Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Rubona Sector Almanac

“There are some can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.” Aldo Leopold, in the forward to A Sand County Almanac

Aldo Leopold used basic interactions between plants, animals, soils, water, and weather on his farm in Wisconsin to illustrate the complex web of ecology in A Sand County Almanac. In homage to his most famous writing and my favorite book, I compiled a few brief observations over the past year from each month to celebrate a small piece of land in the Rwandan countryside. 

Leopold started with the awakening of a slumbering skunk in the first mid-winter-thaw in January and finished the month-by-month progression with the birds struggling to grapple with the colds of December. In Rwanda, which has a small temperature range all year round, the seasons are less clear. There is a distinctive dry season (June-August) and a distinctive wet season (September-November), but the rest of the time, it is just less wet and less dry. For those of you interested in the wild things in your backyard, this is a snapshot of a few wild things in my backyard this past year, a rural hillside in Rwanda.


You wake up in a fog. There are hills flowing over the earth’s crust in every direction but you might as well be anywhere. The birds are timid in the fog and you can get closer to them than usual, if only you could see them clearly. Unless rains come, the sun will bake off the fog within an hour. It feels hot by 8 AM, but the equatorial sun is mitigated by our elevation of 1,550 meters (about 1 mile). 


Ants are everywhere, making their trails above ground while the soil is soggy. Explosions of breeding termites would go unnoticed if it weren’t for the tens of thousands of wings that litter the ground in the morning. By afternoon,however, the bodies have been mostly eaten by birds or carried off by ants.

Blackcap warblers are feeding in the bushes. These little birds breed in Eurasia, but are paying a visit to our hill. The cold of Eurasia prevents a menu of insects at this time; fortunately, ants, termites, and all sorts of other invertebrates are the season's special in Rwanda.


The sun sets around 5:45 PM and rises at around 5:45 AM. Half of the day is lived in darkness, a time when owls fly over, snakes slither on the pathways, and frogs croak to announce their presence in lasting wet spots.

Few and fewer places get their light from the moon and stars at night. When the moon is not visible, it is dark. If there are no clouds, stars form long streams of shimmering white, what is called the Milky Way. When the lights are out, the electricity is down, or you walk far enough away from the lights, the sky is an explosion of stars. You also see the cycles of the moon, and their pattern becomes familiar with each passing month. 

Blackcap warblers continue until mid-month. I see them for the last time on February 15. The rains are unpredictable but sometimes last for several hours. 


European bee-eaters and barn swallows have begun to pass by in numbers. They look bright and sharp as they fly over from the south and presumably migrate north. They stop by and rest on power lines, feasting on bees and flies in their aerial assaults. Western Marsh Harriers, a European breeding bird, even flew over twice this month. These visitors are not nearly as visible as the residents. Birds like yellow bishops, green-winged pytilias, and yellow-backed weavers ignore humans passing as they continue to sing from the tops of grasses. Male pin-tailed whydahs chase every female in sight and will chase any other bird that gets close. 

Eastern portion of Lake Mugesera


Michele and I were walking toward Lake Mugesera, a long, deep lake with fingers that reach into every valley. Defying the clouds in the distance, we were going to look for birds that are specialists of the swamp and denizens of the lakeside. An hour into our walk it started pouring, and we took shelter under a tarp in the back of a house. A young couple operated a restaurant under this tarp, and the rain had driven a couple dozen travelers from the road to this sheltered spot. 

When you wait under a tarp watching the rain fall, you see two clear elements of life in the Rwandan countryside. First, perhaps obvious to state, water flows to the lowest elevation. This has tremendous implications for who gets water easily and what distance everyone else has to walk. Second, people live by the weather. When it rains you go inside and let the clouds water your crops. When it’s dry, you haul water from where it has previously gathered below. Three hours later, the rain stopped falling, and we made our way to the lake.


Flowers are blooming in all directions. Counts of bees returning with pollen are the highest they have been all year, and they seem ready to produce honey. A magnificent yellow blanket spreads across a section of as-of yet uncultivated hill. Rains continue until the late middle of the month but eventually, I notice that it hasn’t rained in days.


