Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Northern Queen Elizabeth

There are many drab flycatchers in Africa, and throughout the world. They are all elegant to me. This is a Swamp Flycatcher, another lifer for me.
Many geographical races of the Yellow Wagtail congregate together in Uganda during the winter months. I dont even try to distinguish between the various sub-species. This individual is more colorful than many of them.
This is another photograph of the first bird species that I identified in Uganda. A Scarlet-chested Sunbird.
Similar in appearance and name to the previous bird, this is a Red-chested Sunbird. If anything it is even more attractive. I done good with the sunbirds on this trip. Not only do they look like hummingbirds, their behavior and voices are very similar as well.
I done good with weavers too. This is a Yellow-backed Weaver.
There is a pleasant open air restaurant on the Mweya Peninsula, inside the park. It is where I saw the previous bird species. There were also wild, but people habituated Warthogs lying about in the shade next to the restaurant.
We liked that restaurant and ate there several times. One evening after we had placed our orders, we took a short stroll across from the restaurant. We saw a group of forty or fifty Banded Mongooses. When they saw us, they rushed forward like a bunch of puppies.
They ran all around us just out of reach. Tom used to live in Zimbabwe years ago and raised an orphaned Banded Mongoose. He said that it was a wonderful pet.
They were very pleasant meals we had at that restaurant. Good food, sunbirds in the trees all around, Warthogs, and Banded Mongooses running around under the chairs and tables.
Further on we saw good things like this male Pin-tailed Widow, also called Whydah. The females lay their eggs in the nests of waxbills.
A new species of mousebird for me, Blue-naped Mousebird.
A diminutive male, Black-headed Batis.
This is the female on her tiny, lichen-covered nest.It looks exactly like a hummingbird nest, and is about the same size.
A male Blue-headed Agama. The previous photos were all shot on the grounds of the upscale, Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge, located just outside the park. They served very good food. We could'nt afford to stay in their rooms but they let us use their campground for a reasonable fee. At night Gary almost walked into a Giant Forest Hog. The hippos were squabbling with one another and running all around the campground. They are really quite loud. We also heard lions roaring, and hyenas laughing in the distance. I was happy to be sacked out in the car.
One of the lodge employees was an excellent bird guide. His name was Bonnie. His brother was Belinda, who worked for Hillary, another man who was an excellent birder. Next post will be about the nearby, Kazinga Channel, which has the reputation for being one of the best wildlife viewing places on earth.

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