A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Uganda: Shoebill & Gorillas 2021

October 23-November 5, 2021 with Terry Stevenson guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
One of the highlights of the tour was finding two African Finfoots at Lake Mburo. A female, and this gorgeous male gave us a great chance to study these unusual birds. Photo by participant Paul Koker.

This was our first Essential Short Uganda tour which concentrates on finding Shoebill, Gorillas, Chimps and a variety of the more widespread Ugandan bird species. By visiting lakes, forests and open savanna areas each of the above was seen, plus some gorgeous turacos, a great variety of water birds, 22 species of raptors, the delicate African Blue and White-tailed Blue-flycatchers, secretive robin-chats, many wonderful iridescent sunbirds, and for some, the rare Green-breasted Pitta!

Beginning our tour in Entebbe, we made an afternoon visit to the nearby Botanical Gardens where highlights were Great Blue Turaco, Hamerkop, Hadada Ibis, Palm-nut Vulture, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Black-headed Paradise-Flycatcher, Snowy-crowned Robin-Chat, and perhaps best of all – great scope views of Gray Parrot.

The following morning found us driving to the Mabamba Wetland where our main target, Shoebill, was soon found. Sole member of the family Balaenicipitidae, close views of this huge bird were a major highlight of the tour. Other birds on our two hour boat trip included Blue-headed Coucal, African Swamphen, Long-toed Lapwing, African Jacana, African Marsh-Harrier, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, and as we left the jetty area a small feeding flock of gorgeous Red-headed Lovebirds.

Our next destination as we headed west was Lake Mburo National Park where we spent two nights at Mantana Camp. This enabled us to do game drives in the park and also a boat trip on the lake itself. There were many highlights here but the group particularly enjoyed Red-necked Francolin, Dideric and Red-chested cuckoos, the rare Brown-chested Lapwing, White-backed Vulture, many close African Fish-Eagles (especially for the photographers), Green Woodhoopoe, Malachite Kingfisher, Crested Barbet, White-winged Black-Tit, Tabora Cisticola, a huge colony of nesting Village Weavers, and best of all was the closest views ever of African Finfoot! This park is also great for mammals as we found time to watch the antics of Burchell's Zebra, Warthog, Hippo, African Buffalo, Topi, Impala, and the endangered Rothschild's Giraffe.

We then continued further west to the Bwindi-Impenetrable Forest, where we stayed at a community run lodge at Buhoma. This was our base for two more nights, and for those who wanted, a trek with guides and porters to see the famed Gorillas here. As always, the Gorillas were just fantastic with super close views for the four intrepid trekkers. Sadly the following day's birding was interrupted by torrential rain, but before that we enjoyed Narina's (for some) and Bar-tailed (for all) trogons, Black Bee-eater, Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Petit's Cuckooshrike, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Luehder's Bushshrike, African Blue-flycatcher, Green Hylia, Black-throated Apalis, Shelley's, Red-tailed, Cabanis's and Yellow-whiskered greenbuls, Narrow-tailed starling, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, Gray-winged Robin-Chat, Gray-headed, Little Green, Collared, Bronze and Northern Double-collared sunbirds, Red-headed Malimbe, Brown-capped Weaver, and Red-headed Bluebill.

Driving north, we then went to Queen Elizabeth National Park, a vast area of bush country, woodland, open grasslands, and the famed Kazinga Channel. Our boat trip on the channel was another highlight. with close views of Black Crake, Water Thick-knee, Spur-winged Lapwing, 8 species of Palearctic shorebird, African Skimmer, Great White and Pink-backed pelicans, and hundreds of hippos. A visit to nearby Lake Katwe produced about 3000 Lesser Flamingo, and a huge flock of (perhaps 2000) Gull-billed Terns. Of course, drives in the park added yet more species, with just a few being African Crake, Collared Pratincole, Bateleur, Black-chested, Brown and Banded snake-eagles, Long-crested Eagle, Blue-naped Mousebird, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Gray Kestrel, Black-crowned Tchagra, our best looks at the striking Black-headed Gonolek, Moustached Grass-Warbler, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Copper Sunbird, the localized Compact Weaver, Southern Red Bishop, and Fawn-breasted Waxbill. And of course there's the mammals, with several hundred African Bush Elephants stealing the show, but also lots of Warthog, African Buffalo, Defassa Waterbuck, and (Uganda) Kob.

The final destination on our tour was to Kibale Forest National Park, home to 14 species of primates, including (thanks to Jane Goodall and some of her colleagues) habituated Chimpanzees. Two of our group chose to go birding with local guide Herbert Byaruhanga, while the rest of us went to see the Chimps........ and what an amazing experience it was, after walking for 60 minutes on relatively flat forest trails and one short steep hill, we found ourselves right amongst these forest dwelling relatives with which we share 98.8% of our DNA. Truly fabulous, as we spent an hour with them, the alpha male, females and babies, all just feet away. Meanwhile our friends who were birding with Herbert added half a dozen species to our bird list – with one being Green-breasted Pitta – probably the second most wanted bird in Uganda after Shoebill!

All in all it was a very successful tour, the friendly Ugandan people, varied habitats, a super group of like minded travelers, and great local help with the covid requirements all made this trip run like a breeze!


