Day 4, Thursday December 29,  Tegetero Mission - Camp Site 1 Uluguru Mountains.

We knew we had a tough hike in front of us and had an early start from camp. The porters were soon well ahead of us. After about 1 1/2 hour we were finally at the forest edge. I thought this was were we were camping, but not so. After a couple of hundred meters on a flat pat through the forest, we crossed a stream and from there it was very very steep uphill. When we finally reached the camp site after another good hour of hiking, I was totally exhausted. All my clothes were soaked, so I quickly put on dry clothes. The camp was quickly up and Leons went to scout the area. We had 4 target birds up here: Uluguru Bushshrike, Loveridge´s Sunbird,  Mrs Moreau´s (Winifred´s) Warbler and Uluguru Mountain Greenbul.

We had Dark-backed Weavers, Stripe-faced Greenbuls and Square-tailed Drongos in Camp. We went with Leons and he quickly found a Bar-tailed Trogon for us. We heard Scaly-throated Honeyguide and African Broadbill calling, but could not locate them. We also had Placid Greenbul. We had a few glimpses of the Loveridge Sunbird, but all in all our first walk was quite disappointing. We relaxed a little. Florence walked off and while I was comfortably in my chair I noticed some Sunbirds in a tree next to where I was sitting. Leons confirmed Loveridge (Lifer). I managed to get some record shot. Florence came back and we went together down from camp a little. We saw a Grey Cuckooshrike and a very obliging White-tailed Crested Flycatcher. We did several trips in both direction from the camp. On one trip Leons and I had a Spot-throat (lifer) landing very close to us. Other than that we did not find anything of interest. Florence made food and we went into our tents.

Some pictures from day 4

Scarlet-chested Sunbird - Chalcomitra senegalensis - Picture by Florence

Day 5, Friday December 30,  Camp Site 1 Uluguru Mountains - Tegetero Mission Station - Mikumi

We woke up early and continued to search for our targets, but no luck. We saw  White-chested Alethe that Florence managed to get a picture at with high ISO and a shutter speed at 1/25! The porters arrived at 09:00 and at 10:00 we were on our way down to camp. This was our second attempt at the Uluguru Bushshrike. We have now learned that the 4 target birds up here are by no means easy ticks. There is another camp in the forest requiring a 4 hour hike. Nik Borrow has told me that he has seen the bird the times he has been there, so back to planning for our next attempt.

The going down was quite hazardous because of the steepness of the slope. You had to grab onto anything in order to avoid loosing the foothold. Eventually we reached the bottom of the slope and walked the last 1 1/2 hour through agriculture fields before we were finally down at the car. At the top of the slope, we had nice views of an Ayre´s Hawk-Eagle.  We packed up quickly  and headed for Morogoro. We had a quick lunch in Morogoro. next desination: Mikumi. We choose to stay at Tan-Swiss in Mikumi for one night in order to clean out after the sweaty Bush experience. Florence and Junior even managed a dip in the pool. Leons and I birded the garden and picked up a Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (lifer)

Some pictures from day 5

Bar-tailed Trogon - Apaloderma vittatum

Loveridge´s Sunbird - Cinnyris loveridgei - Endemic to Uluguru Mts, Tanzania - Lifer

White-tailed Crested Flycathcer - Elminia albonotata

Day 6, Saturday December 31,  Mikumi - Iringa

We had an early start and drove straight to the Miombo Woodland just north of Mikumi. We had been there once before  and wanted to try it again. It was overcast so we had vey bad light, but the birds were there: Arnott´s Chat, Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird, Miombo Rock-Thrush, Miombo Blue-eared Starling, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, Black-eared Seed-eater, African and Eurasian Golden Orioles, Retz´s Helmet-Shrike, Pale-billed and Trumpeter Hornbill, Orange-breasted Bushshrike, Cabanis Bunting + many more. This turned out to be quite a productive morning birding. We returned to Tan-Swiss for Breakfast and was soon on our way to Iringa.

