It’s a month to I go traveling in Africa again, but between that date and now I have a massive project to deliver, which has reached the ‘invading my dreams’ level of panic. Consequently my usual pre-travel excitement is a lot lower than usual, and I’m spending much less time than I’d like unproductively daydreaming about the birds I’ll see. To try and increase my levels of excitement, and also because my laptop remains bricked, (and certainly not because all I want to do is go to bed) here are some more African birds!

DSCN1027Can you spot the African bird in this shot? There is a cool one!

Skimmers are funny things. I can’t honestly remember what the current Russian Doll arrangement is for the skuas, gulls, terns and skimmers, so they are either their own family or a type of skua, gull or tern. At any rate there are three species, the Black Skimmer (which isn’t that much blacker than the others) which is found in the Americas, the Indian Skimmer, which is the most vulnerable member of the family, and the African Skimmer, which is widespread but nowhere common in Africa.

African skimmersSome African Skimmers pass by some African Buffalo. One is even skimming.

skimmers skimmingMore African Skimmers, this time with some Yellow-billed Storks 

DSCN1035The African Skimmers also fly over hippos.

These African Skimmers were photographed at the Kazinga Channel, a body of water linking Lake George and Lake Edward in western Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park. As well as being a great river to cruise for game, you can also see great birds like Water Stone-curlews, Madagascar Bee-eaters, Goliath Herons and Red Spurfowl.


DSCN1022Close examination of this photo may reveal a Collared Pratincole.


So go to Queen Elizabeth National Park and tick this tricky species (I actually have no idea how seasonal this species is here).

MweyaEuphorbias at sundown.

Written by Duncan
Duncan Wright is a Wellington-based ornithologist working on the evolution of New Zealand's birds. He's previously poked albatrosses with sticks in Hawaii, provided target practice for gulls in California, chased monkeys up and down hills Uganda, wrestled sharks in the Bahamas and played God with grasshopper genetics in Namibia. He came into studying birds rather later in life, and could quit any time he wants to.