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)

Nice close looks at about 30 on a small pool in QENP.

Field Guides Birding Tours
The Chimps at Kibale were another highlight. This wonderful family group allowed us to view them for an hour. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

EGYPTIAN GOOSE (Alopochen aegyptiaca)

Six near Entebbe, and about 40 in QENP.

YELLOW-BILLED DUCK (Anas undulata)

Four in the Mabamba Wetland.

Numididae (Guineafowl)

HELMETED GUINEAFOWL (Numida meleagris)

Small numbers in the Lake Mburo area, and 40+ at QENP.

Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

RED-NECKED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis afer)

Also known as Red-necked Spurfowl; we saw 4 at Lake Mburo, and about 30 at QENP.

CRESTED FRANCOLIN (Dendroperdix sephaena)

Three at Lake Mburo.

Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)

LESSER FLAMINGO (Phoeniconaias minor)

About 3000 were at the shallow alkaline Lake Katwe.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia)

Small numbers in a variety of towns and villages along our route.

SPECKLED PIGEON (Columba guinea)

A widespread pigeon in towns and villages; in all we saw about 70.

RED-EYED DOVE (Streptopelia semitorquata)

Fairly common and widespread, with a total of about 40.

RING-NECKED DOVE (Streptopelia capicola)

Very common in open country with a total of about 300.

LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis)

One at Lake Mburo, and about a dozen at QENP.

EMERALD-SPOTTED WOOD-DOVE (Turtur chalcospilos)

Four in the Lake Mburo area.


Heard at Entebbe, and then seen by everyone at Buhoma.

TAMBOURINE DOVE (Turtur tympanistria)

Singles at Buhoma and Kibale NP.

NAMAQUA DOVE (Oena capensis)

Was was flushed from the road at QENP.


Good scope views of 1 at Entebbe Botanical Gardens.

Musophagidae (Turacos)

GREAT BLUE TURACO (Corythaeola cristata)

Two at Entebbe Botanical Gardens, and 3 at Kibale NP.

BLACK-BILLED TURACO (Tauraco schuettii)

Heard by some of the group who didn't go Chimp trekking at Kibale.

ROSS'S TURACO (Musophaga rossae)

Great looks in the garden of the Boma Guesthouse, and from the boat at Lake Mburo.

BARE-FACED GO-AWAY-BIRD (Corythaixoides personatus)

One at Lake Mburo.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Malachite Kingfishers were plentiful at a couple of our stops. Participant Peter Vale got this lovely image of two of them in the reeds.


Six in the Entebbe area, and 2 near Kibale.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

BLUE-HEADED COUCAL (Centropus monachus)

Four from the boat at the Mabamba Wetland.

WHITE-BROWED COUCAL (Centropus superciliosus)

One at Lake Mburo, and 2 at QENP.

LEVAILLANT'S CUCKOO (Clamator levaillantii)

Singles at Lake Mburo, and QENP.

DIDERIC CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx caprius)

We scoped a calling bird in the farmlands near Lake Mburo.

RED-CHESTED CUCKOO (Cuculus solitarius)

One at Lake Mburo, 1 at QENP, and many others heard.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

BLACK-SHOULDERED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus nigriscapularis)

Good looks at 1 at Mantana Camp, which then flew in to the dining room and spent the night there.

Apodidae (Swifts)

LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis)

Eight near Lake Mburo, and about 50 at Mweya Lodge.


About 10 by the jetty at Lake Mburo.

AFRICAN PALM-SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus)

Six at Entebbe, and 4 at QENP.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

AFRICAN CRAKE (Crex egregia)

Two single birds were seen briefly along a track in QENP.

AFRICAN SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio madagascariensis)

Four in the Mabamba Wetland.

BLACK CRAKE (Zapornia flavirostra)

Two at Lake Mburo, and 8 at QENP.

Heliornithidae (Finfoots)

AFRICAN FINFOOT (Podica senegalensis)

Absolutely fantastic looks at a female and then a male at Lake Mburo.

Gruidae (Cranes)

GRAY CROWNED-CRANE (Balearica regulorum)

These spectacular birds were widespread in small numbers, with the largest group being about 60 east of Lake Mburo.

Burhinidae (Thick-knees)

WATER THICK-KNEE (Burhinus vermiculatus)

About a dozen at Lake Mburo, and 80+ at QENP.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus)

About 40 at Lake Katwe, and 6 in nearby QENP.

PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta)

Two at Lake Katwe.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

LONG-TOED LAPWING (Vanellus crassirostris)

Four at the Mabamba Wetland.

SPUR-WINGED LAPWING (Vanellus spinosus)

About 40 along the Kazinga Channel, QENP.

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Our boat trip at the Kazinga Channel allowed us to see many water birds well, including Pink-backed Pelican, many Gray-hooded Gulls, and in the background, a Marabou Stork. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

SENEGAL LAPWING (Vanellus lugubris)

Three in the Lake Mburo area.

WATTLED LAPWING (Vanellus senegallus)

Two at Lake Mburo, and 40+ at QENP.

BROWN-CHESTED LAPWING (Vanellus superciliosus)

Two in great plumage near the entrance to Lake Mburo NP.

KITTLITZ'S PLOVER (Charadrius pecuarius)

About a dozen at QENP.

THREE-BANDED PLOVER (Charadrius tricollaris)

One at QENP.

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

AFRICAN JACANA (Actophilornis africanus)

About 80 at the Mabamba Wetland, 4 at Lake Mburo, and a dozen at QENP.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)

Two on the banks of the Kazinga Channel.

RUFF (Calidris pugnax)

Three along the Kazinga Channel.

CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea)

Ten with other shorebirds along the Kazinga Channel.

LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta)

One at the Kazinga Channel.

COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)

Small numbers from Entebbe to Lake Mburo, and in QENP.

GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus)

One at Lake Mburo.

COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)

Four in QENP.

MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis)

Two singles along the Kazinga Channel.

WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola)

Five at Lake Mburo, and 6 at QENP.

Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)

COLLARED PRATINCOLE (Glareola pratincola)

About 40 in flight over the QENP grasslands.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

GRAY-HOODED GULL (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus)

About 100 at Lake Katwe.


A single flew over Lake Katwe.

GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica)

A huge flock perhaps totaling 2000+ were at Lake Katwe.

WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus)

Three were seen from the boat on the Kazinga Channel.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Participant Paul Koker got a very nice portrait of a pair of Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters at Buhoma.

AFRICAN SKIMMER (Rynchops flavirostris)

One hundred and twenty were on a sand bank in the Kazinga Channel.

Ciconiidae (Storks)

AFRICAN OPENBILL (Anastomus lamelligerus)

One of the group saw 1 near Lake Mburo.

WOOLLY-NECKED STORK (Ciconia episcopus)

One near Lake Mburo, and 2 in farm fields to the west of there.

MARABOU STORK (Leptoptilos crumenifer)

About 50 in the Entebbe area, 60 between Mburo and Buhoma, and 10 at QENP.


Twenty-five at QENP.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

LONG-TAILED CORMORANT (Microcarbo africanus)

Two at Entebbe, and 15 at the Mabamba Wetland,

GREAT CORMORANT (WHITE-BREASTED) (Phalacrocorax carbo lucidus)

About 350 at the Kazinga Channel.

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)

GREAT WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus onocrotalus)

Eight along the Kazinga Channel.

PINK-BACKED PELICAN (Pelecanus rufescens)

Four at Lake Mburo, and 50+ at QENP.

Balaenicipitidae (Shoebill)

SHOEBILL (Balaeniceps rex)

Great long looks at a close bird in the Mabamba Wetland.

Scopidae (Hamerkop)

HAMERKOP (Scopus umbretta)

Widespread at wetlands throughout the tour; in all we saw about 90.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea)

Four at QENP.

BLACK-HEADED HERON (Ardea melanocephala)

Small numbers in a variety of scattered wet grasslands, with a total of about 25.

GOLIATH HERON (Ardea goliath)

Good looks at two singles at QENP.

PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea)

Four in the Mabamba Wetland.

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

One at Mabamba Wetland, and 3 at QENP.

INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Ardea intermedia)

Four at Mabamba Wetland.

LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)

About 10 between Entebbe and Lake Mburo, and then a dozen at QENP.

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

Common and widespread.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Queen Elizabeth National Park was the home of this Yellow-throated Longclaw. Photo by participant Peter Vale.

SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides)

Six at Lake Mburo, and 30+ at QENP.

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)

Three at Lake Mburo, and 1 at QENP.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

AFRICAN SACRED IBIS (Threskiornis aethiopicus)

Five at Lake Mburo, and 20 at QENP.

HADADA IBIS (Bostrychia hagedash)

Widespread in small numbers; with a total of about 40.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

BLACK-WINGED KITE (Elanus caeruleus)

Singles at Lake Mburo and QENP.

AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK (Polyboroides typus)

One near Entebbe, and 2 near Buhoma.

PALM-NUT VULTURE (Gypohierax angolensis)

Three at Entebbe, 2 at Buhoma, and 4 at QENP.

LAPPET-FACED VULTURE (Torgos tracheliotos)

One at Lake Mburo.

HOODED VULTURE (Necrosyrtes monachus)

Four in the Entebbe area.


Thirteen at Lake Mburo.

BATELEUR (Terathopius ecaudatus)

A classic bird of the African big open skies; we saw 2 at Lake Mburo, and 4 at QENP.

BLACK-CHESTED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus pectoralis)

One at QENP.

BROWN SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinereus)

Two at Lake Mburo, and 3 at QENP.

BANDED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus cinerascens)

Nice looks at 1 near Mweya Safari Lodge, QENP.

LONG-CRESTED EAGLE (Lophaetus occipitalis)

One near Kampala, and 14 in and around QENP.

WAHLBERG'S EAGLE (Hieraaetus wahlbergi)

Two at Entebbe, and 1 at QENP.

LIZARD BUZZARD (Kaupifalco monogrammicus)

One briefly near Mburo, and then nice looks for everyone near Ndali Lodge.

GABAR GOSHAWK (Micronisus gabar)

One at QENP.

AFRICAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus ranivorus)

Two singles hunting over the Mabamba Wetland.

