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Birding in Bwindi
Birding in #Bwindi offers some of the finest #nature in montane forest birding in #Africa and is a key destination for any birder visiting #Uganda while staying at the fabulous Nkuringo Mountain Gorilla Lodge (also known as Nkuringo Gorilla Camp).
It comes as no surprise that Bwindi was named one of Africa’s most interesting national parks of 2014. Most of the birding in Bwindi takes place along the main trail, the Buhoma Waterfall Trail. Look out for the White-tailed Ant Thrush and handsome francolin feeding on the track at dawn, the dazzling Black Bee-eater, Yellow-eyed Black and African Sooty Flycatchers along the bamboo zone and Mubwindi Swamp trail in Ruhija which provides fine montane forest with micro habitats in form of second growth vegetation where sightings of the endemic and localized African green broadbill are frequent.
named one of Africa’s most interesting national parks of 2014
It is this altitudinal variation, combined with its location along the Albertine rift that results in Bwindi Impenetrable being the richest forest in East Africa in terms of its trees, butterflies and birds (163species of trees, 120species of butterflies and 350species of birds respectively).
Bwindi impenetrable forest has ideal habitat for a variety of birds including 23 endemics (90% of all Albertine Rift endemics) such as the Short-tailed Warbler and Blue-headed Sunbird as well as seven IUCN red data listed species such as the African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimsonwing.
For Accommodation in Bwindi, Make Nkuringo Mountain Gorilla Lodge your first choice to get an early start birding in Bwindi that offers the best chance of finding the striking Handsome Francolin. Easy to see are the cinnamon-chested bee-eaters, African Emerald Cuckoo, Common Bulbul, African Blue and White-tailed Blue Flycatchers, Black bee-eater, Western green tinker bird, Bar-tailed trogon, red-headed Bluebill and yellow white eye that hand out at the Gorilla Lodge‘s compound.
For Accommodation in Bwindi, Make Nkuringo Mountain Gorilla Lodge your first choice
Look out for the Western Green Tinkerbird, Mountain and yellow-streaked bulbuls, Mountain Masked and Chestnut-throated Apalis, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, the attractive White browed crombec, Rwenzori Batis and White-tailed Crested Flycatcher. African Hill Babbler, collard Apalis, Banded Prinia and montane Sooty Boubou favour tangles of creepers along forest edges, a habitat shared with the enigmatic Grauer’s Warbler and Scaly-throated Honeyguide.
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My personal highlight of birding in Bwindi came as I and my guide Everest of the Nkuringo Walking Safaris were crawling through the tangled undergrowth of the forest proper, looking for a good angle from which to photograph a troop of baboons. An unfamiliar robin-like bird suddenly hopped into our path; a common stone chat Saxicola torquatus, a species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion of classification.
Saxicola torquatus - birding in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
This bird species is currently categorized on the IUCN Red List as Least Concern meaning that its population is not under any risk of extinction or threat according to their evaluation. When the common stone chat flew away, we thought that was the just normal behavior from a common bird. On the contrary, it flew onto a branch just above my head then darted between my feet to rustle through the litter.
it flew onto a branch just above my head
This it did several times during the next 15 minutes and when we finally moved off, the common stone chat pursued us for about two hundred meters often landing a few centimeters from me!
However one choses to interpret this behaviour, I cannot think of any other unhabituated bird I have come across that was so wholly fearless of humans. It was a magical encounter from a “not so magical looking” bird and this is what makes birding in Bwindi so AWESOME! You just never know what will happen next in this birding heaven. This low-key and unscripted encounter for me was as wonderful as coming face to face with a silverback gorilla in the Nkuringo forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park a few days earlier.
We stayed at Nkuringo Mountain Gorilla Lodge (formerly known as Nkuringo Gorilla Camp) that has over the years grown from a camp to one of the best lodge in Bwindi offering cheap and affordable Accommodation in Bwindi. We used their sister travel company Nkuringo Walking Safaris to make our travel arrangements. Thank you staff of Nkuringo, your service was seamless and we hope to join you again soon.