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2011, Tanzania Birding Trip Reports




Birding & Wildlife in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Beyond

February 6 – February 21, 2011


Tour Leaders

Peter Roberts & Anthony Raphael


Tour Participants

Cindy Alberico, John Blake, Sue Friscia, Pia Haley, Bill & Marsha Hendrickson,

Myrna Noye, Wes Serafin, John Whale



Abdul & Joshua




February 6: Travel to Kilimanjaro. Wes, Cindy & Sue were already in Arusha a day ahead of the tour and had a fruitful day catching up on jetlag and birding the grounds of Arumeru River Lodge, where they saw at least one species we’d not encounter on the main tour – Golden-backed (Jackson’s) Weaver. The rest of us all arrived in the evening off the KLM 567 from Amsterdam at 9.30pm. We reached the Arumeru River Lodge just after 10.30pm to check in and met up with Wes, Cindy & Sue, who were waiting up for us.


February 7: Arusha National Park. We did a pre-breakfast bird walk around the grounds from 6.30am until a lovely al fresco breakfast in the cool morning air an hour later. The rains are still to come and it is generally dry around Arusha, so the hoped-for Taveta Golden Weavers were not present and nesting in the gardens (though they were seen well by Wes, Sue and Cindy yesterday). However there was plenty else of interest for the mix of first time birders in Africa to the old hands on this tour. An acacia near the entrance held a family of Common Fiscals, a couple of Chinspot Batis and a Black-backed Puffback. An African Harrier-Hawk cruised over at treetop height and various common garden birds were firsts for many. Variable Sunbirds fed on the various exotic flowering plants and the inevitable Common Bulbuls and Speckled Mousebirds were everywhere.


After breakfast we met up with Anthony and set off for nearby Arusha National Park in our two safari vehicles. At the entrance we stretched legs while the inevitable paperwork was sorted out by the drivers. A very productive session here produced super views of Moustached Grassbird, Tawny-flanked Prinia and Singing Cisticola, while overhead we were treated to a brief interaction between a large Black-breasted Snake Eagle and an even larger Martial Eagle. We glimpsed the snow-clad peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at 19,340 feet, showing clear and flat-topped above a layer of cloud. It was dusty and hot by the middle of the day, but by then we’d gone up towards rugged Mt. Meru (14,979 ft.) and into the lovely forest on the slopes, stopping at the famous Fig-tree arch.  This small jewel of a park (just 55 sq. miles) is diverse and peaceful. Although many of the better-known big game animals are present, we managed to concentrate on the outstanding birdlife and seek out mammal species we are less likely to find elsewhere. In this we were quite successful, finding good views of Black and White Colobus and Blue or Sykes Monkey, not bad looks at the shy Red Duiker and 1-2 Bushbucks. On the way up we passed a perched African Cuckoo-Hawk; only seen once before on this tour. Once at the Fig-tree arch we got out and stood by the vehicles playing various calls to try and see some of the special forest birds that occur here. As always in this habitat, we missed a few and gained a few in the short time we had here. Hartlaub’s Turacos eventually showed well, flashing crimson wings. We called for Bar-tailed Trogon with no luck, but did find Brown Woodland Warbler, a family of White-starred Robins, Eastern Mountain Greenbuls, Thick-billed Seedeaters and gorgeous little Grey-headed Negrofinches. We picnicked at the ranger post with watchful thieving Blue Monkeys in unwanted attendance.  Thereafter we spent the afternoon out across the open grasslands to the small fresh and soda lakes at Momella, holding a variety of waterbirds. The flamboyant Lesser and Greater Flamingos were centre-stage along with a supporting role of Cape Teal, Southern Pochard, scarcer Maccoa Duck and various shorebirds: Pied Avocets, Ruff, Little Stint and local Spur-winged and Blacksmith Plovers. Time runs away easily in places like these and it was all we could do to manage a brief stop at the final wetland and lake before completing the circuit in the National Park. Still no Taveta Golden Weavers, but fantastic displays from African Marsh Harrier and sightings of White-backed Duck along with commoner species such as Spur-winged and Egyptian Geese, Hottentot Teal, White-faced Whistling Ducks and African Jacanas. Various other short stops playing calls and watching with 10 pairs of eager eyes produced a goodly selection for our first day in the field. As we exited the National Park further good birds popped up to slow our intended early return to the lodge. Anthony called out Brown-headed Kingfisher, which we all saw well. More frustratingly, a Yellowbill was glimpsed by only 1-2 people as it made its odd cat-call from deep cover; this was a first for this tour. Finally Sue found us a lovely White-eared Barbet at the Museum site before a last dusty trundle back home for a shower, cold beer, bird list and a good supper.


February 8: To Lake Manyara National Park. There was little time for formal birding before breakfast, but we did manage to find the local specialty – Taveta Golden Weaver before setting out for the drive westwards towards the steep escarpment of the Rift Valley and to Lake Manyara National Park. We first called in to Mountain Lodge where they sometimes have the African Wood Owl staked out (I saw them there in November last year). We were unlucky today, with consolation of finding Brown-breasted Barbet and a lone Rameron (Olive) Pigeon. The drive was fairly uneventful, through still very dry and hot countryside, arriving at the Park by 10.45am, where we spent the remainder of the day. Manyara is a small Park centered round a soda lake directly below some impressive Rift Valley cliffs. It is a magnet for waterbirds and migrants, as well as having other distinctive habitats and an excellent variety of large mammals. On entering the Park we passed through the miles of impressive tall forest fed by streams rising through the base of the Rift Valley cliffs above. This cool, shady area was where we tried for Purple-crested Turaco in the only site I know of in the country to find it. The first couple of efforts were very frustrating, having the bird calling back, but not showing. Third time we got incredibly lucky with a couple of birds coming in to playback and sitting at eye level giving stunning views just yards away. Here too we clocked our first Silvery-cheeked Hornbills before setting out towards the picnic site in drier acacia forest. There were of course many close encounters with large groups of Olive Baboons throughout the day, but happily no marauding mobs of the beasts at the picnic. We saw our first few Elephants, Impala and Vervet Monkeys along with some impressive large, dark Giraffes. Birds popped up here and there throughout our day, producing a large tally by the end of the day. At one spot we called in Pearl-spotted Owlet and had a mass of small birds in pursuit giving quite nice views – Red-faced Crombecs, African Grey Flycatchers, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Red-cheeked Cordonbleus, Grey-backed Camaropteras, Von Der Decken’s Hornbill, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Black-backed Puffback, Spot-flanked Barbet, Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike, Green-winged Pytilia, Rufous Chatterer – the list seemingly endless. Raptors were again good today, with perched Brown Snake Eagle to start, a magnificent Crowned Eagle at lunch and African Goshawk in the heat of the afternoon. The two vehicles separated at times and recorded their own things, Anthony pointing out many good species to the folks in his vehicle, such as Peregrine, Blue-naped Mousebird and Black Bishop. So much other good stuff, it is difficult to know where to start or what was “best bird”: perhaps the lumbering Southern Ground Hornbills, or the pair of Broad-billed Rollers – only seen on three previous tours. The best was perhaps the grand finale of waterbirds out where the freshwater trickles into the huge lake basin and the vast Hippos find cool from the heat of the day. The waterbirds here were, as always, very impressive as we stood at the viewpoint and scoped across huge areas of open water and marsh. White-faced Whistling Ducks were most numerous, with a few Fulvous Whistling Ducks, Comb Ducks and Spur-winged Geese too. Masses of Sacred and Hadada Ibis were feeding, while flocks of Glossy Ibis flew overhead, where, high in the thermals, Pelicans and Yellow-billed Storks circled and descended. African Spoonbills, various herons, and egrets, shorebirds such as Collared Pratincoles and odd Marsh Sandpipers and Black-tailed Godwits added variety.


We eventually dragged ourselves away and set out for our overnight stay at Lake Manyara Hotel, on a stunning cliff-top overlook back down to the lake. Cold beers and a shower were again welcome, but we all thought it odd that this quite nice, refurbished lodge with lovely grounds, a pool and all sorts of amenities doesn’t have air-conditioning or even a ceiling fan in the rooms!


February 9: To Lake Victoria. After a fairly hot night we managed a quick look around the lovely gardens of the lodge with its super view over the rift valley escarpment this morning before breakfast. A Spot-flanked Barbet was busy chasing away a parasitic Lesser Honeyguide from its nest, and a fine pair of Scarlet-chested Sunbirds flitted from flower to flower taking a first feed of nectar. We departed at 8am for the short drive to Manyara airstrip where the plane came in on time and nobody bothered to check the weight of our luggage. The fact that Grumeti airstrip in the far west of Serengeti had been closed for repair had been sprung on us only after arrival, so there was the annoying prospect of having to meet our vehicles in central Serengeti at Seronera and drive an additional 2 hours. This was darned annoying, but nothing to be done about it. In the end it all worked out: we saw some great birds along our extended route, the plane got us to Seronera quite early anyway, and we were bang-on schedule in arriving at Speke Bay Lodge between 3.30 – 3.45pm as usual.


We were met by our safari driver/guides Abdul and Joshua at Seronera and were quickly packed and on our way westwards through the Serengeti – 80 miles of uninterrupted wild country, and yet still only a tiny fraction of the whole. We had to keep up a brisk pace to get to Lake Victoria on time and it was tough at times driving through such exquisite country full of birds and animals. However, we would return at leisure in a day or so and we did pretty well over all.  Apart from all the usual magnificent big game, especially big groups of Elephants, we saw a fine array of birds. I was particularly pleased to find Steel-blue Whydah along with Eastern Paradise and Pin-tailed Whydahs, all in breeding dress. A nice selection of raptors included a very close perched juvenile Martial Eagle, a pair of White-headed Vultures, first good looks at the elegant Dark Chanting Goshawk, a melanistic Ovambo Sparrowhawk and a feeding Tawny Eagle. European and Lilac-breasted Rollers were common as were the usual gaudy starlings – Superb and Ruppell’s Long-tailed. Early on we quickly got one of the main target birds in riverine forest along the Grumeti as we called in 4 Eastern Plantain-eaters with their crazy laughing calls. With this major target done and dusted everything else was a bonus. The Grumeti produced its usual huge Nile Crocodiles and the lovely gallery forest where we have our (much better) picnic lunch produced Grey-headed Bushshrike. There were plenty of game animals such as Wildebeest, Topi, Common Zebra and Impala on the tall grass plains where we found first White-bellied Bustards and Secretarybird.