SHIKRA (Accipiter badius)

Two singles at Lake Mburo.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We had a marvelous encounter with African Bush Elephants at Queen Elizabeth National Park, including this curious family group. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

BLACK KITE (YELLOW-BILLED) (Milvus migrans parasitus)

Most common around Entebbe and Kampala, but also widespread in small numbers elsewhere; in all we saw about 110.

AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer)

One at Entebbe, 18 at Lake Mburo, and 60 at QENP.

COMMON BUZZARD (STEPPE) (Buteo buteo vulpinus)

Three at Lake Mburo, 2 at Buhoma, and 3 at QENP.

AUGUR BUZZARD (Buteo augur)

One at Rukungiri town.

Strigidae (Owls)

AFRICAN WOOD-OWL (Strix woodfordii)

One was calling pre-dawn at Buhoma.

Coliidae (Mousebirds)

SPECKLED MOUSEBIRD (Colius striatus)

Very common and widespread.

BLUE-NAPED MOUSEBIRD (Urocolius macrourus)

About 20 at QENP.

Trogonidae (Trogons)

NARINA TROGON (Apaloderma narina)

A male flew over our heads along the main trail at Buhoma.

BAR-TAILED TROGON (Apaloderma vittatum)

Difficult to find, but eventually we all got to see a calling male at Buhoma.

Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes and Scimitarbills)

GREEN WOODHOOPOE (Phoeniculus purpureus)

Four at Lake Mburo.

Bucerotidae (Hornbills)

CROWNED HORNBILL (Lophoceros alboterminatus)

Some of the group saw 1 at Kibale.

AFRICAN GRAY HORNBILL (Lophoceros nasutus)

Five at Lake Mburo.

BLACK-AND-WHITE-CASQUED HORNBILL (Bycanistes subcylindricus)

Three at Entebbe Botanical Gardens, 2 at Buhoma, and 1 at Kibale.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

MALACHITE KINGFISHER (Corythornis cristatus)

About 20 at Lake Mburo, and 15 at QENP.

WOODLAND KINGFISHER (Halcyon senegalensis)

We saw 6 of these beautiful kingfishers at Entebbe, and about 8 at QENP.

STRIPED KINGFISHER (Halcyon chelicuti)

One in the woodlands at Lake Mburo.

PIED KINGFISHER (Ceryle rudis)

Common at wetlands throughout the tour; with a total of about 300.

Meropidae (Bee-eaters)

BLACK BEE-EATER (Merops gularis)

One along the main trail at Buhoma.

LITTLE BEE-EATER (Merops pusillus)

A pair at Mburo, and 2 singles at QENP.

BLUE-BREASTED BEE-EATER (Merops variegatus)

One in the reed beds at the Mabamba Wetland.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This Ross's Turaco posed nicely for participant Paul Koker.


Ten at Buhoma.

WHITE-THROATED BEE-EATER (Merops albicollis)

Fifteen in the Entebbe Botanical Gardens.

BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER (Merops persicus)

One at QENP.

EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster)

Good views of 1 at Lake Mburo.

Coraciidae (Rollers)

LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (Coracias caudatus)

Three singles at Lake Mburo.

BROAD-BILLED ROLLER (Eurystomus glaucurus)

One at Entebbe, and 2 at Lake Mburo.

Lybiidae (African Barbets)

CRESTED BARBET (Trachyphonus vaillantii)

We saw this colorful barbet in the acacia woodlands at Lake Mburo.

SPECKLED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus scolopaceus) [*]

Heard at Buhoma and Kibale.

YELLOW-THROATED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus subsulphureus)

Two of our group saw 1 at Kibale.

YELLOW-RUMPED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus bilineatus)

Heard on many days and seen at Buhoma and Kibale.

YELLOW-FRONTED TINKERBIRD (Pogoniulus chrysoconus)

Good looks at 1 at Entebbe Botanical Gardens.

SPOT-FLANKED BARBET (Tricholaema lacrymosa)

Four at Lake Mburo.

DOUBLE-TOOTHED BARBET (Lybius bidentatus)

One at the Boma Guesthouse, Entebbe.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

AFRICAN GRAY WOODPECKER (Chloropicus goertae)

One at Entebbe, and 2 at Lake Mburo.

BROWN-EARED WOODPECKER (Campethera caroli)

Two of our group who did not go Chimp trekking saw 1 at Kibale.


One at Buhoma.

GREEN-BACKED WOODPECKER (Campethera cailliautii)

One at Buhoma.

NUBIAN WOODPECKER (Campethera nubica)

Three in the acacia woodlands at Lake Mburo.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

GRAY KESTREL (Falco ardosiaceus)

Great looks at a pair with a juvenile at Mweya Safari Lodge, QENP.

EURASIAN HOBBY (Falco subbuteo)

Two singles at Lake Mburo.

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A large flock of African Skimmers were loafing on the bank of the Kazinga Channel when we visited. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)

RED-HEADED LOVEBIRD (Agapornis pullarius)

Three at the Mabamba Wetlands boat jetty.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

GRAY PARROT (Psittacus erithacus)

Nice looks at 6 at the Entebbe Botanical Gardens.

MEYER'S PARROT (Poicephalus meyeri)

Four at Lake Mburo.