We arrived just in time for a lovely lunch at the Bakers in Iringa. In the afternoon we took the regular dog walk. We got some nice shots of Tree-Pipits. We were amazed to see quite a few Dusky Turtle Doves. One of the dogs managed to snatch a Common Buttonquail, but with Liz very quick intervention she managed to grab it out of the dogs mouth before any serious harm was done to it.

Some pictures from day 6

White-chested Alethe - Pseudalethe fuelleborni

The Forest in Uluguru Mountains

Day 7, Sunday January 1, Iringa - Kisolanza

We had a slow morning and a nice breakfast with the Bakers. We then went to town stocked up on essentials and met with Leons. We only had 40 Km´s to Kisolanza, so we arrived there early in the afternoon. We set camp and went out birding. The first bird of notice was a Brimstone Canary (New TZ bird for me). Then a Reichardt´s Seed-eater. We then walked for a long time without seeing anything. I had been there before, so I told Leons to take another direction to where I saw the Fulleborn´s Longclaws the year before. On the way, we saw some African Wattled Lapwing. This was a new bird for Florence, so I told her to go and take some pictures. Then we found the Longclaws. We walked on and it was very quiet. We finally found a few Montane Widowbirds (Lifer). We got pictures, but very back-lit.

Some pictures from day 7

Arnott´s Chat - Pentholaea arnotti - Picture by Florence

Black-eared Seed-eater - Crithagra mennelli - Picture by Florence

Yellow-bellied Hyliota - Hyliota flavigaster - Picture by Florence

African Golden Oriole - Oriolus auratus - Picture by Florence

Eurasian Golden Oriole - Oriolus oriolus - Picture by Florence

Retz´s Helmet-Shrike - Prionops retzii - Picture by Florence

Two happy Miombo Woodland Birders

Tree Pipit - Anthus trivialis

Kurrichane (Common) Buttonquail - Turnix sylvaticus - Just escaped the dogs

Day 8, Monday January 2, Kisolanza - Mufindi

Florence decided to stay in camp this morning, so Leons and I set off. It was more birds active this morning. Long-tailed Cisticola, Western Miombo Double-collared Sunbird, Black- shouldered Kite, Collared Flycatcher (no pictures), Fuelleborn´s Longclaw, Churring and Trilling Cisticola and finally Fawn-breasted Waxbill (lifer). We returned to camp. Florence had been doing some birding in the garden of the lodge and had gotten good pictures of a White-browed Robin-Chat. We packed up and headed for Mufindi.

Last time we stayed at Foxes in Mufindi, but Leons had booked us at Mufindi Farm this time. After a few wrong turns, we eventually managed to find the lodge. We were supposed to camp there, but the owner said he did not have any facilities for camping, so we could use the facilities in the cabins. We could not walk to the forest so we had to pack and unpack the car every day. I asked the manager that since we were already using the toilets and showers, how much he wanted if we actually stayed in the cabins. We soon agreed on a reasonable price and that was what we ended up doing.

We still had some time before darkness so we went to scout our likely spots to bird. The main forest was about 7km from camp. On the way, we stopped at a little path going into the forest. We found Moustached Tinkerbird, Forest Double-collared Sunbird and Dark Batis. We drove to the main forest, parked and found a Mountain Buzzard and a Livingstone Turaco. It was getting dark so we returned to camp.

Some pictures from day 8

Reichard´s Seed-eater - Crithagra reichardi - Picture by Florence

African Wattled Lapwing - Vannellus senegallus - Picture by Florence

Fulleborn´s Longclaw - Macronyx fuellebornii - Picture by Florence

Day 9, Tuesday January 3, Mufindi

We headed straight for the Forest patch this morning. We walked along the road. White-starred Robin, Bare-throated Apalis and Southern Yellow-White-eye was some of the species we picked up. Florence and Leons continued walking whilst I picked up the car. I soon caught up with them and we went to a degraded patch with some eucalyptus trees. Here we found quite a few birds: Dark Batis, Yellow Mountain Warbler, Willow Warbler, Moustached Tinkerbird, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Forest Double-collared Sunbird and Yellow-browed Seed-eater. We got glimpses of Fuelleborn´s Boubou, but did not manage any pictures. We returned to camp for lunch and had an overflying Martial Eagle. We had lunch and returned back to the forest. We tried another Forest patch. We now had some rain on and off. We had Fuelleborn´s Boubou calling everywhere. We also had a Olive-flanked Robin-Chat calling for a long time, but we did not get it out. We returned to the degraded forest patch, but did not find any new birds.

