If I was to tell one of the most beautiful bird that I saw in Uganda - well it will be pretty difficult to answer, difficult because so many birds there were beautiful in every sense - however ummm... there is one bird that will pop up in the mind. The bird that was beautiful - with the bird present everywhere we went - but always flirting with our cameras. The call was very clear and the bird could be clearly identified - but to see the bird was more of a luck than it flirting in and out of trees and bushes.
The bird was 'Gonolek' - a small 20 odd cm bird with a striking black and scarlet body with creamy-white eyes. Infact there are are two Gonlek's residing in East-Africa and we (specifically me) were lucky to see both of them. One is the Black-headed Gonolek, the bird found in cities, country sides, parks and everywhere else, the other was the Papyrus Gonolek - similar to the Black-headed other than the crown of the bird that was golden-yellow. This bird is also listed as 'Locally common' but more difficult to observe in the dense papyrus swamps.
The papyrus gonolek was sighted in during the hunt for shoebill in the Mbamba swamps. Infact that is the only place we saw it - though I might have heard the call at one more place during the boat ride to the birthplace of mighty Nile.
|Black-headed Gonolek - the first one sighted outside out guest house in Entebbe|
|Once again in Entebbe - different bird, on the hindsight I do not have a single picture of a female...|
|Okay I am not going to get sick of posting this bird a hundred times here...|
|During a walk...|
|Last day this bird was sighted in Entebbe Botanical Gardens - just before we set course for the airport on our way back home|
|This is the second bird - the Papyrus Gonolek. One sighting and this bird appeared for a few seconds - jumping around in reeds hardly coming out in clear|
|Okay this is the second picture that the bird was out.. and this was the only instance...|
Though you might not notice - it is a duet by the first sweet sound of male and then almost overlapping harsh sound of female. The above call is of Black-headed Gonolek.
Again, pasted above is a duet call of male and female of Papyrus Gonolek. Notice the almost immediate response of the female.