommon and easily missed.
RED-TAILED GREENBUL (Criniger calurus emini) – Seen well at Bwindi, Ruhija and Mabira.
GRAY GREENBUL (Eurillas gracilis ugandae) – One at Budongo and a nice look at Mabira.
ANSORGE'S GREENBUL (Eurillas ansorgei) – This small greenbul with the gingery undertail coverts and reddish tail was seen at Bwindi and The Neck. The call is a very distinctive quite fast dry ticking"tik-chik-tik".
PLAIN GREENBUL (Eurillas curvirostris) – One at Kaniyo Pabidi and 2 at Mabira, they resemble Little Greenbul but have whitish around the eye, and a distinct call. Often formerly called Cameroon Sombre Greenbul.
YELLOW-WHISKERED GREENBUL (Eurillas latirostris) – These were quite elusive over at Bwindi and Ruhija, but eventually showed well, with one at Mabira on the last day too.
LITTLE GREENBUL (Eurillas virens virens) – Heard more than seen, we had a few sightings from Bwindi and the Royal Mile.
CABANIS'S GREENBUL (Phyllastrephus cabanisi) – Two singles were seen well at Bwindi.
WHITE-THROATED GREENBUL (Phyllastrephus albigularis albigularis) – One at Kaniyo Pabidi, then seen well at Mabira where it seems to be quite common.
YELLOW-STREAKED GREENBUL (YELLOW-STREAKED) (Phyllastrephus flavostriatus olivaceogriseus) – Nice looks at this one on the Mubwindi swamp trek and again next day at Ruhija, this taxon olivaceogriseus doesn't seem to wing flick and I suspect may actually be a split.
COMMON BULBUL (DARK-CAPPED) (Pycnonotus barbatus tricolor) – Seen every single day of the trip, even down at Mubwindi Swamp!
Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)
GREEN CROMBEC (Sylvietta virens) – Heard at several forest sites, most saw one at Budongo, and then at Bwindi and Mabira.
LEMON-BELLIED CROMBEC (Sylvietta denti) – One was nesting at the Royal Mile, at its only East African site!
WHITE-BROWED CROMBEC (Sylvietta leucophrys) – A couple of nice looks at this attractive species at Bwindi.
NORTHERN CROMBEC (Sylvietta brachyura) – One was seen in Murchison.
MOUSTACHED GRASS-WARBLER (Melocichla mentalis) – Quite common by voice this trip, and seen at Luwero and QENP.
GRAY LONGBILL (Macrosphenus concolor) – A good view of 2 at the Royal Mile.
Cettiidae (Bush-Warblers and Allies)
CHESTNUT-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Erythrocercus mccallii) – Seen at Busingiro and the Royal Mile, an uncommon primarily West African species.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf-Warblers)
RED-FACED WOODLAND-WARBLER (Phylloscopus laetus) – A couple of nice looks at Bwindi and then down at Mubwindi Swamp.
UGANDA WOOD-WARBLER (Phylloscopus budongoensis) – One was singing well at the Royal Mile and most of us got a good look when it started up again after going quiet.
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
AFRICAN YELLOW WARBLER (Chloropeta natalensis) – One in the bracken below Ruhija at the Dusky Crimsonwing area.
MOUNTAIN YELLOW WARBLER (Chloropeta similis) – Heard at Ruhija and seen by those who did not make the swamp trek.
LESSER SWAMP-WARBLER (Acrocephalus gracilirostris) – This was heard at Murchison and also along the Kazinga Channel. [*]
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
WHITE-WINGED SWAMP-WARBLER (Bradypterus carpalis) – Heard at the swamp near Murro but not seen. [*]
GRAUER'S SWAMP-WARBLER (Bradypterus graueri) – This was tough this time, but we eventually got one section of the Mubwindi Swamp that was not too flattened by elephants, and managed to get a couple to flick up a few times. It's a rare and localized Albertine Rift Endemic and this is the second largest site apparently.
EVERGREEN-FOREST WARBLER (Bradypterus lopezi barakae) – This is an interesting one, as it's very rusty looking and seems to have distinct vocalizations, a good chance it's a split in waiting. We got one calling well, and managed to see it flit across the track after many frustrating glimpses of it moving in dense cover, where Alfred's infra-red vision came in handy!
CINNAMON BRACKEN-WARBLER (Bradypterus cinnamomeus) – Heard up at Ruhija. [*]
FAN-TAILED GRASSBIRD (Schoenicola brevirostris) – The bird formerly called Broad-tailed Warbler has now been renamed, even though it doesn't have a fan tail and is not a grassbird as such, such are the vagaries of bird names. We got a scope view of a singing one in the lush grasslands at QENP.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
RUWENZORI APALIS (Apalis ruwenzorii) – This Albertine Rift Endemic gave nice looks at Ruhija.
BLACK-THROATED APALIS (Apalis jacksoni) – Nice views at Budongo, Bwindi and then Mubwindi.
MASKED APALIS (Apalis binotata) – There was little response to the tape, but one was heard on the Kibale escarpment, the only place that we get this elusive species. [*]
BLACK-FACED APALIS (Apalis personata) – Mountain Masked Apalis is an Albertine Rift Endemic, and we got to see it at Bwindi and Ruhija.
BUFF-THROATED APALIS (Apalis rufogularis) – A couple of sightings at the Royal Mile and then at Bwindi.
CHESTNUT-THROATED APALIS (Apalis porphyrolaema) – Seen well up at Ruhija.
GRAY APALIS (Apalis cinerea) – Good looks at Bwindi and then Ruhija.
GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata) – Widespread, seen at Entebbe, QENP and Lake Mburo. This is actually the Grey-backed Camaroptera, often split from the nominate Green-backed taxon. I still like the name Bleating Bush Warbler....
OLIVE-GREEN CAMAROPTERA (Camaroptera chloronota) – One was seen at Budongo and heard at Bwindi and Mabira.
WHITE-CHINNED PRINIA (Schistolais leucopogon) – This striking species was seen at Murro and Bwindi.
RED-WINGED GRAY WARBLER (Drymocichla incana) – Fantastic looks at two of this delightful and odd species at Murchison Falls on our very last chance of it.
RED-FACED CISTICOLA (Cisticola erythrops) – First near Masindi, then at Murchison, also often heard.
SINGING CISTICOLA (Cisticola cantans) – A great view of one at The Neck was nice.
WHISTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola lateralis) – Seen at Luwero and then at Ruhija.
TRILLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola woosnami) – Seen nicely in Lake Mburo NP and very vocal at QENP.