Some pictures from day 9

Fawn-breasted Waxbill - Estrilda paludicola - Lifer

White-browed Robin-Chat - Cossypha heuglini

Mountain Buzzard - Buteo oreophilus - Endemic to NE Africa - Picture by Florence

Livingstone´s Turaco - Turaco livingstonii - Picture by Florence

Day 10, Wednesday January 4, Mufindi

Florence decided to stay back in Camp with Junior this morning, so Leons and I had an early start. The conditions were unfavorable with a light drizzle and heavy fog. We went back to where we ended last afternoon. With the heavy fog, it was impossible to get any pictures. We had Black-fronted Bushshrike, Chapin´s Apalis, Southern Yellow White-eye, Fuelleborn´s Boubou, Yellow-throated Mountan Greenbul and a Mountain Buzzard. We moved on to the degraded forest patch we were the day before. The fog was lifting and we had more birds: Yellow Mountain Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Cape Robin-Chat, Tree Pipit and the Forest Double-collared Sunbird. With the better light we once again went back to the forest patch. I got bad pictures of Fulleborn´s Boubou and Yellow-throated Mountain Greenbul. It was getting time for breakfast/lunch so we went back to Camp. Florence was still out birding. In addition to what we had, she had Red-faced Crimsonwing and Little Greenbul.

After lunch we all went back to the deforested area and picked up pretty much what we had seen before. We had more than 15 Tambourine Doves. Florence finally managed to get a half decent shot of a Fulleborn´s Boubou.

Some pictures from day 10

Dark Batis - Batis crypta - Endemic to Eastern Arc Mts. in Tanzania

White-starred Robin - Pogonocichla stellata - Picture by Florence

Bar-throated Apalis - Apalis thoracica - Picture by Florence

Forest Double-collared Sunbird - Cinnyris fuelleborni - Picture by Florence

White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher - Cinnyris fuelleborni - Picture by Florence

Moustached Tinkerbird - Pogoniulus leucomystax

Martial Eagle - Polemaetus bellicosus - Picture by Florence

Day 11, Thursday January 5, Mufindi - River Camp Chimala

We were packing up and continuing our travels today. We decided to do some morning birding before we hit the road. We had heard about another forest patch from some locals and parked our car next to it. We found the usual suspects: Yellow-throated Mountain Greenbul, Stripe-faced Greenbul and Fulleborn´s Boubou. Then Leons and I walked the road. Florence walked on herself. We walked for a while and found another Abyssioan Thrush (no pictures) and also a pair of Fischer´s Greenbuls (Lifer, no pictures). On the way back we found Florence just inside the forest. Leons and I went back to pick up the car. We had a Red-faced Cromsonwing feeding in a tree just by our car. When we reached Florence, she was very exited. There were birds flying across the road all the time. We saw big swarms of insects and the birds (Mostly Garden Warblers, Blackcaps and Whitethroats) really had a feast. Florence even managed to get a Chapin´s Apalis participating in the feast.

We had a long way to drive, so we packed up and headed towards Kitulo National Park. We stopped for lunch in Makambako. Our camp for the evening was the River Camp near Chimola. This turned out to be a beautiful place just by a chuckling river. Florence did some birding while we sat up camp, but she did not manage to pick up anything special.

