A backpacker birding report on:

UGANDA

 

a report about a birding trip

by means of public transport

 

16 April - 15 May 1996

 

 

 

 

6 sites and 2 maps

 

 

 

 

 

by: Michiel de Boer

Introduction

Uganda is a small country with a surprisingly high number of birdspecies: around 1000 species have been recorded in the country (see the checklist page 12). The density of species exceeds that of Kenya (one of the worlds top-birding countries). The reason for this high density of species is without doubt the magnificent rainforests of the south-west of which some are still in very good shape (The impenetrable forest (Bwindi NP.)). There are many East African rainforest species which are difficult or impossible to see in Kenya. Besides this in the west of Uganda there are a number of West African birds to be seen.

Birdfamilies who are very well represented are: Shrikes, Sunbirds, Rollers, Bee-eaters, Kingfishers, Starlings, Hornbills and Weavers. Especially the Albertine Rift Valley (which includes Bwindi NP and Rwenzori NP) holds quite a number of endemics.

The "pearl of Africa" as the country is being referred to (first by Winston Churchill) has a stable (partly democratic) government, since the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been elected on the 9th of May 1996 while I was there. Although there are still a lot of rebels in the north around Gulu where it was not safe in this area during the time I was there. I found the country very pleasant to travel around and the people very friendly and hospitable. It has surprisingly good roads if you take into consideration that the nation was in deplorable state ten years ago. In general I would consider the country more safe than Kenya and Tanzania. It is very easy to visit from Kenya and being Dutch (also most other Nationalities) you donít need a visa to get into the country. The only disadvantage is however that it is somewhat more expensive than Kenya and entree fees for the national parks are high (varies from 15 to 23 US$ per day excluding prices for vehicles). I didnít go to one of the best birding sites Murchison Falls NP. (Kabalega Falls NP on the Kenya roadmap) because the rebels where operating in the park particularly at that time to violently disturb the first democratic elections in many years and the place was reported not safe (expatriates were evacuated). Therefore I didnít see the countries most spectacular speciality: the rare Shoebill among other good birds.

Due to the high costs I didnít visit Rwenzori NP but I think most birds can also be seen in Bwindi NP. Without going on any organised safari and without a car I saw quite a number of interesting species. If you are going to East Africa for two months or more for a birding trip I would consider it a mistake not to go to this beautiful country.

This report is written for the same purpose as I use similar reports of other people. The main use is meant to be an information source for birders to determine their itinerary by choosing the sites that seem to be attractive because of probability to see attractive birdspecies and the accessibility of the site particularly for the backpacker.

 

Getting there and away

To get there I crossed the Kenyan border at Busia which is quite convenient compared to the border at Malaba because the border posts at Busia are close to each other so you donít have to walk a long way. There were only the normal formalities to be fulfilled and I didnít need a visa. One month might be the maximum they will give you at the border but you can quite easily get an extension for another month Iíve been told. I asked for 40 days which is a bit short, but I had been in Kenya for almost three months and were also going to visit Tanzania and Malawi. You can also get buses from Nairobi straight to Kampala (about 12 hr), which I think cross the Malaba-border at night.

To leave the country there is the alternative of going by ferry, crossing lake Victoria.

Which seemed appealing, though it didnít produce any interesting birds. I took the ferry from Port Bell (Kampala) to Mwanza (Tanzania) which leaves two times a week (at least on Mondays). It leaves at around 3 PM and arrives the next morning. The prize was 15 US$ to be paid in Ugandan shillings. Usually it is around 25 US$ to be paid in dollars but when I was there it was a small ferry instead of the usual big one. You can ask the details at the railway station in Kampala because it is the same company who runs the ferries and they can confirm the details by phone.

 

Acknowledgements

I had some help from people when I was there. Alfred Twinomujuni, one of the local guides of Bwindi NP (the impenetrable forest) who had the true heart of a birder and was familiar with most of the sounds of the rainforest birds including the specialities and exceptionally good in imitating them. Also I have to thank the Staff of Bwindi for allowing me to enter the park on three different days while I paid entree for only one day (15 US$) because they thought I could teach the guides something about birds (instead I think Alfred teached me something). I also need to thank Catherine Long from the Budongo Forest reserve, a VSO volunteer who was running the eco-tourism project provided me with the checklists of Uganda and the forest reserve and gave me rides on the back of a motorbike to different sites in the forest.

 

Public Transport and Accommodation

Public transport is not that frequent as in Kenya but the taxis, as the small public service vehicles (mostly Nissan vans) are called, are not as overloaded as in Kenya. The roads seem to be quite bad and the drivers of busses can drive like madmen. I had some problems to get to the Impenetrable forest (it was more like the unreachable forest). But in general if thereís no taxis (because there are not enough customers and/or the road is too bad), there are usually one or a few trucks or pickups going per day (ask the local people). Travelling by public means is still fairly cheap. Quite unlike Kenya you do not always have to check the fares. The local people are not so much fixed in trying to get more money out of a "white-nose". All of the vehicles are only leaving when completely full and you might find you have to wait for too long for a short drive to get to the next destination. Breakdowns of minibuses and busses are also very common. As a result I would say that because of this the birder without a car needs quite some time.

A remarkable difference struck me when I arrived in Kampala expecting the hassle like Nairobi: I was preparing for the countless denials and getting as quickly as possible through the pack of conmen and when I got out there was nobody asking me anything. I immediately started to like the country a lot.

Accommodation is somewhat more expensive than Kenya. The cheapest price for a room in a Ďlodgeí is usually around 4 US$ per night or more, even when they donít have running water which seems to be a problem in many places.

Of course in Kampala there is good accommodation available for higher prices. The cheapest place here is the YMCA. 2 US$ for a mattress on the floor of a classroom which has to be vacated by 8 am in the morning for its actual use. BUT they have the best hot showers of whole East Africa. Also here there is only one backpackers place a bit out of town, for around 4 US$ for a dormbed. Any other accommodation in Kampala is at least 10 US$.

In most small villages there is at least a cheap but scrappy place to stay. Meals can be obtained for 2 US$ and I found the food basic but OK and clean and not too fatty most of the time.

 

Useful information, books etc.

Books

  1. Zimmerman D. A.; Turner D. A. ; Pearson D. J.; Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania; Russel Friedman Books; 1996

  2. Williams J.G.; Arlott N.; A Fieldguide of the Birds of East Africa; Collins; 1980

  3. Van Perlo B.; Collins Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of Eastern Africa; Collins; 1995

  4. Sinclair I; Hayman P.; Arlott N. et al.; Illustrated Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa; New Holland; 1993 (reprint 1995) (ĎSasolí guide).

 

By the time you read this report the most useful guidebooks would be: 1 and 3

Some remarks on these books:

The South African Birdguide (4) is excellent and maybe even among the best birdingguides of a certain region in the world. The problem of books 1, 2 and 4 is that they do not cover the area sufficiently so you need either a West-African guide or the Van Perlo. Some of the illustrations on the plates of van Perlo are inaccurate and some plates, although the birds look quite neat, are at least confusing if you want to identify them. Cisticolaís and Greenbuls will be wrongly identified when one uses this book only. If not different subspecies are depicted I think other inaccurate illustrations are: Eastern Double Collared Sunbird; Yellow Streaked Greenbul; Singing Cisticola.

The first book holds 85% of the 1004 Ugandan species

(this still means there are around 200 species not in this book)

When one is determined to visit some national parks. There is a nice guide about national parks of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with good information, maps, checklists of mammals and birds also site information on some interesting species:

National Parks of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania; Collins

The map I used was:

Roadmap Kenya; Tanzanie; Ouganda; 1:2 000 000; Freytag & Berndt

While I was in Kampala I bought:

Macmillan Uganda Travellerís Map (including plans of Kampala, Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth NP) for 8 US$ in a giant bookstore were they also had most of the natural guidebooks and travelguides. I think it was close to Pilkington road junction with Kampala road.

Travel information for the backpacker was rather scarce by the time I went there but things are changing fast as far as tourism in Uganda is concerned. The best information I could find was:

East Africa Lonely Planet; Travel survival kit;

Trekking in East Africa; Lonely Planet; Walking guide

The last guide is only useful when you want to climb the Rwenzoriís or Mt. Elgon. (The 1993 edition has outdated information on prices, particularly of climbing the Rwenzoris etc.)

 

Itinerary

Entebbe Botanical Gardens 16/4/96

Kibale National Park 18-23/4/96

Ibanda 25/4/96

Lake Bunyoni 27/4/96

Bwindi 30/4 - 5/5/96

Bugala Island 8-11/5/96

Budongo Forest Reserve Royal Mile 14-16/5/96

Budongo Forest Reserve Busingiro 17/5/96

Butiaba (Lake Albert) 18/5/96




 

  1. Entebbe Botanic Gardens

  2. Kibale NP

  3. Ibanda

  4. Lake Bunyoni

  5. Bwindi NP (the Impenetrable Forest)

  6. Bugala Island

  7. Budongo Forest

  8. Butiaba

After this I went to Tanzania and Malawi but that is a different story.

