Monday, 17 August 2015

East Africa Day 11

Uganda 29 July 2015

I have not been able to upload photographs to my blog without wifi or decent band width but will add my photographs to my blog post as soon as I can.

We are having the most brilliant time in Uganda with everything being great. Our trip was organised by our local ground agents Avian Watch Uganda.  Everything is going really well with Robert, our fantastic guide (who knows all the sites and calls and can whistle birds in) and Paul, our driver and fixer, for who nothing was too much.

We were at Murchison National Park, which is a savannah suitable for safari and savannah birds.  This morning it had been raining heavily since three am.  Breakfast was at 6.00 am but we didn’t rush as there was no point leaving in the rain.  Although it was 6.15 am, there was no breakfast out and Digby had been waiting half an hour for a cup of coffee that didn’t arrive until after Dad’s, which obviously he wasn’t happy about.

The rain eased off and eventually were left at 7.30 am to bird our way towards the top of the falls.

Robert spotted some lions, but although we had been surrounded by vehicles all morning, just when we needed one nothing appeared for 15 minutes.  There was a school expedition from Derbyshire who came along and we helped the teacher get onto them.  None of the the teenagers had binoculars which seemed a bit of a waste of opportunity.

The highlight of the morning was Canabis’s Bunting, which we had been trying for during our trip to Murchison Falls and Spotted Thick-knee.  We also saw a Denham’s Bustard move its neck forward and eat a big insect without moving its body.  We had been trying for Red-winged Grey Warbler as well, but had not luck with that.

We then went down to the ferry terminal, where we had got our boat the day before, where we got the 12.00 pm ferry across the river after missing our 11.00 am ferry, along with the school group.

We stopped on the other side and amazingly saw a Red-winged Grey Warbler within a few minutes, after trying for it all morning.  We then had our packed lunch with a welcome cold drink at a hostel on the otherside.  A passed up my manky sandwich for a bowl of rice.

We then drove to the top of Murchison Falls itself, which was really beautiful.  Digby wanted to try another geo cache here and had decided that it was missing when Robert again used his hunter skills to find it, much to his and Paul’s elation.

After driving out of Murchison Falls NP for several hours, we reached an excellent forest, Kanio Pabidi, where we birded for an hour.  It was great to be birding in forest again and seeing a few good species lie Narina Trogan, Cassin’s Honeyguide, Scarce Swift, Western Nicator and Purvel’s Iladopsis.

We then had to drive to the park gate, making sure that we had time to process our departure before our 6.24 pm departure deadline, 48 hours after we had entered.  Despite the guard taking his time, we left with 5 minutes to spare.

We then drove on to the town of Masindi, where we checked into the Masindi Hotel.  It was an old British Administration building and lovely with courtyards and outbuildings. Paul and Robert stayed for dinner but Digby went to bed as he wasn’t feeling great.  After dinner, I slipped away only to be called back by Paul.  He told me that he wanted to talk to me and started chatting any.  Suddenly, a cake appeared for Mum and Dad, who had both just had their birthdays.  It was a lovely gesture!

There was quite a lot of cake left and so we gave it to an Engish couple who were staying at the hotel and seemed to be birders.

Trip list – My trip list up to the end of day 11 is 383 with 164 lifers.

About the Writer

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig 

Mya-Rose Craig is a 12 year old young birder, conservationist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She is looking forward to going Mountain Gorilla Trekking in East Africa and watching Penguins in Antarctica in December 2015, which will be her 7th continent. She has recently been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for posting a comment. Please can you make sure that it is positive and is about me or my blog and not about promoting you or your business. Thanks. Mya-Rose Craig