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Wed, 02/06/2013 - 15:57 -- abc_admin
Grey_backed_Fiscal_Uganda

Grey-backed Fiscal Lanius excubitorius, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

The following largely unsubstantiated records have been published in recent editions of the ABC Bulletin for information only.

from ABC Bulletin 24.2

The following reports are from the period January–March 2017. A Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti was observed in Lake Mburo National Park (=NP) on 17 January—Carswell et al. (2005. The Bird Atlas of Uganda) list the species as ‘requiring confirmation’. A remarkably large flock of 362 Red-knobbed Coots Fulica cristata in Sango Bay, Lake Victoria, on 17 February (Fig. 49), is by far the largest noted to date; although The Bird Atlas of Uganda states that the species generally frequents smaller waterbodies and has not been recorded on large lakes such as Victoria, flocks of up to 80 are regularly observed on the lake. A pair of Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis was breeding at Lake Katwe, in Queen Elizabeth NP on 18 January. A total of 75 Caspian Plovers Charadrius asiaticus was counted at Shoebill Swamp, Lake George, on 21 January. Also there on that date were 117 Senegal Lapwings Vanellus lugubris. An adult Great Black-headed Gull Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus in non-breeding plumage was roosting with 88 Lesser Blackbacked Gulls Larus fuscus fuscus, two Heuglin’s Gulls L. f. heuglini and 300 Gull-billed Terns Gelochelidon nilotica at Lake Munyanyange, Queen Elizabeth NP, on 18 January; about one week later it was still present (just a single record, from 1966, is mentioned in The Bird Atlas of Uganda). A pair of Black-collared Barbets Lybius torquatus was found in Lake Mburo NP on 17 January. A Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus, a rare passage migrant, was observed at Lutembe Bay on 26 February. Also there, a Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria, a little-known migrant with few records since the 1970s, was seen on 20 February, and an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida on 2 March; there are few records of the latter this far south (RS).

from ABC Bulletin 24.1

A visit to Kidepo Valley National Park (= NP), an Important Bird Area in the extreme north-east, on 11–12 July 2016 yielded the following: five groups of Stone Partridges Ptilopachus petrosus, at least seven Ring-necked Francolins Scleroptila levaillantii (there are few recent records from the north), Orange River (Archer’s) Francolin S. gutturalis lorti, three Black-breasted Barbets Pogonornis rolleti (in Uganda, known only from Kidepo), two sightings of Fox Kestrel Falco alopex (a scarce species confined to the north), numerous Boran Cisticolas Cisticola bodessa (not on the ABC checklist of the country; Carswell et al. 2005 The Bird Atlas of Uganda preferred to exclude the species from the Uganda list as it is very difficult to separate from Rattling Cisticola C. chiniana unless the song is heard), a pair of the very localised Karamoja Apalis Apalis karamojae, three sightings of Cuckoo Finch Anomalospiza imberbis, and a male Steel-blue Whydah Vidua hypocherina in full breeding plumage (MM). A Red-winged Francolin S. streptophora was observed at Kihihi, in the south-west, on 24 July (MM), with three at Saka Lake on 16 December (RS); the species is distinctly uncommon with few recent records. At least eight Rufousbellied Herons Ardeola rufiventris and six Lesser Jacanas Microparra capensis were observed at Mabamba Swamp on 30 December (RS). A Brown-chested Lapwing Vanellus superciliosus was in Murchison Falls NP on 3 August, with a Pel’s Fishing Owl Scotopelia peli also there, along the Nile River (MM). Three singing male Variable Indigobirds Vidua funerea and a female were photographed and sound-recorded at Kihihi on 21 December; a full description has been forwarded to the East African Rarities Committee—the species does not figure in The Bird Atlas of Uganda (Carswell et al. 2005), nor on the ABC checklist of Uganda (RS).

from ABC Bulletin 23.1

Records for the period May–August 2015 include the following. During waterfowl counts on 28 July, 1,270 Intermediate Egrets Ardea intermedia and 2,014 Glossy Ibises Plegadis falcinellus were recorded at the Kibimba rice scheme, whilst the first Shoebill Balaeniceps rex for the site was also noted. In Queen Elizabeth National Park (=NP), two Forbes’s Plovers Charadrius forbesi were observed on the Kasenyi track on 21 May and a single at Ishasha on 23 May; these are the sixth and seventh records for Uganda. Seven Brown-chested Lapwings Vanellus superciliosus were at the Airstrip Ponds near Mutukula, Rakai District, on 16 July. Six early European Bee-eaters Merops apiaster were with eight late Madagascar Bee-eaters M. superciliosus in Toro-Semliki Wildlife Refuge on 15 August. A single Southern Carmine Bee-eater M. nubicoides was found amongst 100 Northern Carmine Bee-eaters M. nubicus in Murchison Falls NP on 18 July. A Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala was at Lake Opeta on 31 July. At Fort Portal, a Least Honeyguide Indicator exilis was trapped on 6 August and a Bamboo Warbler Bradypterus alfredi—a rare and little known species—at Tooro Botanical Gardens on 29 August. Three pairs of Black-backed Cisticolas Cisticola eximius were at Lake Opeta on 26 August, with an Emin’s Shrike Lanius gubernator at Awalukok, near Lira, on 2 July. During three five-day surveys of eastern Uganda in April, July and August, in the core area of Fox’s Weaver Ploceus spekeoides, a team from Nature Uganda was unable to locate even a single individual of this poorly known and Near Threatened species. Four Cuckoo Finches Anomalospiza imberbis were recorded at Kabaale, near Hoima, on 20 August.

from ABC Bulletin 22.2

Records for the period late December 2014 - April 2015 include the following. At least 16 Great-crested Grebes Podiceps cristatus, including dependent juveniles, were on Saka Lakes, Fort Portal, on 1 February; there are few breeding records for the country. Two pairs of White-backed Ducks Thalassornis leuconotus with young were noted at Airstrip Ponds, in Rakai District, on 19 March. Two Bat Hawks Machieramphus alcinus were observed in Mpanga Forest on 11 March. More than 200 Steppe Buzzards Buteo buteo vulpinus spiralling over Saka Hill on 1 April was an impressive total, with 30 Black Kites Milvus migrans, four Steppe Eagles Aquila rapax and four Lesser Spotted Eagles Clanga pomarina also there. A Congo Serpent Eagle Dryotriorchis spectabilis showed well at Semliki on 26 April.

An African Finfoot Podica senegalensis was seen on the Ishasha River, in Queen Elizabeth National Park (=NP), on 6 March. On Lake Opeta, >55 Lesser Jacanas Microparra capensis were counted on 17 April. A White-crowned Lapwing Vanellus albiceps was recorded in Murchison Falls NP on 14 January. A Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva was observed in Queen Elizabeth NP on 30 December; this is a rare vagrant so far inland. At least 50 Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus migrated over Fort Portal on 30 March. A Fraser’s Eagle Owl Bubo poensis in Semliki NP on 3 January was the first record for this site; only four records are mentioned for Uganda in Carswell et al. (2005. The Bird Atlas of Uganda). Two Verreaux’s Eagle Owls B. lacteus were at Tooro Botanical Gardens on 9 February. In Semliki NP, two Black Dwarf Hornbills Horizocerus hartlaubi were observed on 8 March, an African Piculet Verreauxia africana on 27 April and six Swamp Palm Bulbuls Thescelocichla leucopleura on 3 January; there are few recent records of any of these species.

A Basra Reed Warbler Acrocephalus griseldis with two Great Reed Warblers A. arundinaceus and 20 Eurasian Reed Warblers A. scirpaceus, was seen well at Semliki Toro Reserve on 1 March; there are fewer than five Ugandan records. A Boran Cisticola Cisticola bodessa was identified at Irriri, Karamoja region, on 18 January. Also there were six Cut-throat Finches Amadina fasciata. A pair of White-collared Olivebacks Nesocharis ansorgei was regularly seen entering an old weaver nest at Fort Portal on 12 February - 3 April. Fifteen Magpie Mannikins Spermestes fringilloides were at the visitor’s centre at Mpanga Forest on 12 March; this is a very local and scarce species in Uganda. A Cuckoo-finch (Parasitic Weaver) Anomalospiza imberbis at Ngariam, near Katakwi, on 16 April is an uncommon visitor. Two pairs of Papyrus Canaries Crithagra koliensis were recorded at Lake Opeta on 17 April. A male Brown-rumped Bunting Emberiza affinis was singing at Awalukok, north of Lira, on 18 February; there are <10 Ugandan records. 

from ABC Bulletin 22.1

Records for the period August– December 2014 include the following. An Akun Eagle Owl Bubo leucostictus discovered in Semliki National Park (=NP) on 27 September is the first for the country and East Africa. A pair of Great Crested Grebes Podiceps cristatus with two young was on Lake Saka, Fort Portal, on 26–28 September, with a single on nearby Lake Kyaninga on 12 October, and at least 18, including displaying pairs and a pair with two small young, on Kigere Crater Lake, near Lake Saka, on 19 October. A waterfowl count at Kibimba Rice Scheme on 12 August revealed an exceptional total of 1,046 Glossy Ibises Plegadis falcinellus. An immature Hartlaub’s Duck Pteronetta hartlaubii observed from the Kirumia trail in Semliki NP on 18 December, appears to be only the third country record. At least four pairs of Red-knobbed Coots Fulica cristatus were on small crater lakes near Lake Saka on 19 October.

European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus were reported from Lake Saka on 28 September (three) and 5 October (four with 45 Steppe Buzzards Buteo buteo vulpinus and nine Lesser Spotted Eagles Clanga pomarina). Bat Hawks Macheirhamphus alcinus were observed at Tooro Botanical Gardens, Fort Portal, on 26 September (one) and Lutembe Lagoon on 19 October (a pair at dusk with three African Hobbies Falco cuvieri). An adult male Red-footed Falcon F. vespertinus flew over Lake Saka on 5 October. A Verreaux’s Eagle Owl Bubo lacteus remained at Tooro Botanical Gardens, Fort Portal, from 4 November until the end of December.

Two White-throated Blue Swallows Hirundo nigrita were seen on the Semliki River on 11 December; this appears to be only the third record for the country. Two Simple Greenbuls Chlorocichla simplex showed well at a roadside adjacent to Semliki NP on 10 December; there are few Ugandan records. Small numbers of the distinctive race melanops of Banded Prinia Prinia bairdii were recorded in remnant forest near Fort Portal on 24 October and 14 December. Four Red-winged Grey Warblers Drymocichla incana near Hoima on 30 October is a southerly extension of the species’ known range. A Yellow-footed Flycatcher Muscicapa sethsmithi was seen in Semliki NP on 18 December; most records are from Budongo. A Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata was observed at Tooro Botanical Gardens on 4–5 November, with another there on 15 December. A male Blue-throated Brown Sunbird Cyanomitra cyanolaema visiting gardens on the edge of Lutembe Lagoon, in early October, was far from its preferred forest habitat. An adult male Emin’s Shrike Lanius gubernator was at Awalukok, north of Lira, on 8 August; according to Carswell et al. (2005. The Bird Atlas of Uganda) there are few records, mainly in the far north. A pair of Northern Masked Weavers Ploceus taeniopterus, found breeding in a swamp just north of Fort Portal on 4–10 October, was still present on 29 November, but had departed by 15 December; the outcome of the breeding attempt is unknown. Three Orange-cheeked Waxbills Estrilda melpoda were in herbage adjacent to Semliki NP on 10 December, with seven there on 19 December; there are few Ugandan records. 

from ABC Bulletin 21.2

The following records are from the period December 2013 - May 2014. A Rufous-bellied Heron Ardeola rufiventris at Doho Rice Scheme on 12 February is an unusual visitor. At Kibimba Rice Scheme, 63 White Storks Ciconia ciconia on 11 February is a significant count. Also noteworthy by recent standards was a flock of 4,550 Lesser Flamingos Phoeniconaias minor at Maseche crater lake, Kyambura Wildlife Reserve, on 22 January. An adult European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus at Kaseta village, c.35 km west of Hoima, on 27 May is an unusual over-summering individual. A Lesser Spotted Eagle Clanga pomarina was observed at Lusanja on 28 December. A Red-necked Falcon Falco chicquera at Lutembe on 8 January was south of its usual haunts.