 

The sites

This trip was aimed mainly on sites outside the national parks. Birding in national parks is expensive (park entree around 22 US$ per day excluding car entree) and most national parks do not allow people to walk in them. One needs a car which is very expensive or one has to go on an organised safari which is not cheap and also not too satisfactory for a birder as the vehicle does not stop for birds other than big or colourful ones that are nearby.

As a result of being in Kenya for three months prior to this trip I did not note all the common species particularly the ones that are common in Kenya. To name a few that can not be missed when the right habitat is visited:

Black-headed Heron, Cattle Egret, Hamerkop, Sacred Ibis, Marabou, Black Kite, Black-winged Kite, Crested Coot, Spur-winged Plover, Whiskered Tern, Swift, Little Swift, Eurasian Bee-eater, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Common Bulbul, Stonechat, Red-billed Firefinch, Red-eyed Dove, White-browed Coucal, African Palm Swift, Lilac-breasted Roller, African Pied Wagtail, African Paradise Flycatcher, Hadada, African Harrier-hawk, Long-crested Eagle, African Jacana, Blacksmith Plover, Crowned Plover, Speckled Pigeon, African Mourning Dove, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Speckled Mousebird, Woodland Kingfisher, Little Bee-eater, Green Wood-hoopoe, Lesser Honeyguide, Mosque Swallow, Lesser Striped Swallow, Richard's Pipit, Tawny-Flanked Prinia, Common Camaroptera, Variable Sunbird, Yellow White-eye, Bronze Mannikin, Brubru, Grey-backed Fiscal, Common Fiscal, African Drongo, Grey-headed Sparrow, Red-billed Quelea.

Good birds and specialities for the site are marked in bold font, when a not very common or hard to spot bird is recorded the number of individuals of the total occasions the bird is spotted are behind the name between brackets. Birds mentioned at the sites are more or less in random order.

 

Entebbe Botanical Gardens 16/4/96

From Kampala this place can be reached easily by taxi (= Nissan minibus) from one of the two main taxi parks in Kampala. It takes half an hour and costs 0.80 US$ to get to a turnoff with a signpost for a big hotel close to the gardens. Just a few hundred meters to the place and all around there are some nice birds to be seen:

African Fish Eagle, Palmnut Vulture, Lizard Buzzard, Broad-billed Roller, Crowned Hornbill, Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, African Pied Hornbill, Pygmy Kingfisher, Great Blue Turaco, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Slender Billed Weaver, Veillotís Black Weaver, Emins Weaver, Red-chested Sunbird, Black-winged Stilt, Splendid Glossy-starling, Grey-capped Warbler, Red-faced- and Winding Cisticolaís

 

Kibale National Park 18-23/4/96

To be reached from Fort Portal by taxi in the direction of Bigodi. You can ask the driver to drop you off at the ĎSafari Lodgeí which is definitely the recommended place for the backpacker birder. The place offers marvellous African hospitality and superb dishes (the owner used to be the Cook of the Belgian Ambassador in Rwanda). Besides it saves you a half an our walk extra from Bigodi to the Forest. The forest is half an hour walk back (Youíve past it driving from Fort Portal).

The Park Headquarters may stop you and ask you to pay the entree fee when you intend just to walk on the main public road. Which seems a bit overpriced for a walk on a public road (US$ 15). I always sneaked past the headquarters and never had to pay. On the other hand the local people should benefit from the forest other then by logging the trees, so it may not be a bad idea to pay. When I was there local people started a eco-tourism project. From the village Bigodi you can get a guided walk in the area outside the national park where also some nice birds are to be seen (Bigodi Swamp Walk). I did this for one afternoon. I have to add that I became a little ill when I was there (never eat a whole pineapple at once! Iím not kidding) your list could be more impressive than mine. I was happy with the following birds (besides more common ones):

