RWANDA

Africa's Secret Endemic Bastion

1st– 10 th August 2008

Leader: Christian Boix

Red-collared Mountain Babbler

Photos taken by Christian Boix, Ken Behrens and Bernie Masters 

Itinerary:

1 Aug

Johannesburg - Entebbe - Kigali

Arrival in Kigali

2 Aug

Kigali - Nyungwe Forest

Birded  Kigali wetlands and  drove though to Nyungwe Forest in afternoon

3 Aug

Nyungwe Forest

Birded Bigugu Heights and  road to Karamba in afternoon

4 Aug

Nyungwe Forest

Birded Kamiranzovu Swamp Forest and Bururi Road in PM

5 Aug

Nyungwe Forest

Birded Cyamudongo Forest and Uwinka Trail in PM

6 Aug

Cyamudongo Forest - Kigali

Full morning birding Bururi Road afternoon birding at Uwinka and

7 Aug

Kigali - Akagera NP

Drive to Akagera NP and birded savanna plains below Akagera Lodge

8 Aug

Akagera NP

Full day birding around Lake Ihema and Lake Birengero

9 Aug

Akagera NP

Full day birding savannas and Lake Birengero in afternoon

10 Aug

Akagera NP - Kigali

AM birding in Akagera NP and PM return drive to Kigali.

 
Trip report 

Day 1
The flight to Entebbe was amenised by a very intrepid and accommodating SAA pilot who took it upon himself to share the delights of Kilimanjaro's clear summit. Flying low and a few 1000 ms above it we were treated to magnificent clear and crisp views of Kili's top.  Alpine grasslands dotted with giant Lobelias were distinguishable...and somewhat more alarming the clear "receding hairline" of millenary glaciers melting down as rising global temperatures take their toll.  The landing in Entebbe was painless and the connecting flight to Kigali seamless.  However, my arrival in Kigali could not have been more troublesome even if it had been pre-arranged.  It appeared that despite all enquiries and pre-trip preparations having contacted Rwanda Air, Rwandas High Commission in RSA and our ground agent in Rwanda....a crucial piece of information to access Rwanda had been omitted, the need for an Electronic Visa Application prior to entering the country.  As the evening progressed and my entrance into Rwanda remained barred and they were lining me up for immediate repatriation I discovered that this EVA had only been in place for a few weeks....hence no one worldwide (or nationwide) knew about it. Fortunately, Kigali is a small and well connected capital and soon enough our contacts at the Ministry of Environment had the Minister of Home Affairs clearing me out of this mess and heading for a somewhat "comfier" bed for the night. Thanks once again to ORTPN for my midnight rescue....you are my hero!!

Day 2
Having experienced the intransigence of custom officials last night plus discovered that our last arriving participant's flight was arriving with a 2 hr delay, we opted to stand by in Kigali until he arrived. We birded a  a rather unassuming wetland near the hotel and started scoring a smattering of iconic African species, namely Yellow-billed Stork, African Openbill, Sacred Ibis, African Spoonbill and Marabou Storks. The open waters thrived with good numbers of Redknobbed Coot, Yellowbilled, Whitefaced and Comb Duck, Red-billed Duck and Hottentot Teal. The skies were as elsewhere in central Africa busy crowding up with Yellow-billed Kites, Hooded Vultures and "crying" Pied Crows.  As we scoped the riparian edge, we came across brightly colored Yellow-throated Longclaws, regal looking Wattled Plovers, skulking White-browed Coucals, sinister Grey-backed Fiscals and shy White-browed Robin- Chats.  Feeding on gnat swarms a mixed flock of martins and swallows gathered and we enjoyed great views of wintering Barn Swallows, the rather similar Angola Swallow, Wire-tailed and Lesser Striped Swallows.  The reed beds were alive with with weavers and through the course of the morning we enjoyed good views of Vitelline, Village, Baglafecht and the chunky Holub's Weaver.  A bit of spishing about brought out two sought after quarries Winding Cisticola and very vocal groups of Trilling Cisticolas.   But the star-bird of the morning was to be a very complying Lesser Jacana that strutted confidently across floating vegetation, almost ignoring our presence.  Black Crakes were as ubiquitous as ever and African Rails were heard across the shore.  The drier scrub around the wetland produced African and Gabar Goshawk, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Tropical Boubou, Scarlet-chested, Marico, Variable and Bronze Sunbirds, Red-billed and African Firefinches, Bronze Mannikin, Western Citril, Black-throated and Brimstone Canary.  And whilst the above may seem fairly typical African species....it felt great to rack up 80+ species in 2.5 hours at an unassuming wetland in the heart of Rwanda's Capital.

Crowned Crane
CROWNED CRANE - Rwanda's sprawling ruralisation has put these regal beauties under tremendous pressure. (C.Boix)

Soon after lunch we collected Paul from its flight from Nairobi and zoomed off out of Kigali before rush hour traffic built up and towards the magnificent Nyungwe Forest.  En route we came across a few typical east african species such as Long-crested Eagle, Augur Buzzard and a pair of Gray-crowned Cranes a lucky sighting of a species that is plummeting in numbers in Rwanda due to habitat loss. The drive was slow, but not due to bad roads....to the contrary!! Rwanda has some of the best tarred roads in East Africa but they wind more than Malagasy roads and every village has a gendarme that gauges vehicle speeds unaided by technological clatter...fining offenders on gut feel and appearance.

We stopped briefly at Butare for supper and soon after entered the National Park of Nyungwe, a Side-striped Jackal and swooping Ruwenzori Nightjars broke the monotony of this last leg, till we reached our accommodation at Gisakura were we crashed for the night.

Day 3
In the early hours of the morning we were greeted by an elaborate breakfast and a keen and eager local tracker, so we scoffed our meal and without delay set out to bird the heights and depths of Nyungwe. Dawn had not yet broken out when by the side of the road a calling Ruwenzori Nightjar was spotlighted as it perched placidly and added his say to a chorus of at least another 8 nightjars calling by the roadside. This I may add was a common occurrence throughout our stay as this near endemic is uncannily abundant at Nyungwe when compared to its most classic haunts in neighboring Uganda.

Though trucks and heavy traffic had deteriorated the road considerably we managed to set afoot towards the heights of Bigugu Peak by about 0630.  The climb was steep initially but the trails are well marked,  stepped and manicured and lots of great birding precluded any haste along them.  The first  Albertine Rift Endemics started showing up with Ruwenzori Apalis (Collared Apalis) coming to playback instantly.  Dainty White-headed Woodhoopoes displayed with a dance and high pitched "shriiiiillls", whilst Gray Cuckoo-shrikes and  Eastern Mountain Greenbuls flitted in the canopy and Yellow-streaked Bulbuls delighted us with their twitchy wing flick.  A Narina Trogon graced us with its appearance and shortly after a MEGA stunning Ruwenzori Turaco stole the show squarely. Chestnut-throated Apalis offered glimpse views as it cruised across tree tops, and whilst resting our necks we located a Ruwenzori Batis, White-starred Robin and Red-faced Woodland-Warbler in the mid canopy and understorey.  A calling Dohertýs Bushshrike perked us up again, but the bird did not come into full view, nonetheless whilst scanning the tangles where it called from we caught sight of  a Little Green Sunbird, an uncommon sighting for this altitudes.

