Ohad and I returned from our improvised Kenyan trip where Ohad got 84 lifers. Many of those he could have gotten on our Tanzanian trip as well. Ohad were not supposed to arrive before October 30, but due to the war in Israel, he came early enabling us to do the Kenya trip. Trygve, my friend were flying in the day after and were planning to stay a few days before Ohad arrived, but since Ohad was already here, we decided to start the trip early. 

Day 1, Friday, October 27: Kiligolf – Airport – Kiligolf

I decided to sleep long that day and were working on the computer when Ohad came home after his morning walk and had gotten 11 lifers on Kiligolf! I drove to the airport around noon and picked up Trygve. We returned home and had a lovely lunch. The rest of the day was spent talking and taking pictures in my garden. We were served a nice dinner and went early to bed.

Day 2, Saturday, October 28: Kiligolf

We were birding Kiligolf that day. Isihaka, my guide joined us and we had coffee at 06:45 in the morning. We started our bird walk around 07:00. Here are some of the birds we registered on our morning walk: Magpie Shrike, Greater Honeyguide, Brown-breasted Barbet, Southern White-faced Owl, Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, Blue-naped Mousebird, Hamerkop, Crested Francolin, Spotted Palm Thrush, Little Swift, Red-billed Firefinch, African Palm Swift, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, African Grey Flycatcher, Purple Grenadier, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Yellow-breasted Apalis, White-bellied Go-away-bird, Speckled Mousebird, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Crowned Lapwing, Spotted Flycatcher, White-rumped Swift, Common House Martin, Chinspot Batis, Thick-billed Weaver, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Cardinal Woodpecker, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Southern Citril, White-browed Scrub Robin, Beautiful Sunbird, Golden-breasted Bunting, Pale White-eye, Barn Swallow, Blacksmith Lapwing, African Pied Wagtail, Grey-headed and Pied Kingfisher, Mottled Swift, Pallid Honeyguide, Green Sandpiper, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Alpine Swift, Amethyst Sunbird, Reed Cormorant, Sombre Greenbul, Northern Brownbul, Great Egret, Red-faced Crombec, Buff-bellied Warbler, Black Cuckooshrike, Variable Sunbird, Tawny-flanked Prinia, African Hawk-Eagle and African Yellow Warbler. We had now finished the morning loop and were back for breakfast at 10:00. We had registered 65 species before breakfast. After breakfast, it were too hot, so we relaxed, had lunch and then went out again. We did the upper part of Kiligolf that afternoon. Here are some of the new birds we registered: White-browed Coucal, Hildebrandt´s and Superb Starling, African Hoopoe, Northern Red-billed Hornbill, Reichenow´s Seed-eater, Red-winged Starling, Common Sandpiper, Long-tailed Fiscal, Helmeted Guineafowl, Grey, Purple and Striated Heron, Spot-flanked Barbet, Nubian Woodpecker, Lesser Masked Weaver, Pin-tailed Whydah, Sand Martin, African Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-fronted Canary, European Bee-eater, Bronze Mannikin, Grey-headed Silverbill, Rock Martin, Gabar Goshawk, Red-rumped Swallow and Black-crowned Night Heron. I left the guys and took the car back to the house while they walked. They picked up Greater Painted Snipe and Three-banded Plover on their way. We met at my balcony and added Bare-eyed Thrush and Yellow-bellied Greenbul to the list for day one. Almost 100 species registered. We freshened up, had a nice dinner and went early to bed.

