A blog by a young birder, birdwatcher, twitcher, naturalist, environmentalist & writer about birds, wildlife, nature, conservation & ringing (banding) who is an Ambassador for Survival International and a Charter Champion for The Charter for Woods, Trees and People
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
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
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
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