As we plodded on along the track those at the front heard and saw glimpses of scurrying Handsome Francolins, but hard as we tried to lure them back onto the trail the covey moved on.  By now the comical echoes of calling Great Blue Turacos across the valleys filled the atmosphere. On reaching a vegetated open slip face we caught sight of a pair of this grand looking birds and beyond them the honking calls of Hornbills alerted us of the presence of Black and White-casqued Hornbills.

Below us a frenzy of activity was exacerbated by some spishing and soon enough we were enjoying stunning views of African Yellow White-eye, Northern Puffback, Mountain Masked Apalis,Streaky and the "hulkey" Thickbilled Seedeater. But the excitement was cut short when the first gaggles of our most sought after quarry were heard from the canopy surrounding us, at first from far....but soon streaming into our playback was a 10-15 strong flock of the enigmatic Red-collared Mountain-Babbler. In the Kupeornis genus, which it shares with a species occurring in Cameroon and another in Congo, this bizarre and arboreal babbler, relaxed and delighted us with its nuthatch like and social behavior. We spent a good 45mins with the flock before moving on noting that they were gathering nesting material and disappearing into tangles very close to last years nest location.  We were fortunate enough to bump into this group several times through the course of the morning and on our way out of the trail.

Red-collared Mountain Babbler in Nyungwe Forest Redcollared Mountain Babbler feeding
RED-COLLARED MOUNTAIN-BABBLER - Nyungwe's top endemic and main ornithological attraction (K.Behrens and C.Boix)

But even having climaxed our expectations for the morning, great birding followed despite the morning warming up....African Hill-Babblers were teased out of tangles, and Mountain Sooty Boubou satiated their curiosity as we squeaked them in, White-browed Crombec, Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Tulberg's Woodpecker, Olive Woodpecker, a distant calling Grey Apalis, the ever calling Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo and eventually at a flowering Symphonia sp. a stunning Regal Sunbird put out an appearance.

In a mossy, bamboo-clad forest edge we chased and lured in an Archer's Robin Chat until crippling scope views of it were had. In the understorey a very confiding and un-Bradypterus- like Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler put out a show for us like I have never ever seen or appreciated in this genus before. Back out, at another vegetated slip face a Mountain Yellow Warbler, a scarce, shy and inconspicuous warbler foraged in full view for us unbothered by our presence.  And, just as the morning came to a close a flock of excited Stripe-breasted Tits slowed our return, followed by a low flying flock of the enigmatic Scarce Swift slicing the skies above us. Ecstatic by this mornings introduction to some of the best forest birding on offer in East Africa, in a country that most of the world often forgets...we clambered down from the Bigugu heights and returned to our car.  From the car we still scored Waller's Starling as flocks flew across the valleys below and a short drive to a roadside flowering Symphonia tree rewarded us with stupendous, up close and personal views of Purple-breasted Sunbird, and not just one, but several males chasing each other through and around a canopy bustling with inflamed inflorescences...simply magnificent.

We returned to Gisakura Guesthouse for lunch and a brief  siesta, but by 1430 we were back on the trails, this time trying a lower altitude range in search of different quarry. Indeed the goods were not delayed and great sightings of new and exciting species started reeling in namely White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Stuhlmann's Starling, Grey-headed Negrofinch, Mackinnon's Shrike, Black-crowned Waxbill, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Chubb's Cisticola, Africa Green Pigeon, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul, Cinnamon-breasted Bee-eater and the exquisite Black-throated Apalis....and we had not even reached the forest YET!!!!

Further along the track we spend a good 30 minutes
gently prying out from the depths of a tangle a great looking Grauer's Warbler.  An immature Red-throated Alethe following a swarm of driver ants stuck to the path in front of us. A great pair of Kungwe Apalises were lured down from the canopy and truly enjoyed only to be disturbed by close and almost eye level views of a pair of stunning Brown-capped Weavers feeding on a nearby trunk. Black-billed Turacos flashing out their bloodshot wings sailed past and squirrel-like Yellowbills clambered through liana tangles. A gorgeous looking Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher was photographed for a while, until in the dying light we tried our best to lure in dusk songsters such as Bar-tailed Trogons, African Broadbills and a distant Emerald Cuckoo.

Red-throated Alethe- Nyungwe Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher

REDTHROATED ALETHE -a conspicuous beauty among Nyungwe's endemics (C.Boix) 

YELLOW-EYED BLACK FLYCATCHER - another elegant endemic (C.Boix)


Birding came to an unexpected halt when we spotted an all too familiar hairy lump swinging branches below the canopy, what initially was thought to be a Black and White Colobus or perhaps a large male Blue Monkey (which we had been hearing through the afternoon) turned out to be a sub-adult male Chimpanzee, and a very large and impressive one too !! we could not believe our luck as we were told it belonged to a very elusive and un-habituated troop...the light was poor but the scope did its magic and we were all treated to one of Africa's greatest APE sightings.

We returned to the car with more Ruwenzori Nightjars calling around us...and as we approached the car a covey of Handsome Francolins broke into raucous cry as they treed themselves for the night. With no light left to bird we tracked down the roost tree using, torches, spotlights later and eventually the car headlights finally scoring awesome views of this "not-as-handsome as they make it sound" Francolin.  With a fairy tale birding day in the bag...we retired for supper and some well deserved rest.


Day 4
The idea today was to reach the Kamiranzovu Swamp Forest in the early morning hours, to catch a glimpse of the near mythical Kivu Ground Thrush, but despite our best timing, pace and effort we were only rewarded with distant brief calls of this bird, confirming the need of a new stakeout and or approach on future visits.  Our time down in the marsh was nonetheless very productive and afforded us great second views of a smattering of species seen the day before whilst adding several others to the tally. A particularly exciting portion of the morning was spent enjoying a Red-chested Owlet which was enticed into calling and in doing so attracted upon itself a vey exciting mob of delectable species such as Ruwenzori Batis, Regal Sunbird, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird (belly views!!), Eastern Olive Sunbird, White-browed Crombec, Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, and a pair of Montane/Black-tailed Orioles.

Replying back to its mournful call we managed to reel in a stunning male Bar-tailed Trogon, caught a glimpse and heard for a while a Grey-chested Illadopsis and after several attempts managed to squeak out of the bushes a curious Short-tailed or Neumann's Warbler much to Bernie's delight, who managed to position himself in the golden circle of the birds chosen perch and stellar appearance.  Along the path Mountain Illadopsis flitted off scantily and Lemon as well as Tambourine Doves foraged wearily.

Intermittent bouts of rain, failed to elicit much bird activity but got the Turacos very excited about their morning shower and thus helped to lure in two gigantic Blue Turacos for Paul's enjoyment, as well as Black-billed and several Ruwenzori Turacos as well.


Regal Sunbird
Rwenzori Double Collared Sunbird
REGAL SUNBIRD - indisputably one of Rwanda's smartest looking Sunbirds (K.Behrens)

RWENZORI DOUBLE COLLARED SUNBIRD - common and approachable at Gisakura Guesthouse (K.Behrens)


Out of the forest and whilst traversing Kamiranzovu marsh, we spent some time playing with a calling Red-chested Fluftail, which proved to be smarter than every single trick we set out in order to steal a glimpse, instead an Olive Woodpecker drilling or inspecting an existing cavity kept us entertained for some time, whilst a Mountain Buzzard soared overhead and Grauer's Swamp-Warbler called in the distance to far to see properly in the heat haze of the marsh.  Back at the road a large flock of Blue Sawwings had gathered over the hot tarmac, close inspection of the flock revealed no White-headed Sawwings, oddly enough a year and a month earlier good numbers of the latter had been encountered amidst these flock.