At least three Buff-spotted Flufftails Sarothrura elegans were calling in the forested area of Mount Elgon in the morning of 21 - 22 April. At least 66 Grey Crowned Cranes Balearica regulorum left the rubbish dump at Kiteezi to roost on the electricity pylons at Luzanja on 28 December. At Doho Rice Scheme, a remarkable gathering of 34 Greater Painted-snipes Rostratula benghalensis was observed on 11 February. A Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus was on the shores of Lake Albert on 1 March; another, with a Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus, was also there two days later. A count of 1,037 Wood Sandpipers Tringa glareola at Kibimba Rice Scheme on 11 February is a noteworthy total. Two Caspian Terns Hydroprogne caspia were at Lutembe on 12 March; this species has only recently become more frequent. Eight African Skimmers Rynchops flavirostris were observed on a mudflat near Entebbe on 30 April. 

A Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius was located on the shores of Lake Albert on 22 May; the species is principally recorded in October - March, when mainly Palearctic birds are presumably involved, whilst small numbers on northbound passage in May - August are intra-African migrants. Two Thick-billed Cuckoos Pachycoccyx audeberti in Murchison Falls National Park (=NP) on 30 January probably represent only the second record for the park. At least 20 Madagascar Bee-eaters Merops superciliosus on the shores of Lake Albert on 22 May appeared to have arrived ahead of a wet weather front; the species is usually recorded in small numbers in May - November. A Crested Barbet Trachyphonus vaillantii was observed in Lake Mburo NP on 20 January; this species has only recently been recorded in Uganda.

A pair of Red-capped Larks Calandrella cinerea in likely breeding habitat at Katwe on 9 May, represents a range extension (cf. Carswell et al. 2005. The Bird Atlas of Uganda). An estimated one and a half million Common Sand Martins Riparia riparia were at Buliasa, on the shores of Lake Albert, on 28 January. Many hundreds of Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica above the forest at Mount Elgon on 20 - 21 April were late migrants; associated with them were >20 Common House Martins Delichon urbicum, 30 European Bee-eaters Merops apiaster and four Alpine Swifts Tachymarptis melba. A Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea was observed at Marabigambo grassland, Rakai District, in early February; the species is usually encountered in upland regions. At least six pairs of Black-backed Cisticolas Cisticola eximius were found in seasonally flooded grassland at Irriri on 31 January; this species has a tenuous hold in Uganda, so the range expansion is noteworthy. A pair of Karamoja Apalises Apalis karamojae was still present at Irriri on 1 February, where breeding was noted in 2011; unfortunately the thorny Acacia scrub has been cleared and burnt, so most of the population will presumably have moved. Two or three Black-collared Apalises Oreolais pulcher were found in the forested area of Mount Elgon on 21 April. A male Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata was seen at the escarpment above Lake Albert on 3 March; there are few reliable records of this Palearctic migrant.

A male and two female Northern Masked Weavers Ploceus taeniopterus were identified in Murchison Falls NP on 30 December; if accepted, this will be the first record for Uganda, following several rejected claims. In late May, both the red-collared race tropicus and the all-black concolor of Red-collared Widowbird Euplectes ardens were found in the same grassland c.30 km west of Hoima. In the same area, Brown Twinspot Clytospiza monteiri and Zebra Waxbill Amandava subflava were carrying nesting material on 26 May; there are few breeding records of either species in the country. A Grey-headed Oliveback Nesocharis capistrata at Kaseta, c.35 km west of Hoima, represents a range extension. 

from ABC Bulletin 21.1

The most remarkable record in 2013 was of a Franklin’s Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan, photographed in the Kazinga Channel, Queen Elizabeth National Park, on 24 July; this is a major rarity in East Africa and there is just one previous record for Uganda, of an adult discovered in Murchison Falls National Park on 8 June 2011. Three Semi-collared Flycatchers Ficedula semitorquata were observed at close range in the grounds of Makerere University on 16 September after heavy overnight rain; the species is considered to be an uncommon passage migrant, but there are few reliable records in the country. An early male Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio was at Lira on 20 September; according to Carswell et al. (2005. The Bird Atlas of Uganda) autumn passage usually commences in October. A male Hartlaub’s Marsh Widowbird Euplectes hartlaubi was observed near Kajjansi, south of Kampala, on 22 September; apparently the bird had been present for some time. 

from ABC Bulletin 19.2

Records from a visit in May - June 2012 include the following. Five Bat Hawks Macheiramphus alcinus together in Murchison Falls National Park (=NP) on 20 June is an unusually high number. In the same park, an Egyptian Plover Pluvianus aegyptius was photographed on 12 - 13 March; this is much further south than the only documented records for the country, from the Aswa River, on the Uganda–South Sudan border, mentioned in The Bird Atlas of Uganda (Carswell et al. 2005), although the species is listed for the park by Roussouw & Sacchi (1998. Where to Watch Birds in Uganda). Also there, an adult and three subadult / second year Slender-billed Gulls Larus genei were seen on 21 June, with a Common Black-headed Gull L. ridibundus in breeding plumage and many Grey-headed Gulls L. cirrocephalus. A pair of Thick-billed Cuckoos Pachycoccyx audeberti was photographed at Dura, between Kibale and Queen Elizabeth NP, on 25 March; there are very few reports from Uganda. Two Horus Swifts Apus horus were observed at Kidepo Valley NP on 31 May; no previous records for the north-east are mentioned in the Atlas. A pair of African Green Broadbills Pseudocalyptomena graueri was displaying at Mubwindi swamp, Bwindi Impenetrable NP, at a nest in the early stages of construction, on 12 June. Plain-backed Pipits Anthus leucophrys photographed at Kidepo appeared more like the extralimital race goodsoni than the expected A. l. zenkeri. A female Ruaha Chat Pentholaea (=Myrmecocichla) collaris, recently split from White-headed Black Chat Myrmecocichla arnotti was seen at Rubanda on 13 June. A Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita was observed at Mgahinga Gorilla NP on 31 March; this species has rarely been recorded in Uganda. A Red-pate Cisticola Cisticola ruficeps mongalla was singing at Aloet, south of Kumi, on 18 June; this locality is much further to the south-west than previously reported. At Buhoma good views were obtained of the recently described Willard’s Sooty Boubou Laniarius willardi on 10 - 11 June; the most conspicuous distinguishing morphological feature of this taxon is its grey to blue-grey iris. A male and two female Fox’s Weavers Ploceus spekeoides, Uganda’s only endemic, were observed at Lake Bisina on 18 June, whilst a female of the rarely recorded Shelley’s Crimsonwing Cryptospiza shelleyi was seen in Mgahinga Gorilla NP on 14th.

from ABC Bulletin 19.1

Records from June - December 2011 include the following. Three new species for the country were recorded: Grey Pratincole Glareola cinerea (3–5 on the Kasinga Channel on 10 November), Franklin’s Gull Larus pipixcan (an adult photographed in Murchison Falls National Park on 8 June) and Blue-capped Cordon-bleu Uraeginthus cyanocephalus (a pair in the Moroto / Karamoja region, north-eastern Uganda, in early September).

A Madagascar Squacco Heron Ardeola idae was observed in the Nabugabo grasslands on 28 June and a Black Heron Egretta ardesiaca at Port Bell on 2 June. At least four Shoebills Balaeniceps rex were seen in a swamp at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on 7 October. In Queen Elizabeth National Park (=NP), an adult Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus (ruber) roseus was on Lake Nyamunuka on 7 - 9 December and 1,800 Lesser Flamingos Phoeniconaias minor on 15 July (a good count by recent standards), with 33 there on 7 December (an unusual date). At least three European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus moved south over Ziwa with >30 Steppe Buzzards Buteo buteo vulpinus on 6 October. An immature Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis picked up dead at Mbende in November had been ringed and satellite-tagged in Romania; its cause of death is unknown, but poisoning is suspected. A Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus flew south over Ggaba on 2 December; there are only five previous Kampala records.

In Nakiwogo Bay, 190 Red-knobbed Coots Fulica cristata were counted on 22 September. Ten Denham’s Bustards Neotis denhami observed along the Channel track in Murchison Falls NP, on 26 July, is a noteworthy number. A pair of Greater Painted-snipes Rostratula benghalensis was displaying at Lake Munyanyange on 15 July; there are few breeding records for Uganda. In the Nabugabo grasslands, a juvenile Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni was observed on 23 September and a Forbes’s Plover Charadrius forbesi on 29 June; the latter is the third record for Uganda. A Greater Sand Plover C. leschenaultii was discovered on a sandy beach south of Entebbe on 22 September, with a Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus there on 27 November; although previously not uncommon, the latter has recently become quite rare.

A pair of Fischer’s Lovebirds Agapornis fischeri remained at Ggaba waterworks in October; this species has only recently been confirmed for Uganda. A Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti was claimed from Buhoma on 20 August. Also in August, Greyish Eagle Owls Bubo cinerascens seen in Murchison Falls NP and between Mgahinga and Kabale were perhaps further south than usually stated. A Plain Nightjar Caprimulgus inornatus at Ggaba on 29 October was the first for Kampala since 1983. Twenty male and 18 female Pennant-winged Nightjars Macrodipteryx vexillarius counted at dusk at Murchison Falls NP airstrip on 24 July, with a further six unidentified nightjars, is an excellent count . An Abyssinian Scimitarbill Rhinopomastus minor photographed at Lake Bisina on 7 August constitutes a slight range extension. Two Hoopoes Upupa epops of the race waibeli were identified in Queen Elizabeth NP on 19 and 21 August; apparently this form is usually recorded in October - April. A male Brown-backed Woodpecker Picoides obsoletus was seen at Ziwa on 8 October.

A pair of Mocking Cliff Chats Thamnolaea cinnnamomeiventris was on the Rift escarpment ovelooking Lake Albert on 9 October. Three Rufous-crowned Eremomelas Eremomela badiceps were foraging in the canopy of Budongo Forest on 9 October. A Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita at Irriri in Karamoja on 24 October is the first record in Uganda for 50 years. A Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria was seen at Entebbe Zoo on 27 November; this is an uncommon migrant to Uganda. Two Buff-bellied Warblers Phyllolais pulchella feeding in Acacia scrub at Ggaba on 3 July are the first for Kampala. At least ten Karamoja Apalises Apalis karamojae were recorded in Karamoja, including the first breeding pair for the country, during a Nature Uganda survey on 24 - 26 October. A Yellow-footed Flycatcher Muscicapa sethsmithi was noted in Budongo Forest on 9 October; this species is seldom recorded. Four Brown Babblers Turdoides plebejus at Kajjansi on 30 July is an unusual record for the Kampala area. In August, a group of up to four Dusky Babblers T. tenebrosus was seen twice in Murchison Falls NP. Three Red-backed Shrikes Lanius collurio, including two adult males, were at Ggaba on 4 November, with another three, all immatures, there on 26 November; an immature was also found at Port Bell on 5 December. A flock of >300 Weyns’s Weavers Ploceus weynsi observed in Mpanga Forest on 9 - 10 December included many males in breeding plumage. A female African Quailfinch Ortygospiza atricollis was incubating three eggs in the Nabugabo grasslands on 21 - 29 June; the Atlas mentions only one previous breeding record.