Some pictures from Day 2:

Golden-breasted Bunting, Emberiza flaviventris

Reed Cormorant, Microcarbo africanus

White-bellied Go-away-bird, Crinifer leucogaster, Endemic to NE Africa

Hildebrandt´s Starling, Lamprotornis hildebrandti, Endemic to East Africa

Superb Starling, Lamprotornis superbus, Endemic to NE Africa

Day 3, Sunday, October 29: Kiligolf – Lark Plains – Oldonyo Sambu – Lengijave – Kiligolf

We had coffee at 05:45 for an early start. We left the house around 06:00 and picked up the following species on the way to Lark Plains: Western Cattle Egret, House and Pied Crow, Northern Fiscal, African Sacred Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Augur Buzzard and White-throated Bee-eater. We turned off the road to the Lark Plains around 07:30 and registered the following new species before we parked the car: Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Capped Wheatear and Short-tailed Lark. We parked the car at our normal spot and the Masai´s were already waiting for us and showed us the Beesley´s Lark. We searched for the Athi Short-toed Lark, but could not find it. We returned to the car and drove slowly to our breakfast spot. Here are some of the birds we picked up on the way: Fischer´s Starling, African Pipit, Isabelline Wheatear and Foxy Lark. At our breakfast spot while having breakfast we added: Grey-capped Social Weaver, Red-throated Tit, Brubru, White-headed Buffalo Weaver, Pygmy Falcon, Rosy-patched Bushshrike and Marico Sunbird. We took a walk in the dry Acacia Forest and added: Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Eastern Chanting Goshawk, White-headed Mousebird, Northern White-crowned Shrike, House Sparrow, Rüppel´s Vulture, Banded Parisoma, Chestnut Sparrow, Northern Grey-headed Sparrow, Yellow-spotted Bush Sparrow, Black-necked Weaver, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Red-fronted Barbet, Pygmy Batis, Kenya Sparrow, Speckle-fronted Weaver, Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird, White-bellied Canary, Northern Crombec, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Red-capped Lark and Common White-throat. We drove slowly back towards the main road and picked up Southern Grosbeak Canary. Our next stop were Oldonyo Sambo, we really only had one target here, Little Rock Thrush. It took some time, but Isihaka finally found one for us. Other birds registered at Oldonyo Sambo included: Speckled Pigeon, Rock Dove, White-necked Raven, Common Kestrel, White-fronted Bee-eater and Schalow´s (Abyssinian) Wheatear. The next stop were a road up from Lengijave. We had a few targets here that we found easy: Lyne´s Cisticola, Dusky Turtle Dove and Long-billed Pipit. Other birds registered at the site and on the way down to the main road included: Laughing Dove, Lannner Falcon, Crimson-rumped Waxbill, Bronzy Sunbird, Northern Wheatear, Streaky Seed-eater, Baglafecht Weaver, Yellow Bishop, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Singing Cisticola and Red-and-yellow Barbet. We finished quite early and went to my spot for Speke´s Weaver near my house. On the way to the Taveta Weaver spot even closer to my house, we added Wahlberg´s Eagle, Marabou Stork and Yellow-billed Kite. We stopped for the Taveta Weaver and then drove slowly home and added Broad-billed Roller, White-crested Helmetshrike, Senegal Lapwing, African Grey Hornbill and Red-throated Twinspot. We were home a little early, relaxed, had dinner and then went early to bed.

Some pictures from Day 3:

Beesley´s Lark, Chersomanes beesleyi, Endemic to a small area north of Arusha, Tanzania