Arriving at the lovely Speke’s Bay Lodge, situated right on the shores of the lake, we quickly settled into our round cabins and reconvened for a leisurely stroll through the extensive grounds on the edge of the immense Lake Victoria.  The lake front was full of flocks of nervous terns constantly on the move. Masses of Whiskered and White-winged (some in breeding plumage) plus fewer Gull-billed and, most tantalisingly, some of the group saw a couple of small terns – either Little or Saunder’s, which I’d come across here a couple of times before, but which shouldn’t occur here at all. Openbill Storks were feeding on the shore along with various shorebirds, herons and egrets. Here too were a few nice male Northern Brown-throated Weavers – the first of the special trio of localised weavers to seek here. Back in the grounds we quickly connected with most of the target species. Slender-billed Weavers were common enough, and 2-3 nice male Black-headed (Yellow-backed) Weavers showed up in a bottlebrush tree where Red-chested Sunbirds fed and a family of Swamp Flycatchers were holding territory. Angola Swallows were, as usual, nesting and showing well. The Three-banded (Heuglin’s) Coursers were in exactly the same few square yards as always – this time there were 6 of the beauties.  Pia spotted my hoped-for Square-tailed Nightjar, this year forsaking its roost by the tents for a safer tree branch – the scope views were stunning. With such quick success we all treated ourselves  to a cold beer on the deck overlooking the lake – a pleasant relaxing finish to a quite hectic, but very productive day.


February 10: To The Central Serengeti. This morning we did a pre-breakfast bird wander from 6.45am until an 8am breakfast. Walking along the nearby lake shore, it was difficult to imagine that the huge expanse of water in front of us was only a tiny bay of the massive Lake Victoria. The Lake is 26,000 sq. m. – as big as West Virginia, or bigger than the Republic of Ireland. Luckily we didn’t need to wander far to find much of what I’d hoped to see here. The reed and papyrus fringes held skulking African Reed Warblers and more easily seen and distinctive Winding Cisticolas. The sandy beach close to the lodge was extremely productive, with many of the commoner shorebirds and 1-2 better finds such as White-fronted Plover. Further afield we gained access to a muddier shoreline with lots of interest. There was a phenomenal display of flight and frenzy from thousands of small terns. In their midst was Squacco Heron, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Long-toed Lapwing and Lesser Sandplover. A gorgeous little Malachite Kingfisher perched in the reed edge, while further off in the adjacent agriculture were Blue-cheeked Bee-Eaters brilliant in the early morning sun. Swamp Flycatchers were numerous and shared acacias with migrant Willow and Eastern Olivaceous Warblers, local Buff-bellied Warblers and a trio of gorgeous Black-headed Gonoleks, their deep crimson underparts radiant. We returned here again after breakfast and extended our walk around the rest of the grounds, meandering through the open grass through bush, scrub and larger trees. Eurasian Reed-Warblers showed briefly along with better looks at Crimson -rumped and Common Waxbills, Red-chested Sunbirds, dozens of Pied Kingfishers, Grey-headed Kingfishers and good shows from the rarer weavers – Northern Brown-throated, Slender-billed and Black-headed. Surprisingly the usually super-abundant, nesting and noisy Village Weavers were virtually absent, clearly not ready to build nests yet, despite all the other species doing so. We were delighted to find a family of 3 roosting Verreaux’s Eagle-Owls, the scope providing full-frame detail of the bird’s head, complete with pink eyelids.


We were back to vacate rooms by 11.20am, finding the Gonoleks and Grey-capped Warbler again, while ticking off no less than 8 clustered Heuglin’s Coursers for the day in exactly the same spot as yesterday. The terns on the shore caused further great interest to some of us as we found again the small “mystery” terns with yellow bills – Little or Saunders. After seeing them briefly on two other visits I was keen to get further ID and Bill and Wes helped out with some hopefully useful digital images. In the end we realised we were watching 2-3 summer-plumaged, yellow-billed birds amidst a flock of 23 Little Terns, most in winter plumage – a remarkable record.


After a sit-down lunch with Anthony, Abdul and Joshua we began our return into the western corridor of the Serengeti National Park, bound for Seronera. We travelled fairly fast with just a few stops en route for special sightings such as Black Coucal, first Montagu’s Harrier, Grey Kestrel and a trio of White-headed Vultures. This allowed us to reach Seronera Lodge by 4.50pm and have a little downtime – a cooling dip in the pool for some and a stretch of legs and bird walk in the grounds for others.

February 11: The Central Serengeti. The Serengeti is vast! At 5,675 square miles, it is larger than the state of Connecticut. Add a further 3200 sq. miles protected in the surrounding Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the total is as large as Vermont or New Hampshire. The whole ecosystem including peripheral areas and the Mara Reserve in Kenya is 12,000 sq. m. – the size of Maryland  – or bigger than Belgium! We were out to explore a tiny fraction around the Seronera area at 7.45am, with no specific agenda other than to take an easy slow drive around looking for whatever birds came our way and especially hoping for a sighting of Leopard as this is often the most reliable site.


The clusters of kopjes (pronounced “copies”) – large isolated, weather-smoothed and rounded lumps of granite, some the size of large houses, interrupt the vast flatness of the tall grass plains and the Seronera River with its intermittent, large Yellowbark acacia trees. We drove slowly through this landscape finding many new bird species and gaining better views of others that we’d had to rush by yesterday. A Black-bellied Bustard displayed and called by the trackside. Yellow-throated and Rosy-throated Longclaws appeared close by (what ecological differences are there to maintain two separate species?). Good looks at Brown (Meyer’s) Parrots and Fischer’s Lovebirds perched together was a real picture. Lilac-breasted Rollers, White-crowned (White-rumped) Shrikes and Grey-backed Fiscals were common along roadside bushes. A few new raptors popped up such as Pallid Harrier and Gabar Goshawk, with catch-up views for some of the pretty little Grey Kestrel. Other new stuff included Great Spotted Cuckoo, Three-banded Plover and Fischer’s Sparrow-lark. The Croaking Cisticolas were on good form this pleasantly cool morning, with good sightings and many more heard. Rattling, Zitting, Winding and Pectoral Patch Cisticolas were also noted. There was a fair bit of game around, with big herds of Zebra particularly notable, along with loose groupings of Elephants, large herds of Impala and a scattering of the odd-looking Topi. This was providing sustenance for our first big cats of the tour. We, along with numerous other vehicles, homed in on a small pride of 6 Lions doing absolutely nothing in a grassy patch between two tracks. Vehicles encircled them – they barely bothered to raise their heads! After this we got word of a more exciting sighting and made off into the vastness to find a splendid female Leopard slung over a large, low branch of a Sausage Tree – a classic pose! We watched through binocs and telescope, seeing all its fine detail and wondered whether half of the other tourists present could see it at all, as virtually none had anything other than an occasional camera lens to view it by – such a waste ! The morning raced by and we headed for lunch back at the lodge. Some of the group stopped to watch the large masses of Zebra going down to a fetid water pool full of defecating Hippos to drink! Not only were they having to drink a dilute solution of Hippo poo, they were attacked by the large resident Crocodiles into the bargain. None were taken while they watched, but it was a fascinating bit of animal behaviour.


We had a good 3+ hours to relax back at the lodge in the midday heat, reconvening at 3.30pm to check birds around the grounds. There was plenty of activity in one spot on the edge of the acacia scrub where many species gathered to scold at some unseen (to us) threat. There were Purple Grenadiers, Grey-headed Silverbill, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Brubru, Red-faced Crombec, Speckle-fronted Weavers, Grey-capped Social-Weavers, Bearded Woodpeckers, Chestnut Sparrows, Red-billed Queleas and more, providing plenty of entertainment. Setting out for a game drive at 4pm we encountered some of these again as we departed and added first Red-throated Tits, nice little Red-fronted Barbet and several brilliant looks at Dideric Cuckoo. A little further along our first Striped Kingfisher, looking drab compared to the other kingfisher species, was watched at close range. The weather was doing its best to build up storm clouds (it had been lightning with storm clouds throughout the previous night). At last we got the first smattering of rain, building to quite a downpour for a while, but finishing in time for us to continue our game drive to the evening with the roof up. The dust was settled and the smells of rain on dry ground were evocative. We came upon the same 6 Lions as this morning and found them much more awake in the cooler temperatures. The adult females got up and wandered a few yards while the well grown cubs played and tumbled with each other like overgrown kittens. As we returned to the lodge we also passed the group of Spotted Hyenas we’d seen this morning, using the drainage culvert under the road as their den. With the rain, they were flushed out and sat by the roadside looking a bit lost. The rain too had changed the colour of the passing Elephants to almost black. We finished late, and had a later supper (the lodge being quite full this evening), but it had been a very successful day in the central Serengeti.


February 12: To the eastern Serengeti.  Some had a poor night’s sleep after errant, nocturnal Baboons decided to race up and down over the roof and try some of their “breaking and entering” techniques. We headed off all packed up after breakfast eastward to travel the c.50 miles out across the Serengeti Plains to the Ndutu region. The weather was cooler with some cloud and we had a pleasant morning to slowly meander wherever our drivers thought best. First off we drove the trails along the Seronera River and were pleased to find a lovely Leopard cub in the same tree as we saw its mother yesterday. Mother was not visible, but her night’s work – a Thompson’s Gazelle kill was evident hanging from a nearby tree. The whole area was alive to the sound of screaming Helmeted Guineafowl trying to make the Leopard uncomfortable enough to go somewhere else. We rejoined the main road eastwards for a while then meandered off again to Simba Kopjes. These lived up to their name as on top of the highest granite outcrop was a magnificent lone male Lion – asleep most of the time of course! We picked up some good bird sightings along the way. Cape Crows were found by the Lion where a nearby pool provided some excellent studies of successfully fishing Yellow-billed Storks. There were some gorgeous close studies of perched Lesser Kestrels in the few trees and bushes in this vast grassland region. Sadly we only gained a poor flight view of the scarcer Greater Kestrel.