We returned to Gisakura for lunch and headed back to the Uwinka section and the newly opened Rugezi road trail network for the afternoon. Before reaching the entrance to this trail, we enjoyed the feeding antics of several White-eyed Slaty Flycatchers at a Hagenia tree in Uwinka Rest Camp. Here too a White-starred Robin fed unafraid of us at the parking lot.  Walking down the hill towards the Bururi trail we came across several Montane Orioles and several groups of mixed Yellow White-eyes, Ruwenzori Batises and Northern Double-collared Sunbirds feeding on the flowering spikes of a widespread species of Giant Lobelia. Patience and good listening lured us to a pair of Blue-headed or Ruwenzori Blue-headed Sunbirds (male and female) that were sunning and preening below us in perfect light and were able to soak in the magnificent blue iridescences and nuances of this species plumage.  Similarly we were fortunate enough to contrast and compare on a number of occasions the differences of overall size, bill size and belly coloration among Northern Double-collared Sunbirds and Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbirds.

Before reaching the Rugezi road entrance we scored from a distance some great views of a Handsome Francolin peacefully feeding along the road, in great light and fully exposed. The Bururi Trail was quiet, but even so it yielded what we came to harvest....great, up and personal looks of Dusky Crimson-wing...literally feeding undisturbed by our presence less than a meter away from us.  Since the Symphonia trees that last year attracted our only record of Rockefeller's Sunbird were not in flower and appeared quiet we tried  a few newly opened trails.  Olive Pigeons appeared busy and several GB Turacos flew across the valley, most of the afternoon was spent birding a vegetated gully from a vantage trail.  Using calls of Red-chested Owl, we noticed that the Owlet was far more common that we realized, and most of the resident birds in the area showed the expected allergic reaction to its presence.  Banded Prinias put out a sterling and noisy appearance, as did Yellow-eyed Black Flycatchers, Dusky Flycatchers, a pair of African Hill -Babblers, several Regal Sunbirds another Archer's Robin-Chat an Equatorial Akalat that never showed up and finally a stunning group of Strange Weavers that came to join and inspect the commotion.

From across the valley a Many colored Bush-shrike sat tight in its tangle and deprived us of a viewing but whilst listening to its call and our playback we noticed marked differences in its call compared to my previous recordings both in Uganda and Cameroon, a valuable lesson that was to be corrected on our next encounter.

Our return to Gisakura was slow and with many stops trying for Albertine Owlet and Fraser's Eagle Owl at several stakeouts along the way, but this year neither appeared active and the drive down was fairly uneventful, albeit amenised by more sightings of Side-striped Jackal, Spectacled and Thomas's Galago. Earlier on the day we added as well great sightings of Rwenzori Sun Squirrel as well as Firefooted Rope Squirrel, Blue Monkey, L'Hoests Monkey and Vervet Monkey.  After supper a brief ramble in the gardens produced a Wood Owl.
Grauer´s Warbler- Nyungwe Collared (Ruwenzori) Apalis
GRAUER'S WARBLER - a rare full view glimpse of this Rift endemic!! (K.Behrens)

COLLARED APALIS - as abundant as...great looking !  ( K.Behrens)


Day 5
Today we booked ourselves for a longish hike to the summit of the Karamba Trail.  Again this trail proved to be superb, and thanks to the aid of our new Edirol Digital recording gear we managed to record a number of sub songs and east african variations that when played back cashed in a large proportion of the species that made this excellent morning.  The walk was easy and level much of the calls and birds sen on days prior were present. Immature Red-throated Alethes pierced an ant column across the trail, and Strange Weavers foraged quietlyin the scrub, Collared and Little Green Sunbird ( a bit of a surprise at this elevation!!) fed on mistletoes whilst another Tullberg's Woodpecker was sighted again. Crossing the zenith and Afep Pigeon left us wishing  we deserved better views of it, and as the morning quieted down....we whipped out again the microphone and recording gear. Listening carefully, stealthily we managed to grab a few short hoots of a distant Many Colored Bush-shrike, after that it was a matter of seconds before this handsome bush shrike flew in and perched above our heads calling.  Likewise a Mountain Illadopsis that otherwise was only providing glimpse fly by views....was enticed to perch curiously nearer to us.  An Equatorial Akalat nearly ripped our heads off as it barreled in  and likewise a pair of very confiding White-bellied Robin-Chats flitted around us after we teased them out of a thick tangle. Distant African Broadbills were heard calling and Emerald Cuckoos were reticent to fly-by or perch up.  Nonetheless we felt fairly rewarded after scoring great views of several skulking and vey shy african robins, illadopsis and a  near mythical bush-shrike.

After lunch, a short foray below the restaurant produced Brown-throated Wattle-eye and a single Cabani's Greenbul.

For the afternoon we returned to the Bururi Trail and walked beyond our last birding foray, we were still strapping our bins to our neck when the ghostly hoots of the elusive Lagden's Bush-shrike pierced the air, microphone in hand we managed to get a good recording and it was no later than two hoots after that this hulking, good looking and elusive Malaconotus Bush-shrike put out a wonderful appearance right over our heads, the excitement had hardly subsided when a Luhder's Bush-shrike "tremolo ed" from a tangle nearby and with patience we caught sight of this daintier yet still colorful shrike. For the hat trick...a very obliging Doherty's Bush-shrike popped up in the open and perched, preened and called meters away from us charring our retinas with its brightly colored plumage.  Other birds worth mentioning this afternoon included Least Honeyguide, Dusky Crimson-wing and Mountain Illadopsis.  It needs to be admitted that a good 45 minutes of this afternoon were hijacked by the awesome spectacle provided by a a troop of 500+ Angola Pied Colobus fleeing in haste and determination a possible stalking by Chimps. It was as if Autumn had arrived the tropics...as a veil of leaves and branches dripped incessantly from the canopy as family units after units leaped and scrambled their way across the tree tops in search of safety. It was interesting to note as well several other species which had reached for safety in numbers and were moving along with the Colobus, namely Vervet Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Mona Monkeys and a few L'Hoests.


Handsome Francolin in Nyungwe               Doherty´s Bush-shrike

HANDSOME FRANCOLIN - But is it ?? (K.Behrens)

DOHERTY'S BUSH-SHRIKE - Loud, elusive and fiercely gaudy (K.Behrens)

Day 6
With just about every Albertine special under the belt, and the lure of a different altitude forest holding the possibility of re-sighting Red-bellied Helmet-shrike as in previous years, we organized an early approach to the nearby forest of Cyamudongo.  This forest is a much smaller patch of afro montane forest, closer to the Democratic Republic of Congo border and not that far or hard to get to, its steeply perched on a hillside and widely visited for Chimp tracking purposes thus endowed with great trails and a pleasant pic nic area.  However, surprisingly the day was slow and quiet throughout.  The morning yielded a few new goodies but not the hoped for Helmetshrike....nevertheless we had crippling scope views of Ross's Turaco, Gray-throated Barbet, Shelley's Greenbul, Red-capped Robin-Chat and came across several flowering trees that were luring in hordes of Slender-billed and Violet-backed Starlings.  An elusive Western Tinkerbird called tight from the canopy but never made itself visible, albeit from fleeting perch swap flights, likewise...Crowned Hornbills were heard in the distance. 