Red-throated Tit, Melaniparus fringillinus, Endemic to S Kenya and N Tanzania

Grey-capped Social Weaver, Pseudonigrita arnaudi, Endemic to NE Africa

Pygmy Falcon, Polihierax semitorquatus

Banded Parisoma, Currucua boehmi, Endemic to NE Africa

Red-fronted Barbet, Tricholaema diademata, Endemic to NE Africa

Pygmy Batis, Batis perkeo, Endemic to NE Africa

Rosy-patched Bushshrike, Telophorus cruentus, Endemic to NE Africa

White-bellied Canary, Crithagra dorsostiata, Endemic to NE Africa

African Grey Flycatcher, Melaenornis microrhynchys, Endemic to NE Africa

Speckle-fronted Weaver, Sporopipes frontalis

Bare-eyed Thrush, Turdus tephronotus, Endemic to NE Africa

Red-capped Lark, Calandrella cinerea

Ohad, me and Trygve at the entrance to the Lark Plains

Little Rock Thrush, Monticola rufocinereus, Endemic to NE Africa

House Sparrow, Passer domesticus

Kenya Sparrow, Passer rufocinctus, Endemic to Kenya and Tanzania

White-fronted Bee-eater, Merops bullockoides

White-necked Raven, Corvus albicollis

Lyne´s Cisticola, Cisticola distinctus

Singing Cisticola, Cisticola cantans

Taveta Weaver, Ploceus castaneiceps, Endemic to N Tanzania and S Kenya

Day 4, Monday October 30: Kiligolf – Tarangire NP – Karatu

Again, we had an early start. As normal, we did some birding on the road towards the gate of Tarangire. Here are some of the birds we registered: Red-billed Quelea, Black-winged Stilt, African Spoonbill, Swahili Sparrow, Silverbird, Yellow-collared Lovebird, Rufous-tailed Weaver and White-browed Sparrow-Weaver. While I were paying the entrance fee, the boys went birding, but did not add any new birds to the list. Inside the park on our way to our breakfast spot, we found: Willow Warbler, Rüppel´s Vulture, Ashy Starling, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Namaqua Dove, Double-banded Courser, Spotted Thick-knee, Desert Cisticola, Little Bee-eater, Lilac-breasted Roller, Steppe and Tawny Eagle, Red-billed Oxpecker and Bare-faced Go-away-bird. We stopped for breakfast at my normal spot and continued towards our lunch spot. Here are some of the birds we found: Von der Decken´s Hornbill, Hooded Vulture, Bateleur, White-backed and Lappet-faced Vulture, Eastern Grey Woodpecker, Winding Cisticola, Ruff, Common Greenshank, Little Stint, Wood and Marsh Sandpiper, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Red-necked Spurfowl, Red-and-yellow Barbet, Common Ostrich and Fischer´s Sparrow-Lark. We had lunch at our normal picnic site and continued after lunch. Here are some of the new birds for the day: Red-bellied Parrot, Buff-crested Bustard, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Southern Ground Hornbill, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse and  Slate-colored Boubou. It were a quiet day in Tarangire. We exited the park and just before we hit the main road, we found a Spotted Eagle-Owl. We continued to Karatu and checked in to our guest house. A pair of Fisher´s Lovebirds were nesting at the gate. We had dinner at a local restaurant and went early to bed.

Some pictures from Day 4:

Rufous-tailed Weaver, Histurgops ruficauda, Endemic to Tanzania and S. Kenya

Swahili Sparrow, Passer suahelicus

Yellow-collared Lovebird, Agapornis personatus, Endemic to East Africa

Rüppel´s Vulture, Gyps rueppelli

Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis

Tawny Eagle, Aquila rapax

Barn Swallow, Hirunduo rustica

Red-and-yellow Barbet, Trachyphonus erythrocephalus, Endemic to NE Africa

Pearl-spotted Owlet, Glaucidium perlatum

Eastern Grey Woodpecker, Dendropicos spodocephalus, Endemic to NE Africa

Double-banded Courser, Rhinoptilus africanus

Fischer´s Sparrow-Lark, Eremopterix leucopareia, Endemic to SE Africa

Yellow-throated Sandgrouse (male), Pterocles gutturalis

Yellow-throated Sandgrouse (female), Pterocles gutturalis

Lappet-faced Vulture, Torgos tracheliotos

Long-tailed Fiscal, Lanius cabanisi, Endemic to NE Africa

Day 5, Tuesday, October 31: Karatu – Endoro Trail – Lake Eluanata, Nanja – Kiligolf