W reached Naabi Gate, where everyone enters and exits Serengeti and has to go through the unwieldy paper exercise of checking in and out with the Park Authorities. It was very busy with people coming and going and taking their picnics, which is exactly what we did amidst scavenging Superb & Hildebrandt’s Starlings, Red-billed Buffalo-Weavers and Rufous-tailed Weavers. While here we took the little trail to the top of the knoll and had fantastic scenic views across miles and miles of flat grass plains of this eastern section of the Serengeti and conservation area. Today it was lacking any sign of Wildebeest. The Pearl-spotted Owlet call worked well, with a range of birds coming in to mob the imaginary foe. Included were many of the usuals plus Red-fronted Barbet and Yellow-fronted Canary. From here we made our way out of the National Park and off towards our camp in the Ndutu area to the south. We slowly worked our way across the short-grass plains and found some good little hotspots of activity. Spotted Hyenas continued to pop up sporadically and at one of these halts were a couple of Black-winged Plover (first thought to be Senegal).  While watching these I spotted a few more distant Caspian Plovers, some in good summer plumage. These flew up along with the Black-winged Plovers (when their distinctive white wing bar firmly identified them) and settled amidst many more of both species. By far the best sighting however was a little further along the track where we came across a very relaxed female Cheetah with two medium-sized cubs. These were lounging and playing close-by to the roadside and gave some superb photo shots for those with cameras.


We arrived at our tented camp by about 5pm and settled in. The tents were spacious and comfortable and we got together around a campfire to do the bird list while drinking cocktails before it got dark.  We managed to complete this before some wonderfully bruised blue and black clouds that were building up began to drop rain on us. We continued proceedings into supper sat under canvas, retiring to our tents for a good night’s sleep by 8.30 – 9pm.


February 13: Ndutu. We all reported that we’d slept well as we emerged for breakfast at about 6.45am. It was a cool and cloudy morning, pretty-much overcast, but the rain held off all morning for our game drive into the prime area to find the massed concentrations of calving Wildebeest on the Serengeti. The Wildebeest were not playing ball this morning – at least to start with. This is an unbelievably vast area of flat open grassland and we scanned for tens of miles in all directions across seemingly empty plains. We had a wonderful encounter with a lone Cheetah that was eating a fresh kill (probably a small Thompson’s Gazelle) and continued cross-country in slippery conditions across miles of the Serengeti finding good birds here and there, including first Red-capped Larks. We sauntered up to a very small group of Wildebeest just start the ball rolling, then continued on for another few miles. Eventually the horizon was producing scattered black dots, which as we got closer, turned into distant Wildebeest. Some of these were way over at Naabi where there were none yesterday – clearly they were still much on the move. These were too far to chase (and back in the National Park), so we continued on our way, eventually coming into our own larger and denser groupings, complete with the hoped-for young calves. In amongst these were the tell-tale signs of the Wildebeest’s rich but deadly tapestry of life: watching Hyenas, pairs of Common Jackals and odd groups of satiated assorted vultures, eagles and Marabou Storks.


Back at the camp for lunch and some downtime, we popped out again to visit nearby Lake Masek at 4pm. Some did further birding in the adjacent acacia around camp beforehand, finding amongst other good stuff a pair of Banded Parisomas. The afternoon jaunt produced the main target bird – Chestnut-banded Plover. This is a cute little fluffy bird with very neat plumage, foraging the soda lakeshore where the bleached bones and skulls of dozens upon dozens of daft Wildebeest line the shore – animals too stupid to go around the lake, but instead walking straight across and getting stuck in the mud. One of the most odd and interesting little incidents of the afternoon drive was watching a Giraffe with attendant oxpeckers, one of which spent ages pecking at the lip and inside of the mouth of the Giraffe. The beast in question seemed completely at ease with a bird hanging off its lower lip as it continued to stoically chew its food. Back at base before supper I tried calling for nightjars with no result.


February 14: Ndutu. A dry night with many animals sounds – especially Lions and Hyenas around the camp. We were heading out again onto the plains around camp by just before 8am to locate the Wildebeest again and see what we could see, with no specific agenda. The Wildebeest are at the end of their 500-mile circular migration here. Basically they follow the rains and the resultant regeneration of green grasses all the way north to the Mara area of Kenya. Then it’s back again to rest in the ensuing long rains on the short-grass plains of the south-east of Serengeti around Ndutu where they calve and rear their young to a stage when they can again move on north and west by May or June. They were again quite spread out today, partly on the more open short grass, but many more intermingled with masses of Zebra in the open and short acacia woodland patches. Joshua and Abdul drove us cross-country for much of the morning, barely touching a discernible track. First great find was a small part of a pride of Lions with a Wildebeest kill. We were the only people present – a far cry from the circus of our first Lion sighting at Seronera. We spent quality time watching this group, gorged on the unfortunate ungulate, bellies swollen with umpteen kilos of meat and generally trying to get comfy and sleep for the rest of the day. There was certainly more activity from this group than previous Lion encounters as the cubs finished gnawing at the remains and wandered here and there trying out various bushes and patches of shade for comfort. We did a circuit during the remainder of the morning and returned past them on our way back to camp. They’d moved a little, but were now much more settled and inactive. In between times we were birding and photographing a good selection of raptors and other good stuff. Martial Eagle perched and posed as did Dark Chanting Goshawk, Lesser Kestrels in abundance, both Rollers, some lovely Green Woodhoopoes and more. Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush was seen a couple of times and Banded Parisoma called in. The other star attraction of the morning was finding more Cheetahs – this time two together, probably male siblings. These were relaxed and lying low out in the short grass, with little apparent intention of hunting, so we admired them for a while and moved on.


After a midday siesta we drove out again to comparatively nearby areas including some swamp. Here were many Montagu’s Harriers gathered, sitting out on the open grasslands – an odd sight. There weren’t many shorebirds or waterbirds present so we continued out onto the adjacent open plains passing a couple of female “do-nothing” Lions along the way. The area was fairly devoid of game, the reports being that the mass of Wildebeest have wandered back into Serengeti National Park way to the south of everything and everyone at Moru Kopjes. Best birds found were excellent catch-up views of Coqui Francolins for all and splendid little Temminck’s Coursers. Back at the camp we did the bird list around the camp fire, ordered showers, had cocktails and ate a slow supper. After all had gone to bed I was woken from my slumbers by the sound of White-faced Scops-Owl which I tried to call in with no luck – though we did see its silhouette and eye-shine!


February 15: To The Ngorongoro Crater. We left the Ndutu area in clouds and light rain at times before an early breakfast today and slithered our way cross-country on grassy tracks on our continuing journey. The continuing vastness of the flat short grass plains was only too evident as we motored eastwards for ages with a never-ending horizon. Scattered across this huge area were enormous numbers of Thompson’s Gazelles and large mixed groups of Wildebeest and Zebra working their way slowly east too. Ostriches were everywhere we looked 360 degrees around our vehicles. Common Jackals popped up regularly and we enjoyed a sparring match of clashing horns between two buck Tommies and a family group of Black-backed Jackals play-fighting. Some of the group had opted to visit a Maasai village on the way to Olduvai, so they went off with Anthony while I took the others more directly to Olduvai birding en route and doing a little extra once there. We all met up by midday and did a short walk together, in what was now quite pleasantly warm weather after a distinctly cloudy, chilly start. We found some good birds on our morning’s journey – Yellow-throated Sandgrouse and Caspian Plovers showing well at one stop and first Eastern Chanting Goshawks at another. Irania (White-throated Robin), Egyptian Vulture and Olive-tree Warbler were all very good finds at Olduvai itself, where the walk produced the hoped for Kenya Violet-backed Sunbird, Foxy (Fawn-coloured) Lark and White-throated Bee-eater. After a less than appetizing picnic, we visited the little Museum overlooking the layered rocks of the gorge where the Leakey’s and others made such stunning discoveries of early animal and hominid remains. We left Olduvai by 1.30pm and went fairly directly with few stops to the descent road into the famous Ngorongoro Crater, climbing up and leaving the Serengeti behind in a distant haze. Despite this, and coming across the first Maasai settlements, there were still a few Wildebeest, Thomson’s and Grant’s Gazelles and Common Zebras mingled in with the livestock.


The descent down into and across the Crater went very well with the target birds popping up on cue. Only a short way down and the Wailing (Lyne’s) Cisticola was called in quickly and closely, with another pair doing the same further down. Schalow’s (Mourning) Wheatears and Northern Anteater Chats both obliged as we neared the descent road end. Bonus bird was Long-billed Pipit. Across the crater it was slightly less eventful, the floor covered at times with Abdim’s Storks. Rosy-throated Longclaw showing beautifully at the roadside and first Dusky Turtle Doves flying by. On the ascent towards Sopa Lodge Anthony’s vehicle scored with sightings of the scarce Shelley’s Francolin – seen only once before on this tour. My bus found other more usual species as firsts for the tour – Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher and Streaky Seedeater. Apart from the good birds there were, of course, masses of wonderful animals throughout. Large groups of Zebra, Wildebeest and Cape Buffalo in particular, and a lazing group of 7 Lions, including two large males, one of which was seen mating with a female – a “blink and you miss it” sort of affair! Best of all however, was a wonderful chancing upon a hunting Serval, watched walking slowly through short grass with its huge ears listening for rustlings in the grass. This gorgeous little cat did indeed make a pounce, but missed whatever hapless creature it was trying to take.


Once checked in, we took a quick dusk look around the grounds finding a lone calling Schalow’s Turaco and first Golden-winged Sunbirds. Everyone enjoyed getting back to “civilization” after the camping – hot showers, a good meal and the internet all hitting the right spot.


