Tuesday 21 February 2012

More Gorillas than birds!

Reluctantly leaving the forest, we set off south for Queen Elizabeth National Park, crossing the equator on the way. As always, the raptor traps were ready to stop at any moment for a hungry bird along the road.
This juvenile Bateleur frustrated us for an agonising half an hour as it sat next to the trap looking at the mouse but eventually flew off!
Our overnight stop in the park on the Kazinga channel was too brief to get rides cut and nets up although we were tempted as there were numerous Reed Warblers singing from the scrub.
Another early start to target Long-crested Eagles on the way to our next stop in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. We soon had a net up in the Buhoma Lodge garden and ringed the birds in luxury from the bar with an interested audience!
Birds ringed included White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher - the race in Western Uganda doesn't have an eye ring!
Black-necked Weaversand Chubbs's CisticolaAlso Olive-bellied Sunbird, Veillot's Black Weavers and an African Pied Wagtail.
Our main purpose here though was to hike through the rain forest to see Mountain Gorillas.
We spent a fascinating hour with them and returned exhilarated and ready to set off on the road again. Not exactly ringing but the blog wouldn't be complete without paying respect to our closest relatives. Some more gorilla pictures here and a short video of a heart stopping moment.

Next in the story, more raptors in the park and how to dazzle Nightjars in lion country!.

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