Saturday, 11 February 2012

Bee-eaters,Buzzards and more....

After leaving Budongo forest, we headed north where we set up camp on the banks of the Nile in Murchsion Falls National Park.
With the totally different habitat we were soon catching new species including Sulphur-breasted Bush Shrike,
White-browed Coucal (the smelliest bird I have ever handled)
White morph African Paradise Flycatcher
And particularly exciting, Northern Carmine Bee-eaters.
The days settled into a pattern of early morning mist nets around the camp then heading across the Nile in the precarious looking ferry to target raptors.
As part of ongoing work looking into the effects of burning the grassland, Malc was pleased to catch 8 Grasshopper buzzards which are migrants. They often follow fires where they prey on insects being driven out. It was amazing to watch this first hand as we drove through a burn.
One evening we indulged in some birding and went on a boat down The Nile in search of the rare and elusive Shoebill. Our hour off from ringing was rewarded with superb views of this huge bird.
And the day didn't finish with dusk either - there were Nightjar to be dazzled! With the sound of hippos grunting in the background it was rather different to catching Woodcock in the rain in Wales!This was a Plain Nightjar but Long-tailed were also caught here.
With the waning moon we are back to wandering the hills at home with the lamp despite the excitement of our trip and tonight caught 3 Golden Plover.

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