February 16: The Ngorongoro Crater. We were up and birding the grounds of the lodge as soon as it was light enough at about 6.45am. Luckily the rain had gone, leaving cool, damp and cloudy conditions, but perfectly OK for a chilly pre-breakfast walk. As usual here, we try for the wonderful array of good forest birds known to occur, finding just a sample on each occasion. Golden-winged Sunbirds were particularly in evidence this morning, which was a delightful start. At the other end of the spectrum, we managed quite reasonable looks at an ultra-skulker; the drab little Cinnamon Bracken Warbler. In between were the usual Northern Double-collared Sunbirds, Streaky Seedeaters, White-eyed Slaty Flycatchers, Cape Robin Chat, and Hunter’s Cisticolas. Less usual sightings were 3 Waller’s Starlings atop one of the lovely forest trees covered in orange flowers. We gave up at about 7.30am and got ourselves breakfast before heading off in the vehicles down into the Crater at about 8.30am. We took the descent slowly, stopping here and there for birds with good result: from new LBJs such as Red-faced Cisticola and Brown Parisoma, to bright and gaudy Schalow’s Turaco and Red-collared Widowbirds, and things in between the two extremes – Mountain Buzzard, Olive Thrush and Broad-ringed White-eye. Once down on the floor of the Crater our main goal was to find Black Rhino in the only safe and reliable haven for them in the whole country. Whilst on this quest we had a specific circuit to cover with other birds in mind. We were way-laid at times by the high concentration of predators – Spotted Hyenas, but especially Lions that we kept encountering – a total of 21 by the end of the day – all of them resting, loafing and sleeping! Our main goal of finding some of the 15 to 20 Black Rhinoceros that survive here was wonderfully successful on this visit. I’ve only missed them twice in 20 previous visits, but rarely have we seen them so well. We first encountered a female with a well-grown 2-year old calf that came right across the road in front of us offering of course superb views. Another mother/calf combo was seen a little later, and then on our return homewards in the evening we found two lone males, making a total of 6 in all. Birding in the Crater is always rewarding, with fresh and soda lakes, swamp, and open savannah. The day remained pleasantly cool as we notched up further good species as well as many catch ups. Kori Bustards displayed, migrant White and Abdim’s Storks were scattered all over, elegant Gray Crowned-Cranes were extremely photogenic. We called in African Rail at the Hippo Pools where Lesser Swamp Warbler sang. At our lunch stop the Fan-tailed Widowbirds and begging Speke’s Weavers were eclipsed by sightings of a pair of African Darter – the 3rd visit in a row that we’ve seen it here. With so much seen so well and so quickly, we made an effort to return to the lodge a little earlier. It sort of worked out, with a few stops for last Lions, Rhinos, tries for yesterday’s Shelley’s Francolins etc.  We then had enough time to drive a short distance out onto the high, cool plateau grasslands where the Maasai have settled quite densely, to seek out two last staked-out birds: Moorland Chat (dull brown and not hugely inspiring) and Jackson’s Widowbird (very flamboyant and showy). We found both quite easily, with further lovely Red-collared Widowbirds as a bonus. The Jackson’s were in a huge flock of 8+ males with their bizarrely long tails attracting a big following of drab females.


We were back in the grounds of the Lodge at 2000′ above the crater floor by 5.40pm – time for tea and a last chance to admire the stunning views and pleasant warm late afternoon. It was Pia’s birthday today – a very special place indeed to spend a birthday, and it was nicely rounded off with a quick chorus of “Happy Birthday” in Swahili and English from the catering staff in the dining room over supper.


February 17: Walking and birding in the forests of the Conservation Area. We spent further time birding for the special birds of the highlands at the Sopa Lodge grounds from dawn until a 7.30am breakfast. It was a warmer, dry, quite pleasant morning, but the birding was a bit slow. The usual suspects were on parade – White-necked Ravens, White-eyed Slaty Flycatchers, Streaky Seedeaters, Stonechats, Hunter’s Cisticolas, Eastern Double-collared and the flashy Golden-winged Sunbirds and Schalow’s Turacos, but there were few new sightings – just a glimpse of Mountain Yellow Warbler after playback and a “heard only” African Hill Babbler. After paying bills, packing up and setting off, we paused for half an hour by a little pool along the Crater Rim road where sometimes birds come to drink and offer good views. As it was already quite wet throughout the highland forests it wasn’t acting as the magnet that it can do at times – just a few  Eastern Mountain Greenbuls, Montane White-eyes and glimpses of Bar-throated and Brown-headed Apalises for our efforts. After that we put the roofs down and went fairly directly around the rim road in light rain, Abdul braking briefly for an odd pale headed dove in the middle of the road that was ID-ed by Bill as a first ever sighting for this tour of Lemon Dove. We were out of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area by mid morning and back on smooth paved road to Karatu and up to Gibb’s Lodge for lunch by 11.30am. This gave us a pleasant hour to stroll the very luxurious and exotic grounds of this beautiful lodge in the cool of the Ngorongoro highlands before a 12.30pm lunch. Bronze and Variable Sunbirds were everywhere, and African Paradise Flycatchers put on quite a show.


After a very good lunch we were all off on a full afternoon hike into the Conservation Area to the Elephant Caves – about 3.5 miles round trip – to seek out more of the forest birds – our last chance on this tour. The list of birds I’ve seen here over 20 visits is large and we managed to find a good selection of them on our hike. The weather was now hot and dry, and it was pleasant to be able to stretch our legs and get a good walk after so much obligatory viewing from the vehicle.  On the way up we had good views of the same two Apalises seen this morning, plus Black-throated Wattle-eye, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, Brown Woodland Warbler, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, and excellent African Hill Babbler, Stripe-cheeked Greenbul and great studies of Northern Brownbul all in a short space of time. We also had good looks at the very localized White-tailed Blue Flycatcher – only ever seen at Gibb’s on this tour. Once up at the Elephant Caves we managed to catch up on Mountain Wagtail, plenty of Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters and also found a male Purple-throated Cuckoo-Shrike, which even stopped long enough for good scope views. We returned via the waterfall and found Mountain Buzzard and brief Crested Guineafowl along with beautiful called in Klaas Cuckoo on the way. The African Emerald Cuckoo would not respond to playback and remained “heard only”. Back at Gibb’s Farm by 5.20pm, I had a quick look for the Green-headed Sunbird that had eluded us in the morning. This time we got lucky and found it quickly, the bright little male staying put and posing for ages.


It was only a very short drive to Tloma Lodge. Neither Anthony or I had been here before, so it was a very pleasant surprise to find such an attractively laid out lodge with spacious bungalows and pretty grounds, a fine-looking swimming pool and, in the evening a pleasant supper awaiting us. Some of us had a quick look around the grounds for birds, gaining our only decent looks at Red-throated cuckoo for the whole trip. There was a spectacular show from a huge, dense storm giving off thunder and sheet lightning after nightfall – but remarkably no rain. It was very pleasant to have supper with Anthony and Joshua, sadly Abdul had to go off to town, so was absent.


February 18: To Tarangire National Park. Some of us were up at dawn to try again for the Montane Nightjar seen briefly flying by yesterday evening. We’d not heard it call but it seemed worth a try. We didn’t connect, but had an early cuppa and then explored the very extensive grounds – much given over to huge vegetable gardens with coffee and bananas too. The huge storm last night had barely deposited any rain and it was a fine enough morning to take a pre-breakfast stroll. There was a lovely showing of Variable and Bronze Sunbirds in the flowers gardens, while in the vegetable patches and coffee were good catch-up looks at Southern Citrils. By the accommodation and at a bird feeder there was quite a bit of weaver activity including a lone Holub’s Golden Weaver – a species I’ve not noted for a number of years now, so a real pleasure to see one so well.


After breakfast we sorted out a DIY picnic lunch, packed our bags into the Landcruisers and headed east again along excellent paved roads to Tarangire for a two-night stay. The roads in this part of Tanzania are now excellent, so no longer do we spend hours on rutted dusty tracks between the National Parks, but slip speedily between destinations. We made a quick call at The T Shirt Shack for purchases, then continued on fairly non-stop until a short side deviation near Tarangire to try a site Anthony knows for Bare-eyed Thrush. This didn’t materialize, but various other interesting species popped up – White-bellied Go-away Birds and Black-faced Sandgrouse in particular. We were at the entrance to Tarangire National Park by midday and had a brief walk, used the loos and had our picnic here before setting off again towards Sopa Lodge at 1pm with an anticipated arrival time of 3pm. This we achieved, but saw a lot of wonderful things along the way. One of the main reasons for visiting Tarangire is the density of Elephants, and they surpassed themselves today, with groups popping up by the roadside, in the distance and everywhere between for much of the entire 25 mile or so journey. Although no accurate count was made, it was reckoned that we saw between 400-500. There were numerous good bird sightings too – from a couple of Black Storks in the Tarangire River as we crossed the bridge, to a stunning pair of African Hawk-Eagles perched up, as was a first Wahlberg’s Eagle. Of course we saw plenty of the endemic and distinctive Ashy Starling – soon to become “Trashy Starling”, along with colourful Yellow-collared Lovebirds. One very big bonus was a sighting of a lone lazing Cheetah under the shade of one of the immense Baobab trees that are such a special feature of this place.


After check-in (where Anthony and I double-checked again that we were not going to be moved on because of double-booking) we had a little break before a gentle stroll around the grounds – or a relaxing hour or so by the pool – no other people about to disturb us. We all met again on the terrace of the bar in the evening with cold beers awaiting dusk and a try for various nightjar species known to occur here. We did the bird list and then it was just about the right time – trying Freckled and Fiery-necked to no avail, then turning to Slender-tailed with an instant fly-by. In between we heard African Scops-Owl calling and tried to lure that in too, but it was not budging.


February 19: Tarangire National Park. It rained hard overnight, but was dry and sunny by dawn. We opted to have breakfast as soon as available at 6.30am then do some birding in the grounds in better light until we departed for our morning game drive at 8am. The short wander in the grounds produced good scope views of the chunky White-headed Barbet, plus Blue-eared Glossy Starlings.