Pittidae (Pittas)

GREEN-BREASTED PITTA (Pitta reichenowi)

Thanks to a local guide, two of the group who didn't go Chimp trekking saw 1 at Kibale.

Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)

PETIT'S CUCKOOSHRIKE (Campephaga petiti)

Six at Buhoma.

Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)

WESTERN BLACK-HEADED ORIOLE (Oriolus brachyrynchus) [*]

Heard at Kibale.

BLACK-TAILED ORIOLE (Oriolus percivali)

Several heard and 1 seen in flight at Buhoma.

Platysteiridae (Wattle-eyes and Batises)

BROWN-THROATED WATTLE-EYE (Platysteira cyanea)

Seven at Buhoma.

Vangidae (Vangas, Helmetshrikes, and Allies)


A pair were in the grounds of the Boma Guesthouse.

Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)

BRUBRU (Nilaus afer)

One at Lake Mburo.

NORTHERN PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus gambensis)

Some of the group saw a single male at Buhoma.

PINK-FOOTED PUFFBACK (Dryoscopus angolensis)

One at Buhoma.

BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra senegalus)

Good views of 1 at QENP, great call too!

BROWN-CROWNED TCHAGRA (Tchagra australis)

One at Haven Lodge, Buhoma.

LŸUEHDER'S BUSHSHRIKE (Laniarius luehderi)

We saw 3 of these attractive bushshrikes at Buhoma.

BLACK-HEADED GONOLEK (Laniarius erythrogaster)

Another striking bushshrike, these were most common at QENP (15), but we also saw them at Entebbe and Mburo.

PAPYRUS GONOLEK (Laniarius mufumbiri) [*]

Heard at Lake Mburo, but just wouldn't come out of the dense papyrus.

GRAY-GREEN BUSHSHRIKE (Telophorus bocagei)

Two at Buhoma.

Dicruridae (Drongos)

FORK-TAILED DRONGO (Dicrurus adsimilis)

Two at Lake Mburo.

Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)


One at Entebbe Botanical Gardens.

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This female Spectacled Weaver paused while checking out the nest being made by her mate. Photo by participant Paul Koker.


A single at Entebbe Botanical Gardens, and then 2 at Lake Mburo.

Laniidae (Shrikes)

GRAY-BACKED FISCAL (Lanius excubitoroides)

Four at Lake Mburo, and 4 at QENP.

MACKINNON'S SHRIKE (Lanius mackinnoni)

One near Haven Lodge at Buhoma.

NORTHERN FISCAL (Lanius humeralis)

Five in the QENP area.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

PIED CROW (Corvus albus)

Common and widespread.

WHITE-NECKED RAVEN (Corvus albicollis)

Two at Buhoma.

Stenostiridae (Fairy Flycatchers)

AFRICAN BLUE FLYCATCHER (Elminia longicauda)

This beautiful pale blue 'Fairy Flycatcher' was seen at Buhoma and near Kibale.


At least 2 were in the grounds of the Haven Lodge, Buhoma.

Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

WHITE-WINGED BLACK-TIT (Melaniparus leucomelas)

Also known as Dark-eyed Black-Tit, we saw 4 at Lake Mburo.

Alaudidae (Larks)

RUFOUS-NAPED LARK (Mirafra africana)

One at QENP.

FLAPPET LARK (Mirafra rufocinnamomea)

One on a track at QENP and then a second bird there doing a flight display.

Macrosphenidae (African Warblers)

GREEN CROMBEC (Sylvietta virens) [*]

Heard at Kibale.

MOUSTACHED GRASS-WARBLER (Melocichla mentalis)

Good looks in the long grass at QENP; in all we saw about 6.

GREEN HYLIA (Hylia prasina)

Two were seen well at Buhoma.

Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)

WHITE-CHINNED PRINIA (Schistolais leucopogon)

Four at Buhoma.

GREEN-BACKED CAMAROPTERA (GRAY-BACKED) (Camaroptera brachyura brevicaudata)

Sometimes split as Gray-backed Camaroptera. We saw 2 at Lake Mburo, 2 at Mweya Safari Lodge, and 1 at Ndali Lodge.

BLACK-THROATED APALIS (Apalis jacksoni jacksoni)

We saw a pair of these attractive apalises at Buhoma.


One at Lake Mburo.

BUFF-THROATED APALIS (BUFF-THROATED) (Apalis rufogularis nigrescens)

Seven at Buhoma.

GRAY APALIS (GRAY) (Apalis cinerea cinerea)

Two at Buhoma.

Field Guides Birding Tours
It was a long, difficult hike to reach the Mountain Gorillas, but well worth the effort! Participant Peter Vale got this wonderful portrait of a pensive Silverback.

TAWNY-FLANKED PRINIA (Prinia subflava subflava)

Two near the Mabamba Wetlands.

BLACK-FACED RUFOUS-WARBLER (Bathmocercus rufus vulpinus)

Heard at Buhoma and Kibale.

GRAY-CAPPED WARBLER (Eminia lepida) [*]

Heard at Lake Mburo.

TRILLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola woosnami woosnami)

Frequently heard and seen at Lake Mburo and QENP.

WINDING CISTICOLA (Cisticola marginatus marginatus)

One at Entebbe, and 4 at Lake Mburo.