Noteworthy species recorded in the little-visited Moroto / Karamoja region in north-eastern Uganda on 1–8 September include Pygmy Falcon Polihierax semitorquatus (at least seven), Buff-crested Bustard Eupodotis gindiana (two), Temminck’s Courser Cursorius temminckii (two pairs), Heuglin’s Courser Rhinoptilus cinctus (one pair), Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala (two pairs and three singles - the second most common barbet), White-tailed Lark Mirafra albicauda (two near Kobere Dam), Red-winged Lark M. hypermetra (at least six), Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis (three sightings of birds resembling this species), Boran Cisticola Cisticola bodessa (two heard and seen in the foothills of Mount Moroto; this species has recently been found at a few sites on Mount Moroto and in the surrounding hills), Red-fronted Warbler Spiloptila rufifrons (>12, including a group of seven), Grey Wren Warbler Calamonastes simplex (common in most habitats, even degraded, with two birds carrying nesting material - there are no previous breeding records for Uganda), Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit Anthoscopus musculus (two), Shining Sunbird Cinnyris habessinica (one), Three-streaked Tchagra Tchagra jamesi (one near Kobere Dam), Magpie Starling Speculipastor bicolor> (one), and Purple Grenadier U. ianthinogaster (at least six).

from ABC Bulletin 18.2

Records from December 2010 - May 2011 include the following. An adult Dwarf Bittern Ixobrychus sturmii was photographed at Kidepo, in the extreme north-east, on 26 April. In January, two White-backed Night Herons Gorsachius leuconotus were at Lake Mburo on 24th, three Rufous-bellied Herons Ardeola rufiventris at the Airstrip Ponds near Kyotera on 18th, and 67 Black Herons Egretta ardesiaca at Doho rice scheme on 12th. In Queen Elizabeth National Park (=NP), two Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus (ruber) roseus were on Lake Munyanyange on 14 April, whilst 1,350 Lesser Flamingos Phoeniconaias minor were on Masech Crater Lake on 28 January. A Lesser Flamingo in Lake Mburo NP on 5 March appears to be the first for the park. On 11 January, 2,214 Fulvous Whistling Ducks Dendrocygna bicolor were at Kibimba rice scheme reservoir. Four White-backed Ducks Thalassornis leuconotus were at the Airstrip Ponds on 18 January and a female / immature Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata at Nachiwogo Bay, off Entebbe, on 9 December.

An African Cuckoo Hawk Aviceda cuculoides at Kidepo on 25 April constitutes an extension of its known range. A Bat Hawk Macheirhamphus alcinus was over Namowongo Market on the evening of 9 May and at Mulago Hill on the morning of 30 May. At Semliki, a Congo Serpent Eagle Dryotriorchis spectabilis and a Long-tailed Hawk Urotriorchis macrourus were observed on 28 December. A pale Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus flew over Port Bell on 18 December. A Common (=Kurrichane) Buttonquail Turnix sylvaticus was at Lutembe on 4 February. On Mount Elgon, two Buff-spotted Flufftails Sarothrura elegans were singing at Kapchorwa research station on 7 May. Allen’s Gallinules Porphyrio alleni were noted at Lake Mburo on 24 January (two adults) and at Mpologoima Swamp near Mbale on 5 May (one displaying). Forty Red-knobbed Coots Fulica cristata were in Nakiwogo Bay off Entebbe on 6 January. Two Lesser Jacanas Microparra capensis were at the Airstrip Ponds on 18 January.

An immature White-fronted Plover Charadrius marginatus in Murchison Falls NP on 15 February is a first for this site. The Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris, discovered at Lutembe on 9 December, was still present on 5 January. About 90,000 Grey-headed Gulls Larus cirrocephalus were on the Musambwa Islands on 17 January. Caspian Terns Sterna caspia were at Nachiwogo Bay on 9 December (two), Lutembe on 20 December (one), Lake Munyanyange on 25 January (one in a roost of 2,400 Gull-billed Terns S. nilotica) and Lutembe on 14 - 18 May (three). At least 500 Whiskered Terns Chlidonias hybrida in breeding plumage were at Ggaba Water Works on 17 April. Two African Skimmers Rynchops flavirostris were at Lutembe on 5 January, whilst 904 on the Kasinga Channel, Queen Elizabeth NP, on 27 January was a high count. Two Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii were at Kidepo on 25 April. A Northern White-faced Scops Owl Ptilopsis leucotis was calling at Muyenga on 16 April.

A pair of Abyssinian Ground Thrushes Zoothera piaggiae showed well in primary forest above Kapchorwa research station on Mount Elgon on 6 May. Also there, a pair of Black-faced Rufous Warblers Bathmocercus rufus was nest building on 7 May; there are few breeding records in Uganda. At Kidepo, two Rock-loving Cisticolas Cisticola aberrans and a Red-fronted Warbler Spiloptila rufifrons were seen on 24 - 25 April. A pair of Southern Black Flycatchers Melaenornis pammelaina was in Lake Mburo NP on 12 April. An Orange-tufted Sunbird Cinnyris bouvieri was at Griffin Fall’s campsite, Mabira Forest, on 22 May. A pair of Violet-backed Starlings Cinnyricinclus leucogaster was feeding three fledged young at Kajjansi on 29 May; there are few breeding records for Uganda. A group of ten Red-billed Buffalo Weavers Bubalornis niger at Kidepo on 25 April is the second country record. Three Dark-backed Weavers Ploceus bicolor were on Mount Elgon on 6 May; the species was apparently last recorded there early last century. At Semliki, two Orange-cheeked Waxbills Estrilda melpoda were encountered on 27 December. A Papyrus Canary Serinus koliensis was at Mpologoima Swamp on 5 May.

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Records from May - December 2010 include the following. A flock of 650 Lesser Flamingos Phoeniconaias minor on Masech Crater Lake on 16 July is a significant count by recent standards. Two Rufous-bellied Herons Ardeola rufuventris were seen at Lukaya Flats on 21 July. A Red-chested Flufftail Sarothrura rufa was noted at Lake Nabugabo on 10 September. Fifteen Red-knobbed Coots Fulica cristata were present in Nakiwogo Bay, south of Entebbe, on 11 October. A Forbes's Plover Charadrius forbesi was photographed at Lake Nabugabo on 27 May.

Two plovers at Nabugabo on 26 August were tentatively identified as Lesser Sand Plovers C. mongolus; if accepted, this would be the third record for Uganda. A Greater Sand Plover C. leschenaultii at Entebbe on 4 September appears to be the second record for the country. Two White-crowned Lapwings Vanellus albiceps were on the Nile in Murchison Falls National Park (=NP) on 28 July; this species has only recently been recorded in Uganda. A Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris was photographed at Lutembe on 9 and 20 December; this would be the first for Uganda, if accepted. Also found there, on 12 October, was a juvenile Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus. Two Great Snipes Gallinago media first seen at Lake Nabugabo on 27 August were still present on 9 September. A Caspian Tern Sterna caspia occurred at Lutembe Lagoon on 13 August and 17 September. Also at Lutembe, at least 94,000 White-winged Terns Chlidonias leucopterus were counted on 17 September. A flock of 230 African Skimmers Rynchops flavirostris was seen on the Kasinga channel in Queen Elizabeth NP on 15 July. Nine Pennant-winged Nightjar Macrodipteryx vexillarius were noted in Murchison Falls NP on 26 July. Also there, a gathering of 150 Broad-billed Rollers Eurystomus glaucurus was seen on 25 July.

During a partial survey of Mbamba, Nabugabo and Sango Bay wetlands on 9 - 11 September, 167 Blue Swallows Hirundo atrocaerulea were counted. A male Common Stonechat Saxicola torquatus showing characteristics of the race albofasciatus was observed at Sango Bay on 11 September; this race was previously known to occur only in extreme northern Uganda. A flock of ten Sharpe's Starlings Cinnyricinclus sharpii seen in Mgahinga NP was a new record for the park. A Cinnamon-breasted Rock Bunting Emberiza tahapisi was found at the Bukata landing site near Nabugabo on 26 August.

Records from November 2009 - May 2010 include the following. An adult Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga was photographed at Murchison Falls National Park on 15 December; although a few sight records have been reported previously, the species does not figure on the Uganda list, as no substantiating details are available. A juvenile Amur Falcon Falco amurensis was observed at Ruhija, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, on 3 December; there are few records for the country.

Lesser Jacanas Microparra capensis were seen at Mbwamba swamp on 10 January (three), Lake Opeta on 26th (30+) and Lake Bisina on 27th (three). A Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius flew over Muyenga on on 7 January; this is an uncommon Palearctic visitor to Uganda. Two Great Snipe Gallinago media were at Nabugaba wetland on 7 March. A Caspian Tern Sterna caspia was noted at Lutembe on 28 February. A first-winter Black Tern Chlidonias niger was photographed among hundreds of White-winged Terns C. leucopterus on the Kazinga Channel, Queen Elizabeth National Park, on 8 December; this appears to be the first for Uganda.

An African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris was at Makanaga swamp on 2 May; this species is very local in the country. A Black-throated Barbet Tricholaema melanocephala observed at the Katurum gate of Kidepo Valley National Park, in the north-east, on 17 January constitutes the second record for Uganda, the first dating from 1994. Palearctic passerines seen during the same visit and apparently not on the park's list include Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis (fairly common), Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus (two singing) and Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida (one). Little Rush Warblers Bradypterus baboecala were seen and heard at Muyenga swamp, Kampala, on 17 November (one) and at a swamp between Muyenga and Port Bell, on 1 January (three). A pair of Southern Black Flycatchers Melaenornis pammelaina was observed at close range in Lake Mburo National Park on 5–7 March; the birds were glossy blue-black and the song was very similar to a tape recording from Zambia, but unlike that of Northern Black Flycatcher M. edolioides. Although there have been other recent records of Southern Black Flycatchers from Mburo, the species does not yet figure on the Uganda list. An Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus was at Port Bell on 17 February. In January, six House Sparrows Passer domesticus were seen at the landing site at Bogota, and a male was at Port Bell on 1 February. Fox's Weavers Ploceus spekeoides were found at Lake Opeta (two) and Lake Bisina (five) on 26 - 27 January. A 'nuthatch weaver' subsequently identified as a female Yellow-capped Weaver P. dorsomaculatus, was observed in the Buhoma area of Bwindi in December; this would constitute another first for Uganda. Also new for the country is Southern Citril Serinus hypostictus, of which at least ten were seen on the slopes of Mount Elgon at Sipi on 5–7 April.

Records July - October 2009 include the following. A Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle Circaetus beaudouini was photographed at the Kazinga Channel on 26 July. On 23 October, in the south, a juvenile male Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus and a Crested Barbet Trachyphonus vaillantii were seen at Mityebili, south of Kyotera, and a White Wagtail Motacilla alba in the Sango Bay area. Three Red-knobbed Coots Fulica cristata were observed on Lake Victoria during a boat trip to the Sesse Islands, on 11 October, whilst on 31 October, Common Teal Anas crecca, Dunlin Calidris alpina and Caspian Tern Sterna caspia were noted en route to the lagoon at Lutembe. The report of a pair of Bronze-winged Coursers Rhinoptilus chalcopterus in Lake Mburo National Park in July 2008 has prompted an earlier record of a pair at the same locality on 19 September 2000 to be submitted.

A Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata was at Makerere University on 15 October. Three Yellow Penduline Tits Anthoscopus parvulus were seen just south of the Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park in July 2009; there have been other (as yet unpublished) reports from the area recently and also one from the north-west of the country. At Kajansi, south of Kampala, four Brown Twinspots Clytospiza monteiri were seen on 24 September and a pair of White-collared Olivebacks Nesocharis ansorgei next day.

On 2 May 2009, a Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus was seen foraging at the Kibimba rice scheme, in the south-east, and was photographed the next day; this appears to be the first record of this globally threatened species for Uganda. A female Golden-naped Weaver Ploceus aureonucha was seen in a feeding flock near an oxbow lake in Semliki National Park on 16 June; this species was discovered at this site as recently as 2006.

In July 2008, several Striped Crakes Aenigmatolimnas marginalis were flushed during a boat trip on Lake Bisina on 8 July; this was presumably a seasonal influx of this rarely seen species for which The Bird Atlas of Uganda (Carswell et al. 2005) gives only three previous sight records. A pair of Bronze-winged Coursers Rhinoptilus chalcopterus was found on recently burnt ground in Lake Mburo National Park on 29 July; according to the Atlas there have been no records of this species since 1971. A juvenile Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius was seen well near Soroti on 7 July; this appears to be a little-known species in Uganda. In December, Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus was recorded from Kibimba; this constitutes a new distribution record of this rarely recorded Palearctic migrant. Also in late 2008, House Sparrow Passer domesticus was found at Hoima, south of Murchison Falls National Park, and at Kabale, in the south-west; these records plug a gap between Iganga (Kibimba), where the species was first recorded for Uganda, and the west of the country. Four Pacific Golden Plovers Pluvialis fulva were on Lake Edward Flats, Ishasa, on 1 January 2009.

