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Day 6 (Sunday, 1st March)

     Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth NP

The lodge we were staying in is all very "upper crust", but struggles to cater for the early morning wildlife watchers. Breakfast is from 7am, but that was also the time we were due to head out. Not a problem - a banana can have a lasting effect. The drive from Myema Lodge back to the park is around 20km, and takes half an hour through thick bush and lush grassland. We decided to take a different track to the previous evening, this time principally searching for good views of Elephants. We spent 2 hours driving these tracks, but overall there seemed fewer mammals than the previous evening. Waterbuck, Warthogs, Kob, and Buffalo were around, but only in small numbers. Best mammals were a busy group of Banded Mongoose scampering from one bush to another, aware of our presence. Early Marsh Harrier and Black-shouldered Kite preceded a couple of perched Eagles. These presented more problems than we hoped for - brown eagles, not too big, gap to bottom of eye. It should be easier than this! We settled for Lesser Spotted. Rufous-naped Larks added to the more common Yellow-throated Longclaws, and Zitting Cisticolas seemed almost in epidemic numbers. It was also good to see both Pin-tailed Wydahs and Southern Red Bishops yet again in full breeding plumage - so much easier as well as attractive. A bunch of Village Weavers at their own nest site had double trouble - an African Cuckoo probably didn't offer too much of a threat, but they all scattered when a Grey Kestrel came homing in on the colony.

Cattle Egret Grey Kestrel Lesser Spotted Eagle
Western Cattle Egret Grey Kestrel Lesser Spotted Eagle
Long-crested Eagle Marabou Rufous-naped Lark
Long-crested Eagle Marabou Stork Rufous-naped Lark
White-backed Vulture White-browed Coucal African Cuckoo
White-backed Vulture White-browed Coucal African Cuckoo

     Around Mweya Lodge grounds

Next activity after breakfast was the boat trip around the channel, early afternoon, which left time for an hour or so walk around the lodge grounds. There are 3-4 blocks of rooms, and more canvas & separate rooms, all fenced in with manicured lawns and connecting roads throughout, in an area which was easy to cover in the time available. There are a couple of feeding tables in front of the restaurant, which is a good place to start. Three species of Weavers seem to nest in the grounds, Village, Black-necked & Little, and the latter 2 are regulars at the feeding area. This also attracts Southern Black Flycatcher, Black-headed Gonolek, and very close Swamp Flycatcher (often on the tables!), with regular Red-chested Sunbird and White-browed Robin Chat passing by. So then it was out of reception and into the grounds. While closing in on a family of Northern Black Flycatchers one of the bushes, a movement within turned out to be a skulking Neuman's Warbler - the second of the trip. Red-chested Sunbirds turned out to be very common and vocal throughout, but a pair of Woodland Kingfishers seen a few times may have been the same birds each time. Within the bushes, a couple of Grey-backed Cameropteras were found. Overhead, and within the hirundine flock, were a few Horus Swifts.

Angola Swallow Black-headed Gonolek Black-headed Weaver
Angola Swallow Black-headed Gonolek Black-headed Weaver
Brown Babbler Grey-backed Cameroptera Grey-headed Sparrow
Brown Babbler Grey-backed Cameroptera Grey-headed Sparrow
Red-billed Firefinch Northern Black Flycatcher Pink-backed Pelican
Red-billed Firefinch Northern Black Flycatcher Pink-backed Pelican
Pin-tailed Wydah Pin-tailed Wydah Red-chested Sunbird
Pin-tailed Wydah (female) Pin-tailed Wydah (male) Red-chested Sunbird
Ruppells Starling Slender-billed Weaver Slender-billed Weaver
Ruppell's Starling Slender-billed Weaver (male) Slender-billed Weaver (female)
Speckled Mousebird Swamp Flycatcher Village Weaver
Speckled Mousebird Swamp Flycatcher Village Weaver
White-browed Robin-chat Yellow wagtail
White-browed Robon-chat Western Yellow Wagtail

     Kazinga Channel

Kazinga Channel Boat Kazinga
Kazinga Channel from Mweya Lodge The boat used for the trip Side opposite to Mweya Lodge

Then it was to the boat ridearound the Kazinga Channel, which lasted for 2 hours. This was quite a different experience to the one at Mabamba, being on a much larger boat full of a variety of folk. The plan was to set off and cover the bank below and to the left of the lodge, and then cross to cover the other side towards the lake exit. The early part of the journey was all about the Elephants, with a good sized family of all ages making its way along a well worn path by the water's edge. Main bird life here were the first of multitudes of Pied Kingfishers and the odd Squacco Heron. This all increased exponentially on the opposite bank. The shoreline here was much more open, and included some exposed damp mud. Most obvious were the Cape Buffalo and Hippopotamus at the edge, interspersed by the odd crocodile. Waders were in variety - Common, Wood & Marsh Sandpiper, Greenshank, Ruff, Black-winged Stilt, Little Stint, Ringed Plover, and a call of Caspian Plover, although I didn't see the latter well enough for positive ID. Herons etc were in the form of Grey Heron, Little & Great Egret, Hamerkop, Yellow-billed Stork and Hadada Ibis. A Fish Eagle was tearing its catch apart, hungrily watched by a pair of Hamerkops. The Hippopotamus were regularly encountered as we continued, and it was good to see some very young animals with them. The cruise terminated before returning at a small and busy fishing village, just after a single Red-throated Bee-eater had been picked out, and it was also just after this that we saw the large colony of mixed species on the shoreline. Most obvious were the Grey-headed Gulls and Gull-billed Terns at the front, and behind them concentrated Great Cormorants. Amongst them were a handful of Marabou Storks and Pink-backed Pelicans, with a statuesque Saddle-billed Stork meandering between.

The evening, from 6pm onwards, was intended for a dusk Leopard search. This was, believe it or not, on a track called the Leopard Loop. We set off at the allotted time, and quickly came across a family of Elephants in the bush just outside of the lodge area. Some time was spent on them, before we set off in earnest.  However, after having chalked up Little Sparrowhawk overhead,  and perched Grey Kestrel and Grey-backed Fiscal, the annoying grating of the worn left break reached dangerous level, and so we decided to let safety overcome foolishness and drive back to camp, so that our guide could try to sort out the problem.

African Spoonbill Black Crake Common Sandpiper
African Spoonbill Black Crake Common Sandpiper on African Buffalo
Egyptian Goose Fish Eagle Goliath Heron
Egyptian Goose African Fish Eagle Goliath Heron
Great Egret Grey-headed Gull Gull-billed Tern
Great Egret Grey-headed Gull Gull-billed Tern
Little Stint Hadada Ibis Harrier-hawk
Little Stint Hadada Ibis African Harrier-hawk
Lesser Black-backed Gull Little Egret Long-tailed Cormorant
Lesser Black-backed Gull Little Egret Long-tailed Cormorant
Marsh Sandpiper Pied Kingfisher Pink-backed Pelican
Marsh Sandpiper Pied Kingfisher Pink-backed Pelican
Ruff Sacred Ibis Saddle-billed Stork
Ruff African Sacred Ibis Saddle-billed Stork
Yellow-billed Stork Elephant Hippo
Yellow-billed Stork African Elephant Hippopotamus
Crocodile Banded Mongoose
Nile Crocodile Banded Mongoose

Home

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Introduction

Day 1

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Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 Day 8 Day 9

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