The habitats of Tarangire reflect a drier region subject to seasonal rains and drought. Thorn-bush is studded with giant Baobab trees, which are useful stores of moisture for the large Elephant herds in drier times. The Baobab’s gargantuan trunks are scarred through generations of gouging by Elephant tusks. Running through its center is the Tarangire River with wide grassy palm-dotted flood plains. It is in a way odd that at this time of year with lush grass the game animals are fewer – the animals reverting here in the dry because of the permanent water. There was plenty of water this morning in the tracks and roads as we set out for a morning exploration of Silale Swamp on the east of the National Park. It was a very productive drive out, as we found reasonable looks at Orange-bellied Parrots, our first properly identified Steppe Eagle with its large gape, a rear view male Mariqua Sunbird (one of the last likely sunbirds we could find) and plenty more. Subtly exciting was driving along in the wet sandy track and seeing two sets of Leopard footprints that had gone through only hours before in the same direction we were headed. Once at the swamp we drove along its edge for several miles, with all sorts of other goodies turning up and generally being very photogenic. Great looks at raptors included Brown Snake Eagle, Bateleur, Gabar Goshawks, Long-crested Eagle and African Hawk-Eagle. I usually find wintering Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters along this stretch where the bush gives way to a vast area of wet marshland grasses. Today was no exception, but with them were some absolutely stunning Northern Carmine Bee-eaters – surely the most gorgeous Bee-eater of the entire exotic and colourful family? The pools along the edge of the swamp were not quite as productive as they can be – few ducks, herons and water-birds. It all looked the same as ever, but who knows why the birds come and go in these poorly studied areas? There was however a lovely pair of Saddle-billed Storks to admire – always high on the “want-list” for birders to Africa. On our return drive we paused to watch a sunbathing Tawny Eagle, stood on bare ground with its wings awkwardly spread-eagled and looking very odd indeed. We were back by 1pm and straight into a pleasant buffet lunch by the pool, with a break thereafter until 4pm, when we set out on our final game drive of the tour.


The storm clouds built up again as the afternoon progressed, but happily no rain fell to mar our last game drive. We didn’t see any new birds, though there were 1-2 catch-ups and some nice sightings. Our main interest was viewing the large Elephant herds, which again were scattered throughout our couple of hours meandering. So we empathized with the Elephants/pondered the pachyderms as they munched their way through their daily quota of c.250 kilos of fodder, with seemingly not a care in the world. There were some very cute tiny calves suckling under mother’s legs, the massive adults carefully protecting them without being trampled. Some had taken mud baths and seemed to have half a lawn growing on their backs. All in all it was a lovely and tranquil finale. On our return I tried calling in nightjars again, but only got a brief fly-by of Slender-tailed, as last night.


February 20: Return to Arusha and homeward. We had a short uneventful spell of birding the Sopa Lodge grounds before heading off towards the exit of Tarangire National Park at 7.45am. We stopped here and there for final looks at birds and mammals – and last photo opportunities – during the two hours or so. A couple of new birds showed up for our extensive list. 1-2 drab Yellow-bellied Eremomelas atop a bush where we’d stopped to admire a mix of various Francolins including Hildebrandt’s. Then, at a brief loo and leg stretch stop en route at Matete Picnic site  Bill found us a couple of Arrow-marked Babblers. The journey also produced lovely looks at Orange-bellied Parrots and some wonderful close studies of large Baboon troops mixed up with a band of 32+ Banded Mongooses. Once checked out of the Park it was a fast drive to Arusha arriving at the Cultural Heritage centre by midday. Here everyone was let loose for final shopping before a good buffet lunch and a look at the very elaborate and extravagant Gallery adjacent. Then it was time for a transfer to our dayrooms at Kia Lodge, saying goodbye here to Anthony, who was coming down with pneumonia and needed to get to a doctor pronto. We called in at Mountain Village Lodge to check if the Wood-Owls were about, but they weren’t. We then called in to Arumeru to pick up our left luggage and were at Kia by 3.15pm. It was a hot dry afternoon, but time for last minute optional birding before showers, repacking and an early evening snack before departure to the airport at 7.45pm. We managed to find a few species of interest, including some that we’d not seen since the start of the tour and which seemed like new again! Best bird was undoubtedly a Cabanis’s Greenbul found by Cindy – the bird giving us very useful, good scope views aiding the identification of a difficult group of birds. We were all departing on the KL567 from Arusha (Kilimanjaro) this evening, so went through the misery of check-in, queues and general indignities of modern air travel together.

February 21: Arrival Home. We all arrived into Amsterdam in the early morning where we parted company and connected with our onward flights to UK and USA.


Footnote: This was my 21st northern Tanzanian tour. It is always exciting being in Tanzania and my enthusiasm for the places, the people, the birds and wildlife is undiminished. It is always a bonus to travel with a keen and interested group of people who get along, and I think this certainly applied to our tour. It was a diverse group – some keen on their world lists, others almost entirely new to birding; some first-timers in Africa, others here again because, like me, they’ve got the “Africa bug”. Yet, hopefully, we all got along and enjoyed the fabulous birds, wildlife, scenery and experience in our own ways. Thanks for indulging with me in my interest in the cisticolas! We were lucky with the weather, the rains not affecting our schedule, but making the whole experience very “atmospheric” at times and ensuring that the birds were in good breeding plumage. Although the truly huge, dense herds of Wildebeest had wandered further afield than we could reach this year, we did hopefully give you a taste of what the restless masses are doing and just how huge and fluid the whole Serengeti ecosystem is. The wildlife was generally as good as ever, with exceptional Black Rhino sightings, plenty of the big cats and wonderful looks at the Serval.


Every year there are bird species mysteriously missing (there were several virtually annual species that were absent this year), yet on every visit there are scarcely seen species that pop up unexpectedly. We had sightings of several of these “scarce” species such as African Cuckoo-Hawk, Northern Brownbul, Cabanis’s Greenbul, Wailing Cisticola, Eastern Olive Sunbird, Olive-tree Warbler and more. This makes every visit a fascination for me and means there is always a phenomenal and overwhelming array of wildlife to be viewed for this once in a lifetime tour for the participants. We managed to find two species never seen before – Yellowbill in Arusha National Park and Lemon Dove along the Ngorongoro Crater Rim Road. Most intriguing for me was the sighting of that flock of Little Terns at Lake Victoria.

Statistically it was the best year ever for numbers of bird species. We recorded 431 species (3 heard only). The previous best was 425 a few years back. Two species new for the trip brings the cumulative list for the 21 similar tours to 605. The following bird and animal checklist gives details of which species were recorded. Approximate numbers are given, but “x” = seen commonly, but not counted, and “h” = heard only. Common and Scientific Names for birds are those used in the World Checklist of Birds by J. Clements with all current updates. Mammal nomenclature is taken from Kingdon’s guide to African Mammals. Reptile nomenclature is that provided by A Field Guide to the Reptiles of East Africa by Spawls, Howell, Drewes & Ashe.


SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Ostrich Struthionidae
1 Ostrich Struthio camelus 8 9 2 100 15 x x 10 6 10
Ducks, Geese & Swans Anatidae
2 Fulvous Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna bicolor 6
3 White-faced Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna viduata 10 x 20 15 40
4 White-backed Duck Thalassornis leuconotus 1
5 Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca 6 x 10 x x 20 x 6 x x x x
6 Comb Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos 6
7 Spur-winged Goose Plectropterus gambensis 4 1 4 2 1
8 Cape Teal Anas capensis x 2 2
9 Red-billed Duck Anas erythrorhyncha 2 10
10 Hottentot Teal Anas hottentota 2 2 1 x
11 Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata 3
12 Southern Pochard Netta erythrophthalma x
13 Maccoa Duck Oxyura maccoa 2
Guineafowl Numididae
14 Helmeted Guineafowl Numida meleagris 1 4 x x x x x x x x x x x
15 Crested Guineafowl Guttera pucherani 3
Pheasants, Partridges & Allies Phasianidae
16 Coqui Francolin Francolinus coqui 10 2 4 h 8 4
17 Crested Francolin Francolinus sephaena 1 2 4 6
18 Shelley’s Francolin Francolinus shelleyi 2
19 Scaly Francolin Francolinus squamatus 2
20 Hildebrandt’s Francolin Francolinus hildebrandti 12 6 2
21 Yellow-necked Francolin (Spurfowl) Francolinus leucoscepus 2 x x x
22 Gray-breasted Francolin (Spurfowl) Francolinus rufopictus 2 1 x x x x
23 Red-necked Francolin (Spurfowl) Francolinus afer x x x
Grebes Podicipedidae
24 Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis x 1 1
Flamingos Phoenicopteridae
25 Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus x x x x x x
26 Lesser Flamingo Phoenicopterus minor x x x x x x
Cormorants Phalacrocoracidae
27 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 4 1 1
28 Long-tailed Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus 4 5 5 5 1
Darters & Anhingas Anhingidae
29 African Darter Anhinga rufa 2
Pelicans Pelecanidae
30 Pink-backed Pelican Pelecanus rufescens 10
Herons, Egrets & Bitterns Ardeidae
31 Gray Heron Ardea cinerea 1 2 4 2 2 1 4 4 2
32 Black-headed Heron Ardea melanocephala 1 1 4 10 4 4 10 x 2 6 x
33 Great Egret Ardea alba 1 1 1
34 Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia 1
35 Little Egret Egretta garzetta 1 10 x 1
36 Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis x x x x x x x x x x x
37 Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides 2 5 3
38 Striated Heron Butorides striata 1 1 1 1
39 Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax x
SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Ibises & Spoonbills Threskiornithidae
40 Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus 45 10 35 40 25
41 Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus x x 5 5 10 x 10
42 Hadada Ibis Bostrychia hagedash h 40 h x 1
43 African Spoonbill Platalea alba 2
Hamerkop Scopidae
44 Hamerkop Scopus umbretta 1 2 4 2 2 1 2
Storks Ciconidae
45 African Openbill Anastomus lamelligerus 35 40
46 Black Stork Ciconia nigra 2 1
47 Abdim’s Stork Ciconia abdimii x x 30 x x 50 x
48 White Stork Ciconia ciconia 2 x x x x x 50 5 x
49 Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis 1 2
50 Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus 5 25 x x x x x x 10 5 15
51 Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis 25 5 5 10 4 25 20
Hawks, Eagles & Kites Accipitridae
52 African Cuckoo-Hawk Aviceda cuculoides 1
53 Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus 1 4 6 2 4 3
54 Black Kite Milvus migrans 10 2 10 30 x 2
55 African Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus vocifer 1 1 2 2 1 1 2 3
56 Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus 4
57 Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus 2
58 White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus 5 10 x x x x x x 10 10
59 Rueppell’s Griffon Gyps rueppellii 10 x
60 Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotus 2 1 8 6 6 2
61 White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis 2 3 1
62 Black-breasted Snake-Eagle Circaetus pectoralis 1 1 1 1 2 1
63 Brown Snake-Eagle Circaetus cinereus 1 3
64 Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus 1 1 1 3 6 1
65 Eurasian Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus 1 1 1
66 African Marsh-Harrier Circus ranivorus 1 1 1
67 Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus 1 1 1 1 1
68 Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus 1 2 20 20 30 20 5 6
69 African Harrier-Hawk Polyboroides typus 1 1 1 1
70 Dark Chanting-Goshawk Melierax metabates 2 4 2 1 6
71 Eastern Chanting-Goshawk Melierax poliopterus 2
72 Gabar Goshawk Micronisus gabar 1 1 1 4 1
73 African Goshawk Accipiter tachiro 1
74 Ovambo Sparrowhawk Accipiter ovampensis 1
75 Common (Steppe) Buzzard Buteo buteo 1 1
76 Mountain Buzzard Buteo oreophilus 1 2
77 Augur Buzzard Buteo augur 2 2 1 5 4 6 6 2
78 Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax 1 1 1 2 8 x x x 4 5 2
79 Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis 2
80 African Hawk-Eagle Aquila spilogaster 2 2 4
81 Wahlberg’s Eagle Hieraaetus wahlbergi 1 1
82 Martial Eagle Polemaetus bellicosus 1 1 1 1
83 Long-crested Eagle Lophaetus occipitalis 1 1
84 Crowned Hawk-Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus 1
SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Secretary-bird Sagittariidae
85 Secretary-bird Sagittarius serpentarius 2 4 4 5 2 1 1 1 1
Falcons & Caracaras Falconidae
86 Pygmy Falcon Polihierax semitorquatus 2 2 4
87 Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni x x x x x 25
88 Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 1 1 2 4
89 Greater Kestrel Falco rupicoloides 1
90 Gray Kestrel Falco ardosiaceus 1 2 1 1
91 Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus 1
92 Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus 1
Rails, Gallinules & Coots Rallidae
93 African Rail Rallus caerulescens 2
94 Black Crake Amaurornis flavirostra 1 1 4 2
95 Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 6
96 Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata 25 4 4
Bustards Otididae
97 Kori Bustard Ardeotis kori 30 15 10 x x
98 White-bellied Bustard Eupodotis senegalensis 1 2
99 Black-bellied Bustard Lissotis melanogaster 1 2 1 2 1 5 6
100 Hartlaub’s Bustard Lissotis hartlaubii
Cranes Gruidae
101 Gray Crowned-Crane Balearica regulorum 2 4 2 2 10 x
Thick-knees Burhinidae
102 Water Thick-knee Burhinus vermiculatus 10 2 2 2
Plovers & Lapwings Charadriidae
103 Long-toed Lapwing (Plover) Vanellus crassirostris 4 4 10
104 Blacksmith Plover Vanellus armatus 12 15 x x x 15 10 x x x 1 5 10
105 Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus 1 4 4
106 Senegal Lapwing (Plover) Vanellus lugubris 6
107 Black-winged Lapwing (Plover) Vanellus melanopterus 20 10 15
108 Crowned Lapwing (Plover) Vanellus coronatus 1 4 10 x x x x x 2 x
109 Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula 5 x 5
110 Kittlitz’s Plover Charadrius pecuarius 4 1
111 Three-banded Plover Charadrius tricollaris 4 12 2
112 White-fronted Plover Charadrius marginatus 5
113 Chestnut-banded Plover Charadrius pallidus 1
114 Lesser Sand-Plover Charadrius mongolus 2
115 Caspian Plover Charadrius asiaticus 15
Stilts & Avocets Recurvirostridae
116 Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus 15 5 5 20 6 x x 10 x 10
117 Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta 60 40 10
Jacanas Jacanidae
118 African Jacana Actophilornis africanus 25 5 6 2 5
Sandpipers & Allies Scolopacidae
119 Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 1 2 4 5 4 1
120 Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus 1
121 Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 4 15 1 2 4 1 1
122 Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 4 8 1 10 15
123 Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola 1 8 8 4 4 10 5 1 2 5
SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
124 Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa 1
125 Little Stint Calidris minuta 15 10 10 x 6 x x
126 Ruff Philomachus pugnax 25 10 15 x 10 25 15 15
127 Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 1 1 3
Coursers & Pratincoles Glareolidae
128 Temminck’s Courser Cursorius temminckii 2
129 Double-banded Courser Smutsornis africanus 2 5 12 6 6
130 Three-banded (Heuglin’s) Courser Rhinoptilus cinctus 6 8
131 Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola 25 2
Painted-Snipes Rostratulidae
132 Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis 2
Gulls, Terns & Skimmers Laridae
133 Gray-headed Gull Chroicephalus cirrocephalus 2
134 Little Tern Sternula albifrons 2 23
135 Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica 5 x 100 x 20 12 20 x
136 Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida x x 1
137 White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus x x 1
Sandgrouse Pteroclidae
138 Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus 3 10 12 2
139 Yellow-throated Sandgrouse Pterocles gutturalis 40
140 Black-faced Sandgrouse Pterocles decoratus 8 1 2
Pigeons & Doves Columbidae
141 Rock Pigeon ( I ) Columba livia x
142 Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea 1 5 5 4 6 2
143 Rameron (Olive) Pigeon Columba arquatrix 1 4 4 1
144 Lemon Dove Columba larvata 1
145 Dusky Turtle-Dove Streptopelia lugens 15 15
146 African Mourning Dove Streptopelia decipiens x x x x x x x x x
147 Red-eyed Dove Streptopelia semitorquata x h x x x x x h x
148 Ring-necked Dove Streptopelia capicola h x x x x x x x x
149 Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis 5 5 x x x x x x x
150 Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove Turtur chalcospilos 3 4 2
151 Namaqua Dove Oena capensis 2 1
152 African Green-Pigeon Treron calvus 2
Macaws, Parrots & Allies Psittacidae
153 Fischer’s Lovebird Agapornis fischeri 2 4 x x x x x x x
154 Yellow-collared Lovebird Agapornis personatus x x x
155 Meyer’s Parrot Poicephalus meyeri 10 1 5 2 2
156 Red (Orange)-bellied Parrot Poicephalus rufiventris 6 6
Turacos Musophagidae
157 Schalow’s Turaco Tauraco schalowi h 1 2 2
158 Hartlaub’s Turaco Tauraco hartlaubi 2
159 Purple-crested Turaco Tauraco porphyreolophus 2
160 Bare-faced Go-away-bird Corythaixoides personatus 2 5 1 5 x