Four Lesser Jacanas Microparra capensis were seen at Mabamba Swamp on 18 February. Two White-headed Lapwings Vanellus albiceps were with two Little Ringed Plovers Charadrius dubius on the north bank of the Nile in Murchison Falls National Park on 20 February. Another two Little Ringed Plovers were found along the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park on 24th.

In July-September 2007 the following were reported. A Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus near Kampala on 11 September is an early date. Around 2 September, a Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres was discovered in Queen Elizabeth National Park and a Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti in Lake Mburo National Park. Southern Carmine Bee-eaters Merops nubicoides were photographed in Murchison Falls National Park on 27 July; according to The Bird Atlas of Uganda (Carswell et al. 2005) the only previous record is of a bird presumed to be this species in Lake Mburo National Park, in the south of the country.

A pair of African Green Broadbills Pseudocalyptomena graueri was seen at their nest near Mubwindi Swamp, Ruhija, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, on 20 July. Capuchin Babbler Phyllanthus atripennis (two families) and Blue-billed Malimbe Malimbus nitens were observed in Semliki National Park in September; the main range of these species lies west of Uganda and few records exist for the country.

In late May 2006, a four-day visit to Semliki National Park yielded some predominantly Central African species that reach the eastern limit of their range here, including Hartlaub’s Duck Pteronetta hartlaubii (one on 27th and a pair on 28th), Nkulengu Rail Himantornis haematopus (two perched c.5 m above ground before dawn on 28th and another on the forest floor the same day), Yellow-throated Cuckoo Chrysococcyx flavigularis (heard daily; one seen on 27th), Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill Tockus camurus (four on 27th, three on 29th), Black-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna atrata (pair on 27th), Red-rumped Tinkerbird Pogoniulus atroflavus (one on 27th), African Piculet Sasia africana (one on 28th), White-throated Blue Swallow Hirundo nigrita (eight on the Semliki River on 29th), Swamp Palm Bulbul Thescelocichla leucopleura (four on 28th), Yellow-throated Nicator Nicator vireo (one on 28th), Blue-billed Malimbe Malimbus nitens (three on 26–27th) and Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita bicolor (one on 26th).

On 11 January 2007 a Greater Kestrel Falco rupicoloides was observed in Murchison Falls National Park; the Bird Atlas of Uganda (Carswell et al. 2005) mentions only two previous records for the country. Also there on that date was a flock of c.120 Caspian Plovers Charadrius asiaticus. Two Ring-necked Francolins Francolinus streptophorus were seen crossing a track in the same park and could be observed in detail on 20 February; there are only a few records of this species. On 18 March, six Black-collared Lovebirds Agapornis swindernianus were observed twice around the Sonso River at the end of the Royal Mile in Budongo forest; there are very few records of this West African species which just reaches western Uganda, and only a couple from this site. A Speckle-breasted Woodpecker Dendropicos poecilolaemus was at Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, near Kibale National Park, on 13 February.

Records from January – September 2006 include the following. At Lake Mburo National Park (=NP), a White-backed Night Heron Gorsachius leuconotus was seen on 4 February and two Madagascar Squacco Herons Ardeola idae on 29 July. A Verreauxs' Eagle Aquila verreauxii flew over Kitintale on 23 June; this is a new record for the Kampala area. One in Queen Elizabeth NP on 4 August was new for the park, as was a Swallow-tailed Kite Chelictinia riocourii in Murchison Falls NP on 12 Aug.

Although Grey Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum appears to be in serious decline, flocks are still relatively common outside the breeding season, e.g. 60 c.15 km west of Mbarara on 10 July; 83, a high number for the Albertine Rift, at Kashaka, Lake George, on 28 July, and 171 at the Kaku swamp, Masaka District, on 29 July; the latter site holds the national record, of 650, in 2003. A pair of White-headed Lapwings Vanellus albiceps with chicks was observed at Murchison Falls NP on 6 July; the first and second records for Uganda have recently been accepted, both from Murchison: a single in July 2003 and a pair in January 2004. An adult Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos with three young was seen at Lutembe on 22 July; there is a documented breeding record from Buddu, near Masaka, involving an incubating bird photographed in 1911. Grey-headed Gulls Larus cirrocephalus continue to increase on the Musambwa Islands, where they breed; over 51,000 were recorded there on 13 July. A remarkable 1,363 Pied Kingfishers Ceryle rudis were counted on the Kazinga Channel on 26 July, a record number for that site. On 30 January there was a Crested Barbet Trachyphonus vaillantii near Rwonyo, Lake Mburo NP.

A pair of African Green Broadbills Pseudocalyptomena graueri was seen nest building in Bwindi Impenetrable NP on 22 May. In early August, two nests had chicks, whilst a third pair was feeding a fledgling. Four White-breasted Cuckoo-shrikes Coracina pectoralis seen in Lake Mburo NP on 6 February were new to the park and indeed to southern Uganda.

In Semliki NP, a Forest Scrub Robin Cercotrichas leucosticta was observed on 25 August and a Grey Ground Thrush Zoothera princei on 28 August. A Bocage’s Bush Shrike Malaconotus bocagei was seen south of Mabira Forest in August; though described as ‘fairly common’ in The Bird Atlas of Uganda (Carswell et al. 2005), it is now rarely recorded. On 7 August, four tiny birds near Sambiya River Lodge in Murchison Falls NP were identified as Yellow Penduline Tits Anthoscopus parvulus; this would be a new species for Uganda and East Africa, if accepted. A pair of Golden-naped Weavers Ploceus aureonucha was observed in Semliki NP on 1 August; this is the first record for Uganda and also the first anywhere since 1986, when it was seen in the Ituri Forest, Kivu Province, DR Congo. Orange-cheeked Waxbills Estrilda melpoda were seen in Semliki NP in August and September; the species was only discovered in Uganda, at this site, in 2003. In Kidepo NP a male Steel-blue Whydah Vidua hypocherina in full breeding plumage was seen on 1 September.

The following records are from February 2006. Two Blue Quail Coturnix adansonii were observed near Masindi on 25th. An unusually large flock of 60 Stone-curlews (Eurasian Thick-knees) Burhinus oedicnemus was claimed from the north bank of the Nile in Murchison Falls National Park on 23rd; this species is an occasional winter visitor to Uganda. A Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres was seen on the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, on 28th. A pair of African Green Broadbills Pseudocalyptomena graueri were nest-building in Bwindi-Impenetrable Forest on 16th. Two White-browed Sparrow Weavers Plocepasser mahali were at their nest in Murchison Falls National Park on 23rd.

The following records were received for July-August 2005. A Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus was found at Lake Katwe, Queen Elizabeth National Park, on 29 August; there are few records for this Palearctic migrant in Uganda. The previous day, a Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres was seen on Kazinga Channel in the park. A pair of Green-breasted Pittas Pitta reichenowi was nest building in Kibale National Park on 22 July; what was almost certainly the same pair was seen again on 7 August. At Mubwindi Swamp, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a pair of Green Broadbills Pseudocalyptomena graueri was observed at its nest on 15 July, and a pair with a juvenile was seen on 14 August.

Two Fischer’s Lovebirds Agapornis fischeri were seen in Entebbe’s Botanical Garden on 14 January 2006; they had apparently been recorded before at this site and would constitute an addition to the Ugandan list, if accepted as wild birds.

The small breeding population of Northern Masked Weavers Ploceus taeniopterus reported from the shores of Lake Bunyoni in Bull. ABC 12: 73 are in fact Victoria Masked Weavers Ploceus victoriae described by John Ash in 1986; this form is now suspected to be a hybrid between Northern Brown-throated P. castanops and Black-headed P. melanocephalus or Golden-backed Weavers P. jacksoni (cf. Birds of Africa 2004). A visit to Semliki National Park in early March 2005 yielded Chapin's Flycatcher Muscicapa lendu, apparently the first record here, and Orange-cheeked Waxbill Estrilda melpoda. At Lake Mburo, a displaying Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti was seen on 24 March; this is the second or third record for Uganda.

Records from 2004 include the following. A Black Heron Egretta ardesiaca was seen on the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park (NP) on 28 January; this is a rarely seen species in Uganda. Another egret seen there on 17 August appeared to show characteristics of Western Reef Egret E. gularis (identified at this site in 2003) but was quite distant and the bill looked too dark and more like that of E. garzetta. An individual seen well during a Lake Mburo boat trip on 26 August, however, had the greenish legs and pale bill typical of the race asha; this species is a rare vagrant to Uganda. A snake eagle with a greyish head, whitish throat, broken breast band and plain white underwing-coverts was identified as an adult male Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle Circaetus beaudouini in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth NP on 18 August; this is a vagrant to western Uganda. Another vagrant in the same park was a Slender-billed Gull Larus genei, seen on the Kazinga Channel on 28 January. A Madagascar Lesser Cuckoo Cuculus rochii was captured on video along the ‘Royal Mile’ in Budongo Forest on 13 August; this migrant is rarely recorded in East Africa and there are apparently no official records from Budongo, although a local guide claimed that the species was also present in 2003. A Speckle-breasted Woodpecker Dendropicos poecilolaemus was found at Buhoma on 21 August; this may constitute the first for the area.

A displaying Little Rush-Warbler Bradypterus baboecala was observed in Murchison Falls NP on 9 August; this appears to be a new record for the park although the local guide was familiar with the species. Three Southern Black Flycatchers Melaenornis pammelaina were seen in Lake Mburo NP on 5 February; this may represent the third record for Uganda. A male Red-eyed Puffback Dryoscopus senegalensis was claimed from the Neck, Bwindi Impenetrable NP; this is an eastern range extension as Semliki, on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the only other site in Uganda from where the species is known. A small breeding population of c20 Northern Masked Weavers Ploceus taeniopterus was found on the shores of Lake Bunyoni on 5 February.

On 26 February 2004, a Congo Serpent Eagle Dryotriorchis spectabilis was observed at The Neck, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park; this constitutes the fourth sighting for Uganda.

Records from January to February and August 2003 include the following. A pair of Great Crested Grebes Podiceps cristatus was present at the crater lake below Ndali Lodge, near Kabale on 28 January; this species is rarely recorded in Uganda. Also rarely seen is Black Egret Egretta ardesiaca, of which two were in Queen Elizabeth National Park on 30 January. A Western Reef Egret Egretta gularis was on the Kazinga Channel, Queen Elizabeth National Park on 19 August. A Spotted Crake Porzana porzana, another rare Palearctic migrant to Uganda, was seen in a wetland near Hoima on 27 January. An African Green Broadbill Pseudocalyptomena graueri was observed in its nest near Mubwindi Swamp, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park on 4 February. A pair of Southern Black Flycatchers Melaenornis pammelaina with a juvenile were observed in Lake Mburo National Park on 6 February, at the same place where a pair was observed on 25 July 2002; these sightings apparently represent the first records in Uganda. The long-staying Yellow-footed Flycatcher Muscicapa sethsmithi at Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, was still present in August. A pair of Dusky Twinspots Euschistospiza cinereovinacea was seen at the Sebitoli section of Kibale National Park on 28 January; this is a new park record and a range extension for this species.

A Congo Serpent Eagle Dryotriorchis spectabilis was claimed from the Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, on 19 August 2003; scope views from a distance of c30m were obtained of the bird, which was perching at c3 m along the river below the entrance of the park. There are only two previous records of this species in Uganda, from Bwamba, Semliki, in 1990 and 1994. Also in Bwindi, near Mubwindi Swamp, Ruhija, a pair of African Green Broadbills Pseudocalyptomena graueri were watched as they fed two nearly fully-grown nestlings on 4 August.

In November 2002, two species were seen that would appear to be new for Uganda. The first was a Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris at Kibimba rice scheme, 140 km east of Kampala on 20th, the second a White-eyed Gull Larus leucophthalmus in breeding plumage at Lutembe bay, between Kampala and Entebbe, on the 24th. In December 2002, a third species new to the country was found when a group of eight Orange-cheeked Waxbills Estrilda melpoda was seen just outside Semliki National Park at c700 m altitude on 26th; in East Africa, this species was previously only known from the Bujumbura area in Burundi, c550 km to the south.