CHUBB'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola chubbi) – Nice looks by the road near Kibale, then at Gorilla Camp and Ruhija, their antiphonal duet was a nice thing to watch.
RATTLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola chiniana) – Some nice looks in the dry country at Murchison.
WINDING CISTICOLA (Cisticola galactotes) – Lots at Mabamba and a couple en route to Masindi, this is usually split as C. marginatus these days, as this taxon is broken up into 5 allospecies.
CARRUTHERS'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola carruthersi) – Heard and glimpsed in the papyrus at Murchison, then again at several small swamps before we finally got some good views in a sedge swamp not far from Kabale, I must remember this site as they were easy here.
CROAKING CISTICOLA (Cisticola natalensis) – This large bird showed nicely in QENP and Lake Mburo, sat beside a Brubru at the latter site for a while.
SIFFLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola brachypterus) – Nondescript or what? We saw them en route to Masindi and at Murchison and Lake Mburo, presumably the race hypoxanthus.
FOXY CISTICOLA (Cisticola troglodytes) – One in Murchison ws a good find, then another at the usual Butiaba site. An uncommon and very distinctive cisticola.
ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis) – Heard and seen at Murchison and QENP, the zitting call is a characteristic sound of the grasslands.
GRAY-CAPPED WARBLER (Eminia lepida) – A fantastic look at one at Mabamba, then in QENP, Bwindi and Lake Mburo, a good trip for them.
BLACK-FACED RUFOUS-WARBLER (Bathmocercus rufus) – A quite obliging pair along the trail at Bwindi and a male later also, a great little bird.
BUFF-BELLIED WARBLER (Phyllolais pulchella) – Seen near Masindi then again at Lake Mburo.
TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava) – Quire common in Murchison and the Budongo area, also at QENP and Lake Mburo.
BANDED PRINIA (BANDED) (Prinia bairdii obscura) – Good looks at Mubwindi and then at Ruhija, a very striking species which seemed oddly skulking this year.
GREEN-BACKED EREMOMELA (Eremomela canescens) – This beautiful little bird was seen near Masindi and then at Butiaba, the usual site.
RUFOUS-CROWNED EREMOMELA (Eremomela badiceps) – Seen at Busingiro and then at the Royal Mile this year, quite a rare and local species.
Sylviidae (Old World Warblers)
AFRICAN HILL BABBLER (Pseudoalcippe abyssinica atriceps) – Split as Ruwenzori Hill Babbler by the IOC, this black-headed bird has a lovely thrush-like song. We saw it well at Ruhija and down at Mubwindi.
GRAUER'S WARBLER (Graueria vittata) – This cryptic Albertine Rift Endemic has a great quiet purring call, and showed very well at Ruhija, poking about in thick vine tangles. One of Phil's favourites, such an obscure and skulking bird.
GREEN HYLIA (Hylia prasina) – Often heard, the first was at Kaniyo Pabidi, then it was at the Kibale camp and Bwindi.
Zosteropidae (Yuhinas, White-eyes, and Allies)
AFRICAN YELLOW WHITE-EYE (Zosterops senegalensis) – Good numbers at various sites, starting at Entebbe then near Mabamba.
Pellorneidae (Fulvettas and Ground Babblers)
SCALY-BREASTED ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis albipectus) – Heard at Bwindi. [*]
PALE-BREASTED ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis rufipennis) – Seen well at Bwindi after a bit of a duel.
BROWN ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis fulvescens) – Heard at the Royal Mile then at Mabira. The best thing about these illadopsis is the song and call anyway..... [*]
MOUNTAIN ILLADOPSIS (Illadopsis pyrrhoptera) – A good look at Bwindi, the underparts are buffish and the throat whitish.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes)
BLACK-LORED BABBLER (Turdoides sharpei) – A nice view of a few in QENP and at Lake Mburo, the whitish eye is distinctive.
BROWN BABBLER (Turdoides plebejus) – 3 near Masindi in the farmland.
ARROW-MARKED BABBLER (Turdoides jardineii) – Seen at Mweya Safari Lodge where they were feeding on the lawn. The juvs. have a dark eye, not orange like the adults. Also seen at Lake Mburo.
Hyliotidae (Hyliotas)
YELLOW-BELLIED HYLIOTA (Hyliota flavigaster) – A key bird now it has been promoted to family status, we found two fine ones in the savanna as we came out of Murchison, and eventually everyone got a decent look at it.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
SILVERBIRD (Empidornis semipartitus) – Seen on two days in Murchison, a great study in subtle grey and orange colours.
PALE FLYCATCHER (Bradornis pallidus) – Some good sightings in the north around Murchison and near Masindi.
WHITE-EYED SLATY-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis fischeri) – Common over at Bwindi, this taxon toruensis lacks an eye-ring.
NORTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis edolioides) – Quite common in Murchison and around Bigodi Swamp.
SOUTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis pammelaina) – A single at two sites at Lake Mburo, the only Ugandan site for it.
YELLOW-EYED BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis ardesiacus) – Good views of one down in Mubwindi Swamp. An Albertine Rift Endemic.
AFRICAN FOREST-FLYCATCHER (Fraseria ocreata) – Two seen well at the Royal Mile.
SOOTY FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa infuscata) – Two at Kibale, and 2 at Bwindi, one of which was amazingly low down for this usually canopy level species.
SWAMP FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa aquatica) – Seen at Entebbe, Mabamba and Murchison, and common at Mweya Safari Lodge where it lives in the car park and comes right into the lodge!
CHAPIN'S FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa lendu) – This is basically a rare Albertine Rift near-endemic, and we saw 3 birds at Bwindi thanks to Alfred.
DUSKY-BROWN FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa adusta) – A few sightings from Bwindi and Ruhija. I don't know why the name has changed from African Dusky Flycatcher....
DUSKY-BLUE FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa comitata) – This subtle species gave nice looks at Bwindi, the only sighting this trip.