We drove the short distance from Karatu to the entrance of the Endoro Trail. After having paid, we started to walk up the trail. Here are some of the birds we saw: Grey-capped Warbler, African Dusky Flycatcher, Red-throated Twinspot, Tropical Boubou, Spectackled Weaver, Grey Cuckooshrike, Red-faced Cisticola, Black-backed Puffback, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Mbulu White-eye, Green-backed Honeybird, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Mountain Greenbul, Collared Sunbird, Brown-headed Apalis, Brown Woodland Warbler, Eastern Double-collared Sunbird, Red-chested Cuckoo, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, Lemon Dove, Cape Robin-Chat, Schalow´s Turaco, White-browed Robin-Chat, Purple-throated Cuckooshrike and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater. We had now reached the Elephant Caves and we had breakfast there. After breakfast we started our way down. Here are some of the new birds we found: Bar-throated Apalis, African Hill Babbler, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Scarce Swift, Ayre´s Hawk-Eagle, African Broadbill, Mountain Buzzard and Crowned Eagle. We reached the entrance and I told the others to walk down to the main road while I waited for them there. We found a  Hildebrandt´s Spurfowl with two chicks and at the car both male and female Golden-winged Sunbird. We then drove on towards Nanja and Lake Eluanata. At the lake we found; Western Yellow Wagtail, Red-billed Teal, Yellow-billed Stork, Coqui Francolin and Red-knobbed Coot. We drove all the way along the lake, but it was quite dead. We arrived home before dusk as planned.

Some Pictures from Day 5: 

Grey-capped Warbler, Eminia lepida, Endemic to East Africa

Thick-billed Seed-eater, Crithagra burtoni

White-browed Robin-Chat, Cossypha heuglini

African Broadbill, Smithornis capensis

Hildebrandt´s Spurfowl, Pternistis hildebrandti, Endemic to East Africa

Golden-winged Sunbird (female), Drephanorhynchus reichenowi, Endemic to East Africa

Golden-winged Sunbird (male), Drephanorhynchus reichenowi, Endemic to East Africa

Day 6, Wednesday, November 1: Kiligolf – Masais Steppes – Kiligolf

It is only one hour drive from my home to where we start birding on the Masai Steppes. Here are some of the birds we registered before breakfast: Tsavo Sunbird, Parrot-billed Sparrow, Pink-breasted Lark, Wattled Starling, Blue-naped and White-headed Mousebird, Scaly Chatterer, Red-fronted Prinia, Grey Wren-Warbler, D´Arnaud´s Barbet, Little Bee-eater, Gabar Goshawk, Black-throated Barbet, Black-necked Weaver, Golden-breasted Starling and Rufous Chatterer. After breakfast, we took a small walk and added Yellow-breasted Apalis, Pringle´s Puffback and Acacia Tit. We then drove to the nearest nesting colony and found Black-capped Social Weaver. Next stop were Shambalaya Dam. We searched and searched, but could not find Somali Bunting. At the Dam we registered amongst others these species: Knob-billed Duck, Black Heron, African Jacana, Common Moorhen, White-faced Whistling Duck, Spur-winged Lapwing, Blue-billed Teal, Common Ringed Plover, Glossy Ibis, White-breasted Cormorant, Malachite Kingfisher, Little Stint, African Swamphen, Long-toed Lapwing, African Openbill, Squacco Heron, Whiskered Tern, Little Egret, Spur-winged Goose, Gull-billed Tern, Collared Pratincole, Pink-backed Pelican, Grey-headed Gull, Willow and Eastern Olivaceous Warbler. We had lunch and drove slowly home, but still no sign of the Somali Bunting. We were home in good time before dusk, freshened up and had a nice dinner.