During a field survey conducted specifically to elucidate status and distribution of the Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea in the country, 630 individuals of this threatened species were counted along Lake Victoria's shore between Sango Bay and Mabamaba in nine days in August 2001. A flock of ten House Sparrows Passer domesticus were found at the Kibimba rice scheme, Iganga Province, south-east Uganda, on 21 November 2001; this is apparently the first record for the country. Two displaying male Northern Masked Weavers Ploceus taeniopterus were found in a small colony of Yellow-backed (=Black-headed) Weavers P. melanocephalus at Entebbe Zoo in February 2002; the species, which is not on the Uganda list, was previously only known in East Africa from an isolated colony in Lake Baringo, Kenya.

In Murchison Falls NP, 15-17,000 Abdim's Storks Ciconia abdimii were filmed at Nyamsika, by the River Nile, by a BBC crew in March 2001. In October 2001, an immature male Madagascar Lesser Cuckoo Cuculus rochii was mist-netted on the Entebbe peninsula on 24th; this species is normally recorded from April to September in East Africa. The presence of Ansorge's Greenbul Andropadus ansorgei in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, suspected since 1992, was finally confirmed on 2 August when a bird was well seen and heard. In July a Grauer's Swamp-Warbler Bradypterus graueri was found in a patch of rushes just outside Bwindi NP; there are probably only six sites for this Albertine Rift endemic in Uganda, of which only two are protected. Two Gambaga Flycatchers Muscicapa gambagae, seen in Murchison Falls NP on 3 July, constitute the first record for the park. What appears to be the first Yellow-footed Flycatcher Muscicapa sethsmithi for Semliki NP was observed on 7 July.

About 5,000 Cattle Egrets Bubulcus ibis were at a single roost at Kabaka's Lake, Kampala, in November and December 2000. Up to 36 Grey Crowned Cranes Balearica regulorum roosted on electricity pylons in central Kampala, from March 2000 to at least March 2001. Several Northern White-crowned Shrikes Eurocephalus rueppelli were reported from the southern part of the country in savanna woodland on the road to Kabale, end 2000; previously, they were only known to occur in the northeast.

Map

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References

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BYARUHANGA, A.and ØSTERGAARD, K. (2008) First records of Dimorphic Egrets Egretta dimorpha for Uganda and Rwanda. ABC Bulletin 15(2) pp 253-254.

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SSEMMANDA, R. and FULLER, R.A. (2006) Assessing the status of Handsome Francolin Francolinus nobilis in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, western Uganda. Scopus 25.

TWANZA, L. and POMEROY, D. (2011) Grey Parrots Psittacus erithacussuccessfully nesting in a suburban house in Kampala, Uganda. ABC Bulletin 18(1) pp 81-82.

WILSON, M., PAYNE, R.B., PAYNE, L.L. and BABOAINEKI, S. (2007) First record of Golden-naped Weaver Ploceus aureonucha in Uganda. ABC Bulletin 14(2) pp 200-202.

Contacts

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African Bird Club representative
Bird Recorder and Checklist Compiler

Professor Derek Pomeroy
Makerere University Institute of the Environment & Natural Resources
PO Box 7298, Kampala, Uganda
[email protected]

Recording forms (all taxa, not just birds) can be obtained from the National Biodiversity Data Bank

Feb 2012 report from Derek Pomeror

Feb 2010 report from Derek Pomeroy

Jun 2009 report from Derek Pomeroy
Feb 2009 report from Derek Pomeroy

Clubs

Uganda Birding Association
Uganda Bird Guides Club 
Box 33164 Kampala
 

BirdLife International Affiliate

NatureUganda
The EANHS, P.O. Box 27034, Kampala, Uganda 
Email:  
http://www.natureuganda.org/

Conservation

Tue, 02/05/2013 - 14:37 -- abc_admin
Lizard_Mabira_Forest_Uganda

Mabira Forest, Uganda

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

Uganda is party to the following treaties: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection and Wetlands

The Uganda government has been sensitive to the state of environment. There are statutes in place that govern wildlife and the environment. All bodies of water, swamps, wetlands, mountains and forests belong to the government. Uganda has 10 National Parks and 10 game reserves. In the administrative structure, there is an environment officer even at district level. The national parks and forest reserves remain in their natural state. The law of Uganda declares it illegal for anyone to carry out any activity in these areas. The local communities are becoming increasingly aware about the need to conserve the environment.

Despite this, there are some issues: draining of wetlands for agricultural use; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria and poaching is widespread.

The Uganda Bird Guides Club has been Instrumental in communicating the importance of birds, birding and the need for conservation to the local communities.

The newly formed Uganda Birding Association based at Makerere University results from awareness activities carried out by the Uganda Bird Guides Club and Nature Uganda. Many Ugandans increasingly realise the importance of conserving birds as well as the environment. The planned birds Concert in July 2004 reached many Ugandans and will definitely have positive effects.

The African Bird Club made an award to Nature Uganda during 2002. Five undergraduates were funded to undertake short conservation related studies, including one on Grey-backed Fiscal Lanius excubitoroides. Although the grants were small for the students' first attempt at research, experience has shown that many build on this and not infrequently complete a higher degree and develop a long term interest in conservation. A further award in 2003 was made to Makerere University in Kampala for research on land use and biodiversity.

The African Bird Club 2003 expedition award went to Nature Uganda for a project on papyrus endemics which aims to gain a better understanding of the status and degree of threat facing these bird species. Field research was conducted in both Uganda and Kenya and will focus on resolving the taxonomic status of the Papyrus Yellow Warbler Chloroptera gracilirostris and on determining how human activities impact bird species endemic to papyrus.

The African Bird Club made an award to Makerere University in Kampala in 2004 to study bird populations as an indicator of changes in biodiversity due to agricultural intensification.

Further information about these and other projects can be found in the African Bird Club Bulletins which can be purchased via the website.

Conservation News

7th January 2008: The insanity of planting ‘a new’ Mabira

The issue of converting close to a third of Mabira tropical rain forest to sugarcane growing has caused an uproar. Scientific facts are likely to be replaced by arguments that will win debate. Have you ever imagined what would happen if a dose prescribed by a doctor for one patient was shared between ten patients or vice verse? What would happen if the civil engineer’s advice on ratios of materials for construction of a multi-storeyed  building were ignored because cement is expensive or mud substituted cement?

The present day domesticated plants have their origin in the wild; notably tropical high forests. They still have their relatives in these forests. These forests offer the greatest opportunity of genetic materials both for domestication and improvement of the existing cultivars. The new crops that we shall need for disease resistance, varieties to withstand extreme temperatures, saline soils due to irrigation necessitated by global warming all have answers in the wild. For instance coffee wilt is wiping out our coffee plantations; our fallback position will be the coffee in the wild. Kibale National Park contains wild coffee that can provide a solution.

Indeed, local residents are currently harvesting some of this wild coffee for sale.

A climax forest like Mabira has taken hundreds of years to evolve. It has gone through several stages of succession, rain and soils being the most influencing factors. Once such a stable climax forest is established, it begins positively influencing the micro and macroclimate of the area in terms of humidity, temperatures and possibly rainfall regimes. To state that one can plant a similar forest elsewhere is ignoring scientific facts to say the least. Every forest ecosystem is unique in terms of biodiversity, ecological importance and location. The services offered by the forest are unique. Each plant and animal that lives there is unique.

Many new drug trials have been made in apes that primarily dwell in forests. A chimp that lives in Mabira looks the same as one that lives in Kalinju forest but they slightly differ in their genetic make-up. So they can be used for different drug trials.  This diversity in the same species is evident even in human beings. Take for instance people who have been constantly exposed to HIV but continue to test negative, a case in point being discordant couples. This is a case of speciation within the same species, evolutionary process in progress. This makes members of a species though looking the same but slightly differing genetically. This is the reason why we must have diversity in a natural forest.

The animals that live in a given forest have a home range, territory within which they meet their basic needs. I am wondering whether it has been scientifically proven that the forest that which remains after the Mabira giveaway will suffice the requirements of resident and visitor animals. Most crops depend on pollinators to bear fruits, most of which reside in forests and depend on various plants for their needs. It is not  clear whether the forest to be planted as a replacement will cater for this need. Conversion of a tropical high forest into sugarcane entails destruction of an ecosystem, which has been home to many organisms. Some of these once harmless creatures will turn into serious crop pests and problem animals once their ecological habitat is destroyed.

One argument has been that the sections of the Mabira forest to be allocated are occupied by poor quality timber species like the paper mulberry. A colonising forest is not expected to have high quality timber. It suffices to say that the soils in these previously encroached areas are forest soils and will enable quick forest succession. However, it is important to note that timber production is one of the peripheral uses of a natural forest.

A natural forest is conserved for ecological reasons other than that of timber production; a lesson which proponents of Mabira giveaway need to know. Mabira located in between two big towns of Kampala and Jinja can be a major tourist destination for both local and international tourists. Mabira is one of the islands of solace where people will be or are already spending and helping this country earn revenue and create jobs.

I am still not convinced that Uganda has a comparative advantage in agro-processing than other countries. Tourism is one of the industries where we enjoy a comparative advantage over others. The threat of global warming as a result of too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not only real but also already affecting us. Temperatures are increasing as evidenced by receding snow on Mt. Rwenzori and Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Uganda is one of the least prepared countries to mitigate and adapt to the effects of this phenomenon. It would therefore be insanity to remove one of the biggest carbon sinks in this country. There is no way the envisaged planting of sugar cane can be better than conservation of Mabira given values of direct goods and indirect services and aesthetic values of the natural forest. An alternative land should be found for the sugar project.

22nd December 2007: Giveaway Not Yet Resolved

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has resurrected the controversial Mabira Forest giveaway debate, telling the NRM Parliamentary Caucus that the issue is yet to be resolved. Presenting his 11-page statement on industrialisation to the Caucus on 17th 12-2007, President Museveni urged them to take a decision. 

"Those opposing industrialisation, apart from being enemies of NRM, are, in particular, enemies of the youth because they are the ones who need these jobs. I can no longer tolerate this. I will mobilise the youth to smash politically all these cliques obstructing the future of the youth and the country," Mr. Museveni said.
The President also defended Mehta's request for the acquisition of 7,100 hectares of Mabira Forest, to be turned into a sugarcane plantation, saying the investor only wanted some land in the under-utilised part of the forest. "Mehta wants to expand his factory in Lugazi. He wanted some land in the under-utilised part of Mabira because there was no alternative land nearby and we could not shift the factory. Criminals and charlatans kicked up lies and even caused death of people in Kampala. We suppressed the thugs. This issue should be resolved," Mr. Museveni's statement reads in part.

A clandestine government plan to give away 17,540 acres, nearly a third of the forest to Mehta, drew strong resistance from environmentalists and the public. 
Sporadic riots broke out in the country in April this year, claiming the lives of one Indian and two Ugandans. But more than eight months later, no official government position has been reached. However, in October, Finance Minister Ezra Suruma announced to the world that the government had dropped the controversial plan to give away part of Mabira forest.

This was at a dinner meeting hosted by the South American President of the Republic of Guyana, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, in Georgetown. The President's announcement therefore appears to contradict Dr Suruma's declaration. The Caucus is yet to debate President Museveni's document, experts say that should members endorse the Mabira giveaway as part of the industrialisation agenda, it will be a setback for environmental activists who have crusaded for months against the giveaway of the forest. 

Ecological experts have argued that razing part of Mabira would threaten rare species, dry up a watershed for streams that feed Lake Victoria and remove a crucial buffer against pollution of the lake from two industrial towns.

Talking about his 'vision' for an industrialised Uganda, the President told the Caucus that NRM must find the answers to what he described as 'bottlenecks to the much-needed rapid industrialisation of the country'. "I need cohesion from all you [MPs] on this matter. This is where the future of the country lies. If we don't industrialise the country, where shall we get employment for the youth?" Mr. Museveni asked.

He added: "Some of the industries need big chunks of land; examples of this are sugar, palm oil, bio-fuels etc. Some don't need too much land. We need and we are capable of having both." Available figures calculated by Environmental Alert show that the cost of cutting away part of Mabira in terms of carbon credit is estimated at $316 million. The value of the land is estimated at about $5 million and the value of the wood at another whopping $568 million. This means the public stands to lose almost $890 million [about Shs1.5 trillion) as a result of the overnment's plan to degazette part of the forest.

Source: Nature Uganda

21st November 2007: Mabira Forest To Stay, Says VP Bukenya.

