Monday, February 25, 2008

Mt Elgon National Park

Last week I had the privilege of hiking for two days in Mt Elgon National Park, climbing from about 2050 meters above sea level to about 2,675 meters and back down to where we started. We spent the night at (partly in) Tatum (tah-TOOM) Cave at the 2,675-meter level. Of necessity our pace was faster than ideal for birding, but I did see some good ones along the way, viz.:

* Brown woodland warbler (
Phylloscopus umbrovirens) -- a first for me

* Grey cuckoo-shrike (
Coracina caesia)

* Hartlaub's turaco (
Tauraco hartlaubi) -- first time to meet these in Uganda; have seen them several times in Kenya

* Olive pigeon (
Columba arquatrix)

* White-tailed crested flycatcher (
Elminia albonotata)

* African blue flycatcher (
Elminia longicauda)

* Mountain buzzard (
Buteo oreophilus)

* Ayres' hawk eagle (
Hieraaetus ayresii)

* White-starred robin (
Pogonocichla stellata) -- first time to see this in Uganda; a familiar species from Malawi years

* Olive thrush (
Turdus olivaceus) -- first time to see this in Uganda; common in Kenya highlands

* Black-throated apalis (Apalis jacksoni)

We also saw a few blue monkeys and heard baboons and black-and-white colobus monkeys as we walked through the montane forest.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Recently noted

Several species of interest that I've spotted here and there in the past week or two:

Red-necked falcon (Falco chicquera) -- checked the borassus palm where we have been seeing one of these for the past several weeks and found it perched there again

Abyssinian roller (
Coracias abyssinica) -- saw a few of these in passing while traveling in the vicinity of Soroti town

Namaqua dove (
Oena capensis) -- had one fly by over wet grassland near Awoja on our way to Soroti

Giant (Verreaux's) eagle owl (Bubo lacteus) -- saw one carrying prey early the other morning, and have been hearing them more often lately than we did for a while

Black-and-white-casqued hornbill (
Bycanistes subcylindricus) -- heard one of these large fellows while out running early a couple of mornings ago

African little sparrowhawk (Accipiter minullus) -- another one (second in a month) flying over

Tropical boubou (
Laniarius aethiopicus) -- haven't actually seen one recently, but have been hearing them often calling (often duetting) from inside thickets in our neighborhood

Harlequin quail (
Coturnix delegorguei) -- came across a female dead on the road, probably struck by a car while migrating in the night