Sooty Chat is a familiar sight in the Ugandan countryside. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

CASSIN'S FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa cassini) – Two at the usual site at Kibale, then one at The Neck, very much a riverine habitat species.
GRAY-THROATED TIT-FLYCATCHER (Myioparus griseigularis) – Heard at Budongo and Bwindi, where we finally got to see one by the Park HQ.
GRAY TIT-FLYCATCHER (Myioparus plumbeus) – Two at Bigodi Swamp were the only record.
FIRE-CRESTED ALETHE (FIRE-CRESTED) (Alethe diademata castanea) – Heard at Kaniyo Pabidi and the Royal Mile, but once again stayed out of sight. [*]
BROWN-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas hartlaubi) – Seen at Murchison, Mweya and near Bwindi, good looks, the double wing bars are a useful character.
RED-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas leucophrys) – Heard near Masindi, usually called White-browed Scrub-robin. [*]
WHITE-BELLIED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossyphicula roberti) – One seen well at Bwindi, an Albertine Rift Endemic and a good bird to get.
ARCHER'S ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha archeri) – This was a performer in the bamboo at Ruhija, singing well and really coming out nicely. Livingstone's group had also seen it the day before when we were down in the swamp, and it is an Albertine Rift Endemic that you don't want to miss.
BLUE-SHOULDERED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha cyanocampter) – Heard at Gorilla camp and seen by some there, and heard at Mabira Forest Lodge.
GRAY-WINGED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha polioptera) – Heard at Bwindi but stayed out of sight. [*]
WHITE-BROWED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha heuglini) – Good looks at the Boma then especially up at Mweya where they are tame. Also called Heuglin's Robin-chat.
RED-CAPPED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha natalensis) – Nice looks at Bwindi.
SNOWY-CROWNED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha niveicapilla) – Good looks in the farmbush at Murro, then again at Bwindi.
SPOTTED MORNING-THRUSH (Cichladusa guttata) – Nice looks near the Paraa ferry in Murchison, where we usually see it
WHITE-STARRED ROBIN (Pogonocichla stellata) – Lovely looks up at Ruhija, this is the race ruwenzorii, also seen down by Mubwindi Swamp.
RED-THROATED ALETHE (Pseudalethe poliophrys) – Some folks got to see one along the trail at Bwindi, but it wasn't too easy, also heard up at Ruhija. It's an Albertine Rift endemic too.
FOREST ROBIN (EASTERN) (Stiphrornis erythrothorax xanthogaster) – A good view of one at Kaniyo Pabidi for most, and heard at Royal Mile and Mabira at close range.
EQUATORIAL AKALAT (Sheppardia aequatorialis) – A nice view of one at Bwindi.
STONECHAT (AFRICAN) (Saxicola torquatus axillaris) – Now split by most from Common Stonechat as African Stonechat, we saw them in the Ruhija area, this is the taxon axillaris and quite a striking bird.
SOOTY CHAT (Myrmecocichla nigra) – Widespread in the parks.
MOCKING CLIFF-CHAT (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris subrufipennis) – Great views of an initially elusive singing bird on the Butiaba escarpment, the usual site.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
RUFOUS FLYCATCHER-THRUSH (Neocossyphus fraseri) – Some good views at the Royal Mile and Kibale, also Mabira.
RED-TAILED ANT-THRUSH (Neocossyphus rufus) – One seen well by the road at Kibale, much more terrestrial than the more upright perching but similar Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush.
WHITE-TAILED ANT-THRUSH (Neocossyphus poensis) – A good look at one at Bwindi was nice as it can be elusive.
OLIVE THRUSH (Turdus olivaceus) – Some good views up at Ruhija on two days, it is a high altitude species in Uganda and this is the race baraka.
AFRICAN THRUSH (Turdus pelios) – Widespread, with good views at Entebbe, Murchison and QENP.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
WATTLED STARLING (Creatophora cinerea) – A small colony at a nesting tree in QENP was a great find and we had some excellent looks at 20+ birds including some of the strange black-wattled adults with the yellow face.
GREATER BLUE-EARED GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis chalybaeus) – Seen at Lake Mburo, the call is very helpful in identification. I think the taxon is actually sycobius by the way.
LESSER BLUE-EARED GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis chloropterus) – A few in dry country near Masindi on three days.
BRONZE-TAILED GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis chalcurus) – Seen quite well at Ziwa Ranch near Masindi.
SPLENDID GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis splendidus) – Again quite scarce this trip, maybe due to a lack of fruiting trees? We had some at Entebbe, then odd birds at Mabamba and Masindi.
PURPLE GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis purpureus) – Two feeding on the grass at Murro farmbush were a good find, they have a strange flat head shape and big orange eye.
RUEPPELL'S GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis purpuroptera) – Widespread and common, seen on most days away from the mountains.
PURPLE-HEADED GLOSSY-STARLING (Lamprotornis purpureiceps) – Three day records of 3 and 4 from the Kibale area, then one at Bwindi.
VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) – A few birds seen in the drier areas.
SLENDER-BILLED STARLING (Onychognathus tenuirostris) – Seen on the Mubwindi Swamp trek, then a flock flying at Ruhija bamboo next day.
WALLER'S STARLING (Onychognathus walleri) – Ten down in Mubwindi Swamp were the only record.
NARROW-TAILED STARLING (Poeoptera lugubris) – Jill got a brief fly-by of one at Mubwindi, sadly the old nesting tree at Kibale had blown down and they were not around there.
STUHLMANN'S STARLING (Poeoptera stuhlmanni) – Just 3 on the escarpment near Kibale/Fort Portal.
SHARPE'S STARLING (Pholia sharpii) – Two singles seen, one in Mubwindi Swamp forest, and one up at the Ruhija bamboo zone.
Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)
YELLOW-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus africanus) – Two then a single in Murchison with the giraffes, 10 at QENP on buffalo, and presumably this species heard at Lake Mburo. Now promoted to family status too.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
GRAY-HEADED SUNBIRD (Deleornis axillaris) – This curious straight-billed sunbird was seen at The Neck.
WESTERN VIOLET-BACKED SUNBIRD (NORTHERN) (Anthreptes longuemarei longuemarei) – A male at Ziwa Ranch was the only sighting.
LITTLE GREEN SUNBIRD (Anthreptes seimundi) – Seen at Budongo and Bwindi with four day records of singles or two's.
GREEN SUNBIRD (GRAY-THROATED) (Anthreptes rectirostris tephrolaemus) – Seen on two days at Bwindi.
COLLARED SUNBIRD (Hedydipna collaris garguensis) – Common, widespread in small numbers in all the forests at low to mid-altitude.
GREEN-HEADED SUNBIRD (GREEN-HEADED) (Cyanomitra verticalis viridisplendens) – Six day records, starting in the garden at the Boma, then at Masindi, Budongo and near Bwindi.