I noted male pin-tailed whydahs without their streaming tail feathers. They are starting their molt into a more conservative appearance; with nesting done for the time, there is no need to be showy. Southern red bishops are flitting around among the bushes, but they lack the red that alerted all to their presence. Only their drab plumages remain.

A period 3 straight days of rain mid-month surprised us as it has been dry for weeks. And then the dry returned.

Non-breeding male pin-tailed whydah


Small tornadoes of dust cycle in my direction. They lack the ferocity of bigger twisters, but the dust is not easy on the eyes, throat, or lenses. Walking down the road one notices a rust coating all plants within a meter or so. They are not unique variations of their species; red dirt kicked up from cars, trucks, motorcycles, and the wind layers upon the leaves. No rains fall; people without wells must walk down hill to the swamp and lake to fetch water. I suppose the birds do likewise.


The lesser striped swallows have abandoned their nests by the guesthouses; white-rumped swifts have moved into one of their empty mud tunnels. Several umuko trees are in full bloom. Their leaves have fallen, which seems to occur before they bloom. Their spindle-finger petals burn red against the green and brown backdrop of grasses and cultivated crops.

Towering clouds reign the sky in all directions. They are not emptying upon us in force yet, but as the month passes, small rain showers punctuate the days. The rainy season is imminent. 


The rain comes in waves. The wind hits you first, with dark cumulonimbus clouds in the distance. You can see it three hills away, then two, then it is nearly upon you.

Now is the time to plant. Farmers have spent the previous month forking the soil, waiting for the rain that will help them turn seeds into breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Some species have begun their molt back to breeding plumage. The pin-tailed whydahs in particular are noticeable. Small flocks of 15 birds gather on the short grasses, but they are nearly all little brown dull ones. A male sometimes leaps up on to a flower stalk, displaying his blackening plumage and lengthening tail feathers.


Heavier rains have come.  It rained nearly every day until a stretch of five days without a drop. And then the clouds returned and poured upon us with vengeance. One day it hailed. 

The plants grow quickly even on a recently hoed trail due to the rain. Also, the flies have gotten thick and particularly aggressive. When I am working up in the park, they come for my face, landing on my nose, lips, and trying for the eyes. They do not seem to bite, but they are pesky.

Migrant birds are passing overhead, sometimes in large numbers. European bee-eaters fly over again for the first time since March. We had an excellent Eurasian Golden Oriole near the park one morning. Common kestrels have become a regular sight as well. There were a couple days they seemed to be everywhere, even on the roofs of houses. Still, the residents are most visible. A male white-browed scrub-robin sings his song atop a brush branch, then flies a short distance to repeat the process. Other male birds of various species are doing the same; they are announcing their territories to other males and inviting females to join them. Male yellow-backed weavers, pin-tailed whydahs, and yellow bishops are now in full, bright breeding plumage.


The heavy rains continue. Some days it rains nearly all day, all night. Some days it may not rain heavily but it spits at us all day. On the days where you don’t see too much sun it gets cold, or what feels like cold, though it is nothing like the colds of more temperate climates. You do need a jacket to stay warm. 

When the rain stops and the sun shines, the drama of open sky and towering clouds stretch over the hills. Thousands of clouds, thousands of hills, seeming to roll on as far as the eye can see. That is, if a morning fog doesn't block the view!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Visiting the relatives

We share around 98% of our genes with chimpanzees, according to the San Diego Zoo. In Kibale National Park, Uganda, these relatives rule the forest.

Chimpanzees construct nests to sleep on at night

We visited five different forests between Uganda and Rwanda that are known to support populations of chimpanzees. In our experience, they are not always easy to find and even when you do see them, it may only be a brief encounter. Most tracking hikes give you just a brief shot at observation in the wild. However, in Kibale, you have the unique option of tracking them for the whole day. On November 5, at 6 am still in the dark of morning, Michele and I jumped off the back of a motorcycle and began our search for Pan troglodytes.

