Author Archives: Adrian

Uganda: Leucistic Malachite Kingfisher

While on our wonderful boat ride along the Kazinga Channel that separates Lake Edward and Lake George in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park, we came across a leucistic Malachite Kingfisher. The bright orange bill and legs contrasting with all white plumage made this bird unique!

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Leucism is genetic mutation that occurs when melanin and other pigments are absent  in feathers which results in pale or all white birds. Albinism occurs when there is no production of melanin only, resulting in white birds having pink eyes.

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For comparison this is a normal looking Malachite Kingfisher. These striking 5 inch kingfishers are widespread south of the Sahara in Africa. They are often found sitting quietly low over still waters or flying fast flashing blue and orange as they zip from reeds and favourite perches.

Uganda: Gorillas at Bwindi Impenetrable NP

  This was an exciting day, it is not often that one gets a chance to see Mountain Gorillas! After breakfast we drove the half mile to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park headquarters at Buhoma for our pre-trek briefing. Following our orientation, we were assigned the Rushegera group and the charasmatic Omac as our guide. 16Continue Reading

Uganda: Mabamba Wetlands

It was an eventfully start to our first full day, with thunderstorms and heavy rain at day break, and Johnnie, our guide, having to change a flat tire he got in the hotel car park! The hours drive to the Mabamba Wetlands, was punctuated with short stops along the dirt road for Green-throated Sunbird, Green Crombec,Continue Reading

Uganda: Entebbe Botanical Gardens

I was invited by Laura Kammermeier of Nature Travel Network and the Uganda Tourist Board to a FAM tour of Uganda’s major birding and primate destinations. Since I thoroughly enjoy East Africa it was an easy decision to make! Making the most of our mid-afternoon arrival, Ethan Kistler, Nate Swick and I spent a couple ofContinue Reading

Separating Juvenile Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks

Fall. Accipiters. Confusion. It is that time of year when juvenile accipiters, in particular Cooper’s Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk, show up in our backyards and have us scratching our heads as to which species it is. A year ago I put the above image up on facebook and asked which of the two accipiter’s itContinue Reading

Conowingo Dam Bald Eagles

After a cloudy week the sun returned on a crisp early January day. While the huge numbers of Bald Eagles seen at Conwingo Dam, Maryland a month ago had dwindled to just a handful, there was still an opportunity to get to see these majestic birds up close. We got there just in time toContinue Reading

Species Spotlight: Colourful Leafbird of India

I’ve called out many a “leaf bird” in my travels, but few resembled this handsome one! Flashing brightly-coloured wings and tail, Orange-bellied Leafbirds use their long, slender, decurved bill to glean insects from the canopies of deciduous, broadleaf forests. The 7 1/2 inch long Orange-bellied is one of 11 species in the Leafbird family, foundContinue Reading

When Dust Settles on the Savannah

One of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles takes place in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. Each August and September, more than a million Wildebeest migrate across the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem in a ceaseless search for fresh grass. During our tour last August, vast herds of Wildebeest were grazing on the western side of the Mara, within the BurungatContinue Reading

Epic Encounter on the Mara River

August 18, 2016 – Maasai Mara NR, Kenya     Patience pays off!  For the afternoon game drive we returned to the crossing point along the Mara River. We arrived in time to see a couple of dozen Zebra cross the river and could see a few others were thinking about returning back!   A motherContinue Reading

VERACRUZ 2014: Day 11 – Rain Forest to Zocalo

Day 11 / Oct 12: Ruiz Cortines; Las Barrancas     On this last day of our Veracruz trip we visited one of the best birding sites in the region, the cloud forest at Ruiz Cortines. There we were met by Braulio Malega, local guide, Tuxtla Quail-Dove expert, and great friend. The cool drizzly weatherContinue Reading