161 White-bellied Go-away-bird Corythaixoides leucogaster 10 10 x
162 Eastern Plantain-eater Crinifer zonurus 4
Cuckoos Cuculidae
163 Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius 1 1 5 1 1 1
164 Red-chested Cuckoo Cuculus solitarius 2 h 2 h
SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
165 Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus 1
166 African Cuckoo Cuculus gularis 1 1 1
167 Klaas’s Cuckoo Chrysococcyx klaas h h 1
168 African Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx cupreus h
169 Dideric Cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius h 3 h 2 h h 1 1
170 Yellowbill Ceuthmochares aerus 1
171 Black Coucal Centropus grillii 1 2 1
172 White-browed Coucal Centropus superciliosus 1 1 2 4 10 10 4 4 2 6 8
Owls Strigidae
173 African Scops-Owl Otus senegalensis h
174 Southern White-faced (Scops) Owl Ptilopsis granti 1
175 Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl Bubo lacteus 3 1 h
176 Pearl-spotted Owlet Glaucidium perlatum 1 1 1 1
Nightjars & Allies Caprimulgidae
177 Abyssinian (Montane) Nightjar Caprimulgus poliocephalus 1
178 Slender-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus clarus 1 1 1
179 Square-tailed (Gabon) Nightjar Caprimulgus fossii 1 h
Swifts Apodidae
180 Mottled Spinetail Telecanthura ussheri 4
181 Common Swift Apus apus x x 10
182 Little Swift Apus affinis x x x x 1 x x x
183 White-rumped Swift Apus caffer 10
184 Mottled Swift Apus aequatorialis 4 1
185 African Palm-Swift Cypsiurus parvus 10 5 25 5 x x x x x
Mousebirds Colidae
186 Speckled Mousebird Colius striatus x 10 x x 5 2 x x x x x x
187 Blue-naped Mousebird Urocolius macrourus 6 6 2
Kingfishers Alcedinidae
188 Malachite Kingfisher Corythornis cristata 1 1 2 1
189 Gray-headed Kingfisher Halcyon leucocephala 1 5 4 5
190 Woodland Kingfisher Halcyon senegalensis 1 1 1 3 4 h
191 Brown-hooded Kingfisher Halcyon albiventris 2
192 Striped Kingfisher Halcyon chelicuti 1 1 1
193 Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis x x 1
Bee-eaters Meropidae
194 White-fronted Bee-eater Merops bullockoides 3
195 Little Bee-eater Merops pusillus 5 2 10 x x 10 6 x 5 2 6 10
196 Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater Merops oreobates 6 2 10
197 White-throated Bee-eater Merops albicollis 3
198 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus 3 40
199 European Bee-eater Merops apiaster 3 h h h
200 Northern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicus 6
Rollers Coraciidae
201 European Roller Coracias garrulus 2 5 1 2 5 x x 10 x x
202 Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudatus 5 x x x x x x x x x
203 Rufous-crowned Roller Coracias naevius 1
204 Broad-billed Roller Eurystomus glaucurus 2
Hoopoes Upupidae
205 Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops h h 1 2 1 1 1
SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Woodhoopoes & Allies Phoeniculidae
206 Green Woodhoopoe Phoeniculus purpureus 6 6 2
207 Abyssinian Scimitar-bill Rhinopomastus minor 1 1 1
Hornbills Bucerotidae
208 Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus 2 4 x x
209 Von der Decken’s Hornbill Tockus deckeni 4 4 2 6 4 4
210 Crowned Hornbill Tockus alboterminatus 3 3
211 African Gray Hornbill Tockus nasutus 6 1 4 4
212 Silvery-cheeked Hornbill Ceratogymna brevis 2
213 Southern Ground-Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri 4 1 3 4 2
African Barbets Lybiidae
214 Red-and-yellow Barbet Trachyphonus erythrocephalus 5 1 2 2
215 D’Arnaud’s Barbet Trachyphonus darnaudii 2 4 4
216 White-eared Barbet Stactolaema leucotis 1
217 Moustached Tinkerbird Pogoniulus leucomystax h 1
218 Red-fronted Tinkerbird Pogoniulus pusillus h
219 Red-fronted Barbet Tricholaema diademata 1 1 1
220 Spot-flanked Barbet Tricholaema lachrymosa 1 1
221 White-headed Barbet Lybius leucocephalus 2
222 Brown-breasted Barbet Lybius melanopterus 1
Honeyguides Indicatoridae
223 Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator h
224 Lesser Honeyguide Indicator minor 1 1 1
Woodpeckers & Allies Picidae
225 Nubian Woodpecker Campethera nubica 1 1 1
226 Golden-tailed Woodpecker Campethera abingoni 1
227 Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens 2
228 Bearded Woodpecker Dendropicos namaquus 3 3 1
229 Gray-headed (Gray) Woodpecker Dendropicos spodocephalus 1 1 2 1 1
Wattle-eyes Platysteiridae
230 Black-throated Wattle-eye Platysteira peltata 1
231 Chinspot Batis Batis molitor 3 2 2
Bushshrikes & Allies Malaconotidae
232 Brubru Nilaus afer 2 1 2 4 2 h h
233 Black-backed Puffback Dryoscopus cubla 4 2 2
234 Brown-crowned Tchagra Tchagra australis 2 2 h 2 2 h
235 Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus 6 1 h 10 x 6
236 Black-headed Gonolek Laniarius erythrogaster 5
237 Slate-colored Boubou Laniarius funebris 1 h 1 1 4 4 h 4 6 6 4
238 Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike Telophorus sulfureopectus 1 1 h
239 Gray-headed Bushshrike Malaconotus blanchoti 1
Cuckoo-shrikes Campephagidae
240 Black Cuckoo-shrike Campephaga flava 1
241 Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike Campephaga quiscalina 1
Shrikes Laniidae
242 Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio 2
243 Rufous-tailed (Isabelline) Shrike Lanius isabellinus 1 2 1 1
244 Gray-backed Fiscal Lanius excubitoroides x x x
245 Long-tailed Fiscal Lanius cabanisi 10 x x
SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
246 Taita Fiscal Lanius dorsalis 1 6
247 Common Fiscal Lanius collaris x x x x x x
248 Magpie Shrike Corvinella melanoleuca x x x x x x
249 White-rumped (Wh.-crowned)  Shrike Eurocephalus rueppelli 1 2 x x x x x x x
Old World Orioles Oriolidae
250 African Black-headed Oriole Oriolus larvatus 2 1
Drongos Dicruridae
251 Fork-tailed Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis 5 6 x 5 10 6 1 4 5 5
Monarch Flycatchers Monarchidae
252 African Paradise-Flycatcher Terpsiphone viridis 1 2 6 1
Crows, Jays & Magpies Corvidae
253 Cape Crow (Cape Rook) Corvus capensis 3
254 Pied Crow Corvus albus x x x x
255 White-necked Raven Corvus albicollis 2 2 4
Larks Alaudidae
256 Rufous-naped Lark Mirafra africana 1 4 x x x x x x
257 Foxy Lark Calendulauda alopex 1
(Fawn-colored Lark) Calend. (Mirafra) africanoides
257 Fischer’s Sparrow-Lark Eremopterix leucopareia 6 x x x x
258 Red-capped Lark Calandrella cinerea 2 10 x x
259 Short-tailed Lark Pseudalaemon fremantlii 4
Swallows Hirundinidae
260 Plain Martin Riparia paludicola x
261 Banded Martin Riparia cincta 5 4 1 10 10 1
262 Bank Swallow Riparia riparia 5
263 Rock Martin Ptyonoprogne fuligula 5 10 10 x x x x 10 x
264 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica x x x x x x x x x x x x
265 Angola Swallow Hirundo angolensis x x
266 Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii 6 5 6 1 2 x
267 Black Sawwing Psalidoprocne pristoptera x 5 x
268 Lesser Striped-Swallow Cecropis abyssinica 20 5 15 10 x x x x
269 Mosque Swallow Cecropis senegalensis 2
270 Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica x 10 x x x x x
271 Common House Martin Delichon urbicum 10
272 Gray-rumped Swallow Pseudhirundo griseopyga 1
Fairy Flycatchers Stenostiridae
273 White-tailed Blue-Flycatcher Elminia albicauda 2
Chickadees & Tits Paridae
274 Red-throated Tit Melaniparus fringillinus 4 4
Bulbuls Pycnonotidae
275 Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus x x x x x 4 x x x x x x
276 Eastern Mountain-Greenbul Andropadus nigriceps 8 5 6
277 Stripe-cheeked Bulbul Andropadus milanjensis 1
278 Cabanis’s Greenbul Phyllastrephus cabanisi 1
279 Northern Brownbul Phyllastrephus strepitans 1
Leaf Warblers Phylloscopidae
280 Brown Woodland Warbler Phylloscopus umbrovirens 1 1
281 Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus 1 1 3 1 2 2
SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Reed-Warblers & Allies Acrocephalidae
282 Mountain Yellow Warbler Chloropeta similis 2
283 Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida 4 2 6 2 8 5
284 Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum 1
285 Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina 1
286 Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus 1
287 Eurasian Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus 2
288 African Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus baeticatus 1
289 Lesser Swamp-Warbler Acrocephalus gracilirostris 1
Grassbirds & Allies Megaluridae
290 Cinnamon Bracken-Warbler Bradypterus cinnamomeus 1
Cisticolas & Allies Cisticolidae
291 Bar-throated Apalis Apalis thoracica 4
292 Yellow-breasted Apalis Apalis flavida 2 3 4 1
293 Brown-headed Apalis Apalis alticola 5
294 Green (Gray) – backed Camaroptera Camaroptera brachyura 2 3 h 1 4 4 x 4 4
295 Red-faced Cisticola Cisticola erythrops 2
296 Singing Cisticola Cisticola cantans 4
297 Trilling Cisticola Cisticola woosnami 1
298 Hunter’s Cisticola Cisticola hunteri 2 x x
299 Rattling Cisticola Cisticola chiniana 5 x x x x x x x x x
300 Wailing Cisticola Cisticola lais 4
301 Winding Cisticola Cisticola galactotes 3 1 10 5 5 5 h 4 10 x 10
302 Croaking Cisticola Cisticola natalensis 10 2
303 Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis 1 5 6
304 Pectoral-patch Cisticola Cisticola brunnescens 2 x x x x
305 Gray-capped Warbler Eminia lepida 1 1 h
306 Buff-bellied Warbler Phyllolais pulchella 5 1 2
307 Tawny-flanked Prinia Prinia subflava 2 h 1 h h 2 1
308 Yellow-bellied Eremomela Eremomela icteropygialis 2
Old World Warblers Sylviidae
309 Brown Warbler (Parisoma) Parisoma lugens 1 1
310 Banded Warbler (Parisoma) Parisoma boehmi 2 4 4 4 h h
311 Moustached Grass-Warbler Melocichla mentalis 2
312 Red-faced Crombec Sylvietta whytii 1 1 1 2 1 2 2 2
Old World Flycatchers Muscicapidae
313 Silverbird Empidornis semipartitus 2 5 3 4 12 5
314 Pale Flycatcher Bradornis pallidus 1
315 African Gray Flycatcher Bradornis microrhynchus 10 2 x x 6 5 4
316 White-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher Melaenornis fischeri 2 1 25 x
317 Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata 1 1 1 5 2 2 12 10 x
318 Swamp Flycatcher Muscicapa aquatica 12 x
319 African Dusky Flycatcher Muscicapa adusta 10 5
320 White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata 5
321 White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis 1