CARRUTHERS'S CISTICOLA (Cisticola carruthersi)

One in the Mabamba Wetland.

CROAKING CISTICOLA (Cisticola natalensis strangei)

We saw about a dozen in the open areas of QENP.

TABORA CISTICOLA (Cisticola angusticauda)

Nice looks at a pair at Lake Mburo.

SIFFLING CISTICOLA (Cisticola brachypterus hypoxanthus)

One at QENP.

ZITTING CISTICOLA (AFRICAN) (Cisticola juncidis uropygialis)

Singles at Lake Mburo, and QENP.

Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)

FAN-TAILED GRASSBIRD (Schoenicola brevirostris) [*]

Heard in the long grass at QENP.

WHITE-WINGED SWAMP WARBLER (Bradypterus carpalis)

Heard by everyone, and seen by just a couple of the group at the Mamba Wetland.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

PLAIN MARTIN (Riparia paludicola)

We saw about 50 from the boat on the Kazinga Channel.

ROCK MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne fuligula)

About a dozen were around our lodge and the village at Buhoma.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

Very common and widespread.

ANGOLA SWALLOW (Hirundo angolensis)

Common and widespread around towns and villages.

WIRE-TAILED SWALLOW (Hirundo smithii)

Three at QENP.

LESSER STRIPED SWALLOW (Cecropis abyssinica)

We saw these very attractive swallows at Lake Mburo, and Buhoma.

RUFOUS-CHESTED SWALLOW (Cecropis semirufa)

Two on the track as we were leaving Lake Mburo.

COMMON HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon urbicum)

Some of the group saw a flock of about 15 at Kibale.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Local guide Herbert Byaruhanga knew just where to find our Shoebill in the Magamba Wetland; this photograph shows some of our group getting ready for a shot of this magnificent species as it was about to appear from behind the reeds. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)

SLENDER-BILLED GREENBUL (Stelgidillas gracilirostris gracilirostris)

Five at Buhoma were feeding in the outer canopy.

SHELLEY'S GREENBUL (KAKAMEGA) (Arizelocichla masukuensis kakamegae)

Often feed along mossy trunks like a nuthatch; we saw 4 at Buhoma.

HONEYGUIDE GREENBUL (Baeopogon indicator indicator)

One at Buhoma.

RED-TAILED GREENBUL (Criniger calurus emini)

Two singles along the main trail at Buhoma.

PLAIN GREENBUL (Eurillas curvirostris)

Four at Buhoma.

YELLOW-WHISKERED GREENBUL (Eurillas latirostris)

Two seen and many heard at Buhoma.

LITTLE GREENBUL (Eurillas virens virens)

Singles at Entebbe and Buhoma.

CABANIS'S GREENBUL (Phyllastrephus cabanisi)

We saw two flocks in the lower levels of the forest at Buhoma.

COMMON BULBUL (DARK-CAPPED) (Pycnonotus barbatus tricolor)

Common and widespread.

Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)

RED-FACED WOODLAND-WARBLER (Phylloscopus laetus)

Nice looks at 1 at Buhoma.

Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)

AFRICAN YELLOW WHITE-EYE (Zosterops senegalensis)

Small numbers at Entebbe, Buhoma, and Kibale.

Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)

BLACK-LORED BABBLER (Turdoides sharpei)

Three at QENP.

ARROW-MARKED BABBLER (Turdoides jardineii)

About a dozen at both Buhoma and QENP.

Buphagidae (Oxpeckers)

YELLOW-BILLED OXPECKER (Buphagus africanus)

One at Lake Mburo, and about 25 at QENP, nearly always feeding on buffalo.

Sturnidae (Starlings)

VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster)

One of our group saw a gorgeous male at the Haven Lodge, Buhoma.

NARROW-TAILED STARLING (Poeoptera lugubris)

Several small flocks in and flying over the forest at Buhoma.

RUEPPELL'S STARLING (Lamprotornis purpuroptera)

Common away from dense forest, with a total of about 200.

SPLENDID STARLING (Lamprotornis splendidus)

Some of the group saw 3 at the Mabamba Wetland, and then everyone had great views at Lake Mburo.

GREATER BLUE-EARED STARLING (Lamprotornis chalybaeus)

One just west of the Lake Mburo reserve.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

RUFOUS FLYCATCHER-THRUSH (Neocossyphus fraseri vulpinus)

Heard at Buhoma.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We spent some quality time with this Shoebill at the Mabamba Wetland. This was one of the highlights of the tour, for sure! Photo by particpant Paul Koker.

RED-TAILED ANT-THRUSH (Neocossyphus rufus)

One for some of the group at Kibale.

WHITE-TAILED ANT-THRUSH (Neocossyphus poensis)

One for some of the group at Kibale.

AFRICAN THRUSH (AFRICAN) (Turdus pelios centralis)

Small numbers at Entebbe, Buhoma, and QENP; in all we saw about 15.

Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata)

One at Lake Mburo.

SWAMP FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa aquatica infulata)

Two at Lake Mburo, and 4 at Mweya Safari Lodge.

DUSKY-BLUE FLYCATCHER (Bradornis comitatus comitatus)

Four at the beginning of the trail at Buhoma.