BLUE-HEADED SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra alinae alinae) – Nice looks at this scarce Albertine Rift endemic at Bwindi and then up at Ruhija.
WESTERN OLIVE SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra obscura) – A few sightings of this dubious split from Eastern Olive Sunbird, first at Kaniyo Pabidi.
GREEN-THROATED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra rubescens) – Seen on 3 days at Bwindi with both males and a female being seen the Gorilla Camp.
SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis lamperti) – Common around Entebbe and Masindi, then seen again at Lake Mburo.
BRONZE SUNBIRD (Nectarinia kilimensis kilimensis) – A few seen well up at The Neck and Ruhija.
OLIVE-BELLIED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris chloropygius) – Seen at Entebbe Botanic Gardens and at Bigodi Swamp.
NORTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris reichenowi preussi) – Quite common around Bwindi and Ruhija.
REGAL SUNBIRD (Cinnyris regius regius) – Nice views of this beautiful bird up at Ruhija, one of the most spectacular of the family, but seemed scarce this trip.
BEAUTIFUL SUNBIRD (Cinnyris pulchellus pulchellus) – We got a couple of nice looks up in Murchison of this gorgeous species.
MARIQUA SUNBIRD (Cinnyris mariquensis suahelicus) – We finally got onto this attractive dry country species at Lake Mburo, where it showed very well a couple of times.
RED-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris erythrocercus) – Common around Entebbe and at Kibale.
PURPLE-BANDED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris bifasciatus) – Just one at Mabamba was the only sighting.
SUPERB SUNBIRD (Cinnyris superbus) – One at the Boma was unexpected, then a male at the lunch spot as we came from Mabamba, a large long billed and very attractive species.
VARIABLE SUNBIRD (ORANGE-CHESTED) (Cinnyris venustus igneiventris) – This orange-bellied race was seen at Ruhija in the farmland, a very distinctive thing it is too. One near Budongo had a whitish belly.
COPPER SUNBIRD (Cinnyris cupreus cupreus) – Seen near Masindi and Budongo this trip.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
CAPE WAGTAIL (Motacilla capensis) – Five day records, from The Neck and Ruhija as well as near Kabale.
MOUNTAIN WAGTAIL (Motacilla clara) – This lovely long-tailed bird was feeding along the track at Bwindi, one of the most beautiful of the family.
AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp) – Seen on most days this trip.
AFRICAN PIPIT (Anthus cinnamomeus) – Just a few in QENP and one at Lake Mburo.
PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys) – Seen in QENP and at Lake Mburo.
YELLOW-THROATED LONGCLAW (Macronyx croceus) – A few good sightings of this odd Meadowlark mimic, a wonderful example of convergent evolution, from Murro near Masindi and at Lake Mburo.
Emberizidae (Buntings, Sparrows and Allies)
CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza tahapisi) – A great view on the Butiaba escarpment.
GOLDEN-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza flaviventris) – Seen up at Bwindi and along the road at The Neck this trip.
BROWN-RUMPED BUNTING (Emberiza affinis) – One was singing as we came near the Murchison Falls turn-off en route to Paraa, but we could not lure it into view unfortunately. [*]
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
ORIOLE FINCH (Linurgus olivaceus prigoginei) – Yay! I finally got a countable view of Oriole Finch, with a male seen in flight, then a pair down in Mubwindi Swamp. I'd had bad views of possibles in previous years and had heard it singing, but this was my lifer sighting and I think all the trekkers saw it quite nicely. A new genus for me too.
YELLOW-CROWNED CANARY (Serinus flavivertex sassii) – We saw this quite well at the Dusky Crimsonwing site, and it was also around the lodge at Ruhija, it's a split from Cape Canary.
WHITE-RUMPED SEEDEATER (Serinus leucopygius leucopygius) – A poor view of one along the road as we came out of Murchison, perched up in bad light.
YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY (Serinus mozambicus) – Common and widespread, the first at Luwero, then at Mabamba, Masindi and QENP.
WESTERN CITRIL (Serinus frontalis) – Two birds near Kabale at the sedge swamp with the Carruther's Cisticola were the only ones we saw this trip.
BLACK-THROATED CANARY (Serinus atrogularis somereni) – Two birds in cultivation near Kanungu were hard to pin down, then we got one en route to the Neck which was far more obliging. This was a Uganda tick for Phil, they are erratic and uncommon.
BRIMSTONE CANARY (Serinus sulphuratus sharpii) – One near Luwero at the lunch stop and one at Budongo.
STREAKY SEEDEATER (Serinus striolatus graueri) – A couple of sightings in the cultivation at Ruhija.
THICK-BILLED SEEDEATER (Serinus burtoni kilimensis) – Three day records of singles from Bwindi where they have a whitish ear covert patch.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – I was amazed to look out of the truck in Kabango near Budongo and see House Sparrow, with 4 birds including several males, a Uganda tick for me and a species i did not even know occurred in the country! [I]
SHELLEY'S RUFOUS SPARROW (Passer shelleyi) – We had 6 in Murchison at one thornbush site then one by the road down near Butiaba. This is a split from Kenya Rufous Sparrow.
NORTHERN GRAY-HEADED SPARROW (Passer griseus) – Widespread in small numbers.
Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)
SPECKLE-FRONTED WEAVER (Sporopipes frontalis) – Some nice looks in Murchison.
CHESTNUT-CROWNED SPARROW-WEAVER (Plocepasser superciliosus) – One day record in Murchison, with 5 of these uncommon birds.
RED-HEADED MALIMBE (Malimbus rubricollis) – Seen at Bwindi and then Mabira, a striking species..
RED-HEADED WEAVER (Anaplectes rubriceps) – A fine male near the camp at Lake Mburo was the only sighting.
BAGLAFECHT WEAVER (Ploceus baglafecht) – Seen at the Boma, then at Bwindi and The Neck.
LITTLE WEAVER (Ploceus luteolus) – Just two in the Luwero Triangle.
SLENDER-BILLED WEAVER (Ploceus pelzelni) – Common and tame in QENP, also seen at the Boma.
BLACK-NECKED WEAVER (Ploceus nigricollis) – This striking species showed well at Mabamba, then near Kibale and at Bwindi.
SPECTACLED WEAVER (Ploceus ocularis) – Three day records, from the drier areas, near Mabamba, in QENP then at Lake Mburo.
BLACK-BILLED WEAVER (Ploceus melanogaster) – Some folks saw this attractive bird in Bwindi.
STRANGE WEAVER (Ploceus alienus) – Seen along the primary school track at Ruhija, and in the bamboo zone. This is an Albertine Rift endemic which is quite scarce.
HOLUB'S GOLDEN-WEAVER (Ploceus xanthops) – Just two in farmbush near The Neck.
ORANGE WEAVER (Ploceus aurantius) – Singles near Mabamba, then at the Botanic Gardens, it's an uncommon species.
NORTHERN BROWN-THROATED WEAVER (Ploceus castanops) – 10 at the weaver colony near Mabamba, then 2 near Murro were the only records.
LESSER MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus intermedius) – Nesting again at Mweya Lodge, the pale eye is distinctive, and also nesting at Lake Mburo.
