New Birding Records for UgandaJune 26, 2012
It’s been a great month so far for birders in Uganda.
On 13th June, news broke that Johnny Kamugisha, one of our top birding guides in Uganda, and Nik Borrow, an internationally respected bird artist and ornithologist, had spotted a new birding record for Uganda – the Ruaha Chat. Both men were guiding a TFH birding group through international operator Birdquest, when they spotted what looked at first like a Sooty Chat, but something wasn’t quite as it seemed. Johnny tells it better: “As we were driving from Ruhija to Mgahinga I happened to see this bird at Rubanda trading center. I thought it was a Sooty Chat but when it took off…uumm! I pulled the hand break and all I said was; I need to see that bird and like H Bolt I was off. Found the bird again, called Nik Borrow and group and what was it; Ruaha Chat. First for Uganda.”
Later on the same tour, Johnny and the rest of the group also spotted 4 Slender-billed Gulls at a Hippo Pool in Murchison Falls National Park – a birding first for this area, having previously only been recorded around Lake Victoria.
Then today, we get news from Achilles Byaruhanga from Nature Uganda. He’s been busy birding down in the lovely and much over-looked Echuya Forest Reserve, where Nature Uganda have worked in conjunction with the National Forest Authority to create clearly signed birding and nature trails. Whilst in Muchuya Swamp, Achilles spotted a Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird in Muchuya Swamp, Echuya Forest Reserve – probably a first record for this area. During the same trip Achilles also sighted a Black Duck in the same area, a Dwarf Honeyguide and several Albertine endemics, so Echuya looks set to become a popular birding spot.
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