Palmnut Vulture, Great Sparrowhawk, Crested Guineafowl, Afep Pigeon, Blue-spotted Grounddove, Grey Parrot (4), Ross's Turaco, Black-billed Turaco, Great Blue Turaco, Blue-headed Coucal, White-rumped Swift, Blue-breasted Kingfisher (2), Speckled Tinkerbird (common but hard to spot), Yellow-throated Tinkerbird (1, called in, easy to call in by imitating), Grey-throated Barbet, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Heary-breasted Barbet, Brown-eared Woodpecker, Honeyguide Greenbul (2), Shelleyís Greenbul, Common Bristlebill, Common Nicator, Petitís Cuckooshrike, Grey-green Bushshrike, Siffling Cisticola (on road to forest), Green Crombec (2), Dusky tit, Lead-coloured Flycatcher (1), Crested Shrike-Flycatcher, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Chestnut Wattle-eye, White-chinned Prinhia, Buff-throated Apalis, Superb Sunbird (1), Green-headed Sunbird, Green-throated Sunbird, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Veillot's Black Weaver, Golden-backed Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, Grosbeak Weaver, Grey-headed Negrofinch, Black Bishop, Red-headed Quelea (on road to forest), Red-headed Malimbe, Western Black-headed Oriole, Violet-backed Starling, Narrow-tailed Starling, Stuhlmann's Starling, Black-bellied Glossy Starling, Splendid Glossy Starling, Purple-headed Glossy Starling,

Besides the following monkeys:

Red-tailed Monkey; Olive Baboon; Líhoest Monkey; Red Colobus Monkey; Chimpansee.

Bigodi Swamp Walk

The only birds I saw on this walk that I did not see birding to and in the forest where:

Dusky-blue Flycatcher (1), Papyrus Bush-Shrike (2)

 

Ibanda 25/4/96

I had a try at this village on the foot of the Rwenzoris close to Kasese. It was disappointing, partly because I could not reach the place in the morning because it took a long time to fill up the pickup to get to the village. From the village it is another 2 km walk to the end of the dirtroad from which interesting habit is actually beginning. Due to lack of time I did not continue. It is actually possible to spend the night at the end of this dirtroad according to the lonely planet trekking guide. I had two Piapiacs on my way to the village and Whitenecked ravens around.

 

Lake Bunyoni 27/4/96

A two hour walk from Kabale. Locals will assist you to find a shortcut and can arrange a canoe to peddle to one of the numerous very small islands in the lake. The canoes are dug-out treetrunks and quite hard to handle (they have flat fronts). When the weather is not too promising think twice to cross. I found out it is impossible to peddle back against a storm that suddenly appeared and had to wait on one of the islands for the storm to pass.

Close to the lake shore I saw the following interesting species:

Blue-breasted Bee-eater (5), Heuglin's Robin-chat, Grey-throated Flycatcher, Papyrus Serin, Senegal Coucal, Grey-capped Warbler, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Purple Heron, Swamp Flycatcher, Chubbís Cisticola

On Bushara Island

White-tailed Crested Flycatcher (1), Red-chested Sunbird, Red-throated Wryneck (2 probably nesting pair), Orange-; Slender-billed- Emins- and Yellow-backed Weavers, Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Yellow-bellied and Black Crowned Waxbills

 

Bwindi 30/4 - 5/5/96

This magnificent place, also called the Impenetrable Forest, is the best birding site I visited.

It is also one of the best places in the World to see Mountain Gorilla. Permits are around 200 US$! to go on a hike (close sightings are almost guaranteed). There is an additional 15 US$ park entree. I thought this overpriced and did not go on this organised "tracking" to see them. There are two groups which are wandering around and are usually traceable. The groups are very much used to humans, who practically every day come to see them. It is not allowed to do your own tracking you are only allowed to walk in the forest with a guide and stay on the trails. When I was a bit unlucky not to see them. They had been walking outside the park crossing the public road and have been walking over the campground just when I was not around. From tourists I came to know where they where and came very close to the site where they were roosting, just only hearing a silverback male grunt.

A problem for the birder is that walks in the forest are only allowed with a guide 15 US$ parkfee is hefty for every day birding. The place needs quite some time to see the birds.

The place is quite hard to reach for the backpacker who refuses to spoil the market. From Kabale you can take a bus to Kanyantorogo from there it is a short walk to Butogota this is a village where safari vehicles drivers drive to to have a drink while people are on a Gorilla tracking hike. If you talk to them and offer them a drink they can give you a drive to Buhoma (about 8 Km. from Butogota). At Buhoma there are Bandaís and Campsite plus a forest station where you can book your birdwalks. The campsite allows camping for 3 US$ a night and some additional tax. There is no running water but the nearby stream has plenty. There is a canteen where you can order a quite expensive meal and the good old Nile Beer for 1.5 times the usual price. It is a good idea to bring some food as supplies are a bit scarce. You stand a fair chance of seeing Pygmees which are living in Zaire past the forest.