Some pictures from Day 6:

Pink-breasted Lark, Calendulauda poecilosterna, Endemic to NE Africa

Wattled Starling, Creatophora cinerea

Black-throated Barbet, Tricholaema melanocephala, Endemic to NE Africa

D´Arnaud´s Barbet, Trachyphonus darnaudii, Endemic to NE Africa

Grey Wren-Warbler, Calamonastes simplex, Endemic to NE Africa

Rufous Chatterer, Argya rubiginosa, Endemic to NE Africa

Acacia Tit, Melaniparus thruppi, Endemic to NE Africa

Black Heron, Egretta ardesiaca

Long-toed Lapwing, Vanellus crassirostris

Willow Warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus

Day 7, Thursday, November 2: Kiligolf – Arusha NP – Kiligolf

Arusha National Park is only half an hour drive from my home. We were there at 07:00. We started on our way to the museum and registered amongst others: Fan-tailed Grassbird, Moustached Grass Warbler, Bronzy Sunbird, African Stonechat, Trilling Cisticola and Mountain Wagtail. We stopped at the museum, but it were very quiet. We drove up both branches of the Ngurduto Crater to our breakfast spot. Here are some of the birds we registered: Mountain Buzzard, Scaly Spurfowl, Crowned Eagle, Common Waxbill, White-eared Barbet, Tambourine Dove, Bar-tailed Trogon, Broad-ringed White-eye, Rüppel´s Robin-Chat, African Goshawk, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Saddle-billed Stork, Red-backed Mannikin and Green Malkoha. We had breakfast with beautiful view of the crater. After breakfast, we drove towards the lakes. The wetlands on the way were unproductive due to lack of water. Before the lakes, we registered Short-winged Cisticola and Rufous-naped Lark. At and around the lakes: Maccoa Duck, Southern Pochard, Cape Teal, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Pangani Longclaw, Little Grebe, Martial Eagle, Intermediate Egret, Whinchat, Lesser and Greater Flamingo and Pied Avocet. We drove towards Mt. Meru and up the mountain. We added Hartlaub´s Turaco, Waller´s Starling, White-starred Robin and Thick-billed Seed-eater on the way up and at the picnic site by the waterfall. On the way down, we added Abbott´s Starling, Abyssinian Thrush, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Abyssinian Crimsonwing, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Kenrick´s Starling and Grey-crowned Crane. We were home quite early and enjoyed a nice dinner before we retired early to bed.

Some Pictures from Day 7: 

Moustached Grass Warbler, Melocichla mentalis

Crowned Eagle (Juvenile), Stephanoaetus coronatus

Scaly Spurfowl, Pternistis squamatus

African Goshawk, Accipiter tachiro

Green Malkoha, Ceuthmochares australis

Short-winged Cisticola, Cisticola brachypterus

Spotted Eagle-Owl, Bubo africanus

Intermediate Egret, Ardea intermedia

Martial Eagle, Polemaetus bellicosus

Winding Cisticola, Cisticola marginatus

Thick-billed Seed-eater Crithagra burtoni

Abbott´s Starling, Poeptera femoralis, Endemic to East Africa

Day 8, Friday, November 3: Kiligolf – Ngarasero Lodge – Kiligolf

We were supposedd to start our Safari on that day, but the mechanic had not finished my Safari vehicle, so since we started the trip early we took a slow day waiting for the car to be finished repaired (The mechanic had promised it a few days before). We had a slow morning and then decided to go to Ngarasero Lodge for some of our targets. It were not very productive, but Ohad got pictures of Rüppel´s Robin-Chat. Other birds found included African Black Duck, Reed Cormorant, Little Grebe, Common Moorhen and Little Greenbul. We did some shopping and returned home. I prepared all the gear for the trip and we had dinner. My car only arrived at around 23:00 that night. 

No Pictures from Day 8.

