Daily Archives: September 6, 2022

Widowbirds of Budongo

Red-collared and Yellow-mantled Widowbirds: Bodongo Forest, Uganda, August 2022 — In the 1950s the king of Bonyoro in Uganda was exiled to Scotland, and while there he saw the famous Royal Mile in Edinburg. When he returned home he had a similar road constructed through the Bodongo forest between his place and the parliament of the kingdom, which he had built along the lines of the Scottish building. The Bodongo Royal Mile is now one of the most famous birding destinations in the world…known for regular sightings of a number of rare East African specialties. We set aside a morning to bird it, but you really need a couple of days there to improve the odds of seeing the birds you want. Worse, the forest was socked in under low clouds when we arrived and our local guide, hired for the excursion, advised us to spend a few hours in the fields of the community at the edge of the forest until the light improved. My companions, all on their first trips to Uganda (and two of them on their first trip to Africa) were just happy to be seeing new birds, but it was a struggle getting good photos in the brush at the edges of the cultivation. The panel above shows two shots of the Re-collared Widowbird and two shots of the Yellow-mantled Widowbird. Both are somewhat variable by region. Apparently the Red-collared shows very little red and the Yellow-mantled shows a lot of yellow in the kingdom of Bonyoro. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent (cropped and enlarged to 1200mm at the least). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos.