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Day 2 (Wednesday, 25th February)

     Guided walk around Mburo


 

Mburo walk Mburo walk Mburo walk

Day dawned with a pre breakfast guidedwalk on the cards, so we drove the 10 minutes from the lodge to the second park entrance. Light was just about ok by the time we met the armed guide there,  who had already begun the walk with another client, but we had started the day well with an early Bushbuck, and bigger prize of a brace of Spotted Hyenas feeding on the remains of the head and rib cage of a long gone Impala. The Hyenas had been calling through the night, but are much harder to pin down in the light. The walk was of 2 hours of so, and traced a circle through the bush that was adjacent to the main track through the park. This varied from fairly open ground to slightly more enclosed acacia woodland. The majority of the mammals were perhaps initially in the more open areas, with the Hyenas still present while we were on foot, and small numbers of Impala, Topi, and Warthog. Birds came along steadily, with White-winged Tit, Spot-flanked Barbet and Black-bellied Bustard the highlight, although Helmeted Guineafowl were numerous, with smaller numbers of Red-necked Spurfowl and Wattled Lapwing. Species slowed down until we crossed the track and found a small herd of Zebra in the denser bush. These were also host to a second Striped Kingfisher, Black-crowned Tchagra, Black Cuckooshrike, Yellow-fronted Canary, and Golden-breasted Bunting.

The second hour of the walk was much quieter, with occasional Vervet Monkey collections and the odd Impala, until we neared the finishing line, where a Dwarf Mongoose was regular, and a small group of Orange-breasted Bush-shrikes was overhead.

Back at the lodge and breakfast - traditional Ugandan bacon and eggs. The dining area is superb, with our table overlooking the valley and waterholes below. While noshing on the grub, a pair of Eland, our first of the trip, joined a couple of Zebra and a Warthog at the waterholes. Closer to home, a quietly feeding pair of Red-billed Firefinches were then superceded by a calling Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird in front of us, to be joined by a small party of young Scarlet-chested Sunbirds. Noisy Hadada Ibis informed us if their incoming on to a large tree below, and a Red-bellied Paradise Flycatcher flew in front. Even back at the room, which itself has an excellent open location, Speckled Mousebirds quietly fed nearby, and a Grey-backed Cameroptera was almost underneath our balcony.

Black-bellied Bustard Crested Francolin Hadada Ibis
Black-bellied Bustard Crested Francolin Hadada Ibis
Helmeted Guineafowl Red-billed Firefinch Red-breasted Swallow
Helmeted Guineafowl Red-billed Firefinch Red-breasted Swallow
Scarlet-chested Sunbird Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird
Scarlet-chested Sunbird Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird
Red-necked Spurfowl Speckled Mousebird Yellow-billed Oxpecker
Red-necked Spurfowl Speckled Mousebird Yellow-billed Oxpecker
Olive Baboon Bushbuck Eland
Olive Baboon Bushbuck Eland
Spotted Hyena Impala Topi
Spotted Hyena Impala Topi
Waterbuck Vervet Zebra
Waterbuck Vervet Monkey Burchell's Zebra

     Lake Mburo

 

Lake Mburo Lake Mburo

The drive to this site had certainly whetted the appetite, with early hits of Narina Trogon across the track, and Ross's Turaco inside the park, with a Grey Hornbill feeding roadside. Mammals also had come out in force, with copious Waterbuck this afternoon, and our first Buffalo in the distance. Our guide had left an extra hour to get to the lake,  which was just as well since we stopped regularly for more views of the now well known Zebra, Bushbuck, Impala, Warthogs, and Topi, as well as numerous Baboons and Vervets, with the odd appearance by Dwarf Mongoose for good measure.

We arrived at the dock on the lake in good time, and were informed this was to be a 1 hour tour. The boats were smaller than expected for a "cruise", with the great smell of diesel fumes added in for good measure. Only 5 others were on the same boat, although it would only accommodate another 2 if needed. The plan for the trip was to aim for a small inlet first, then double back to follow the shoreline - this was also at a sedate pace with ample stops when something was seen. For the punters, the Hippos are probably the main attraction,  and they certainly don't disappoint, with many groups peering over the surface of the water near the shoreline. We had expected as many crocodiles, but only 2 were seen at a regular haul out (with a pair of Water Thick-knees for good measure!).

Top target for the birders has to be Finfoot. I had resisted the temptation to ask the driver for special dispensation to look for these, but resisted this since it looked like we had a "Johnny normal trips" in charge. Not a problem - I spotted one of these skulking blighters some way into the voyage, and it proved a useful male. It even offered better views while still remaining in the overhanging vegetation. Not to be outdone, the driver delivered a female Finfoot of his own a little further on, although this stayed more hidden. Pied & Malachite Kingfishers were aplenty,  with a Woodland thrown in. African Fish Eagles were also a treat, and seemed to be perched closer as we chugged on. Additional goodies were Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters and Striated Heron, with both African & Eurasian Marsh Harriers overhead.

The journey back took as long as the one out, with regular stops for the mammals we had seen before and new birds. The latter included a pair of Wahlberg's Eagles,  Blue-naped Mousebirds, Woodland & Striped Kingfishers, Sooty Chat, and Brown Snake Eagle.

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Blue-naped Mousebird Finfoot
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Blue-naped Mousebird Finfoot
Fish Eagle Grey Hornbill Hamerkop
African Fish Eagle African Grey Hornbill Hamerkop
Little Bee-eater Malachite Kingfisher Pied Kingfisher
Little Bee-eater Malachite Kingfisher Pied Kingfisher
Squacco Heron Striated Heron Wahlberg's Eagle
Squacco Heron Striated Heron Wahlberg's Eagle
Water Thick-knee Hippo Crocodile
Water Thick-knee Common Hippopotamus Nile Crocodile

Home

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Content

Introduction

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8 Day 9

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