Freelance photographer, guide, divemaster and travel blogger. Travelled 47 countries and counting; 30 in Africa plus the Caribbean, Europe and SE Asia. Now in South America and as always, still working and involved in the tourism and hospitality industries.
Kibale Forest (Sebitoli and Kanyanchu) (Aug 2010)
8 Aug: birding around Sebitoli campsite & approach road 17:40 - 19:00
9 Aug: Drive to Kanyanchu (mid-Kibale Forest); birding in forest along drive, UWA Kanyanchu office and Primate Lodge 07:45 - 12:15
Having waited out the afternoon rain at Sebitoli after returning from Semuliki, we decided to see what we could find around the campsite and along the approach road, the latter proving very productive the last couple of days. We didn't a huge quantity of species but what we found was certainly some quality species with good views.
It started off with the resident African Dusky Flycatcher and then a pair of Brown-eared Woodpeckers that we got good views of but the dark forest interior was not conducive to good photos. Both Northern Double-collared and Green-headed Sunbirds were out feeding as was a pair of Buff-throated Apalis. In the same party and/or nearby were also African Yellow White-eye, Slender-billed Greenbul, Dark-backed (Forest) Weaver, Shrike Flycatcher and a Rufous Flycatcher Thrush.
Further down the road we found Purple-headed Starling, Grey-throated Barbet, White-headed Saw-wings, Speckled Mousebird and Joyful Greenbul. Just before dinner, the Black-shouldered Nightjar started calling.
(9 Aug) This morning we set off for Kanyanchu which is located approximately in the middle of Kibale Forest and further south from Sebitoli. A large part of this drive goes through the forest and we were hoping to do a few spots of birding. Before we even got to that area, we added Grey-crowned Cranes to the list followed by a Scaly Francolin flushed near agricultural land. We also passed Baglafecht Weaver, Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Yellow-throated Longclaw and a small Black-headed Heron breeding site (heronry) with 3 nests.
Our 1st stop along the forest road was a nesting colony in a large dead tree of Narrow-tailed Starlings and at least 6 nests that we could see but 20+ birds. At the river bridge we stopped and had short but cracking views of the stunning Shining Blue Kingfisher. Not much else was visible here other than Black & White Casqued Hornbills and Little Greenbuls. We heard Black-billed Turaco though between the Yellow-throated, Yellow-rumped & Speckled Tinkerbirds' calling. Mammals weren't left lagging as Red-tailed Monkeys and Grey-cheeked Mangabeys came to watch the crazy humans.
Just before Kanyanchu we found a colony of Vieillot's Black Weavers (turned out to be the most common weaver in the area over the next few days) as well as a nesting pair of Thick-billed (Grosbeak) Weavers. At Kanyanchu we organised things for our next day's birding and the hunt for the Green-breasted Pitta and then went to enjoy some welcome coffee at Primate Lodge. The manager kindly also invited us to do some birding around the lodge grounds which borders the forest. This proved to be my best photo opportunity of Western Nicator after great views of a pair of Olive-bellied Sunbirds. We bumped into Gerald with some clients, our guide for the next day, and finalised the early morning times i.e. starting before sunrise for the next day. Whilst talking to him we had cracking close views of Green Crombec and I also managed to get very good call recordings.
From here, we set off to the nearby Chimp's Nest Lodge, our accommodation for the next few days.