Day 9, Saturday November 4: Kiligolf – a spot near Nyumba ya Mungu Dam, Same – South Pare Mountains – Same

We packed the car and took of early. We met our new guide Martin Joho at the turn off to Nyumbo ya Mungu Dam. We went to our spot there and found our primary target Somali Bunting just by were we parked the car. Other birds registered in the area included Black-faced Waxbill, Green-winged Pytilia and Cut-throat Finch. The spot used to be my traditional spot for a lot of birds before I discovered the Masai Steppes. Ohad wanted to continue birding, but I told him there were no new birds for him there. Instead, we took a drive towards the gate of Mkomazi NP and got another target: Black-bellied Sunbird. We drove to Elephant Motel for lunch and decided to meet again at 15:00 for the drive up to South Pare Mountains. Our prime target up there were the South Pare White-eye. We saw quite a few of them. In addition we found Red-throated Twinspot, African Stonechat, Stripe-faced Greenbul, Jameson´s Firefinch and Moustached Tinkerbird. We drove down the mountain back to Elephant Motel, ordered dinner and freshened up. We had dinner and went early to bed.

Some pictures from Day 9:

African Stonechat, Saxicola torquatus

Red-throated Twinspot, Hypargos niveoguttatus

Day 10, Sunday, November 5: Same – Soni – Magamba Forest, West Usambara Mountains.

We met Martin at 06:45 and drove to our spot outside Mkumazi NP. We still had some targets left there. Here are some of the birds we found: Black Cuckoo, Southern Grosbeak Canary, Tiny Cisticola, Eastern Black-headed and Chinspot Batis, Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird, Little Bee-eater, Straw-tailed Whydah and Grey-headed Bushshrike. We drove back to the hotel, ordered breakfast, packed and were soon on our way towards Magamba Forest. I have a spot just before Soni were I normally stop for a few targets. Here is what we found: Mocking Cliff Chat, Garden Warbler, Grey-Olive Greenbul, East Coast Boubou and Black-throated Wattle-eye. We drove on and stopped in Soni for supplies for the two nights of camping. We then continued all the way up to the old sawmill camp site in Magamba Forest. The weather were not nice so little or no birding that afternoon. I prepared dinner and we had a nice time at the camp fire before we retired early to bed.

Some pictures from Day 1;

Southern Grosbeak Canary, Crithagra buchanani, Endemic to S Kenya and N Tanzania

Black Cuckoo, Cuculus clamosus

Chispot Batis (Female), Batis molitor

Eastern Black-headed Batis, Batis minor, Endemic to NE Africa

Tiny Cisticola, Cisticola nana, Endemic to NE Africa

Little Bee-eater, Merops pusillus

Straw-tailed Whydah, Vidua fischeri, Endemic to NE Africa

Day 11, Monday, November 6: Magamba Forest

We had coffee at 06;45 and started our walk at 07:00. We heard the Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo calling, but it were not to be seeen. Before breakfast, we went uphill. Here are some of the birds we registered: Sharpe´s Starling, Oriole Finch, Stripe-faced Greenbul, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Hartlaub´s Turaco, Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Red-capped Forest Warbler, Usambara Double-collared Sunbird, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Usambara Thrush, Southern Yellow White-eye, African Olive Pigeon, Mountain Greenbul, Mountain Buzzard, Waller´s Starling and Olive Woodpecker. After breakfast, we took the route around the pond, it were very quiet and we did not get any new birds. After lunch we went downhill from camp. Here are some of the birds we recorded: White-tailed Crested Flycatcher, Shelley´s and Mountain Greenbul, Grey Wagtail, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Usambara Akalat, Fülleborn´s Boubou and Red-faced Crimsonwing.  Later we went uphill again without adding any new species. We had dinner and relaxed for a while by the bonfire before we retired to bed.