VITELLINE MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus vitellinus) – A nest at Luwero, and 4 birds as we came down toward Butiaba.
VIEILLOT'S WEAVER (Ploceus nigerrimus) – Hardly any, we saw it near Mabamba and then at Murro, I need to pay attention to the colonies near Luwero in future!
VILLAGE WEAVER (Ploceus cucullatus) – The common lowland weaver with colonies at lots of sites.
BLACK-HEADED WEAVER (Ploceus melanocephalus) – Common and widespread, seen in Murchison, QENP, Bigodi and Bwindi. This is the race fischeri, and is actually called Yellow-backed Weaver in most of the African references, as Black-headed used to refer to Village Weaver......
GOLDEN-BACKED WEAVER (Ploceus jacksoni) – Uncommon, the birds we saw near Mabamba were a useful trip bird, also seen up along the Nile.
YELLOW-MANTLED WEAVER (Ploceus tricolor) – We scraped in with a nice sighting of one at Mabira on the last day.
BROWN-CAPPED WEAVER (Ploceus insignis) – Three sightings in Bwindi/Ruhija, foraging along mossy branches like nuthatches, a striking bird.
COMPACT WEAVER (Pachyphantes superciliosus) – Two birds in farmbush near Masindi as we headed north were a useful pick-up of an uncommon species.
RED-BILLED QUELEA (Quelea quelea) – Some good flocks in Lake Mburo NP with up to 90 there. Quelea sp. in flight at Budongo may have been this species but might be Red-headed.
ORANGE BISHOP (Euplectes franciscanus) – Nice looks this trip around Masindi and Murchison, the fiery red plumaged males of the nominate race being very obvious. Quite why Clements calls it Orange Bishop is again beyond me, Northern Red is the real name!
RED BISHOP (Euplectes orix) – Great looks at breeding dress males in QENP, but the first were a pair on the escarpment near Fort Portal. Usually known as Southern Red Bishop.
BLACK-WINGED BISHOP (Euplectes hordeaceus) – A couple of fine birds at Luwero and Budongo.
BLACK BISHOP (Euplectes gierowii) – Great views near Masindi, then up around Kibale. This is the taxon ansorgei.
YELLOW BISHOP (Euplectes capensis) – We saw 2 males in fields near The Neck and 2 as we came out of Ruhija.
WHITE-WINGED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes albonotatus) – Some good sightings at Luwero, and then again in the QENP area.
YELLOW-SHOULDERED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes macroura macroura) – Four day records of males of the Yellow-mantled form around the Masindi and Budongo areas.
YELLOW-SHOULDERED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes macroura macrocerca) – Four males of this yellow-shouldered taxon en route to Luwero, the exact taxonomic status is still uncertain and it does seem to be sympatric with the Yellow-mantled form in some places.
RED-COLLARED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes ardens) – A few around Masindi and Budongo. Birds here seem to be almost entirely black and lack the red collar, they may be the West African race concolor.
FAN-TAILED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes axillaris) – This was widespread in small numbers, the first at Mabamba.
MARSH WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes hartlaubi) – A pair at Luwero and one near Masindi, a scarce and hard to find species on this tour.
GROSBEAK WEAVER (Amblyospiza albifrons) – Five day records, from Luwero, Budongo and Kibale. It was nesting in the reeds along the Kazinga Channel.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED NEGROFINCH (Nigrita canicapillus) – Six day records, the first near Budongo then singles near Masindi and at Bwindi, and a couple at Mabira. Some interesting and varied vocalizations too, with an odd dry raspy call from one at Bwindi being very strange.
WHITE-BREASTED NEGROFINCH (Nigrita fusconotus) – Seen nicely at Budongo and Bwindi, a very small delicate billed species.
RED-FRONTED ANTPECKER (Parmoptila rubrifrons) – I had a great look at a male on the walk I did when the group went gorilla trekking, and luckily the scouting paid off as it was found in the same vicinity that afternoon, with very good views. This was the first I'd seen at Bwindi where it is very scarce.
YELLOW-BELLIED WAXBILL (Coccopygia quartinia) – Just one record with 2 seen nicely as we neared Ruhija at the Dusky Crimsonwing area. I was worried we had missed it.
FAWN-BREASTED WAXBILL (Estrilda paludicola) – Four day records from the Masindi and Budongo areas.
BLACK-RUMPED WAXBILL (Estrilda troglodytes) – Seen a couple of times in Murchison.
COMMON WAXBILL (Estrilda astrild) – Distinctly uncommon, we saw them on four days at Mabamba, Bigodi and L. Mburo.
BLACK-CROWNED WAXBILL (Estrilda nonnula) – Several nice sightings around Masindi, Bigodi and The Neck.
KANDT'S WAXBILL (Estrilda kandti) – This recent split from Black-headed Waxbill was seen well up around Ruhija.
BLACK-CHEEKED WAXBILL (Estrilda erythronotos) – Two records of single birds, from dry bush as we came out of Murchison, and near Butiaba.
BLACK-BELLIED SEEDCRACKER (Pyrenestes ostrinus) – A fabulous red-tailed male beside a nest at the pond at Mabira on our last day, which gave amazing views and was a terrific finale of a very tricky species.
RED-CHEEKED CORDONBLEU (Uraeginthus bengalus) – Fairly common, it gave some nice looks at Murchison, and was also seen at Lake Mburo.
BROWN TWINSPOT (Clytospiza monteiri) – Heard in the farmbush at Murro but stayed hidden in deep cover. [*]
GREEN-WINGED PYTILIA (Pytilia melba) – Oddly we saw 2 in one day, one as we left Murchison and a fantastic colourful male at the Butiaba escarpment.
RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala) – Common and widespread.
BAR-BREASTED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta rufopicta) – We saw up to 8 on one day in Murchison.
BLACK-BELLIED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta rara) – Nice views of 2 near Budongo and then a pair at Murro next day.
AFRICAN FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta rubricata) – Three day records of 2 birds each time, near Masindi, in QENP and near Bwindi.
RED-BILLED QUAILFINCH (Ortygospiza gabonensis dorsostriata) – Two at a muddy swamp in QENP on the Kasenyi loop were a Uganda tick for me- we could see the red bill and black chin even in flight as it circled repeatedly around. Quailfinch taxonomy is vexatious with one, 2 or 3 species variously recognised.
BRONZE MANNIKIN (Spermestes cucullatus) – Common and widespread.
BLACK-AND-WHITE MANNIKIN (Spermestes bicolor) – A few near Mabamba and Masindi, with one near The Neck in the farmland there.
Viduidae (Indigobirds)
PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura) – Quite common, seen on many days, including some nice pin-tailed males.
VILLAGE INDIGOBIRD (Vidua chalybeata) – A good trip for this species with the white bill and pinkish legs as we came out of Murchison and down to Butiaba, with 5 males and a couple of females. One was seen later near Kanungu on our detour to Bwindi, which had brownish wings and tail and more reddish legs, i wonder if Brown-backed Firefinch Indigobird might be here as well, but these are cryptic species and almost impossible to identify. It seems odd that only one species is at all widespread, when the host firefinch species are also equally widespread.

STRAW-COLORED FRUIT BAT (Eidolon helvum) – We saw about 30 in a roost near Kampala.
YELLOW-WINGED BAT (Lavia frons) – Seen nicely at Lake Mburo in the dining room!
PRINCE DEMIDOFF'S BUSHBABY (Galago demidoff) – Noisy mammals calling at night at Mabira Forest Lodge were said by the staff to be tree hyrax, but none of us associated these noises with those species. I tracked one down in 2010 and it was a bushbaby, but 4 species are known here and I am unsure which it refers to, it may be this species. I did get some recordings this year so I hope to find someone who can identify what is making them.
BLUE MONKEY (Cercopithecus mitis) – Some nice looks around Masindi and the Royal Mile, and again at Bwindi. They have a great loud voice!
BLACK-CHEEKED WHITE-NOSED MONKEY (Cercopithecus ascanius) – Nice views of this scarce monkey at Kibale NP and especially at Bigodi Swamp. Usually called Red-tailed Monkey, who makes up these American names?
L'HOEST'S MONKEY (Cercopithecus l'hoesti) – Seen at Kibale, then again very nicely at Bwindi, where they frequented the camps.
BLACK-FACED VERVET MONKEY (Cercopithecus aethiops) – Seen near Masindi and common around QENP this trip.
PATAS MONKEY (Erythrocebus patas) – Nice looks at a small troop of this northern species at Murchison.
GRAY-CHEEKED MANGABEY (Cercocebus albigena) – Very nice looks at Kibale and Bigodi Swamp, where there were 4 species of monkey in one small area where something was in fruit.
OLIVE BABOON (Papio anubis) – Common and widespread, they gave some great views especially as we came into Murchison and at QENP.
MANTLED GUEREZA (Colobus guereza) – Fantastic views (and sounds) of this striking species from Murchison onwards, more usually called Black & White Colobus which is split into a few species these days. One of the trip highlights came at Ruhija where we saw several animals nibbling at a rock face to get at the mineral salts in the soft alluvial rock formation. It did taste vaguely salty when i tested it later.
UGANDA RED COLOBUS (Piliocolobus tephrosceles) – Good looks at Kibale and Bigodi of this rare and very localized species.
CHIMPANZEE (Pan troglodytes) – A great experience with them at the Royal Mile, with 30+ animals at close range coming in to a fruiting tree, and some amazing vocals. There were two lots of researchers there as well, and these are unhabituated animals, so this was a really memorable encounter. Also good at Kibale where we had a few deep in the forest and got some nice looks at them, though the Budongo encounter was just fantastic, the best I've had there.
MOUNTAIN GORILLA (Gorilla beringei beringei) – Another memorable trip this year, the gorilla trekkers had quite easy walks to their group and then great close experiences with these fantastic creatures. I think the trekkers went to the Rushagera group which has 10+ well habituated members with a very obliging silverback. There are currently now some 9 habituated groups here, with 8 available to tourists, and this is a major highlight of the tour, something you really should do if at all possible.
STRIPED GROUND SQUIRREL (Xerus erythropus) – We saw a couple of these small squirrels near Mabamba.
CARRUTHER'S MOUNTAIN SQUIRREL (Funisciurus carruthersi) – This was the one we saw at Bwindi.
ALEXANDER'S BUSH SQUIRREL (Paraxerus alexandri) – One of these small jobs was at the Royal Mile, it's also known as Alexander's Dwarf Squirrel and was I think a lifer for me.

