Semuliki Forest, Uganda (Aug 2010) | ExpedEvac

Semuliki Forest, Uganda (Aug 2010)

Kirumira Trail
7 Aug; Drive Fort Portal to Sempaya UWA office, Semuliki NP 05:54 to 07:00
Guided walk in Semuliki Forest along Kirumira Trail. (Local guide - Alex and UWA guide Jessica) 08:10 - 12:40
Guided walk in Semuliki Forest to Male Hotsprings. (Local guide - Alex and UWA guide Jessica) 13:30 - 14:10

The drive from Fort Portal was largely uneventful and rather dusty but a Black-shouldered Nightjar did briefly grace us with its presence. Arriving at the Sempaya UWA office, the bird activity was in full swing with madly trying to focus binoculars everywhere at the same time. The party was off with Piping Hornbill, Purple-headed Starlings and a couple of Rufous Flycatcher-thrushes.

We set off for the Kirumira Trail which we reached at 8am and started our walk into the forest. There didn't seem to be heaps of activity but we were trying to be optimistic and hoped for some goodies to pop up. Red-tailed Bristlebills remained annoyingly invisible albeit the calls all over the shop, this later proved to be a similar modus operandi to that of the Yellow-billed Barbet (I think Jason got a view of it once though). Some obliging African Pied Hornbills were welcome and Western Nicator provided excellent views and the opportunity to record both its calls.

Meanwhile, the Red-tailed Monkeys and Grey-cheeked Mangabeys were out foraging and playing whilst I found an immature Jameson's Wattle-eye. Black & White Casqued Hornbills arrived and announced by their unmistakable calls. Almost dwarfing them, the Black-casqued Wattled Hornbills arrived with noisy wingbeats with the much smaller Piping Hornbill watching the whole hornbill circus.

Blue-headed Agama (photographed at UWA Sempaya office)

At this stage we stumbled across a feeding frenzy of at least 35 African Green Pigeons while an immature Palm-nut Vulture idled over and higher still some Palm Swifts were dashing about. It seemed that everything was calling and frustratingly refusing to show themselves whilst Jason was being attacked by some ants resulting in him doing some rather entertaining (well, to the rest of us anyway) dances. Western Bronze-naped Pigeon (which we managed to see later though), Ross' Turaco, Yellow-throated & Speckled Tinkerbirds and White-spotted Flufftail continued calling and we didn't get any closer to sightings.

We eventually turned around and started making our back down the trail to car and a few more good sightings rolled/flew in; African Harrier-hawk, Green Crombec, Grey-headed Nigrita, Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher, Tambourine Dove and a surprise (I don't think anybody was really expecting them as we were hoping for Crested GF) sighting of Helmeted Guineafowl. A pair of Western Bronze-naped Pigeons eventually gave good views and I managed to hammer off a poor record photo of one. I came across an injured (seemed like the wing was injured) African Green Pigeon next to the trail and got some cracking photos of this lovely bird.

Back at the Sempaya UWA office for lunch, a Yellow-throated Tinkerbird obliged and presented itself for cracking views. From here we did the short walk to the female hotsprings, an incredible site (and sight) also adding Spur-winged Lapwings and Common Sandpiper to the list.

The afternoon we got back to Sebitoli at Kibale Forest and had some short, but productive stints of birding. (see next post)

Female Hotsprings