Some Pictures from Day 11:

Usambara Thrush, Turdus roehli, Endemic to Usambara and Pare Mountains in Tanzania

Mountain Greenbul, Arizelocichla nigriceps, Endemic to highland forests of S Kenya and N Tanzania

Red-capped Forest Warbler, Artisornis metopias, Endemic to Eastern Arc Mts. of Tanzania and N. Mozambique

Day 12, Tuesday, November 7: Magamba Forest West Usambara to Amani Forest East Usambara

We met again for coffee at 06:45. We took a walk uphill again and saw many of the same species, but added Fülleborn´s Boubou, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater and Black-headed Apalis. We went down to camp, I made breakfast. After breakfast, I told Martin to take my friends downhill while I packed camp. We stilled missed a couple of our key targets and found one of them Usambara Weaver at our second stop. We also had an overflying Mottled Spinetail. We stopped at the gate and took a small walk and found Spot-throat at the site Martin showed me on my last trip. I do not think anyone managed to get any pictures though. We drove down the mountain, bought something to eat in Segera and stopped for the Coastal Cisticola just north of Muheza. After that we drove straight to camp and went out birding. Here are some of the birds we registered: Banded Green Sunbird, Olive Sunbird, Green and White-eared Barbet, Purple-banded Sunbird, Southern Citril, Crowned Eagle, African Dusky Flycatcher, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird, Little Greenbul, African Harrier-Hawk, Palm-nut Vulture, Black-bellied Starling and Tawny-flanked Prinia. We returned to camp, freshened up and had dinner. We retired early to bed that night as well.

Some pictures from Day 12:

Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Columba delegorguei

Mountain Buzzard, Buteo oreophilus, Endemic to NE Africa

Sharpe´s Starling, Poeoptera sharpii, Endemic to NE Africa

Hartlaub´s Turaco, Tauraco hartlaubi, Endemic to E Africa

Usambara Weaver, Ploceus nicolli, Endemic to Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania

Waller´s Starling, Onychognathus walleri

Banded Green Sunbird, Anthreptes rubritorques, Endemic to Eastern Arc Mts. of Tanzania

Green Barbet, Stactolaema olivacea

Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird, Anthreptes neglectus, Localised Endemic to East Africa

Tawny-flanked Prinia, Prinia subflava

Day 13, Wednesday, November 8: Amani Forest, East Usambara

We started early and drove up to our special spot for a few special birds. We already had East Coast Boubou and none of my friends needed Half-collared Kingfisher so the list were narrowed down a little. I parked at my normal spot and very quickly heard the song of a Long-billed Forest Warbler. Every one got good views. We took a little walk and added Fischer´s Turaco, Green-headed Oriole, Common Square-tailed Drongo, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Little Greenbul and White-tailed Crested Flyctcher to our Amani list. On the way back to the car, we also heard the song of a Kretchmer´s Longbill. Everyone got glimses of this shy bird, I am not sure if anyone got any pictures. The next target Cabanis´s Bunting, we found easy and also added Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Black-headed Apalis and Shelley´s Greenbul to the list. We had packed breakfast by the car. Our next target were Sharpe´s Akalat. The road up to the best spot can be treasurus and this time we did not even make it to the bridge before the forest started before we were stopped by a fallen tree. The others went walking, but came back not too late with no results so we returned to camp for lunch. We packed after lunch and moved down to the new place at Zigi gate. The rooms here were very comfortable and a very good addition to the Amani experience. From our new camp it was only a short drive down to our birding hotspot in the Zigy Forest. We met at 15:30 and drove down and parked the car. We took the normal trail up and soon added Eastern Nicator, Tanzanian Illadopsis, Green Twinspot, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Red-capped Robin-Chat and Dark-backed Weaver to our list. We were now down at the car and started walking down the road. Here are some of the birds added: Little Spotted Woodpecker, Usambara Hyliota, Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike, Little Yellow Flycatcher, Mombasa Woodpecker, Ashy Flycatcher and Grey Tit Flycatcher. We returned to camp, freshened up and had a nice dinner.