Some pictures from day 11

Mountain Yellow Warbler - Iduna Similis

Dark Batis (Female) - Batis crypta

Fulleborn´s Boubou - Laniarius fuelleborni - Endemic to Eastern Arc Mts - Picture by Florence

Landy in the mist at Mufindi

Day 12, Friday January 6, River Camp Chimala - Kitulo National Park

Florence managed to get fantastic pictures of a Mountain Wagtail, while I was packing up the car. We filled up petrol and stocked up on water in Chimala before we started our ascent up the famous switch back roads to the village of Matamba. At the top, we found Stout Cisticola (Lifer) and a African Cuckoo Hawk. We stocked up on some vegetables in Matamba and soon entered the Kitulo National Park. Just inside the gate we saw a greeen Sunbird. Leons thought at first it was a Scarlet-tufted, but I was not convinced, since we did not see a red tuft. It turned out to be a Malachite and they were plentiful. We had Yellow-browed Seed-eater, Churring Cisticola and the first lifer of the day a Yellow-crowned Canary. We managed to get better picture of the Montane Widowbird. We soon drove toward our camping spot. On the way we found the first of many Whinchats (African Lifer). We had lunch at the very nice Public Camp ground and then headed out for some birding. I let Leons drive so I could focus on the birds. The first new bird was the Denham´s Bustard. We saw many of the same birds we seen before and drove through the park. We had a lot of fog coming our way, so we decided to return to camp to avoid the fog. On the way back we saw 3 Augur Buzzards, Rufous-naped Lark, Northern Wheatear (African Lifer), Lanner Falcon, Red-winged Francolin and Wing-snapping Cisticola. We returned to camp. The camp is at 2600 meters so we experienced quite a cold night before we went to sleep

Some pictures from day 12

Yellow-throated Mountain Greenbul - Arizelococihla chlorigula - Endemic to S. Tanzania - Picture by Florence

Stripe-faced Greenbul - Arizelococihla striifacies - Endemic to S. Kenya and Tanzania - Picture by Florence

Chapin´s Apalis - Apalis chapini - Endemic to montane forests of S Tanzania, Malawi and E Zambia - Picture by Florence

Eurasian Blackcap (Female) - Sylvia atricapilla - Picture by Florence

Florence having a Gin & Tonic in Camp near Chimala

Day 13, Saturday January 7, Kitulo National Park

We were going to spend the entire day in the park. We started by driving through the park to a nearby village to stock up on some groceries. We found Common Buzzard, Pallid Harrier, Whinchats, Fuelleborn´s Longclaw, Yellow-crowned Seed-eater and more Malachite Sunbirds. We returned to camp for breakfast. After breakfast we took a dirt road to go to a waterfall. We saw Sand Martins together with Barn and Angolan Swallow, White Stork and more Montane Widowbirds and Whinchats. At the top of the Waterfall there was a nice picnic site. Florence and Junior decided to go down to the waterfall. It looked very steep, so Leons and I decided to hang around the Picnic Site. There were plenty of Proteas there. We saw a green Sunbird and this time it was a Scarlet-tufted (Lifer). I struggled to get pictures for a while and at the end, I managed to get a record shot. Florence and Junior came back and I managed to get Florence on to the bird as well. She also only managed a record shot. We took the main road back to camp and found Yellow Wagtails, Abdim´s Storks, Uhehe Fiscals, Black-lored Cisticola, Yellow-crowned Canary and Pallid Harrier. We returned to camp and had dinner and went to bed.

Some pictures from day 13

Malachite Sunbird - Nectarinia famosa - Picture by Florence

Denham´s Bustard - Neotis denhami - Picture by Florence

Churring Cisticola - Cisticola njombe - Endemic to S Tanzania and N Malawi - Picture by Florence

Montane Widowbird - Euplectes psammocromius - Endemic to S Tanzania and N Malawi - Picture by Florence