GRAY TIT-FLYCATCHER (Fraseria plumbea plumbea)

One at Lake Mburo.

NORTHERN BLACK-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis edolioides lugubris)

Five at QENP.

WHITE-EYED SLATY-FLYCATCHER (Melaenornis fischeri toruensis)

Six in gardens and the forest edge at Buhoma.

RED-BACKED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas leucophrys)

One at Lake Mburo, and 4 at QENP.

GRAY-WINGED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha polioptera)

Great looks at this normally shy bird at Buhoma.

WHITE-BROWED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha heuglini)

Singles at Entebbe and Buhoma, and then 8 at QENP.

RED-CAPPED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha natalensis)

Heard at Kibale on the Chimp trek.

SNOWY-CROWNED ROBIN-CHAT (Cossypha niveicapilla)

Nice looks at another shy robin-chat, this one was at the Entebbe Botanical Gardens.

EQUATORIAL AKALAT (Sheppardia aequatorialis)

One in the forest at Buhoma – just as the heavy rain started.

WHINCHAT (Saxicola rubetra)

Three in the open grasslands at QENP.

SOOTY CHAT (Myrmecocichla nigra)

Three at Lake Mburo, and 1 at QENP.

Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)

GRAY-HEADED SUNBIRD (Deleornis axillaris)

We saw this 'warbler-like' sunbird at Buhoma.

LITTLE GREEN SUNBIRD (Anthreptes seimundi)

Four at Buhoma.

GREEN SUNBIRD (GRAY-THROATED) (Anthreptes rectirostris tephrolaemus)

Two at Buhoma, and 1 at Kibale.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Hippos were common at Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Photo by participant Peter Vale.

COLLARED SUNBIRD (Hedydipna collaris garguensis)

Two at Buhoma, and 2 at Kibale.

GREEN-HEADED SUNBIRD (GREEN-HEADED) (Cyanomitra verticalis viridisplendens)

These striking sunbirds were seen at Entebbe and Buhoma.

OLIVE SUNBIRD (Cyanomitra olivacea)

One at Buhoma.

GREEN-THROATED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra rubescens)

We saw a single male at Buhoma.

SCARLET-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Chalcomitra senegalensis lamperti)

Another striking sunbird; we saw these at Entebbe, Buhoma, and Kibale.

BRONZE SUNBIRD (Nectarinia kilimensis kilimensis)

Four around our lodge at Buhoma.

OLIVE-BELLIED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris chloropygius)

Two at the Boma Guesthouse, Entebbe.


About a dozen at Buhoma.

RED-CHESTED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris erythrocercus)

Four at the Mabamba Wetland, and about 40 at QENP.

VARIABLE SUNBIRD (ORANGE-CHESTED) (Cinnyris venustus igneiventris)

Singles at Rukungiri and Buhoma.

COPPER SUNBIRD (Cinnyris cupreus cupreus)

We saw about 6 at QENP.

Ploceidae (Weavers and Allies)

RED-HEADED MALIMBE (Malimbus rubricollis)

Brief, but good looks for some of the group at Buhoma.

BAGLAFECHT WEAVER (Ploceus baglafecht)

Common in the farmlands around Buhoma and the QENP area.

SLENDER-BILLED WEAVER (Ploceus pelzelni)

About 10 at Mweya Safari Lodge.

BLACK-NECKED WEAVER (Ploceus nigricollis)

Fourteen at Buhoma.

SPECTACLED WEAVER (Ploceus ocularis)

One at Lake Mburo.

BLACK-BILLED WEAVER (Ploceus melanogaster)

Three pairs were seen along the track into Buhoma forest.

HOLUB'S GOLDEN-WEAVER (Ploceus xanthops)

One at Lake Mburo, and 2 at QENP.


First seen at Entebbe, and then at Mweya Safari Lodge.

NORTHERN MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus taeniopterus)

A male in breeding plumage was seen near Fort Portal, the only know site in Uganda.

Field Guides Birding Tours
A group of White-faced Whistling Ducks were hanging out with some Water Thick-knees and Wattled Lapwings at Queen Elizabeth National Park. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

LESSER MASKED-WEAVER (Ploceus intermedius)

A dozen at Lake Mburo, and about 80 at QENP.

VIEILLOT'S WEAVER (Ploceus nigerrimus)

Widespread in small numbers (mainly in farmland) in all we saw about 80.

VILLAGE WEAVER (Ploceus cucullatus)

Very common and breeding in large colonies often within villages.

BLACK-HEADED WEAVER (Ploceus melanocephalus)

About 30 at QENP.

GOLDEN-BACKED WEAVER (Ploceus jacksoni)

We saw 6 of these very attractive weavers at Entebbe.

BROWN-CAPPED WEAVER (Ploceus insignis)

One at Buhoma.

COMPACT WEAVER (Pachyphantes superciliosus)

Six in the tall grassland at QENP.

RED-BILLED QUELEA (Quelea quelea)

We saw about 100 along the road out of QENP.

SOUTHERN RED BISHOP (Euplectes orix)

A striking bishop of damp grasslands; we saw about 15 at QENP.