Vice-President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, assured environmental activists and donors that Mabira Forest Reserve will not be degazetted for sugarcane growing. 

“We are a democratic country and had to listen to the people.’’ Bukenya was addressing journalists at the Nile Resort in Jinja on 17th-11-2007.“You can develop without disrupting ecology. It is possible to plant trees to replace those that have been cut down.’’ 

He cited the example of the ground on which the British Parliament stands, which he said was previously a swamp. “What we could look at is the entire ecological system and consider what would happen to the rest of the ecological system if some trees are cut down.’’ 

The Vice-President had earlier presided over the drafting of recommendations (The Jinja Declaration) that will be debated during the Commonwealth summit that starts in Kampala on 23rd -11-2007. The recommendations will also form part of the discussions at the UN meeting on climate change in Bali, Indonesia, next month. 

Bukenya said climate change in Uganda was manifested in the adverse weather and climate conditions “Between 1991 and 2,000, Uganda experienced seven droughts, compared to about seven during the period 1900 to 1970,’’ he said. 

“The last years have also witnessed an increase in intensity and frequency of heavy rains, floods and landslides in the highland areas as well as outbreaks of diseases.’’ 

The vice President called for action against climate change. 

“The most developed countries will be required to do more. This is not only because they contribute and continue to contribute to most of the causes and sustenance of climate change, but also because the UN framework on climate change emphasises differentiated responsibilities to address climate change effectively.’’ 

Bukenya also launched last year’s the National State of Environment Report and the fourth Global Environment Outlook report.

Source: Nature Uganda

8th November 2007: UK press says Mabira Forest was 'saved' by commonwealth summit.

Britain’s media has suggested that the decision of the Ugandan government to overturn plans to allow a sugar cane farm in the Mabira Forest was a political one to off-set criticism during the forthcoming Commonwealth Head of Governments Meeting (CHOGM) summit. The proposal to allow a 17,500 acre sugar cane farm by the Mehta Group had aroused huge international controversy as the forest is rich in biodiversity and home to more than 300 species of birds, 200 types of trees and nine different primates.

The Guardian newspaper in particular suggested the decision by Finance Minister Ezra Suruma was political. “Uganda is keen to avoid any controversy (during the summit),” Xan Rice wrote. “Domestically the planned land give-away had proved unpopular, though often less for environmental reasons than economic and racial ones.” The paper also points out that it is the second time this year that the Ugandan government has reversed plans to allow bio-fuel production on protected land. Last year it overturned a decision to allow a palm oil plantation on the Ssese Islands in Lake Victoria.

The news however has been welcomed by the British wildlife group, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. “This is a tragedy averted,” said Paul Buckley, head of the Africa programme at the Society. “There are plenty of places to grow sugar cane, but not many tracts of virgin forest left in Uganda. “The forest would have been irreversibly damaged had the give-away gone ahead. Now Uganda has a brilliant opportunity to really make the most of its wildlife jewels. The site is famous with eco-tourists and slicing it up made no economic sense whatsoever.”

The Times newspaper said the decision was also based on a report which showed that Uganda would earn more from eco-tourism in the forest than it would from sugar cane crops. The economic value of tourism in Mabira is estimated at more than $316 a year compared to less than $20 million for sugar cane.

The 74,000 acre wood is famous for species such as the rare Nahan Francolin, the Great Blue Turaco, the Blue-throated Roller, the Black-shouldered Nightjar and the Blue-headed Flycatcher.

But the Times also points out that destruction of the forest “would have been regarded as a breach of an agreement between the Ugandan government and the World Bank. “In 2001 the World Bank agreed to help finance the construction of a hydro-electric dam (at Bujugali) on the River Nile in return for a pledge to protect the forest.”

Source: The East African

29th October 2007: BirdLife Partners applaud Uganda’s decision to drop Mabira Forest give-away.

Conservationists across the BirdLife Partnership are welcoming news that the Ugandan government has dropped its plan to give away a third of Mabira Forest Reserve to provide land for sugarcane plantations. The announcement came on Friday 19 October 2007, through a statement from the Uganda Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. 

Mabira Forest Reserve (at over 30,000 hectares) is globally recognised by BirdLife as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The forest contains over 12% of plant species and 30% of bird species found in Uganda. The announcement follows months of intensive campaigning by a number of organisations, most notably NatureUganda (BirdLife in Uganda) with support from BirdLife’s Africa Division and by BirdLife Partners from a number of countries and territories. 

Achilles Byaruhanga, NatureUganda’s Executive Officer expressed delight: “I am excited that our effort to advocate for a better option for Mabira Forest Reserve has been recognised and the fact accepted that the forest is a critical resource for Uganda and globally. The achievement is also for the Ugandan people who stood firm and opposed what was a wrong policy decision" 

NatureUganda’s recent economic valuation of Mabira Forest Reserve is thought to have played an enormous part in the decision. The report showed clearly that the economic value of the forest if conserved, would surpass the anticipated economic value from sugarcane growing in future. Moreover, the report indicated clearly that alternative land for sugarcane growing is available elsewhere in Uganda, where there may be enhanced benefit to local communities and local economies. 

The list of ‘ecosystem services’ – livelihoods, clean water, food- provided by Mabira Forest to over 120,000 adjacent community members was another important finding in the report handed to the government by NatureUganda. The value of tourism also prominently featured. 

The BirdLife International Partnership through its national partner, NatureUganda, will continue to work with the Government of Uganda in the conservation of its national heritage. “We applaud the government of Uganda for making a bold decision in protecting its forest resources despite the intentions of the sugar company,” said Ato Mengistu Wondafrash, the chairperson of Birdlife’s Africa Partnership (2006-2007). 

The announcement made by the Ugandan government on Friday coincided with BirdLife’s Council for the Africa Partnership (CAP) meeting in Nairobi, where 23 African nations met and signed a petition opposing a proposed chemical plant on the shores of Tanzania’s Lake Natron, which threatens 75% of the world’s Lesser Flamingo. 

“We hope the interesting parallels between Mabira and Lake Natron are noted by the Tanzanian government – both support key species, both support a booming tourist trade and both provide crucial ecosystem services for associated communities,” said Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson, Head of BirdLife's Africa Division. 

Source: BirdLife

10th October 2007: Give Forest To Mpanga School – Uganda Government.

THE Government has directed that two hectares of Mpanga forest reserve in Fort Portal, Kabarole district be degazetted and formally given to Mpanga Secondary School. 

The degazetted section is not core to environment conservation. The new directive by the Prime Minister, Prof. Apollo Nsibambi, also asks the environment and water minister, Maria Mutagamba, to suspend her earlier advice that the school applies for an occupational permit for the existing structures and later pursues degazettment. 

In a September 17 letter, Mutagamba had said the land, measuring 4.087 hectares, was still part of the central forest reserve. 

However, in his recent letter, Nsibambi wrote: “I am informing the authorities of Kabarole district to disregard the resolutions and action plan communicated in your earlier letter.”

The forest has been the centre of controversy between the National Forestry Authority and the school. Whereas the school argues that it needs the land to construct a laboratory and more classroom blocks, the forestry authority insists that the forest should remain intact.

Source: Nature Uganda

14th September 2007: Mabira: Government still consulting.

The Uganda Cabinet has not taken a decision on whether or not part of Mabira Forest should be doled out to a sugarcane planter, Parliament heard yesterday. 
But the revelation only spoke volumes about the government’s indecision in ending months of controversy over a proposal to allocate 7,100 hectares of the natural rain forest to the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Ltd (Scoul). 

Water and Environment Minister Maria Mutagamba told MPs that although no decision had been taken by the government “to either degazzette or give out” part of the Mabira to Scoul “or to any other person”, a Cabinet sub-committee created to discuss the proposal was yet to conclude its investigations upon which the government can make a decision. She begged MPs to wait until that decision is made. 

But her statement fell short of MPs’ expectations, who only a week earlier had been informed by the junior Water and Environment Minister Jennifer Namuyangu, that Cabinet had finally reached a decision on whether it would gift sugar baron Mehta with free land from Mabira. Ms Mutagamba’s statement only served to inflame the anti-Mabira giveaway crusaders in the House. Led by Kitgum Woman MP Beatrice Anywar, also the opposition shadow environment minister, MPs shot down Ms Mutagamba’s two-page tale and questioned why the government had made no decision more than five months since sporadic riots broke out in the country claiming the lives of one Indian and four Ugandans over the proposal to give away the forest. 

“From April to September and no position has been taken?” a visibly furious Ms Anywar questioned. “It keeps us speculating and you are pushing us back to the streets if this problem is not settled,” she warned. Ms Mutagamba pleaded that the Cabinet had failed to take a decision over the giveaway “because there is still insufficient information,” but only provoked more inquest from the MPs. Mr Patrick Ochieng (Bukhooli) picked issue with the Cabinet subcommittee and doubted whether it would provide any useful information. “I am a little bit discouraged. The minister said the government carried out wide consultations of all stakeholders including forest experts but there was still missing information,” he said. “So you really wonder what type of information is this sub-committee going to present?” 

Mr Ochieng said it was evident the government was “dillydallying.” “I have always believed the Minister [Mutagamba] is not in charge of her ministry,” Ms Anywar told Daily Monitor after the sitting. “Her statement is not comprehensive, is not final and is only defensive. What I know is that they [Cabinet] are waiting for the President to make a decision on this matter. They have no control.”

The development, Ms Anywar said, will arm environment activists of the Save Mabira Crusade, a coalition of civil society groups opposed to the giveaway, with ammunition to boost “Phase II of our opposition crusade.” In April violent protests to save the forest led to five deaths and formed Phase one of the Save Mabira Crusade. Ms Anywar said the battle to save the forest continues.

Source: Monitor

20th August 2007: 50 indigenous tree species restored in Mabira Forest

ABOUT 50 indigenous tree species that had diminished in some parts of Mabira Central Forest Reserve due to encroachment have been restored, a new study has shown. The study, carried out early this year by the former Commissioner in the Ministry of Environment, Mr Peter Karani, shows that even a host of birds and wild animals that had abandoned the area have began returning. This was revealed to the State Minister for Environment, Ms Jessica Eriyo, last week during her tour of Mabira Forest.

The Lakeshore Range Manager - where Mabira falls, Mr Reuben Arinaitwe, told the minister that the forest fog which had also disappeared has been regained.

Mabira Forest Reserve (at over 30,000 hectares) is said to be home to 30 per cent of all the bird species in the country. Over 300 bird species, including the endangered Nahan’s Francolin Francolinus nahani are found in Mabira.

The restored 35 hectares were reportedly degraded by Sugar Corporation of Uganda Ltd (Scoul) plantation workers who had resorted to growing maize but the National Forestry Authority (NFA) took it over in early 2005 and replanted trees.

According to NFA officials some of the restored indigenous trees include Sopium Eliipticum(Musasa), Maesoposis Eminii(Musizzi), Mondomonora myriastica, Funtumia Elastica, Celtis Mild Braedii and Alstonia Bonei among others.

Source: Monitor

10th July 1007: Conservationists call for Ugandan government to halt forest ‘give-aways’.

Kampala, Uganda: The fate of Mabira Forest Reserve – home to 30% of bird species found in Uganda - continues to hang in the balance as President Museveni and some elements of the Ugandan government attempt to hand over a quarter of its area for sugarcane cultivation. BirdLife International and NatureUganda (BirdLife in Uganda) continue to argue that the economic benefits of retaining Mabira in its present form, will easily exceed the ‘short-sighted’ gains quoted by the government in the proposed forest ‘give-away’.

Mabira Forest Reserve (at over 30,000 hectares) is listed by BirdLife as an Important Bird Area (IBA) and contains over 300 bird species, including the endangered Nahan's Francolin Francolinus nahani. The forest is also home to nine species found exclusively in the region including Grey-cheeked Mangabey Lophocebus albigena johnstoni, a recently identified endemic primate subspecies.

In order to convey the enormous value of retaining Mabira Forest Reserve, NatureUganda has undertaken an economic study of the site, which they are now putting to the Ugandan government. Among the economic benefits of retaining Mabira that NatureUganda have outlined are:

1. Environmental services provided by Mabira Forest Reserve. Most notably the forest protects the water catchment area for Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga and the River Nile. The forest also acts as a carbon sink worth $212 million USD at current carbon market prices.