Northern Wheatear - Oenanthe oenanthe - African Lifer

Rufous-naped Lark - Mirafra africana

Red-winged Francolin - Scleroptila levaillantii - Picture by Florence

Wing-snapping Cisticola - Cisticola ayresii - Picture by Florence

Augur Buzzard - Buteo augur - Picture by Florence

Mountain Wagtail - Motacilla clara - Picture by Florence

Entrance to Kitulo National Park

Kitulo National Park

Kitulo National Park - Flowers coming out

Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo

Pallid Harrier - Circus macrourus

Yellow-browed Seed-eater - Crithagra whytii - Picture by Florence

Yellow-crowned Canary - Serinus flavivertex

Whinchat - Saxicola rubetra

Scarlet-tufted Sunbird - Nectarinia johnstoni - Endemic to East Africa - Lifer

White Stork - Ciconia ciconia

Abdim´s Stork - Ciconia abdimii

Black-lored Cisticola - Cisticola nigriloris - Endemic to S Tanzania and N Malawi

Lanner Falcon - Falco biarmicus - Picture by Florence

Day 18, Thursday January 12, Iringa - Dar es Salaam

Neil had some errands in Dar, so we parked our car in Iringa and got a lift with Neil to Dar. We did some birding on our way, but did not pick up anything of real interest.

Day 19 & 20 - spent relaxing in Dar.

Day 21, Sunday January 15, Dar es Salaam to Ndivini Pan

Riaan, Neil, Friedemann, me and one other guy was going to explore some new Salt Pans + a small freshwater Wetland. Riaan picked me up at 05:00. We stopped first at the Salt Pans and had the usual suspects of vaders: Curlew, Marsh and Common Sandpiper, Greater and Lesser Sandplover, Little Stints, Ruddy Turnstones etc. The usual Herons and Egrets and Wolly-necked Stork. Away from the pan, we found White-throated and Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Western Marsh-Harrier and a Grey-headed Kingfisher.

We decided to check out the Wetland as well. We where very surprised to find the very nice state of the wetland and it was teaming with birds. Allens´s Galinule, Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Wigeon (African Lifer  and Tanzanian bird number 700 for me), Southern Pochard, African Pygmy Goose, Black, Rufous-bellied, Purple and Yellow-billed Heron, Openbill Storks,  Red-billed Quelas, Reichenow´s Seed-eater, African Darter + many more. This is a place I am sure to visit again. Unfortunately as mentioned before, I had problems with my camera, so all pictures came out blurred. Florence was not with me, so here are some of my pictures from day 21:

Day 22, Monday January 16, Dar es Salaam - Home to Norway

Another relaxing day in Dar before we headed for the airport in the afternoon to fly home.

Another fantastic trip finished. I added 14 lifers so my African list now stays at 1132 species. I have pictures now of 1100 African birds. My Tanzanian List grew quite a bit list and is now at exactly 700 birds with pictures of 643. Florence have pictures of 566 birds in Tanzania.

Next trip planned in Late June. Cannot wait to be back :-)

White-throated Bee-eater,  Merops albicollis

Wolly-necked Stork,  Ciconia episcopus

Grey-headed Kingfisher,  Halcyon leucocephala

Allen´s Galinule,  Porphyrio alleni

Yellow-billed Egret, Mesophoyx intermedia

Purple Heron, Ardea purpurea

Eurasian Wigeon, Anas penelope

Reichenow´s Seed-eater, Chrithagra reichenowi - Endemic to NE Africa

Red-billed Quelea, Quelea quelea

Day 14, Sunday January 8, Kitulo National Park - Makambako

We had a long way to drive this day. We drove out of the park without seeing anything we had not seen earlier. We passe through Kipengere and Njombe. It was villages upon villages and not anything to see. We pushed on to Makambako, where we found a guesthouse for the night

Day 15, Monday January 9, Makambako - Iringa

We drove back to Iringa and arrive just before lunch at the Bakers. We spent the day and the next day relaxing with the Baker´s

Day 17, Wednesday January 11, Iringa Idomi.

Neil had heard about a Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin close to Idodi. We headed out this morning and found the Scrub-Robin + Irania (Both Lifers)

Some pictures from day 17

Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin - Erythropygia galactotes - Picture by Florence - Lifer

Irania - Irania gutturalis - Picture by Florence - Lifer