YELLOW BISHOP (Euplectes capensis)

Two males in the farm country north of Buhoma.

FAN-TAILED WIDOWBIRD (Euplectes axillaris)

We saw them in marshes at Mabamba, near Buhoma, and near Fort Portal.

Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)

GRAY-HEADED NIGRITA (Nigrita canicapillus)

One at Buhoma.

FAWN-BREASTED WAXBILL (Estrilda paludicola)

Six at QENP.

RED-HEADED BLUEBILL (Spermophaga ruficapilla)

Two at the edge of Buhoma forest, and 1 at Haven Lodge there.

RED-BILLED FIREFINCH (Lagonosticta senegala)

One at Lake Mburo, and 6 at QENP.

BRONZE MANNIKIN (Spermestes cucullata)

Fairly common and widespread; with a total of about 50.

BLACK-AND-WHITE MANNIKIN (Spermestes bicolor)

Four at Buhoma.

Viduidae (Indigobirds)

PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Vidua macroura)

Most common at QENP (35), and a few others in farmlands elsewhere.

VILLAGE INDIGOBIRD (Vidua chalybeata)

One at Lake Mburo, and 2 at QENP.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

One at Mweya Safari Lodge.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We saw 14 species of Sunbirds on the tour, including this lovely Variable Sunbird. Photo by participant Paul Koker.


Very common and widespread.

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla aguimp)

Common and widespread throughout the tour.

PLAIN-BACKED PIPIT (Anthus leucophrys)

Three at QENP.


Great views of 2 single perched up singing birds at QENP.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY (Crithagra mozambica)

Two at QENP.

BRIMSTONE CANARY (Crithagra sulphurata sharpii)

Two on the way from Lake Mburo to Buhoma.

STREAKY SEEDEATER (Crithagra striolata graueri)

Eight in the farmlands at Buhoma.

Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)

GOLDEN-BREASTED BUNTING (Emberiza flaviventris)

Singles at Buhoma and QENP.


BLUE MONKEY (Cercopithecus mitis)

We saw a single large male at Buhoma.


Also known as red-tailed or copper-tailed monkey, we saw 4 at Buhoma.

L'HOEST'S MONKEY (Cercopithecus l'hoesti)

A single and then 2 more were seen at Buhoma.

BLACK-FACED VERVET MONKEY (Cercopithecus aethiops)

Widespread away from forest; in all we saw about 140.

GRAY-CHEEKED MANGABEY (Lophocebus albigena)

Heard by everyone, and seen briefly by some at Kibale.

OLIVE BABOON (Papio anubis)

Common and widespread with a total of about 500.

MANTLED GUEREZA (Colobus guereza)

Two at Entebbe Botanical Gardens, 6 at Buhoma, and 2 near Ndali Lodge.

UGANDA RED COLOBUS (Piliocolobus tephrosceles)

Five at Kibale for those who drove back to Entebbe in the big bus.

CHIMPANZEE (Pan troglodytes)

Absolutely the best sightings ever – the alpha male, his vice-president, females and babies, and all on the ground only feet away! Just amazing!

MOUNTAIN GORILLA (Gorilla beringei beringei)

Fantastic views for the four members of our group who took the long steep hike to find them – something they'll talk about forever.

CARRUTHER'S MOUNTAIN SQUIRREL (Funisciurus carruthersi)

One at Buhoma.

BOEHM'S BUSH SQUIRREL (Paraxerus boehmi)

Two at Buhoma.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This brilliant Southern Red Bishop was one of a number that we saw in the grasslands of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.


One in the grounds of the Boma Guesthouse, Entebbe.

BANDED MONGOOSE (Mungos mungo)

Two at QENP.

DWARF MONGOOSE (Helogale parvula)

Good looks at 3 on a termite mound at Lake Mburo.

SPOTTED HYAENA (Crocuta crocuta)

Heard at Lake Mburo.

AFRICAN BUSH ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana)

Fantastic to see them making such a comeback at QENP. We had super close views of all sizes and ages, with a total of about 350.

BURCHELL'S ZEBRA (Equus burchelli)

About 300 in the farms and woodland around Lake Mburo.

WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)

Widespread in open country, with a total of about 450.

HIPPOPOTAMUS (Hippopotamus amphibius)

About 150 at Lake Mburo, and 200+ at QENP.

ROTHSCHILD'S GIRAFFE (Giraffa rothschildi)

We saw 5 of these endangered giraffe species at Lake Mburo.

BUSHBUCK (Tragelaphus scriptus)

Four at Lake Mburo.

AFRICAN BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer)

Five at Lake Mburo, and 380+ at QENP.

BLACK-FRONTED DUIKER (Cephalophus nigrifrons)

One at Buhoma.


About 90 at Lake Mburo, and 120 at QENP.

KOB (Kobus kob)

Great looks at the breeding grounds in QENP where we saw about 90.

TOPI (Damaliscus lunatus)

Two at Lake Mburo.

IMPALA (Aepyceros malampus)

We saw a total of about 300 at Lake Mburo.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We were able to watch a flock of Lesser Flamingos at Lake Katwe, along with a huge flock of Gull-billed Terns. Photo by guide Terry Stevenson.

Totals for the tour: 288 bird taxa and 28 mammal taxa