Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Ringing in The Royal Mile

Colour and variety in the forest! ( Red-bellied Paradise-flycatcher)
For five days we were ringing in Budongo Forest, staying at the long established Sonso Field Station. While the main focus there has been the conservation and study of a habituated group of chimpanzees, activities are now broadening to the wider conservation issues within the Budongo Forest Reserve. Core funding for this is from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. Our ringing was part of an ongoing study into the effect of changes in forest management on bird populations. We were involved in teaching students so that regular independent ringing can be established there. The students were enthusiastic and quick to learn.
It was a stunning environment to be ringing in, surrounded by massive trees and first class birding between net rounds.
As well as the forest nets, we also had a net over a small river which caught some exciting species. This is where Richard was off to in the last blog - checking the nets by motorbike! The stars were 12 Sabines Spinetails, birds one only ever sees above the forest canopy and hardly ever caught and ringed. Listen to the call which was recorded for probably the first time ever!
5 species of Kingfishers were ringed in the forest including a Chocolate-backed Kingfisher - a species rarely (if ever before??) caught.
Also 3 Shining-blue Kingfishers -
and of the small forest kingfishers, four African Dwarf Kingfishers (10cm)
and several of the slightly larger Pygmy Kingfishers (11cm) -
After calling all day but remaining elusive this Dusky Long-tailed cuckoo finally found it's way in to a net.
And to finish this part of our adventure, a Jameson's Wattle-eye
and a Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, another bird that is very shy and difficult to observe.
Next, north to The Nile....

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