African Buffalo are considered one of Africa's most dangerous large mammals; the Piapiac on its back doesn't seem very concerned though. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

BOEHM'S BUSH SQUIRREL (Paraxerus boehmi) – A couple were seen up at Bwindi.
BANDED MONGOOSE (Mungos mungo) – Great looks at the very confiding troop at Mweya Lodge.
DWARF MONGOOSE (Helogale parvula) – A nice look at two on an anthill at Lake Mburo as we were leaving.
LEOPARD (Panthera pardus) – One of the sightings of the trip was a superb adult sat comfortably up a thorn tree at QENP, not far from the lodge either, and allowing us some great close views of a real prize addition to the trip mammal list.
LION (Panthera leo) – A female with a big collar was sat in Murchison, and we found two big cubs under shady bushes nearby, a great addition to the trip, especially as we could not get to Ishasha this year.
AFRICAN ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana) – Brilliant views at Murchison, and of dust bathing animals at very close range at QENP. Sadly we saw two females here that had lost half their trunks due to snares, and one poor condition young one at QENP had a badly infected right leg due to a snare, this seems to be a growing problem, all very sad. Lots of footprints and droppings at Mubwindi belong to the now split Forest Elephant, but fortunately we did not meet them on our trek! Livingstone saw them at Kibale when he was going back one night.....
BURCHELL'S ZEBRA (Equus burchelli) – These beautiful animals showed very nicely at Lake Mburo, their only Ugandan site. Usually called Common Zebra as Burchell's is the South African form, these American mammal names are worse than the Clements bird versions!
WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) – So ugly you gotta love 'em, they were absurdly tame at QENP and I love the way they kneel to eat and run with their tails up like aerials. That one at Murchison which had the Northern Carmine Bee-eater sitting on it then flying aerial cover was amazing....
HIPPOPOTAMUS (Hippopotamus amphibius) – Another iconic African animal, in catastrophic decline in most places but thankfully still quite common at Murchison and recovering from heavy poaching in earlier years. Also some great sightings at the Kazinga Channel and Lake Mburo.
ROTHSCHILD'S GIRAFFE (Giraffa rothschildi) – Fantastic looks at these extraordinary creatures on the north bank of Murchison, we saw about 50 here, some remarkably dark coloured.
SITATUNGA (Tragelaphus spekei) – We saw several down in Mubwindi Swamp and were able to scope them from the viewpoint on the track down, it's a strange aquatic antelope with elongated hooves so it can walk on damp vegetation without sinking too far.
BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus) – Some good looks in Murchison and at Lake Mburo, where one fine animal was stood atop a termite mound for ages.
AFRICAN BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer) – These huge (and dangerous!) animals were common at Murchison, QENP and Lake Mburo.
BLACK-FRONTED DUIKER (Cephalophus nigrifrons) – Seen along the track at Bwindi, late pm seems to be a good time for them here.
YELLOW-BACKED DUIKER (Cephalophus sylvicultor) – A good quick look at one along the track at Bwindi, where Phil earlier got photos on the day the group did the gorilla trek.
BUSH (GRAY) DUIKER (Sylvicapra grimmia) – One was seen in Murchison.
DEFASSA WATERBUCK (Kobus defassa) – Common in the game parks, a very large antelope with black stockings!
KOB (Kobus kob) – Common throughout Murchison and at QENP, with many fine males protecting female herds. Known as lechwe in other parts of Africa. One very dark buck had a striking resemblance to a Black Lechwe from Zambia.
TOPI (Damaliscus lunatus) – These strange lugubrious almost purplish-brown antelope were seen very nicely at Lake Mburo.
HARTEBEEST (KONGONI) (Alcelaphus buselaphus) – Great looks in great light on the north bank of Murchison Falls NP, a very striking almost orange coloured antelope with a bizarre profile.
ORIBI (Ourebia ourebi) – Very common in Murchison this trip.
IMPALA (Aepyceros malampus) – The males at Lake Mburo seem to run very large herds of females, and we had some fantastic close looks at this beautiful graceful antelope.