The morning was spiced up by a chance encounter with a troop of chimps, who were being very vocal, close to the path and unafraid of us as we had stumbled upon the Cyamudongo habituated troop...and so we enjoyed several minutes with the group enjoying their antics, sounds and screams as well as curious sleeping nest structures. On the way out of the forest we came across a feeding flock that was being harrased by an African Goshawk, but tried as we might we failed to pick up any new species. We succumbed to lunch for a short while and got going again but not bearing the silence and stillness any longer and with the threat of rain upon us we opted to bail out and return to Nyungwe.  The risk of becoming stuck in several steep spots along the access road to Cyamudongo, becomes very real once rain starts wetting up the clay tracks that traverse the Tea estate.

Chimpanzee
L´Hoests Monkey
CHIMPANZEE - a young Chimpanzee gorging himself on ripe figs in  Cyamudongo Forest (C.Boix)

L'HOESTS MONKEY- a roadside special at Nyungwe (C.Boix)

A brief stop at Gisakura yielded White-tailed Blue Flycatcher and driving up to Uwinka a perched Forest Buzzard and a Cassin's Hawk Eagle soaring over Kamiranzovu marsh were enjoyed.  The blue trail was fairly quiet but still produced the best views yet of an adult Red-throated Alethe, crippling views of an adult Cuckoo Hawk and spectacular views of Nyungwe as it sprawls throughout the SW corner of Rwanda and well into Burundi.  Again trying for Albertine Barred Owl and Fraser's Eagle Owl but our efforts proved unsuccessful.  A Civet Cat was sighted in extremis meters away from the Gisakura Guest house.

Day 7
Today we drove down the Bururi Trail, a good 300 meters down below what we had been birding over the past few days, the habitat looked superb for Shelley's Crimson-wing.  The forest was in good shape, and birdsong could be heard everywhere, soon enough we found ourselves training glass on Pink-footed Puff backs (not previously recorded in Nyungwe) and Dark backed or Forest Weaver. A few other weaver sightings stole the morning show as we watched foraging Black-billed and Brown-capped Weavers next to the path. Gray and Black Cuckoo-shrikes were enjoyed through the day. Finally an African Broadbill put out an appearance a moment Bernie and Paul had been eagerly awaiting. Little and Yellow-whiskered Greenbuls offered their usual non stop chirps throughout the day and protracted views. At last the teasing and torturous calls of Barred Long-tailed Cuckoos shaped up into tickable format, as a male of this species was lured in with the help of playback. Magnificent Black-masked Apalises were enjoyed as they mobbed a Red-chested Owlet. The latter, a mega bonus that magnetized the canopy around and drew in other gems such as Dusky Tit, White-breasted Negrofinch, Northern Puffback, Redfaced Woodland-Warbler and Western Citril.

We were busy playing tug of war with a very responsive Black-faced Rufous Woodland-Warbler when all of a sudden the heavens opened up and we were forced to duck for cover to protect our gear and avoid getting soaked through.  Our driver, failed to understand instructions and we were left to deal with the elements until the rain subsided....only then and after sending our tracker to find the vehicle did we get fetched.  The climb out of the valley was arduous and slippery, and after grabbing a brief lunch and a change of clothes at Uwinka Rest Camp we headed for Kigali for the night.  Before exiting the park we paid respects to one last stakeout, where no less than a total of six different individuals of Grauer's Rush-Warbler granted us a befitting farewell. Also present was Yellow-crowned Canary, Yellow Bishop, Western Citril, Scaly Francolin and a stunning male Ruwenzori Red Duiker feeding placidly in the marsh.

The drive back to Kigali was uneventful and supper at the Gorillas Nest Hotel, with cold beers and all the attention received was all suitably pampering.

Day 8
We left Kigali after a scrumptious breakfast and well before rush hour managed to clog the main exit arteries. En route to Akagera NP we stopped at several sites and birded roadside scrub and wetlands clocking up interesting species such as  Yellow-billed and African Openbill Storks, with Hadeda and Sacred Ibis at a roadside nesting colony not far from Kigali. A number of settling ponds or fish farm had us well entertained with common wetland species such as Blue-headed Coucal, Black-headed Gonolek, Compact Weaver, Trilling and Chubb's Cisticola and Fan-tailed Widowbird.  A pair of Gabar Goshawks were seen fighting over the wetland. En route to Akagera a number of raptors were spotted, Black Goshawk (at a nest next to the road), Augur Buzzard, Long-crested Eagle, Lanner Falcon and Gymnogene to boot.  A brief stop near the entrance to Akagera NP, in a matrix of wooded hills and cultivated fields turned up Grey Kestrel, Lilac-breasted Roller, Pearl-spotted Owl, Common Scimitarbill, Green-throated Sunbird, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Marico Sunbird, White-winged Black Tit, Grey-backed Fiscal and Sooty Chat. Whilst remarkably tame Gray-crowned Cranes and abundant White-headed Chats (Arnot's) were found next to villages and banana plantations.  The Lodge gardens turned out Meyer's Parrots, Green Wood-hoopoe, Spot-flanked Barbet and Bennet's Woodpecker, despite being noon and piping hot!

After lunch and brief siesta we headed for the grasslands and plains below the lodge birding the sparse miombo woodland on the way. The first goodies namely Flappet Lark, Tabora (Longtailed) Cisticola, Miombo Camaroptera, Red-backed Scrub-Robin, and Flappet Lark literally popped from the roadside as we descended. Calling for Pearl-spotted Owlet soon brought in other desirables such as Singing Cisticola, Green-capped Eremomela, Red-faced Crombec, Pale Flycatcher, Yellow White-eye, Green-winged Pytilia, Red-cheeked Cordonbleu, Marico Sunbird, Slate-colored Boubou, Crested Barbet, Black-collared Barbet, White Helmet-shrike and Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, Ruppell's, Greater Blue-eared Starling and Violet-backed Starlings. 


Tabora Cisticola-Akagera NP
TABORA CISTICOLA - displaying its long tail (C.Boix)  TABORA CISTICOLA - rather common at Akagera NP (B.Masters)

Down at the plains we soon located a mob of Black-lored Babblers feeding and socializing between vegetation clumps and stopped for a while to enjoy some Masai Giraffe loaded with Red-billed Oxpeckers, some Bohor Reedbuck, Impala, Warthogs and elegant Topi.  Driving about in the grasslands we struck it lucky when we located a pair of Bronze-winged Coursers chilling out in the grass, Crowned and Wattled Plovers were abundant, but we could hardly believe our eyes when we stumbled upon a pair of Brown-chested Lapwings, a rare and erratic beauty.  A smart Black-bellied Bustard strutted through the grass and whilst trying to photograph it we flushed a covey of Harlequin Quails. 