2. Local livelihoods are supported via commodities that come from the forest, particularly from the sustainable harvesting of wood, food and medicines. The National Forestry Authority, the lead forestry agency in Uganda, last year estimated the value of the wood alone at $568 million USD.

3. Tourism at Mabira is another high-earner for Uganda: Mabira contributes 62% of the total revenue collected from visitors to Uganda’s Forest Reserves. Ecotourism is now Uganda’s second largest foreign exchange earner.

“The economic studies that we have undertaken clearly indicate that keeping Mabira Forest Reserve for reasons of conservation, constitutes a better land-use option than sugarcane growing when total economic value is considered,” said Achilles Byaruhanga, Executive Director of NatureUganda.

“If a quarter of Mabira is chopped down the effect on the remaining forest will be far-reaching, reducing the range of species, causing encroachment, erosion and siltation, and reducing its capacity to provide services, so there would be less water in rivers, less rain, less carbon intake, fewer tourists,” he added.

NatureUganda’s arguments for stopping the ‘give-away’ of Mabira Forest Reserve are supported by BirdLife International, a global alliance of over one hundred conservation organisations. “For the Ugandan government and Mehta Group [sugar company] to continue with a venture that is so very costly in terms of biodiversity loss and in terms of economic stability, is wholly deplorable.” said Hazell Shokellu Thompson, Head of BirdLife’s Africa Division. "However, we are confident that once all the facts have been reviewed, the Ugandan government will do the right thing for the Ugandan people and stop the ‘give-away".

"Uganda ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1993 and has a fairly good track record in upholding the treaty so far. The government has an obligation to continue to adhere to the agreement in the same way that many African and world nations do," he commented. “The sugar company itself also argues that it has a strict policy of environmental compliance which this venture quite obviously contradicts.”

Mabira is only one of a number of ‘give-aways’ proposed by the Ugandan government, believed to be planning a bill to amend the National Forest and Tree Planting Act that would give the National Forestry Authority  power to de-gazette protected forests without first going through parliament.

Source: BirdLife International News

23rd May 2007: Uganda shelves plan to give rainforest to cane farm

Uganda's cabinet has suspended a proposal to give away part of a rainforest to a sugarcane grower, the environment minister said on Tuesday, weeks after three people were killed in a protest against the plan. President Yoweri Museveni has faced vocal opposition over the plan to raze 7,100 hectares (17,540 acres) of Mabira Forest, a nature reserve  since 1932, and give the land to the privately- owned Mehta Group's sugar estate. 

Environment minister Maria Mutagamba told Reuters the government had shelved it, pending a cabinet committee study."There is a suspension until the committee reports back," Mutagamba said. "It is an extensive process -- it is not going to be
finished in a week or a month." 

A protest to save Mabira last month turned violent, leaving three dead, including an Indian man stoned to death by rioters. Mehta is owned by an ethnic Indian family. Mutagamba said the lands ministry would draw up a map of land available to investors in Uganda for sectors such as coffee, sugar, manufacturing or tourism, to see if there was alternative land for Mehta's sugar. 

Critics say razing part of Mabira would destroy a fragile environment -- drying up rainfall, threatening a watershed for streams that feed Lake Victoria and removing a buffer against pollution of it from Uganda's two biggest industrial towns. It also threatened species like rare monkeys and the prized Tit Hylia found only in Mabira and surrounding forests.

Source: Copyright 2007, Reuters

8th March 2007: Uganda weighs up value of its forest reserves

NatureUganda (BirdLife in Uganda) are among a number of organisations putting forward their defence to the Ugandan government over the apparent ‘give-away’ of forest reserves for large-scale production of sugarcane and palm oil. The events follow months of speculation surrounding the government’s attempts to push for forest ‘give-aways’ in the country, whereby government licenses allow private companies to convert gazetted forest reserves for intensive agricultural use.

“Losing these forests, particularly the Mabira Forest Reserve, would have enormous repercussions for both people and wildlife in Uganda.” said Achilles Byaruhanga, Executive Director of NatureUganda (BirdLife in Uganda). “As a result, we are working hard to ensure the government understands that holding onto these sites is of utmost importance, both in terms of conserving biodiversity and in terms of poverty reduction and economic growth.”

Mabira Forest Reserve is listed by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The forest contains over 300 species of bird, including the Endangered Nahan's Francolin Francolinus nahani. The forest also supports nine species of primate, a recently identified new mangabey subspecies in Uganda, Lophocebus albigena johnstoni and a new species of Short-tailed Fruit Bat.  “The fact that we are still discovering new species of large animals in this forest is a pointer to its value for biodiversity.” commented Byaruhanga. “The forest also serves as catchment for many of the region’s rivers, providing freshwater for over one million people before joining the Nile.”

The economics of retaining Mabira...

Studies have shown that the potential revenue from tourism alone at Mabira was in excess of the costs of managing the Reserve. Mabira Forest Reserve is located within 50 km from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, and is surrounded by four major towns used by tourists.

Other economic losses involved in ‘giving-away’ Uganda’s forests are thought to include lost revenue from selective logging, a local impact on livelihoods and possibly from changing climate; the forests help maintain central Uganda’s wet climate – removing them could bring about drier weather negatively impacting on crop yields, conservationists have argued.

“Uganda has also been hit by a power crisis due to declining water levels in Lake Victoria as a result of poor environmental management.” added Byaruhanga. “We have to be wary of anything that aggravates this crisis such as cutting down the remaining forests in the catchments.”

Encouraging signs…

In recent weeks a number of regional newspapers have reported that Uganda’s President Museveni has directed the Ministry of Environment to establish whether it is environmentally and ecologically logical to degazette Mabira Forest. “It’s an encouraging development and shows that the government might be listening. The next step is for us to put forward solid reasons for holding onto Mabira by showing its enormous value as an economic resource to Ugandans.” said Mr Byaruhanga of the announcements.

NatureUganda are now conducting a more in-depth economic valuation of MabiraForest Reserve, based in part on the technical information developed as part of BirdLife’s Important Bird Area (IBA) Programme.

Source: BirdLife International

30th January 2007: NatureUganda condemns killing of Kampala’s scavenging storks.

Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus nestlings were left to die in the sun on traffic islands in the heart of Kampala, after the city council chose the peak of the Stork’s breeding season to cut down their nesting trees. Council workers had been instructed to cut down trees near electricity lines. But according to Achilles Byaruhanga, Executive Director of NatureUganda (BirdLife in Uganda), the action breached the city’s own environmental guidelines. “Kampala City Council has an environmental officer who should have advised them on the right time to cut the trees. They should have waited until their chicks had grown.”

The Marabou Storks began nesting in large numbers in Kampala, after a near 20-fold growth in the city’s population over four decades combined with rising levels of affluence to overwhelm the city’s rubbish collection services. In 2004, City Engineer Abraham Byandala told The EastAfrican that only 30 percent of the city’s rubbish is collected. In the 1990s, a campaign to poison the storks was halted after a public outcry. In his 2004 interview, Mr Byandala told the The EastAfrican that if City Hall had the means, it would have “broken their breeding cycle by disrupting their nesting season”.

Whether or not this was the city council’s intention, Achilles Byaruhanga says that because it is now the peak of the breeding season for Marabous, “the actions could devastate the storks’ breeding success”. Conservationists point out that the scavenging storks are helping the city deal with its rubbish problems. While not universally loved either by city residents or visitors, they are also a tourist attraction. Achilles Byaruhanga says tourism is the second highest foreign exchange earner in Uganda, and having 200 bird species in the city centre is a huge opportunity for Uganda’s tourism industry.

Achilles Byaruhanga says the birds will leave only when the city improves its refuse collection services, taking up residence instead around dumps on the outskirts, where they will continue to perform a valuable scavenging role. “But according to the state of affairs today in the country and in the city, this may take very many years to come. In the meantime, the city council must not act irresponsibly and unprofessionally.

Books & Sounds

Tue, 02/05/2013 - 14:35 -- abc_admin

The Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Stevenson and Fanshawe is extremely useful for this part of Africa and covers Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The first edition was published in 2002 and a second edition is due later in 2012.

Birds of Africa south of the Sahara also covers all the species found in the East Africa region.

 

Book image: 
Book info: 
Field Guide to Birds of East Africa, Terry Stevenson & John Fanshawe, Poyser, Softback.
Book description: 

Helm Field Guide covering Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The first complete guide to this region. 3400 images of 1388 species illustrated on 287 superb new colour plates by Brian Small, John Gale and Norman Arlott. The text plus distribution map and the illustrations for each species are on facing pages. 632 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Birds of Africa South of the Sahara, Ian Sinclair & Peter Ryan, New Holland, Softback.
Book description: 

Second edition, including 500 new images and 400 updated distribution maps. Unrivalled coverage of African birds in a single volume. 2129+ species covered with an additional 101 vagrants briefly described. Revised to reflect the latest changes in taxonomy. Species descriptions give precise identification features highlighting differences between similar species as well as briefly reporting habitat, status and call. Annotated illustrations portray distinctive plumages as well as diagnostic flight patterns and major geographic variants where applicable.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Photographic Guide to Birds of East Africa, Dave Richards, New Holland, Softback.
Book description: 

Field identification guide, with the text highlighting the diagnostic features for each species. For those species that are sexually dimorphic, have both breeding and non-breeding plumages, or in which the juvenile plumage differs markedly from that of the adult, more than one photograph has been included. A thumbnail silhouette and a distribution map are given for each species. 144 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Where to watch birds in Uganda, J Rossouw & M Sacchi, Softback.
Book description: 

Still one of the best where to watch books yet published for a single country. Colour photos and maps throughout. 114 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Important Bird Areas in Uganda, Byaruhanga, Kasoma and Pomeroy, RSPB & NatureUganda, Softback.
Book description: 

The book describes in detail 30 sites in Uganda that meet the criteria for Important Bird Areas (IBAs) - places of global significance for bird and biodiversity conservation. 166 pages.

Book info: 
Bird Atlas of Uganda, Margaret Carswell, Derek Pomeroy, Jake Reynolds & Herbert Tushabe, British Ornithologists' Club, Hardback.
Book description: 

Uganda is about the size of Britain but has more than 1,000 bird species, including many large and attractive ones. This atlas records what is known about the distribution and seasonality of these birds, and discusses this in relation to their conservation. The distribution maps show the actual records of the species and also indicate which parts of the country are thought to have suitable habitat for the species, even though it may not yet have been recorded there (many areas have not been studied). These predictions are based on a model, using rainfall and vegetation type for each point where the species has actually been recorded. 480 pages.

Visiting

Tue, 02/05/2013 - 14:31 -- abc_admin
Mountain_Gorilla_baby_Bwindi_Uganda

Baby Gorilla at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda. Birdwatching and Gorilla tracking can both be done here.

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

Birding tours

Birding & BeyondBirding AfricaBirding Ecotours, Birdquest, Field Guides, Lawson'sNature's Wonderland Safaris, Rockjumper, Safari Consultants, Safariwise, and Venture Uganda Travel are all sponsors of the African Bird Club and operate tours to Uganda.

Guides

There is good information about birds in Uganda both on a national and local level. The formation of the Uganda Bird Guides' Club has helped to establish local site guides who are increasingly becoming the basis of avi-tourism development in Uganda. The Uganda Bird Guides' Club can arrange for a driver and guides on a national basis.

Uganda now has 2 bird guide trainers as accredited by BirdLife South Africa, 8 trained guides at a National Level and 15 site guides.

Anthony W Raphael

BIRDING & BEYOND SAFARIS 
P.O. Box 11500, 
Arusha Tanzania, East Africa 
Telephone: +255 754 286058 
Fax: +255 27 2544454
Emails:
[email protected] 
[email protected]

Trip reports

Trip reports for Uganda can be found at www.ugandabirdguides.org.

The following items have been updated following a trip to Uganda in July 2011.

Logistics

Travellers can gain access to Uganda through all the major entrances to the country. The majority fly in through Entebbe International Airport. Several flights to and from Europe are available on international airlines each week. Kenya Airways has daily flights between Entebbe and Nairobi, and regional airlines operate weekly flights to other destinations in Africa such as Dar Es Salaam, Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg.