Great Nile Crodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) at Murchison and the Kazinga Channel.

Agama lizards with blue heads at Masindi

Agamas with orange heads at Murchison

Nile Monitors on 4 days, starting at Entebbe Botanic Gardens

A tortoise sp. seen by Jill as we neared Masindi.

A lovely leaf-green Chameleon was seen near Masindi.


This is always a good tour for them and this year was no exception, we must have seen well over 40 species including Mackinnon's Swallowtail, Mocker Swallowtail, Emperor Swallowtail, Green-spotted Swallowtail, Green Broad-banded Swallowtail, Green Narrow-banded Swallowtail, Berberia sp, Eucedra sp. Acraea sp, Acraea penelope, African Map, Blue-spotted Pansy, Brown Pansy, Middle Blue, Isis Blue, Blue Mother-of-Pearl, Forest Mother-of-Pearl, African Beak in good numbers at various sites, African Leopard Fritillary, Blue Diadem and Sailer sp.

I have included many subspecific names of birds in the triplist as interest in this field is growing exponentially. Note that in some cases they can't be pinned down to which taxon, so those birds are left as binominals only, as of course are the monotypic species. Data are derived from the Bird Atlas of Uganda, and the IOC Checklist as these are the most accurate and up to date resources. Ref. for a free Excel download of the World Bird Species, available with or without subspecies and updated every 3 months or so, fun to look over and easy to amend for your own purposes, i just found my own Uganda list is getting very close to 700 at 692 species.

Trip highlights were obviously the Gorilla trek and the fantastic Shoebill, but others were the Chimps at Budongo, the Elephants swimming at the Kazinga Channel, the Mubwindi Swamp walk which is just gorgeous, the amazing Leopard sighting, and amongst the other birds Lesser Jacana, the Giant Eagle Owl sat right by the track late pm, Black-bellied Seedcracker by its nest, the very co-operative male White-spotted Flufftail, Papyrus Gonolek and Doherty's Bush-shrike and of course the African Grey Parrots. Phil would add Willard's Sooty Boubou for its sheer novelty and obscurity, the way we got it without any calls was very lucky, and that Shining-blue Kingfisher in such good light was tremendous.

Totals for the tour: 512 bird taxa and 39 mammal taxa