We awaited at a dry dam wall for darkness to set in and whilst doing so studied some African and Plain-backed Pipits coming in to drink as well as Red-necked Francolins.  Excitement arose when the first night calls at dusk were heard, namely distant African Scops Owl and Swamp Nightjar, ad soon after Square-tailed Nightjar which was lured into the spotlight effortlessly, but as always gasps and shortness of breathe overcame everyone as a ridiculously well endowed male Pennant-winged Nightjars flopped overhead, stalling in mid air and majestically melting into the dark with its serpentine attire.  Several others were spotted during the course of the night and a pair of White-tailed Mongoose and a herd of Buffalo added entertainment to the drive.

Feeling pretty chuffed with our tally and the numbers of birds seen for the day, we sampled a few local beers, had our dinner and called it a day.

Day 9
Today we concentrated our efforts around Lake Ihema and Birengero, but took us a while to reach the shores simply due to to some great bird distractions along the way. The first one came in form of a covey that looked suspiciously like Ring-necked Francolin but before we could get an id on them they slinked off the road and gave rather protracted views only to melt away into the dry grass. An intense search followed and after several minutes of no luck, we chanced upon a massive burrowing snake which was almost as exciting. Our local tracker started spinning stories about it being able to bite from both ends and several other fables about dying in fits of laughter if we got bit, so shrouded in apprehension and confusion we released the reptile back into its mystery world.  However, my next footing landed in the heart of the hunched up covey and an explosion of francolins and squawks erupted from below me ... and with it, much to my embarrasment, all manner of polite speech I may have rather wanted to exclaim myself with.  The flying views and a few photos grabs were studied in detail later, and whilst not 100% conclusive...it would appear that the birds we saw may have been Red-winged Francolins slightly interbred with Ring-necked.

Akagera Hills near Ranger´s Station western avahi

AKAGERA NP - Rolling hills to the North of Ranger's Station. (C.Boix)

AKAGERA NP -Forest patches near Lake Birengero. (C.Boix) 


At the escarpment's edge we picked up Purple-crested Turaco and a stunning Ross's Turaco, a Black Cuckoo-shrike darted overhead and Black-collared Barbets were taped in.  A flowering Albizia was duly attended by a rich assemblage of sunbirds namely Variable, Collared, Marico, Purple-banded, Green-throated and after some careful sifting the much sought Red-chested Sunbird, which surprisingly was re-encountered numerous times and in far lower and better sites to observe it, throughout the morning near the lake.

A walk along the lake's edge directly below the lodge and before the fishermen village was very productive clocking up beauties such as  Carruther's Cisticola in the reeds, 
Grey-capped Warbler, Grey-winged Robin-Chat, Spectacled Weaver, Black-necked Weaver, Shelley's Greenbul, Yellow-rumped and Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird in the scrub lining the lake and Bare-faced Go-away Bird, Eastern Plantain-eater,Grey-rumped, Angola, Rufous-chested and Red-rumped Swallow in the more open savanna and plains next to the lake.

We proceeded towards Lake Birengero stopping en route at a number of lake inlets clocking the usual waterbirds one would expect to find in these papyrus fringed lakes, namely Goliath Heron, Great White, Intermediate and Little Egret, Squacco Heron, Hamerkop, Marabou Stork, Long-toed and Spur-winged Plover, White-faced Duck, Spurwing Goose, Marabou Stork, etc...

We chose to have our lunch at the edge of Lake Birengero so that we could scan concientiously the edge of the lake in search of Shoebill, but after an hour of scanning and much studying distant Grey and Goliath herons...hopes of seeing the "Whale bird" simmered down. A pair of Yellow-throated Leaf-loves were seen harassing a Rock Python and a pair of Red-faced Barbets came in to rescue the hour.  A welcome apparition came in the form of a White-headed Swallow, a bird I was expecting to see in Nyungwe but which we dipped olympically, possibly because they had already come down to the lakes edge to winter.  A foray into some likely woods produced little else other than Red-capped Robin-Chat, Double-Toothed Barbet, White-winged Widows and Slender-billed Weavers.

With heat still on us and not much happening in the woods, we returned to our pic-nic spot , and whilst Berni and myself tried our luck taking pictures at Double-toothed Barbets...Paul gave the lake another scan...and alas... after a while of determined searching he cried it out...SHOEBILL!! and indeed there it was, perched on the side fishing and lunging for lung fish, distant but evident and very very tickable.  Paul was crowned  " Man of the Match"
there and then.

Shoebill
Double-toothed Barbet
SHOEBILL - Distant... but every bit as impressive!! (B.Masters)

DOUBLE-TOOTHED BARBET - a hulkey symphony of color  (B.Masters)



From here we backtracked towards the lodge stopping at another woodland patch, where we were immediately greeted by a great sighting of a Crowned Eagle feasting on a Vervet Monkey at its nest. This was followed by a very approachable sighting of a Western Banded Snake-Eagle perched atop a palm stump, which we photographed with glee.  As we approached the Papyrus we positioned ourselves in front of this vast reedy monoculture and let rip a few blasts of Papyrus Gonolek into the air....the reaction was immediate and allergic and we were able to hear a pair of Gonoleks replying and approaching the edge until they emerged and showed their awesome bright colors in the soft afternoon light....it was indeed dramatic and very  very good news.  We trawled the edge of the papyrus searching for other specials namely Papyrus Yellow Warbler and Papyrus Canary, the canary was never to be seen and the canary cropped up in a mangy Papyrus stand on the way out of Akagera NP. However, White-chinned Prinias were incredibly responsive and the most responsive White-winged Warbler ever made an appearance too.

Intensely happy with our Papyrus harvest we drove at dusk back towards the lodge and on the road picked up sightings of yet another Pennant-winged Nightjar, Swamp Nightjar by the lake, Hilldebrandt's and Rednecked Francolin, Broad-billed Roller hawking moths and Spotted Eagle-Owl at an old quarry near the lodge. After a long and hot day, we were all happy to dine early and hit the sack soonest.


Day 10
In an attempt to find Ring-necked Francolin, Souza's Shrike and Coqui Francolin we ventured towards the hilly outcrops north of Akagera Lodge.  Leaving the sparse "miombo" woodlands we  entered much drier scrub and started birding with a party that gathered in as the first whistles of Pearl-spotted owlet were sounded.  The party was well attended by a number of new species to our list namely Buff-bellied Warbler, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Southern Black Flycatcher, African Penduline Tit and Black-cheeked Waxbill. Whilst navigating on foot through this commotion of birds we also flushed a Small Buttonquail. Great views of Sooty Boubou, White Helmet-shrike and Red-headed Weaver were enjoyed.    The remainder of the morning was spent searching for Souza's Shrike, but as the heat build up silence prevailed and also we got deeper and deeper into Souza's unlikely habitat.  Nonetheless we manged to connect with Ashy Flycatcher, White-browed Coucal, Lesser and Greater Honeyguide, Striped Kingfisher, Helmeted Guineafowl and track down a Scops Owl that was avidly calling at noon.