It took me one day to get to Butogota by bus (this bus is incredibly slow on the steep mountain road). The bus left around 14.00 hr and arrived in Butogota at 18.00 hr (one puncher on the way).

There is a lodge in this village (3 US$).

Please donít spoil the market and donít hire a special for 40-100 US$, like many Gorilla Tracking tourists do. The river trail is on the edge of the forest and one does not have to pay the parkfee to walk this trail. The main trail is the best but you will have to go on a guided walk which lasts 4 hr and costs 15 US$ park fee.

Birds I saw on three walks in the forest and many times walking the river trail:

Crowned Eagle, Black Goshawk, African Black Duck, Tambourine Dove, Yellowbill, Barred Longtailed Cuckoo, Dusky Longtailed Cuckoo (heard only), Great Blue Turaco, Black-billed Turaco, Bar-tailed Trogon (2), White-headed Woodhoopoe, African Pygmy Kingfisher, Shining-blue Kingfisher (1), Black Bee-eater, Cinnamon-chested Beeeater, Yellow-throated Tinkerbird, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Grey-throated Barbet, Elliotís Woodpecker, Green-backed Woodpecker, Tullberg's Woodpecker, African Broadbill (heard only), Mountain Wagtail, Black Sawwing, Palm Swift, Slender-billed Greenbul, Red-tailed Bulbul, Olive Mountain Greenbul, Leaflove, White-throated Greenbul, Pink-footed Puffback, Grey-green Bush-Shrike, Many-coloured Bush-Shrike (1), Luehder's Bush-Shrike, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Mackinnon's Fiscal, Red-throated Alethe, Equatorial Akalat, Fraser's Ant Thrush (Rufous Thrush), White-tailed Ant Thrush, Mountain Illadopsis, African Hill-babbler, Uganda Warbler, Chubbís Cisticola, Banded Prinia, White-chinned Prinhia, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Red-faced Woodland Warbler (Rusty-faced Warbler), Masked Apalis, Black-throated Apalis, Black-capped Apalis, Buff-throated Apalis, White-browed Crombec, Green Hylia, Short-tailed Warbler (1, sound: loud Tweetluweet, Alfred can call it in), Grauer's Warbler (2, listen for a soft thrill, bit like Yellow-spotted Barbet but higher and slightly going up and down), Rwenzori Batis (1), African Sooty Flycatcher, Grey-throated Flycatcher, Dusky-blue flycatcher, Crested Shrike-flycatcher (2), White-bellied Crested Flycatcher, Blue Flycatcher, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Banded Wattle-eye, African Paradise Flycatcher, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher (not on the checklist), Dusky Tit, Spectacled Weaver, Black-billed Weaver, Brown Capped Weaver, Red headed Malimbe, Purple-breasted Sunbird (2 on the waterfall-loop-trail), Blue-headed Sunbird, Green Sunbird, Olive Sunbird, Green headed Sunbird, Waller's Starling, Stuhlmannís Starling, Narrow-tailed Starling

 

Bugala Island 8-11/5/96

I took the opportunity to escape the elections (9-th of May) by going to this island. Nobody was sure if there were going to be fights and riots. There were some fights the day before and violence can sometimes escalate in African countries (there was a huge riot when Kenya changed to the multi party system a few years ago). Later we heard that there were no serious incidents in Kampala during the elections.

From Kampala take a taxi to Kasenye (about 1 US$). From there you can wait for a boat to take you to Bugala Island. It is interesting to watch fishermen bringing in Nile-perch here some fish are around 2 m long have to be carried by 4 persons and have mouths were a manís head can easily disappear in. It is a 4-6 hr boatride and the boats are in very poor condition. The boats do not get to shore for some reason. Local people will carry you and your luggage to the boat for a little money (watch what the locals are paying to know the price if you donít want to get ripped off). Make sure that you and your luggage are/is protected against a lot of water flushing into the boat. It is not a good idea to go when the weather is not too promising. My boat left at 15.30 and I arrived 6 hrs later in the dark. I was starving, completely wet and chilled to the bone. It was far from a pleasant boattrip. Kasenye has a small market where you can buy food, you may have to wait for 2 hrs like me if youíre unlucky. The island is a good place to have a rest and meet other travellers. The Hornbills campsite is a friendly place to camp with good food. A crazy German runs it and has two wicked monkeys that can steal your food. Watch them! The good old bonfire the local army-ants and dangerously strong local alcohol (ask in the village for "kill-me-quick" or "cognagi") and pot made this to be a few days I will never forget. The few birds I bothered to look at were:

African Darter, White-winged Black Tern, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Sooty Anteater Chat (1 at the bandaís of a tourist lodge close to the Hornbill campsite), Banded Wattle-eye, Orange Weaver.