A passport, visa and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required for entry. Single entry visas can usually be obtained on arrival at Entebbe or at other borders (US$50 for up to 90 days). You will also need a passport valid for at least a year after entering Uganda, 2 clear pages and a few passport style photographs.

Currency

The Uganda Shilling can be bought at Forex bureaux (July 2011) for about £1 = USh4000 or US$1 = USh2500. A better rate may be obtained for larger denomination ($50 and $100) bills. Following various currency scams, US notes earlier than 2006 may be unacceptable anywhere in Uganda. Currency notes attract better exchange rates than travellers cheques.

Accommodation

Accommodation costs vary from international standard hotels / luxury camps at US$80 to 150 and upwards for single / twin rooms including breakfast to US$2 per person per night camping (bring your own tent). Typically, a 2- or 3-bed banda with en suite shower and w.c. can often be rented for US$40 per night. Many establishments offer a range of accommodations and prices. Apparently contrary to various Travel Guide suggestions, US$ seem to be fairly widely acceptable at least in establishments offering mid to upper range accommodation: the exchange rate offered will not be as good as at Forex bureaux, but is generally not too ruinous.

it is often possible to stay as close or even closer to the birds using lower grade and thus much less expensive accommodation. It is worth considering alternatives close to the major sites and finding something which suits your price and facilities requirements.

Food

It is not easy to spend more than US$10 on a meal without drinks, even at the more expensive places. At the budget end, a vegetarian meal of local food can often be had for less than US$2.

Drink

Bottled water (500mL, 1 L, 1.5L) and soft drinks are widely available at varying prices. 500mL bottles of cold beer (Bell 4.0%; Club 5.0%or Nile Special 5.6%) are also widely available, at an almost universal price of USh3000. Some luxury lodges charge more, up to USh4000. Wines and spirits are also available at the more up-market places and lodges, but can be expensive.

Health and Safety

Thousands of tourists visit the National Parks each year and the above mentioned trip reports are evidence that birdwatchers have found Uganda safer than many of the biggest cities of the World. You should however visit the following sites or your own embassy sites to get the latest safety and travel information: US Travel and search for Uganda and UK FCO. Safety issues encountered are no different from those met in many other African countries. Guidebooks, travel companies and websites provide much of the advice one needs, but some key points warrant repetition here. (1) be aware of the risk of malaria, seek current advice, sleep in a sealed tent or under a net and take prophylaxis as recommended. (2) always ensure you have sufficient water and some method of purification (even if this comprises a pot and a campfire for boiling). (3) do not underestimate the danger of being in the sun too long. Ensure you use sun-block and drink plenty of water, and wear a hat. (4) The incidence of Aids is high. (5) Ensure that you take a reasonably-equipped first-aid pack with you including supplies of hypodermic and suturing needles. One recent visitor found other insects much more of a nuisance than mosquitoes. Though the tsetse flies no longer carry sleeping sickness (they have to pick it up from animals and all the animals have been cured) they, or others can provoke irritating histamine reactions. A recommendation is to take enough anti-histamine tablets for a daily systematic dose as well as insect repellent and local after-bite applicators.

Hotspots

Tue, 02/05/2013 - 14:27 -- abc_admin
Shoebill_Lake_Victoria_Uganda

Shoebill Balaeniceps rex, Lake Victoria, Uganda

Image Credit: 
John Caddick
Dusky_Crimsonwing_Bwindi_Uganda

Dusky Crimsonwing Cryptospiza jacksoni, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest close to the nest of the following species

Image Credit: 
John Caddick, July 2011
African_Green_Broadbill_Bwindi_Uganda

African Green Broadbill Pseudocalyptomena graueri, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Image Credit: 
John Caddick, July 2011

There are so many good birdwatching sites in Uganda that it is hard to do justice to them in a short section. The special interest of each individual birder will to a large extent determine the appropriate sites to visit.

Birdwatching is excellent in many of the protected areas but is not restricted to them. For example, the long stretch of the Katonga Valley is a newly discovered home of Shoebill Balaeniceps rexMabamba Bay, the Delta at Murchison Falls National Park, and Semliki are also good for Shoebill.

Kaniyo Pabidi in a section of Budongo Forest now within Murchison Falls National Park is believed to be the only East African site for Puvel's Illadopsis Illadopsis puveli. Chocolate-backed Kingfisher Halcyon badia, African Dwarf Kingfisher Ceyx lecontei and Ituri Batis Batis ituriensis can be seen along the Royal Mile in Budongo Forest Reserve.

Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Parks are the most accessible sites for Albertine Rift Endemics such as Handsome Francolin Francolinus nobilis, Rwenzori Turaco Ruwenzorornis johnstoni, African Green Broadbill Pseudocalyptomena graueri, Rwenzori Batis Batis diops, Dusky Crimsonwing Cryptospiza jacksoni and Shelley’s Crimsonwing C. shelleyi.

Semliki is possibly the only place in East Africa for seeing many Guinea Congo biome species which are at the eastern end of their ranges there.

Lutembe Bay and Kazinga Channel are the best places to see wintering Palearctic migrants.

The boat trip from Paraa upstream to the falls is no longer reliable for Shoebill, though numerous Rock Pratincole Pratincola nuchalis should still be found just above the Falls. You will do best to go downstream towards the Nile Delta (Lake Albert) threading your way through flocks of African Skimmers Rynchops flavirostris.

"There is now a good (and economical) rest camp at Paraa run by the “Red Chilli” organisation. We stayed there in a triple banda with en suite shower and w.c. for US$40 per night for the two of us. Camping and communal facilities also available. A good, though limited menu and cold drinks readily available. The best bacon and the best fried fish in Uganda." Quote from a Club Member - 2005.

ROSSOUW J & SACCHI M (2001) is an excellent general site guide which can purchased at our Online Shop.

Species

Tue, 02/05/2013 - 14:19 -- abc_admin
Blue_headed_Sunbird_Bwindi_Uganda

Blue-headed Sunbird Cyanomitra alinae, Bwindi Impenetrable ForestUganda

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

Country checklist and status

iGoTerra

We are delighted that our Corporate Sponsor iGoTerra has made its country checklists, including subspecies (IOC or Clements) as well as all other species groups like mammals, butterflies etc. available through the ABC website. The only thing required is a Basic membership / registration which is free of charge. Go to Uganda checklists. If you are already a member of iGoTerra, you will be taken directly to the country page. In case you are not a member, you will be redirected automatically to the registration form and from there can go straight to the country page.

The Uganda Bird Atlas was published in 2005. The maps of most species show that there are almost endless possibilities of adding to what we know! Please send in any records that are unusual including commoner species from places that most people do not usually visit. Localities given as exactly as possible are preferred. GPS data is best but otherwise keep a note of odometer readings at key points. A record such as 'Piapiac, a flock of six at 37 km from Kampala on the road to Masindi' is OK. Please add your name and address, and the date, of course.

We do not in general want day lists (just the highlights, but all records are welcome at the National Biodiversity Data Bank [email protected].  All records are vetted for accuracy before entry into the data bank.

Endemic species

Stuhlmann's Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris stuhlmanni
Fox's Weaver Ploceus spekeoides

Near endemic species (found only in 2 or 3 adjacent countries)

Nahan's Francolin Francolinus nahani
Handsome Francolin Francolinus nobilis
Jackson's Francolin Francolinus jacksoni
Hartlaub's Turaco Tauraco hartlaubi
Rwenzori Turaco Ruwenzorornis johnstoni
Rwenzori Nightjar Caprimulgus ruwenzorii
Red-faced Barbet Lybius rubrifacies
Dwarf Honeyguide Indicator pumilio
African Green Broadbill Pseudocalyptomena graueri
Grauer's Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina graueri
Archer's Robin-Chat Cossypha archeri
Red-throated Alethe Alethe poliophrys
Oberlaender's Ground-Thrush Zoothera oberlaenderi
Neumann's Warbler Hemitesia neumanni
Grauer's Swamp-Warbler Bradypterus graueri
Grauer's Warbler Graueria vittata
Turner's Eremomela Eremomela turneri
Red-faced Woodland-Warbler Phylloscopus laetus
Uganda Woodland-Warbler Phylloscopus budongoensis
Rwenzori Apalis Apalis ruwenzorii
Karamoja Apalis Apalis karamojae
Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher Melaenornis ardesiacus
Chapin's Flycatcher Muscicapa lendu
Rwenzori Batis Batis diops
Sharpe's Pied-Babbler Turdoides sharpei
Stripe-breasted Tit Parus fasciiventer
Blue-headed Sunbird Cyanomitra alinae
Purple-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia purpureiventris
Golden-winged Sunbird Nectarania reichenowi
Regal Sunbird Cinnyris regius
Strange Weaver Ploceus alienus
Shelley's Crimsonwing Cryptospiza shelleyi
Dusky Crimsonwing Cryptospiza jacksoni
Grant's Bluebill Spermophaga poliogenys

 

Threatened species

Madagascar Pond Heron Ardeola idae Vulnerable
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotus Vulnerable
Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga Vulnerable
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni Vulnerable
Corncrake Crex crex Vulnerable
Nahan's Francolin Francolinus nahani Endangered
African Green Broadbill Pseudocalyptomena graueri Vulnerable
Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea Vulnerable
Karamoja Apalis Apalis karamojae Vulnerable
Grauer's Swamp Warbler Bradypterus graueri Endangered
Papyrus Yellow Warbler Chloropeta gracilirostris Vulnerable
Turner's Eremomela Eremomela turneri Endangered
Chapin's Flycatcher Muscicapa lendu Vulnerable
Shelley's Crimsonwing Cryptospiza shelleyi Vulnerable

The lists of endemic, near endemic and threatened species have been compiled from a number of sources including the African Bird Club, BirdLife International, and Birds of the World Version 2.0 ® 1994-1996, Dr. Charles Sibley and Thayer Birding Software, Ltd. For further information on Uganda's threatened species, see BirdLife International.

Important Bird Areas

Tue, 02/05/2013 - 14:15 -- abc_admin
Northern_Brown_throated_Weaver_Lake_Bisina_Uganda

Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops at Lake Bisina IBA, Uganda

Image Credit: 
John Caddick, July 2011
Cassins_Flycatcher_Kibale_Uganda

Cassin's Flycatcher Muscicapa cassini, Kibale National Park IBA , Uganda

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

Three endemic bird areas (EBAs) lie partly within Uganda: the Albertine Rift mountains; the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo lowlands; and theKenyan mountains as well as three secondary areas: dry woodlands west of Lake Victorianorth Ugandan swamps and north-east Uganda. Uganda has over 30 restricted range species of which 24 are found only in the Albertine Rift mountains.

Uganda has 30 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) covering some 7% of the area of the country.

Four are in the south-west of the country: Mgahinga Gorilla National ParkEchuya Forest ReserveNyamuriro Swamp and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Six are in the west near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo: Rwenzori Mountains National ParkKibale National ParkQueen Elizabeth National Park and Lake GeorgeKyambura Wildlife ReserveSemliki National Park andSemliki Reserves.

Eight are in the Lake Victoria Basin in the south-central region of the country: Lake Mburo National ParkSango Bay areaNabugabo Wetland; Musambwa Islands;Lutoboka Point (Ssese Islands)Mabamba Bay; Lutembe Bay and Mabira Forest Reserve. Five are in the north-west: Budongo Forest ReserveMurchison Falls National ParkAjai Wildlife ReserveMount Kei Forest Reserve and Mount Otzi Forest Reserve. A further seven are in the east towards the Kenyan border: Doho Rice SchemeLake NakuwaLake BisinaLake OpetaMount Elgon National ParkMount Moroto Forest Reserve and Kidepo Valley National Park.

Most of the above IBAs are now accessible by birdwatchers with the help of the Uganda Bird Guides club members; see visiting section. The most frequently visited areas have site guides' clubs. Many of the sites are close to Kampala, the capital, and examples include; Mabamba Bay with an extensive marsh fringed with papyrus and is the nearest known site for Shoebill Balaeniceps rex, Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea and Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiriThe Lutembe bay is popular for its capacity to accommodate millions of migrantWhite-winged Terns Chlidonias leucopterus.

For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.

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