Raptors such as Ayre's Hawk Eagle, Bateleur, Wahlberg's and Tawny eagle were spotted throughout the morning.  On reaching the grasslands we were greeted by several flocks of Blue-naped Mousebirds, and whilst trying to approach a nearby moving flock we bumped into Stout Cisticola. Wing-snapping Cisticola flitted off the roadside as we cruised through the tall grass and a flock of Mottled Swifts sliced the sky above us in typical fashion. Pair and later smaller flocks of  Red-billed Quailfinch alighted from the grasslands, but the grass was too tall to score nice views of this great looking "critters" on the deck, flight views is all we got.  Alas, finally the distinct calls of Coqui Francolin were heard, we jumped out the car and headed for the covey.  A sailing Wahlberg's Eagle was trying to beat us and flew low and over the spot the francolins had called, we never heard them again and can only presume they too saw double trouble coming their way and scuffled off in silence.  Stunning Rufous-naped larks were studied at close range as they called from dried up thistles.  Zebra, Jackal, Oribi and a sly Slender Mongoose were spotted from the car.

A late lunch was enjoyed at Lake Birengero, were the only species added were Yellow-billed Oxpeckers, Barn Swallow and White-faced Whistling Ducks. The remainder of the afternoon was spent looking for Papyrus Canary, to no avail but with plenty birding to be enjoyed.  Bushbuck, Blue Monkey and Round-eared Elephant Shrews were added to the mammal tally.


Day 11
The last morning in Akagera was spent doing some pre-breakfast birding around the complex and adding just one species to the tally, namely Mocking Cliff-Chat, however long and prolonged sightings of Red-faced Barbet, Meyer's Parrot and Long-tailed Cisticola were thoroughly enjoyed, sadly we were not able to find a covey of either Coqui or Ring-necked again.  Soon after breakfast we left the park and bid farewell to James our tracker.  Outside the Parks' gate we birded some nice woodland and teased out a Gray-headed Bush Shrike, some Black lored Babblers and a very energetic group of Green Wood-hoopoes. At the village of   Rwinkwavu before hitting the tar road, we stopped to scan a reedy swampy area and what a great idea that was ... just a little bit of spishing and whistling got a flock merging from every side of the marsh until there was a 30 sp-40 species commotion that lasted a good 45 minutes to dissipate. Additions to the list during the pandemonium included Red-faced Cisticola, Black Crake, fleeting glimpses of African Rail, Bronze Sunbird, Holub's Golden and Viellot's Weaver, Black-headed Waxbill, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Tambourine and African Pigeon as well as a hunting Black Sparrowhawk chasing a Blue-spotted Wood Dove. The place did look amazingly good for Lesser Tchagra but we had run out of time and needed to press on to reach Kigali.

The tour ended in Kigali after a scrumptious dinner and overnight at the famous Hotel des Mille Collines (Hotel Rwanda).


Redfaced Barbet in Akagera NP
RED-FACED BARBET - scarce and elusive but furiously handsome (C.Boix)
   

 

BIRD LIST
Taxonomy and nomenclature follow: Clements, James F. 2000. Birds of the World: A Checklist. Fifth Edition. Vista, CA: Ibis Publishing Co. Includes recent updates.



