Friday, March 25, 2011

Uganda - Saturday March 12th - Semuliki Forest

We set off first thing, arriving at the trail into the forest around dawn, and were joined again by Elly. The trail leads directly to the Semuliki River, which is the border with Congo, some 9 miles from the trail head. Being a birding walk though, there was no chance of us going that far. The day was murky so as well as carrying our meals we also had rain coats with us. We did see a lot of birds, the majority of which were skulkers in the undergrowth, which aren't suitable photography subjects, the photographic lens in this case is far inferior to the human eye but I did manage some photography.

Birds such as the Blue-throated Roller:

Western Nicator:

Speckled Tinkerbird:

Red-bellied Flycatcher, known here as the Black-headed Paradise Flycatcher:

The main birding location on the walk proved to be a fruiting fig tree, which had attracted loads of birds, including this group of Piping Hornbills:

Other forest specialities included a Grant's Bluebill:

Crested Malimbe:

Chestnut Wattle-Eye:

Black-Casqued Wattled Hornbill:

Black Dwarf Hornbill (we did very well for Hornbills on the trip, missing just one Congo species):

African Green Pigeon:

And a surprising spot, a Yellow-throated Cuckoo:

It rained when we were at the fig tree. We went on when it stopped but Helen needed some down time as she was still struggling with the after-effects of the head injury from the camera and with the ongoing threat of rain, we decided to head back to the hotel and take the afternoon off. Plus, around lunchtime, it's 'butterfly o'clock' as the birds settle down after the morning of feeding, territorial protection, etc., which is when the butterflies really come into their own. We saw all shapes and sizes and indeed colours of butterflies. A butterfly enthusiast would love Bwindi and Semuliki.

On the trip back to the hotel - 40 minutes of 'bump' and 'dip', another Lizard Buzzard:

And in the hotel grounds, its prey:

We enjoyed the forest walk but enjoyed the downtime too, having an early dinner and an early night too.

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