Sunday, March 20, 2011

Uganda - afternoon, Sunday March 6th - Lake Mburo NP

The drive from Mabamba Swamp to Lake Mburo National Park was a few hours on mostly decent roads. Once we pulled off in the park it was dirt roads thereafter. The first portion we passed through is common land, which means the herders can graze their cattle:
These very large horned cattle made up over 90% of all the cattle we saw in Uganda. I guess they must be both hardy and a local breed.
As we approached the entrance to the National Park proper, Harriet pointed out a White-browed Scrub-Robin:

That tail is raised and then fanned as part of their display. Also around the entrance (we got out to stretch our legs), Trilling Cisticolas:



A confiding Striped Kingfisher:




A Warthog, which soon decided it didn't like us wandering around too close, so we backed off:


We got back in the bus, this time with the roof raised for a game drive into the park. Along the road, a bird we only saw fleetingly in Kenya in 2009 but got really good views of on this trip to Uganda, a Sulphur-breasted Bush-Shrike:





It's hard to describe the sound made by Ruppell's Long-tailed Starlings:


They are beautiful birds, stunning plumage, sounds and behaviour and really quite common too :)
More on the mammal front, a Topi:



Running across the road in front of us, Red-naped Francolin:


Helen took this picture of Morning Glory at one stop:



Another runner across the road, Helmeted Guineafowl:



A small antelope, the Oribi:



Crested Francolin:



Sat up in a tree, a Cattle Egret:


Further into the park, another Black-capped Gonolek, already one of my favourite birds:



Like Ruppell's Long-tailed Starling, they have a fantastic and distinctive voice and sound as well as fabulous plumage and gregarious behaviour.

Bare-faced Go-Away bird:



A 'wader'/'shorebird' in the grassland of the park, an African Wattled Lapwing:



Another water bird, the African Open-bill Stork, this one sat atop a tree:



On our first day we were racking-up new species and indeed photographs. I mostly decided to leave out the more blurry, lest distinctive photographs for brevity of blog and, indeed, time -suffice to say there's a lot more where this lot came from! Uganda was living up to the promise we had anticipated and more. The drive ended at our accommodation, Arcadia Cottages - good quality accommodation, good food, reasonably priced beer and a small herd of Impala hanging around our hut to avoid potential predators :)

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