  Species Sci. Name
1 Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
2 Pink-backed Pelican Pelecanus rufescens
3 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
4 Long-tailed Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus
5 Darter Anhinga melanogaster
6 Gray Heron Ardea cinerea
7 Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala
8 Goliath Heron Ardea goliath
9 Great Egret Ardea alba
10 Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia
11 Little Egret Egretta garzetta
12 Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
13 Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
14 Hamerkop Scopus umbretta
15 Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis
16 African Openbill Anastomus lamelligerus
17 Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus
18 Shoebill Balaeniceps rex
19 Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
20 Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
21 African Spoonbill Platalea alba
22 White-faced Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna viduata
23 Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus
24 Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis
25 Comb Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos
26 Yellow-billed Duck Anas undulata
27 Red-billed Duck Anas erythrorhyncha
28 Hottentot Teal Anas hottentota
29 Osprey Pandion haliaetus
30 African Cuckoo-Hawk Aviceda cuculoides
31 Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus
32 Black Kite Milvus migrans
33 African Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer
34 Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus
35 Brown Snake-Eagle Circaetus cinereus
36 West. Banded Snake-Eagle Circaetus cinerascens
37 Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus
38 African Marsh-Harrier Circus ranivorus
39 African Harrier-Hawk Polyboroides typus
40 Gabar Goshawk Micronisus gabar
41 Black Goshawk Accipiter melanoleucus
42 African Goshawk Accipiter tachiro
43 Mountain Buzzard Buteo oreophilus
44 Augur Buzzard Buteo augur
45 Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax
46 Wahlberg's Eagle Aquila wahlbergi
47 African Hawk-Eagle Aquila spilogaster
48 Ayres's Hawk-Eagle Aquila ayresii
49 Long-crested Eagle Lophaetus occipitalis
50 Cassin's Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus africanus
51 Crowned Hawk-Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus
52 Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
53 Gray Kestrel Falco ardosiaceus
54 Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus
55 Coqui Francolin Francolinus coqui
56 Red-winged Francolin Francolinus levaillantii
57 Hildebrandt's Francolin Francolinus hildebrandti
58 Red-necked Francolin Francolinus afer
59 Handsome Francolin Francolinus nobilis
60 Scaly Francolin Francolinus squamatus
61 Harlequin Quail Coturnix delegorguei
62 Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris
63 Small Buttonquail Turnix sylvatica
64 Gray Crowned-Crane Balearica regulorum
65 Red-chested Flufftail Sarothrura rufa
66 Black Crake Amaurornis flavirostris
67 Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
68 Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata
69 Black-bellied Bustard Lissotis melanogaster
70 Lesser Jacana Microparra capensis
71 African Jacana Actophilornis africanus
72 Water Thick-knee Burhinus vermiculatus
73 Bronze-winged Courser Rhinoptilus chalcopterus
74 Long-toed Lapwing Vanellus crassirostris
75 Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus
76 Crowned Lapwing Vanellus coronatus
77 Wattled Lapwing Vanellus senegallus
78 Brown-chested Lapwing Vanellus superciliosus
79 Kittlitz's Plover Charadrius pecuarius
80 Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris
81 Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
82 Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
83 Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea
84 Afep Pigeon Columba unicincta
85 Rameron Pigeon Columba arquatrix
86 Lemon Dove Columba larvata
87 Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata
88 Ring-necked Dove Streptopelia capicola
89 Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
90 Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove Turtur chalcospilos
91 Blue-spotted Wood-Dove Turtur afer
92 Tambourine Dove Turtur tympanistria
93 African Green-Pigeon Treron calva
94 Red-headed Lovebird Agapornis pullarius
95 Meyer's Parrot Poicephalus meyeri
96 Great Blue Turaco Corythaeola cristata
97 Black-billed Turaco Tauraco schuettii
98 Purple-crested Turaco Tauraco porphyreolophus
99 Ruwenzori Turaco Ruwenzorornis johnstoni
100 Ross's Turaco Musophaga rossae
101 Bare-faced Go-away-bird Corythaixoides personatus
102 Eastern Plantain-eater Crinifer zonurus
103 Black Cuckoo Cuculus clamosus
104 Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx montanus
105 African Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx cupreus
106 Dideric Cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius
107 Yellowbill Ceuthmochares aereus
108 Blue-headed Coucal Centropus monachus
109 White-browed Coucal Centropus superciliosus
110 African Scops-Owl Otus senegalensis
111 Spotted Eagle-Owl Bubo africanus
112 African Wood-Owl Strix woodfordii
113 Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum
114 Red-chested Owlet Glaucidium tephronotum
115 Montane Nightjar Caprimulgus ruwenzorii
116 Swamp Nightjar Caprimulgus natalensis
117 Square-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus fossii
118 Pennant-winged Nightjar Macrodipteryx vexillarius
119 Schouteden´s Swift Schoutedenapus schoutedeni
120 African Palm-Swift Cypsiurus parvus
121 Mottled Swift Tachymarptis aequatorialis
122 African Swift Apus barbatus
123 Little Swift Apus affinis
124 White-rumped Swift Apus caffer
125 Speckled Mousebird Colius striatus
126 Blue-naped Mousebird Urocolius macrourus
127 Narina Trogon Apaloderma narina
128 Bar-tailed Trogon Apaloderma vittatum
129 Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata
130 African Pygmy-Kingfisher Ispidina picta
131 Gray-headed Kingfisher Halcyon leucocephala
132 Woodland Kingfisher Halcyon senegalensis
133 Striped Kingfisher Halcyon chelicuti
134 Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
135 Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus
136 Blue-breasted Bee-eater Merops variegatus
137 Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater Merops oreobates
138 Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudata
139 Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus
140 Green Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus
141 White-headed Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus bollei
142 Common Scimitar-bill Rhinopomastus cyanomelas
143 Crowned Hornbill Tockus alboterminatus
144 African Gray Hornbill Tockus nasutus
145 Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna subcylindricus
146 Gray-throated Barbet Gymnobucco bonapartei
147 Western Tinkerbird Pogoniulus coryphaeus
148 Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird Pogoniulus bilineatus
149 Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird Pogoniulus chrysoconus
150 Spot-flanked Barbet Tricholaema lachrymosa
151 Red-faced Barbet Lybius rubrifacies
152 Black-collared Barbet Lybius torquatus
153 Double-toothed Barbet Lybius bidentatus
154 Crested Barbet Trachyphonus vaillantii
155 Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator
156 Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor
157 Least Honeyguide Indicator exilis
158 Bennett's Woodpecker Campethera bennettii
159 Tullberg's Woodpecker Campethera tullbergi
160 Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens
161 Olive Woodpecker Dendropicos griseocephalus
162 African Broadbil Smithornis capensis
163 Rufous-naped Lark Mirafra africana
164 Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea
165 Plain Martin Riparia paludicola
166 Gray-rumped Swallow Pseudhirundo griseopyga
167 Rock Martin Ptyonoprogne fuligula
168 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
169 Angola Swallow Hirundo angolensis
170 Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii
171 Lesser Striped-Swallow Cecropis abyssinica
172 Rufous-chested Swallow Cecropis semirufa
173 Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
174 White-headed Sawwing Psalidoprocne albiceps
175 Blue Sawwing Psalidoprocne pristoptera
176 African Pied Wagtail Motacilla aguimp
177 Cape Wagtail Motacilla capensis
178 Yellow-throated Longclaw Macronyx croceus
179 Plain-backed Pipit Anthus leucophrys
180 African Pipit Anthus cinnamomeus
181 Gray Cuckoo-shrike Coracina caesia
182 Black Cuckoo-shrike Campephaga flava
183 Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus
184 Shelley's Greenbul Andropadus masukuensis
185 Little Greenbul Andropadus virens
186 Slender-billed Greenbul Andropadus gracilirostris
187 Yellow-whiskered Bulbul Andropadus latirostris
188 Eastern Mountain-Greenbul Andropadus nigriceps
189 Yellow-throated Greenbul Chlorocichla flavicollis
190 Yellow-streaked Bulbul Phyllastrephus flavostriatus
191 Kivu Ground-Thrush Zoothera tanganjicae
192 Olive Thrush Turdus olivaceus
193 African Thrush Turdus pelios
194 Red-throated Alethe Alethe poliophrys
195 Red-faced Cisticola Cisticola erythrops
196 Singing Cisticola Cisticola cantans
197 Trilling Cisticola Cisticola woosnami
198 Chubb's Cisticola Cisticola chubbi
199 Winding Cisticola Cisticola galactotes
200 Carruthers's Cisticola Cisticola carruthersi
201 Stout Cisticola Cisticola robustus
202 Tabora Cisticola (Long-tailed) Cisticola angusticaudus
203 Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
204 Wing-snapping Cisticola Cisticola ayresii
