Best time for bird watching in Bwindi
What is the best time for bird watching in Bwindi? Bwindi gorilla park is one of the best birding spots where Uganda birding safaris can be done. This is because the park is home to over 350 bird species that live in the thick tropical forests. Bird lovers on a birding safari in Uganda or gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi shouldn’t miss out on birding activities in this park because it’s one of the best birding spots in the country. Bwindi is one of the most visited national parks in Uganda because it has the highest number of mountain gorillas in the world.
Bwindi gorilla park was gazetted in 1991 by the government which chased the Batwa pygmies from the jungle to protect the remaining species of mountain gorillas, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and plants species that were living in the park. The national park as of today covers a total area of 331sq.km that is full of thick tropical rainforest where animals and birds do live.
Best time for bird watching in Bwindi
Bwindi gorilla park is open all throughout the year for different tourism activities among which include birding. But it’s very important to know about the best times to go birding in the park so as to enjoy your safari. Bwindi has 2 seasons every year which are the rainy season of March to May and October to November and march to May as well as the dry season of June to September and December to February.
In all the above seasons, bird watching can be done in Bwindi gorilla park however the best time to do birding in Bwindi is from mid-May, June, and September because there is plenty of food in the park which attracts a lot of birds including the migratory ones and there is also plenty of food in the park. May and June are also good months to encounter birds in Bwindi gorilla park because these are the nesting months so it’s very easy to encounter birds since they are in the breeding period.
Birding when there is little rainfall and not too much sunshine is good because the trekking trails are not too muddy, the vegetation is short with good views of birds and the photography is good. The rainy season of March and May and October to November is not recommended for birding in Bwindi because the too much rainfall makes the trekking trails very slippery which delays birding in the park
Birding in Bwindi gorilla park is done in the different sectors of the park which are Nkuringo, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Buhoma. Avid birders always recommend Buhoma and Ruhija as the best places to go bird watching in Bwindi gorilla park. Bird watching is carried out using different trails such as Buhoma waterfall trail, bamboo zone, Ivy river trail, Mubwindi swamp trail among others.
Bird species in Bwindi
The common bird species in Bwindi include oriole finch, African golden breasted bunting, papyrus canary, streaky seed eater, village indigo bird, African citril, papyrus canary, black throated seed eater, magpie manikin, pin tailed whydah, thick billed seed eater, black and white manikin, zebra waxbill, bronze sunbird, fan tailed waxbill, black crowned waxbill, dusky twinspot, red healed bluebill, green backed twin spot, dusky crimson wing, crimson rumped waxbill, red billed fire finch, yellow bishop, wood houses anti pecker, Abyssinian crimson wing, shelley’s crimson wing, strange weaver, waller’s starling, compact weaver, fan tailed widowbird, and slender billed weave.
Other notable bird species in Bwindi gorilla park include purple headed starling, baglafetcht weaver, sooty boubou, common fiscal, pied crow, montane oriole, varrable sunbird, common fiscal, tiny sunbird, little green sunbird, collared apalis, buff throated apalis, ashy flycatcher, dusky blue flycatcher, tit hylia, white winged tit, banded prinia, green crombec, brown illadopsis, Rwenzori batis, olive thrush, fire crested alethe, cape robin chat, grey wagtail, mountain wagtail, western nector, russ turaco, red eyed dove, little grebe, hadada ibis, black kite, African goshawk, lizard buzzard, and marabou stork among others.