Sunday, May 6, 2012

Uganda Birds - April 2012 (mostly in Mbale)

Some of the species I noticed in passing:

1.      Spectacled weaver
2.      Baglafecht (Reichenow’s) weaver
3.      African pied crow
4.      White-browed robin-chat (Heuglin’s robin)
5.      African blue flycatcher
6.      Black-headed heron
7.      African black kite
8.      Hadada
9.      Lizard buzzard
10.  Saddlebill stork
11.  Egyptian goose
12.  Little egret
13.  Red-eyed dove
14.  Speckled pigeon
15.  Scarlet-chested sunbird
16.  Ruepell’s long-tailed starling
17.  Common bulbul
18.  Yellow-throated greenbul
19.  Woodland kingfisher
20.  Wood stork
21.  Yellow white-eye
22.  Grey-cap warbler
23.  Red-billed firefinch
24.  Pink-backed pelican
25.  Grey-headed sparrow
26.  African thrush
27.  Brown parrot
28.  Broad-billed roller
29.  African pied kingfisher
30.  Speckled mousebird
31.  Red-chested cuckoo (calling)
32.  Common camaroptera (calling)
33.  Bronze-tailed starling
34.  Piapiac
35.  Wire-tailed swallow
36.  Lesser striped swallow
37.  House sparrow
38.  Bronze manikin
39.  Little swift
40.  Palm swift
41.  African pied wagtail
And a few species I came across while in the Eldoret and Moiben areas a few days:

Harrier hawk (Gymnogene)
Black-shouldered kite
Speckled mousebird
White-browed robin-chat
Black-lored babbler
Common fiscal
Grey-backed fiscal
Red-cheeked cordon-bleu
Rufous sparrow
Blue-eared glossy starling
Ring-necked (Cape) turtle dove
Laughing dove
Cape rook
Tawny-flanked prinia
Bronze sunbird
Speckled pigeon
African black kite
Cattle egret
Diederik cuckoo
Red-chested cuckoo
Grey crowned crane
These are a few of the birds I noticed on a cloudy-morning walk up and down Argwings Kodhek Rd in Nairobi this morning:

Harrier hawk (Gymnogene)
Lesser masked weaver
Baglafecht (Reichenow's) weaver
Collared sunbird
Variable sunbird
Bronze sunbird
White-browed sparrow-weaver
African black kite
Olive thrush
African paradise flycatcher
Speckled mousebird
Speckled pigeon
African pied wagtail
Rock martin
Little swift
Red-wing starling
White-eyed slaty flycatcher
Northern pied babbler (new species for me!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kenya roadside

I've had the pleasure of driving and walking around in western Kenya (highlands) for the past several days, and then driving southeast across the equator to Nairobi. Although I did no purposeful birding, I kept my eyes open and caught glimpses of a number of Africa's outstanding avian citizens, of which here is a selection (I've included a few sightings from my time in Uganda last week, also):

Black-headed oriole
Sacred ibis
Hadada (many - learned the Nandi [also] onomatopoeic name for them, "chebokwakwa")
Cape rook
Scarlet-chested sunbird
Blue-eared glossy starlings (probably greater, didn't have a field guide handy to check)
Superb starlings
Augur buzzard (regular and melanistic phase)
Pallid harrier, male and female (females could have been Montagu's, nearly impossible to distinguish in the field)
Bat hawk (seldom sighted, always notable in my experience)
Possible pygmy falcon (too brief a glimpse to be sure...would be a new one for me!)
Lilac-breasted roller
Lanner falcon (actually seen in Mbale, Uganda on the way to Kenya, a pair)
Grey crowned crane
Olive (rameron) pigeon (and several other species of dove/pigeon, including laughing, ring-necked, speckled, along with calls of blue-spotted wood dove & red-eyed dove)
Red-cheeked cordon-bleu
Rufous sparrow
Crowned plover
Grey-backed and common fiscal shrikes (Nandi name for grey-backed fiscal is "Kipkegei")
Red-rumped swallow
Little swift
Yellow-throated longclaw
Black-headed heron
Eurasian bee-eater
Hooded vulture
Black-shouldered kite
Saddlebill stork (this also in Uganda, in Lake Victoria as the road leaves Entebbe)
African goshawk (melanistic male chasing Ruepell's long-tailed starling & brown parrot - in Mbale town)
Helmeted guineafowl
Red-billed oxpecker
Fork-tailed drongo
Black-and-white-casqued hornbill
Grey-headed kingfisher
Woodland kingfisher
Pink-backed pelican

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yellow-crowned night heron

Friday, last week, I think it was, I spotted a yellow-crowned night heron in the dead branches of a large tree leaning over and into the southwest edge of Rainbow lake. There were several green herons in the vicinity too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Season still turning

It was a great pleasure recently to have a yellow-breasted chat in our neighborhood - a first-time sighting for me. In the past few days the common nighthawks have been making their return known with their repetitive "peet-ing" from overhead in the evenings and early mornings. Western kingbirds are back in force too -- they show up a few weeks later than the scissortails, for some reason.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Seasonal comings & goings

I saw a male northern harrier on power lines just south of Lubbock yesterday. He'll be leaving for cooler climes soon. Although I've seen these and other harriers often enough, 99% of the time they're airborne, quartering over some swamp or savannah or field. It was almost a shock to see this one perched!

Our scissortails are back in numbers, in Abilene and across west Texas. Purple martins, barn swallows and cliff swallows are much in evidence again, as are the chimney swifts.

We had clay-colored and Lincoln's sparrows in our front yard among a mixed group of birds foraging under the bird feeder -- both of these were new to me, so a real pleasure to have a prolonged look at them. These fellows are also probably on their way northward.

There was a Bewick's wren inside our garage a few days back -- I've often been impressed with how bold and even intrusive these diminutive birds are when pursuing their insect and arachnid prey.