205 Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava
206 White-chinned Prinia Prinia leucopogon
207 Banded Prinia Prinia bairdii
208 Ruwenzori Apalis (Collared) Apalis ruwenzori
209 Black-throated Apalis Apalis jacksoni
210 Black-faced Apalis (Mountain Masked) Apalis personata
211 Yellow-breasted Apalis Apalis flavida
212 Buff-throated Apalis Apalis rufogularis
213 Chestnut-throated Apalis Apalis porphyrolaema
214 Gray Apalis Apalis cinerea
215 Kungwe Apalis Apalis argentea
216 Gray-capped Warbler Eminia lepida
217 Green-backed Camaroptera Camaroptera brachyura
218 Miombo Camaroptera (Miombo Barred) Calamonastes undosus
219 African Bush-Warbler Bradypterus baboecala
220 White-winged Scrub-Warbler Bradypterus carpalis
221 Grauer's Scrub-Warbler Bradypterus graueri
222 Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler Bradypterus cinnamomeus
223 Black-faced Rufous-Warbler Bathmocercus rufus
224 African Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus baeticatus
225 Lesser Swamp-Warbler Acrocephalus gracilirostris
226 Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida
227 Mountain Yellow Warbler Chloropeta similis
228 Papyrus Yellow Warbler Chloropeta gracilirostris
229 Buff-bellied Warbler Phyllolais pulchella
230 Grauer's Warbler Graueria vittata
231 Yellow-bellied Eremomela Eremomela icteropygialis
232 Greencap Eremomela Eremomela scotops
233 White-browed Crombec Sylvietta leucophrys
234 Red-faced Crombec Sylvietta whytii
235 Neumann's Warbler Hemitesia neumanni
236 Red-faced Woodland-Warbler Phylloscopus laetus
237 Pale Flycatcher Bradornis pallidus
238 White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher Melaenornis fischeri
239 Southern Black-Flycatcher Melaenornis pammelaina
240 Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher Melaenornis ardesiacus
241 Swamp Flycatcher Muscicapa aquatica
242 African Dusky Flycatcher Muscicapa adusta
243 Ashy Flycatcher Muscicapa caerulescens
244 White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata
245 Equatorial Akalat Sheppardia aequatorialis
246 White-bellied Robin-Chat Cossyphicula roberti
247 Archer's Robin-Chat Cossypha archeri
248 Gray-winged Robin-Chat Cossypha polioptera
249 White-browed Robin-Chat Cossypha heuglini
250 Red-capped Robin-Chat Cossypha natalensis
251 Red-backed Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas leucophrys
252 African Stonechat Saxicola torquata
253 Sooty Chat Myrmecocichla nigra
254 White-headed Black-Chat Myrmecocichla arnotti
255 Mocking Cliff-Chat Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris
256 Brown-throated Wattle-eye Platysteira cyanea
257 Ruwenzori Batis Batis diops
258 Chinspot Batis Batis molitor
259 Black-headed Batis Batis minor
260 White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher Elminia albicauda
261 White-bellied Crested-Flycatcher Elminia albiventris
262 African Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis
263 Mountain Illadopsis Illadopsis pyrrhoptera
264 African Hill Babbler Illadopsis abyssinica
265 Gray-chested Illadopsis Kakamega poliothorax
266 Black-lored Babbler Turdoides sharpei
267 Arrow-marked Babbler Turdoides jardineii
268 Red-collared Mountain-Babbler Kupeornis rufocinctus
269 White-winged Black-Tit Melaniparus leucomelas
270 Dusky Tit Melaniparus funereus
271 Stripe-breasted Tit Melaniparus fasciiventer
272 African Penduline-Tit Anthoscopus caroli
273 Little Green Sunbird Anthreptes seimundi
274 Collared Sunbird Hedydipna collaris
275 Green-headed Sunbird Cyanomitra verticalis
276 Blue-headed Sunbird Cyanomitra alinae
277 Eastern Olive-Sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea
278 Green-throated Sunbird Chalcomitra rubescens
279 Scarlet-chested Sunbird Chalcomitra senegalensis
280 Purple-breasted Sunbird Nectarinia purpureiventris
281 Bronze Sunbird Nectarinia kilimensis
282 Stuhlmann's Sunbird (Rwenzori DC) Cinnyris stuhlmanni
283 Northern Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris preussi
284 Regal Sunbird Cinnyris regius
285 Mariqua Sunbird Cinnyris mariquensis
286 Red-chested Sunbird Cinnyris erythrocerca
287 Purple-banded Sunbird Cinnyris bifasciatus
288 Variable Sunbird Cinnyris venustus
289 African Yellow White-eye Zosterops senegalensis
290 African Black-headed Oriole Oriolus larvatus
291 Black-tailed Oriole Oriolus percivali
292 Gray-backed Fiscal Lanius excubitoroides
293 Mackinnon's Shrike Lanius mackinnoni
294 Common Fiscal Lanius collaris
295 Brubru Nilaus afer
296 Northern Puffback Dryoscopus gambensis
297 Pink-footed Puffback Dryoscopus angolensis
298 Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegala
299 Luehder's Bushshrike Laniarius luehderi
300 Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus
301 Black-headed Gonolek Laniarius erythrogaster
302 Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri
303 Slate-colored Boubou Laniarius funebris
304 Mountain Sooty Boubou Laniarius poensis
305 Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike Telophorus sulfureopectus
306 Many-colored Bushshrike Telophorus multicolor
307 Doherty's Bushshrike Telophorus dohertyi
308 Lagden's Bushshrike Malaconotus lagdeni
309 Gray-headed Bushshrike Malaconotus blanchoti
310 White Helmetshrike Prionops plumatus
311 Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis
312 Pied Crow Corvus albus
313 White-necked Raven Corvus albicollis
314 Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis chalybaeus
315 Rueppell's Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis purpuropterus
316 Violet-backed Starling Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
317 Slender-billed Starling Onychognathus tenuirostris
318 Waller's Starling Onychognathus walleri
319 Stuhlmann's Starling Poeoptera stuhlmanni
320 Yellow-billed Oxpecker Buphagus africanus
321 Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver Bubalornis niger
322 Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht
323 Slender-billed Weaver Ploceus pelzelni
324 Little Weaver Ploceus luteolus
325 Spectacled Weaver Ploceus ocularis
326 Black-necked Weaver Ploceus nigricollis
327 Black-billed Weaver Ploceus melanogaster
328 Strange Weaver Ploceus alienus
329 Holub's Golden-Weaver Ploceus xanthops
330 Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus
331 Vieillot's Weaver Ploceus nigerrimus
332 Forest Weaver Ploceus bicolor
333 Brown-capped Weaver Ploceus insignis
334 Compact Weaver Pachyphantes superciliosus
335 Cardinal Quelea Quelea cardinalis
336 Red-headed Quelea Quelea erythrops
337 Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea
338 Black-winged Bishop Euplectes hordeaceus
339 Red Bishop Euplectes orix
340 Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis
341 Fan-tailed Widowbird Euplectes axillaris
342 White-winged Widowbird Euplectes albonotatus
343 White-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita fusconota
344 Gray-headed Negrofinch Nigrita canicapilla
345 Green-winged Pytilia Pytilia melba
346 Dusky Crimson-wing Cryptospiza jacksoni
347 Red-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta senegala
348 Red-cheeked Cordonbleu Uraeginthus bengalus
349 Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild
350 Black-crowned Waxbill Estrilda nonnula
351 Black-headed Waxbill Estrilda atricapilla
352 Black-cheeked Waxbill Estrilda erythronotos
353 Red-billed Quailfinch Ortygospiza gabonensis
354 Bronze Mannikin Spermestes cucullatus
355 Black-and-white Mannikin Spermestes bicolor
356 Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura
357 Cinnamon-breasted Bunting Emberiza tahapisi
358 Golden-breasted Bunting Emberiza flaviventris
359 Cape Canary Serinus canicollis
360 Western Citril Serinus frontalis
361 Black-throated Canary Serinus atrogularis
362 Yellow-fronted Canary Serinus mozambicus
363 Brimstone Canary Serinus sulphuratus
364 Streaky Seedeater Serinus striolatus
365 Thick-billed Seedeater Serinus burtoni
366 Gray-headed Sparrow Passer griseus
26 Albertine Rift Endemics
MAMMAL LIST
Taxonomy and nomenclature
follow Kingdon (1997)
1 Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes schweinfurthi
2 Angola Pied Colobus Colobus angolensis
3 Olive Baboon Papio anubis
4 Blue Gentle Monkey Cercopithecus mitis elgonis
5 Red-tailed Monkey Cercopithecus ascanius
6 Grey-cheeked Mangabey Lophocebus albigena johnstoni
7 Vervet Monkey Cercopithecus pygerythrus
8 L'hoest's Monkey Cercopithecus l'hoesti
9 Spectacled Galago Galago matschiei
10 Thomas's Galago Galagoides thomasi
11 Yellow-winged Bat Lavia frons
12 Four-toed Elephant-shrew Petrodomus tetradactylus
13 Shrew sp Sorcidae sp
14 Cape Hare Lepus capensis
15 Uganda Grass Hare Poelagus marjorita
16 Scrub Hare Lepus saxatilis
17 Fire-footed Rope Squirrel Funisciurus pyrropus
18 Bohm's Bush Squirrel Paraxerus boehmi
19 Ruwenzori Sun Squirrel Heliosciurus ruwenzori
20 Side-striped Jackal Canis adustus
21 Black-backed Jackal Canis mesomelas
22 African Clawless Otter Aonyx capensis
23 Spot-necked Otter Lutria maculicollis
24 Slender Mongoose Herpestes sanguineus
25 White-tailed Mongoose Ichneumia albicauda
26 Spotted Hyena Crocuta crocuta
27 African Civet Civettictis civetta
28 African Elephant Loxodonta africana
29 Common Zebra Equus quagga
30 Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius
31 Bush Pig Potamochoerus larvatus
32 Wart Hog Phacocoerus africanus
33 Masai Giraffe Giraffa tippelskirchi
34 Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus
35 Bush Duiker Sylvicapra grimmia
36 Ruwenzori Red Duiker Cephalophus rubidus
37 Black-fronted Duiker Cephalophus nigrifrons
38 Oribi Ourebia ourebi
39 Bohor Reedbuck Redunca redunca
40 Common (Defasa) Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymmus
41 Impala Aepyceros melampus
42 Topi Damaliscus lunatus