Some pictures from Day 13:

Fischer´s Turaco, Tauraco fischeri, Endemic to coastal East Africa

Green-headed Oriole, Oriolus chlorocephalus

Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Circaetus fasciolatus

Cabanis´s Bunting, Emberiza cabanisi

Black-headed Apalis, Apalis melanocephala, Endemic to coastal SE Africa

An effective road block hindering us to get to the hotspot for Sharpe´s Akalat

Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Indicator variegatus

Black-bellied Starling, Notopholia corrusca

Day 14, Thursday, November 9: Amani Forest, East Usambara

We drove again down to Zigi Forest. Here are some of the birds we added to our list: Fischer´s Greenbul, Green Tinkerbird, Lowland Tiny Greenbul, Plain-backed Sunbird, Forest Batis, Klaas´s Cuckoo and Horus Swift. We drove back to camp for lunch. After lunch Ohad decided to walk down to the forest to get a picture of Eastern Nicator. We met him there around 16:00. The only new bird we added to our Amani list that afternoon were Green-backed Honeybird. We drove back to camp, freshened up, had dinner and retired early to bed.

Some pictures from Day 14:

Lowland Tiny Greenbul, Phyllastrephus debilis, Endemic to coastal SE Africa

Dark-backed Weaver, Ploceus bicolor

Green Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus simplex, Endemic to coastal SE Africa

Day 15, Friday, November 10: Amani Forest – Kiligolf

We had a long drive ahead of us that day so we equipped ourself with packed breakfast and packed lunch. We first stopped at Zigi Forest, but added nothing new to our list. However; Martin had a surprise spot for us quite close to Muheza. There we added: Collared Palm Thrush, Kurrichane Thrush, Striped Kingfisher, African Green Pigeon, Yellow-fronted Canary and European Nightjar. We drove to Muheza where we left Martin and started the long drive home. We got a tip from Martin to stop at some wetlands just before Mombo and look for Zanzibar Red Bishop. We found it quite easy. At a pee stop near Mwanga we found a Diederik Cuckoo. We arrived home safe and spent the late afternoon and evening relaxing.

Some pictures from Day 15:

European Nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus

Zanzibar Red Bishop, Euplectes nigroventris

Day 16, Saturday, November 11: Kiligolf – Kalinga Forest – Kiligolf

We had an appointment with the manager for Kalinga Forest to purchase entrance fees at 08:00. Unfortunately, this is Africa (TIA) so no one were there at the office. I sent a brief SMS that I were going to his office and pay on Monday and just before we reached the forest, I got ok as a reply. Before we left that morning we added Village Indigobird to our list. We stopped for a breeding colony of Village Weavers. We were soon in the forest and started adding species: Red-headed Weaver, Green Malkoha, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Red-chested Cuckoo, Narina Trogon, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Rüppel´s Robin-Chat, Tambourine Dove and our main target Forest Batis. We stopped for breakfast at a wetland where Ohad and Isihaka went to look for a Flufftail. No luck, but they added Golden-backed Weaver to the list. Just when we were about to drive home, we had a Lesser Spotted Eagle fly over the car. We went home to Kiligolf for lunch. After lunch Trygve and I just relaxed on the balcony while Ohad and Isihaka went birding on Kiligolf. They added Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Black Crake and Lesser Kestrel to the list.

Some pictures from Day 16:

Narina Trogon, Apaloderma narina

Black-throated Wattle-eye, Platysteira peltata

Forest Batis, Batis mixta, Endemic to coastal East Africa

Day 17, Sunday, November 12: Kiligolf – Kilimanjaro International Airport – Kiligolf

We decided the day before to take a rest that day and had breakfast by 09:00. Later I drove Ohad and Trygve to the airport. It had in my eyes been a very successful trip with a total of 469 species recorded (a record for my Usambara trip). Ohad is a very good birder and were of great help to grow that list. He himself got 154 lifers in Tanzania + 84 on our brief Kenya trip so a total of 238 lifers. I am still waiting for the final number for Trygve. My next trip is in early January 2024 and then again in February 2024, other than that I am quite open for friends to come birding in 2024.

me, Ohad and Trygve relaxing at my balcony before departure to the airport.