REPORT OF THE “GO BIRDING EXERCISE” @ MBALE GOLF COURSE, UGANDA -18TH DECEMBER, 2016

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1. INTRODUCTION
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

4. PARTICIPANTS
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

5. ACHIEVEMENTS
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.

6. CHALLENGES
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.

7. RECOMMENDATION
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.

8. APPRECIATION
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.

Kind Regards

Report by Ismail Hassan ©

Founder Comments:

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.

Felix Abayomi

To Learn more or Participate in another “Go Birding” Exercise in Uganda, Nigeria or Botswana, Please Contact us.

 

About Ismail Hassan

Ismail Hassan is a graduate of a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science from the Islamic University In Uganda, he is an Environmental Blogger, Birder (Ornithorlogist), Story Writer, Poet and a Wilderness Explorer. He is an amazing individual with much love for nature and all other aspects that supports its existence, he has volunteered and pioneered several projects and activities. He volunteered with Uganda Youth Society for Human Rights as an Assistant Programs Officer Climate Change and In Charge of Partnerships, he also volunteers with Eco Save Initiative as its Coordinator and The Story People Uganda were he is in charge of Environment and Health. He is currently the Ugandan Country Representative for Wildlife Africa (www.wildlifeafrica.org) through him, the organization shall have an office in Uganda. You can read several of his articles on www.ismailhassanmaaruf.wordpress.com and www.ismailhassan92.wordpress.com

2 Replies to “REPORT OF THE “GO BIRDING EXERCISE” @ MBALE GOLF COURSE, UGANDA -18TH DECEMBER, 2016”

  1. Rashid

    By loving nature I love Wat am seeing, nature is the only way to save the workshops to learn more abt birding.big up RT

    Reply

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