This report presents the proceedings and results of the first bird watching exercise ever conducted in Mbale District of Eastern Uganda, the exercise that had 8 individuals participating in it commenced at exactly 9:40am several minutes after converging at Mbale cricket ground’s before the activity could be executed.
A total of 16 bird species were recorded during the course of the activity some of which are Palearctic migrants.
The event was embraced by a joint partnership between Mbale Resort Hotel, Wildlife Africa, Gamerz City Mbale, 93.1 IUIU-FM, Gold FM, Wilderness Explorer, Sukali Bistro and Glo Inventions Limited.
2. OBJECTIVE OF THE ACTIVITY
The overall objective was to help the participants appreciate and understand nature, other objectives included;
i. To help strengthen conservation of indigenous species of trees which are habitats to several endemic bird species
ii. To translate the names of the birds in the native language for easy understanding.
3. LIST OF BIRDS RECORDED
No Common Name Scientific Name
01 Black Kite Milvus migrans
02 Brown Parrot Poicephalus meyeri
03 Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus
04 Bronze Mannikin Lonchura cucullata
05 Ruppels Long Tailed Starling Lamprotornis purpuropterus
06 Eastern Grey Plantain Eater Crinifer zonurus
07 Yellow-Fronted Tinkerbird Pogoniulus pusillus
08 Pied Crow Corvus albus
09 Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumeniferus
10 Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea
11 Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
12 Lemon Dove Aplopelia larvata
13 Ring Necked Dove Streptopelia capicola
14 Yellow White Eye Zosterops poliogaster
15 Green-Headed Sunbird Cyanomitra verticalis
16 Scarlet-Chested Sunbird Chalcomitra senegalensis
No Name Contacts
01 Okonye Anthony +256702576048
02 Ibrahim Nalukuba +256706464950
03 Kirinya Ayub +256755607702
04 Nagudi Daisy +256701037345
05 Ismail Hassan +256702020547
06 Shadrack Wasukira +256779846911
07 Arafat Alpha +256758183360
08 Joshua +256700236083
The exercise was marked with several achievements during and before it was conducted, below is the achievements met;
i. We had two talk shows about Birds and its significance to the environment and to the indigenous people.
ii. Several organisations and companies showed interest in the activity for which in the near future more partners are expected.
iii. Conducting the exercise alone was an achievement amidst several drawbacks and discouragements.
iv. It laid a new foundation for bird enthusiasts and guides in the future.
v. Sixteen bird species were recorded and documented with some being Palearctic migrants, thus will be used as reference in the near future.
vi. Bird watching as an idea has been understood and appreciated by the individuals who participated in it.
vii. It was a learning experience for individuals who had never before used a pair of binoculars.
viii. It brought together a team of young individuals who are willing to embrace eco-tourism and support conservation.
The exercise was marked by several challenges however much efforts were pushed to have it a success. The challenges faced are witnessed below;
i. Bird watching as an activity in Mbale is a new idea which has not yet been fully embraced, thus leading to low participation.
ii. December is marked by several occasions which drew a lot of people away from the exercise.
iii. Some individuals who paid to participate in the exercise failed to turn up at the last minute, which demoralized many of the participants.
iv. The exercise which was meant to start at exactly 9:00am, started 40 minutes later due to poor time management from the key participants.
v. Many of the operating tours and travel companies in the region couldn’t support the idea in its initial stages because they realized it does not earn them quick money like the other opportunities.
vi. There was only one pair of binoculars that was continuously shared with each participant and one field guide book too.
vii. There was no clear and good camera used to capture photos of the birds.
For future success in the activity, I recommend the following;
i. Continuously engage with the communities about the significance of bird watching and conservation of its habitat
ii. There’s need for more pair of binoculars, telescopes and field guide books.
iii. Engage more partners, organizations, tours and travel organizations in the initial stages of the exercise.
iv. Conduct more talk shows to sensitize the public and raise awareness
v. Organize programs at institutional levels and schools
vi. Source for funds and support from interested parties.
On behalf of Wildlife Africa, I take this honor to specifically thank the different individuals who supported and embraced this exercise from the time the idea was born, Mr Isaiah Weboya, Mr Dickson all of Mbale Resort Hotel, Mr Felix Abayomi and other Team members of Wildlife Africa, Gloria Gladys Apiyo of Glo Inventions Limited, Sukali Bistro, Wilderness Explorer, 93.1 IUIU-FM, Rhythm City Mbale and Gold Radio.
I take further this privilege to thank Shaban Haruna who was behind the graphics design, Okonye Anthony, Nagudi Daisy, Shadrack Wasukira, Kirinya Ayub, Nalukuba Ibrahim, Joshua and Arafat Alpha, without your participation this exercise wouldn’t have been a success; your presence is highly appreciated.
Report by Ismail Hassan ©
Mbale Golf course is an example of Private property that is an important part of conservation these days. Urban Gardens, Nature Preserve or Reserve are other remarkable examples that contribute to Conservation, Biodiversity preservation, Ecosystem services and products support role, Ecotourism and ultimately Income generation. Getting to know the basic inventory of the plant and wildlife species currently present in these areas and continuous monitoring to know if these changes over time is necessary and important. It is also good for people to know the Wildlife species around them, Plants, Trees, Flowers, Birds, Insect, Animals and Fishes. This is a highly commendable effort and Wildlife Africa will Support these kinds of activities and similar exercises wherever it occurs.
To Learn more or Participate in another “Go Birding” Exercise in Uganda, Nigeria or Botswana, Please Contact us.