 

Budongo Forest Reserve

Royal Mile 14-16/5/96

From Kampala you can take a bus to Nyabyeya which eventually goes to Wanseko. Ask the driver to drop you at Nyabyeya. If this bus has left you can also go to Masindi and then take a taxi to Nyabyeya. From here it is a 2 km. walk to the forest college (a signposted right turn if you come from Masindi). The Guesthouse is quite expensive but it may be possible to camp for free in the garden (I did). You can order good meals in advance at the guesthouse. When I was there I could not buy food at the forest college so it is a good idea to carry a little.

VSO started an eco-tourism project in this forest. You have to pay 6 US$ forest entree (once for your total stay). And you are allowed to walk in the forest only with a guide (trained local people, quite useful). A mornings walk has to be paid in advance: 6 US$.

The royal mile is half an hour walking from the forest college. It is a wide road only a mile long but offers splendid birding when you take your time:

Crowned Eagle, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Tambourine Dove, Black-billed Turaco, Great Blue Turaco, Cassin's Spinetail, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, African Pygmy Kingfisher, African Dwarf Kingfisher, Blue-throated Roller, White-thighed Hornbill, Black-and-White-casqued Hornbill, African Pied Hornbill, White-rumped Swiftlet, Red-rumped Swallow, Yellowbill, Speckled Tinkerbird, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Common Nicator, Little Greenbul, Bristlebill, Red-tailed Bulbul, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Slender-billed Greenbul, Fire-crested Alethe, Moustached Warbler (on road to the forest), Uganda Warbler, Green Hylia, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Olive-green Camaroptera, Brown-crowned Eremomela, Lemon-bellied Crombec, Buff-throated Apalis, Whistling Cisticola, Fraserís Antthrush (Rufous Thrush), Forest Robin (heard often, not seen), Chestnut Wattle-eye, Ashy Flycatcher, Forest Flycatcher, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Purple-headed Glossy-starling, Little Olive Sunbird, Green Sunbird, Cardinal Quelea, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Red-headed Bluebill, White-breasted Negro-finch, Grossbeak Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, Yellow-mantled Weaver (2, nesting), Crested Malimbe, Brown Twinspot.

 

Busingiro 17/5/96

This is only a campsite with a waterpump some 3 miles further from Nyabyeya on the Masindi Butiaba road.

Being part of the Budongo Forest this campsite is also build for the eco-tourism project. A nights stay costs 3 US$. There is one small hut nearby were a friendly woman can cook you a very basic but filling meal Beans and Cassava. The campsite can offer you drinks and beers and some snacks when you order in advance. Just a walk on the main road a little back can produce a lot of birds. The wheather was very bad as it rained continuously I birded only a little. You can probably see most of the species I listed for the Royal Mile. I only recorded the ones that I didnít see at the Royal Mile:

Sabine's Spinetail (also Cassinís quite common flying around in late afternoon), Ituri Batis (1 mind that this is a canopy species), Spotted Greenbul (canopy species in small groups, noisy), Buff-spotted Woodpecker, Narina Trogon, Paradise Flycatcher, Red-headed Malimbe, White-tailed Blue flycatcher (1), Western Black-headed Oriole, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Wallerís Starling.

 

Butiaba (at Lake Albert) 18/5/96

At least two times a day there is a truck going this way and back to gain sand near the lake. You can get a ride in the back. Butiaba is a hot fishing village in the Albertine Riftvalley which has totally different habitat. Although I didnít see a lot it was worth the visit just to see the village.

Black-billed Wood Dove, Northern Black Flycatcher on the first kilometres walking along the road.

At Butiaba:

Piapiacs (common), Red-necked Falcon (1), Zitting Cisticola, Crowned Crane, Openbill, Whiskered Tern, Black-winged Stilt.