322 Cape Robin-Chat Cossypha caffra 6 4
323 Rueppell’s Robin-Chat Cossypha semirufa 4
324 White-browed Robin-Chat Cossypha heuglini 3 2 h
325 Collared Palm-Thrush Cichladusa arquata 1
SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
326 Spotted Morning-Thrush Cichladusa guttata 4 4 8 6 6
327 Red-backed (White-brow.) Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas leucophrys 2
328 Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe 1 2 5 5 10 4
329 Mourning (Schalow’s) Wheatear Oenanthe lugens 2 6 1
330 Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka 1 1 3 1 1
331 Capped Wheatear Oenanthe pileata 1 1 1 x
332 Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina 2 1 1 3 10 1 1
333 Whinchat Saxicola rubetra 1
334 Stonechat Saxicola torquatus 1 4 6 6
335 Moorland Chat Cercomela sordida 6
336 Northern Anteater-Chat Myrmecocichla aethiops 8 10
Thrushes & Allies Turdidae
337 Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush Monticola saxatilis 1 2 1
338 Olive Thrush Turdus olivaceus 2
Babblers Timalidae
339 African Hill Babbler Pseudoalcippe abyssinica 1
340 Rufous Chatterer Turdoides rubiginosa 2 1
341 Black-lored Babbler Turdoides sharpei 2 3 6 10 x x
342 Northern Pied-Babbler Turdoides hypoleuca 6 8 4
343 Arrow-marked Babbler Turdoides jardineii 2
White-eyes Zosteropidae
344 Broad-ringed (Montane) White-eye Zosterops poliogaster 1 6 10
345 White-breasted (Abyss.) White-eye Zosterops abyssinicus 1 8
Starlings Sturnidae
346 Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea 1 x x x x x x x x 2
347 Greater Blue-eared Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis chalybaeus 4 4
348 Rueppell’s (Long-tailed) Glossy-Starling Lamprotornis purpuropterus x x x
349 Superb Starling Lamprotornis superbus x x x x x x x x 10 x x x
350 Hildebrandt’s Starling Lamprotornis hildebrandti 4 x x x x
351 Violet-backed Starling Cinnyricinclus leucogaster 1 1
352 Ashy Starling Spreo unicolor x x x
353 Red-winged Starling Onychognathus morio 2 4 1 8 10 x
354 Waller’s Starling Onychognathus walleri 3
Oxpeckers Buphagidae
355 Red-billed Oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus 10 2 2 1 2 x
356 Yellow-billed Oxpecker Buphagus africanus 5 x x x x
Sunbirds Nectarinidae
357 Kenya (East.) Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes orientalis 1
358 Collared Sunbird Hedydipna collaris 4 20
359 Green-headed Sunbird Cyanomitra verticalis 1
360 Eastern Olive Sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea 1
361 Amethyst Sunbird Chalcomitra amethystina 1
362 Scarlet-chested Sunbird Chalcomitra senegalensis 4 2 2 4 2 2 4
363 Tacazze Sunbird Nectarinia tacazze 1
364 Bronze Sunbird Nectarinia kilimensis 2 4 2 x 10
365 Golden-winged Sunbird Drepanorhynchus reichenowi 1 12 6
366 Eastern Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris mediocris 6 12
367 Beautiful Sunbird Cinnyris pulchellus 4 6 2 4 4 1 2
368 Mariqua Sunbird Cinnyris mariquensis 1
SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
369 Red-chested Sunbird Cinnyris erythrocercus 2 6
370 Variable Sunbird Cinnyris venustus 3 2 1 4 10 10 6
Wagtails & Pipits Motacillidae
371 African Pied Wagtail Motacilla aguimp 4 4 x 1 2 1 6 6 2
372 Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava 4 4 1 25
373 Mountain Wagtail Motacilla clara 1 4
374 African (Grassland) Pipit Anthus cinnamomeus 1 2 1 2 x 5
375 Long-billed Pipit Anthus similis 1
376 Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis 1 1
377 Yellow-throated Longclaw Macronyx croceus 2 2 4
378 Rosy-throated Longclaw Macronyx ameliae 1 1 1 2
Buntings, Sparrows & Allies Emberizidae
379 Cinnamon-breasted Bunting Emberiza tahapisi 1
Siskins, Crossbills & Allies Fringillidae
380 Southern Citril Serinus hypostictus 1 4 4 6
381 Yellow-fronted Canary Serinus mozambicus 2 5
382 White-bellied Canary Serinus dorsostriatus 1 6 10 6 2
383 Streaky Seedeater Serinus striolatus 1 x x x
384 Thick-billed Seedeater Serinus burtoni 4 2
Old World Sparrows Passeridae
385 House Sparrow ( I ) Passer domesticus 1 x 6 x x x
386 Kenya Rufous Sparrow Passer rufocinctus 1 3
387 Gray-headed Sparrow Passer griseus 1 2 x
388 Swaheli Sparrow Passer suahelicus 12 5 x x x
389 Chestnut Sparrow Passer eminibey 10 15 x 4
390 Yellow-spotted Petronia Petronia pyrgita 4
Weavers & Allies Ploceidae
391 Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver Bubalornis niger 10 x x x x x
392 White-headed Buffalo-Weaver Dinemellia dinemelli x x x x x x x x x
393 Speckle-fronted Weaver Sporopipes frontalis x 5 x 5
394 Rufous-tailed Weaver Histurgops ruficauda x x x x x x x x x x x
395 Gray-headed Social-Weaver Pseudonigrita arnaudi 4 x
396 Baglafecht Weaver Ploceus baglafecht 8 10 6 x x x
397 Slender-billed Weaver Ploceus pelzelni x x
398 Lesser Masked-Weaver Ploceus intermedius 5 2
399 Spectacled Weaver Ploceus ocularis 1 2
400 Holub’s Golden-Weaver Ploceus xanthops 1
401 Taveta Golden-Weaver Ploceus castaneiceps 2
402 Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops 5 10
403 African (Vitelline) Masked-Weaver Ploceus (velatus) vitellinus x 6 20
404 Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus 5
405 Speke’s Weaver Ploceus spekei 20 15
x Jackson’s (Golden-backed) Weaver Ploceus jacksoni 2
406 Black-headed (Yellow-backed) Weaver Ploceus melanocephalus 4 12
407 Cardinal Quelea Quelea cardinalis 2
408 Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea x x x 50 x
409 Black Bishop Euplectes gierowii 1 1 1
410 (Southern) Red Bishop Euplectes orix x
411 Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis 1 1
412 Fan-tailed Widowbird Euplectes axillaris 20 40 x
SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
413 Red-collared Widowbird Euplectes ardens 12
414 Jackson’s Widowbird Euplectes jacksoni 50
415 Grosbeak Weaver Amblyospiza albifrons 1 10
Waxbills & Allies Estrildidae
416 Gray-headed Negrofinch Nigrita canicapilla 4
417 Yellow-bellied Waxbill Coccopygia (Estr.) quartinia 1
418 Crimson-rumped Waxbill Estrilda rhodopyga 2 6 5
419 Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild 4
420 Black – (faced) cheeked Waxbill Estrilda erythronotos 2 10
421 Red-cheeked Cordonbleu Uraeginthus bengalus 2 4 6 2
422 Blue-capped Cordonbleu Uraeginthus cyanocephalus 2 5 6 x 20 1 x x 10
423 Purple Grenadier Granatina  ianthinogaster 10 2 6 6 4 5 4
424 Green-winged Pytilia Pytilia melba 2 2 2
425 Red-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta senegala 4 4 2
426 Gray-headed Silverbill Odontospiza (Lon.) griseicapilla 2
427 Bronze Mannikin Spermestes (Lonch.) cucullata 5
Indigobirds Viduidae
428 Village Indigobird Vidua chalybeata 1
429 Steel-blue Whydah Vidua hypocherina 1
430 Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura 1 1 1 1
431 Eastern Paradise-Whydah Vidua paradisaea 2 10
MAMMALS SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Colobid monkeys Colobidae
Guereza (Black & White) Colobus Colobus guereza 6 2
Cheek-pouch Monkeys Cercopithecidae
Vervet Monkey Cerc. (aethiops) pygerythrus x x x x x x 10 x x x
Gentle (Blue/Syke’s)  Monkey Cercopithecus (nictitans) mitis 12 5 5 10
Olive Baboon Papio anubis x x x x x x 5 x x x
Large-winged Bats Megadermatidae
Yellow-winged Bat Lavia frons 5 2 1
Unidentified Small Bats Microchiroptera
Bat sp. x x 1 x x
Rabbits & Hares Leporidae
Scrub Hare / Cape Hare Lepus saxatalis / capensis 3 1
Squirrels & Chipmunks Sciuridae
Unstriped Ground Squirrel Xerus rutilus 12 6 x
Tree Squirrel sp. 2
Rats & Mice Muridae
Grass Rat sp. x 2
Rat sp. 1
Foxes, Jackals & Dogs Canidae
Common (Golden) Jackal Canis aureus 4 1 8 6
Black-backed Jackal Canis mesomelas 2 1 5 2 2 3
Bat-eared Fox Otocyon megalotis 2 4 2
Mongooses Herpestidae
Ichneumon (Egyptian) Mongoose Herpestes ichneumon 1
Slender Mongoose Herpestes sanguinea 1 2 1
Dwarf Mongoose Helogale parvula 2 2 6 12
MAMMALS SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Banded Mongoose Mungos mungo 5 12 12 45
Hyenas & Aardwolf Hyaenidae
Spotted Hyena Crocuta crocuta 6 10 9 12 8 10 h
Cats Felidae
Serval Felis serval 1
Leopard Panthera pardus 1 1
Lion Panthera leo 6 1 9 7 21
Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus 3 1 2 1
Hyraxes Procavidae
Tree Hyrax Dendrohyrax arboreus 5
Bush (Yellow-spotted) Hyrax Heterohyrax brucei x x x x x x
Elephants Elephantidae
African Elephant Loxodonta africana 15 35 5 35 6 1 4 2 400 x x
Zebras, Asses & Horses Equidae
Common Zebra Equus africanus (burchellii) x x x x x x x x x x 6
Rhinoceroses Rhinoceridae
Black Rhinoceros Diceros bicornis 6
Hippopotamidae Hippopotami
Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius 5 15 40 40 x x 1 x
Pigs Suidae
Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus 30 4 15 x x x 20 10 x x 25 20
Giraffe & Okapi Giraffidae
Giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis 15 15 15 x 20 5 10 5 5 20 25 15
Antelope & Buffalo Bovidae
African (Cape) Buffalo Syncerus caffer x 10 x x x x x x x 15 10
Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus 4 4 1
Common Eland Taurotragus oryx 12 20 25 25
Harvey’s Duiker Cephalophus harveyi 1
Steinbuck Raphicerus campestris 1
Kirk’s Dik-dik Madoqua kirkii 3 2 1 3 4 4 3 1 4 6 6
Bohor Reedbuck Redunca redunca 2 2 1 2
Common Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus 12 6 15 2 10 25 15
Grant’s Gazelle Gazella granti 15 5 x x x x x x x
Red-fronted (Thomson’s) Gazelle Gazella rufifrons (thomsonii) 20 x x x x x
Impala Aepyceros melampus x x x x x x x x x x x
Topi Damaliscus lunatus 5 x x x
Kongoni (Coke’s Hartebeest) Alcelaphus buselaphus 1 50 40 x 20 25 20
Brindled Gnu (Wildebeest) Connochaetes taurinus 5 x x x x x x x 1
REPTILES SCIENTIFIC NAME 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Nile Crocodile Crocodilus niloticus 4 3
Nile Monitor Lizard Varanus niloticus 1 3
Leopard Tortoise Geochelone pardalis 2
Flap-necked Chameleon Chamaeleo diplepis 1
Red-headed (Common) Agama Agama agama 2 10 x
Mwanza Flat-headed Agama Agama mwanzae 4 x
Agamid Lizard sp. 2 1
Yellow-headed Dwarf Day Gecko Lygodactylus picturatus 1
Gecko sp. 1 x x x
Zambesi Blind Snake Rhynotyphlops mucrosa 1


Other Tanzania Trip Reports arranged by years.

2014  |   2013  |  2012  |  2011  |  2010   |  2008   |  2006 2005    |  2003