Sunday, July 4, 2010

Back in Mbale for July

Back in Mbale for most of July, and one of the best parts of returning to this familiar environs is the familiar avifauna. As I compose this, besides the thunder rolling and the pitter-patter of rain on many leaves, I can hear the robin-chats (white-browed, Cossypha heuglini) singing away in defiance of the wetness, reminding me why they're in the top tier of musicians on this continent.

I haven't yet made any lists of species seen, and may not on this short visit get the chance for much intentional birding (I will try!), but it's pleasant to be able to mention a few of those that have delighted my eyes in these few days since arriving.

*Long-crested eagle -- hunting from a perch on the perimeter fence at Entebbe airport
*Lizard buzzard -- on a power line close to our house in Mbale
*Red-eyed dove -- ubiquitous
*Pied crow -- the same, only more so
*Scarlet-chested sunbird -- male singing atop a tree
*Northern puffback, Klaas' cuckoo, and white-browed coucal -- voices only so far, but they'll come out to be seen at some point
*Yellow-throated greenbul in their usual noisy gregariousness
*Woodland kingfisher
*Pygmy kingfisher -- perched in our yard, a perfect little jewel
*Ruppell's long-tailed starling
*Harrier hawk (gymnogene) -- gliding effortlessly among the remaining giant African mahogany trees in our neighborhood
*African hobby -- brief glimpse of one wheeling over the ARA in Kampala
*Black-headed heron
*Yellow-billed stork
*White-breasted cormorant
*Pink-backed pelican