Our guide had been a ranger in the park for many years. We started searching for a group of chimpanzees not-yet-used to people but discovered only smashed figs from a recent meal. We later found a lone mother and child collecting and eating fruits in a tall fig-like tree. We eventually followed a habituated group (used to human observation) as they wandered the forest. We counted 18 individuals in the group, but a few more could have been out of sight. Because they were used to humans, we could sit/stand around ten meters back observing them while they ate, groomed, played, climbed, and rested. We even saw a skirmish with olive baboons!

At around 2:30 pm, it started to rain. A flurry of excitement filled the chimpanzees, and our guide told us "the rain dance" was imminent. Male individuals ran back and forth on two legs and used their hands to shake and pull young trees (normally they walk on all fours using feet and knuckles). Other individuals crowded close to big trunks to avoid the bursts. We watched until every chimpanzee had seemingly ran off or vanished into the rain. 

Even though chimpanzees and humans appear very different from each other on the surface, consider that our cells are nearly identical in form and function, and we have nearly identical internal anatomies. Check out more similarities and differences between humans and chimpanzees

Humans are in such a different world than chimpanzees, but we share the same earth, the same biology, and a common history. Various populations of chimpanzees in Africa total up to two hundred thousand (200,000 chimpanzees). We are at a population of seven billion (7,000,000,000 humans). Our worlds collide as our demands on the forests of Africa grow. Is the earth big enough to support both species? Will we be able to visit our closest genetic relative in the future? I do not know the answer to these questions, but I hope the answer is yes. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Leave only footprints

Hippo prints, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda. Note the tire track
on the right came before the hippo passed.

Tracks from the past
Impressions in the mud
Here but now gone
Our footprints linger on

Leopard print, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Take only memories
Leave only shapes
Elephants, hippos,
Leopards and apes

Chimpanzee foot and knuckle prints, Kibale National Park, Uganda

Casts left in African soil
As animals make their way
The stories mud could write
Of the details of the day

Elephant print, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Rain falls heavy from the sky
Washing away yesterday’s marks
But leaving the dirt soft
For fresh footprints to start

Human footprints, Rwanda

Friday, November 11, 2011

Art and science collide!

Binoculars. Colored pencils. Early mornings. Rough drafts. In a world full of birds, art and science combine to make bird knowledge accessible.

Red-eyed dove - Streptopelia semitorquata) - Inumah

Agahozo-Shalom is rich in birds, and now its students can learn about them with a new poster illustrating more than 30 of the most common species.

The poster features drawings and the names of the birds in English, Latin (scientific), 
and Kinyarwanda. One of Rwanda's top bird guides (who is a native Kinyarwanda 
speaker) helped us to find the local names. A student artist completed 26 
of the species while Michele (the art teacher) completed 7 species. The poster is 
shown here in lower resolution because it is not yet ready for distribution.

Meet the artist: Rossi, a 9th grade student at ASYV, drew most the birds.
He was president of the student art club and spent his free time on
Saturdays and Sundays illustrating our feathered friends.

Cinnamon-chested bee-eater - Merops oreobates - Imisamanzuki

I used my field notes from over 100 bird walks at ASYV over the past year to determine which birds to include. All of the birds here are fairly easy to find and observe, although some of the visitors like African harrier hawk and black-headed heron are not always present. A few common birds such as tawny-flanked prinia, red-faced cisticola, and red-rumped swallow were excluded due to space constraints and/or difficulty of observation without binoculars. However, Michele and I donated a copy of Birds of East Africa (Stevenson and Fanshawe) to the library and several pairs of binoculars for anyone who wants to find out more information.

Speckled mousebird - Colius striatus - Umusure

Southern red bishop - Euplectes orix - Isawdi

The poster is in the science center and on an information sign at the nature park. Other groups who may see birds regularly (security and kitchen staff) have been given posters as well. The poster will hopefully be printed for display in other spots in Agahozo to help even more people learn about and enjoy the birds of Rwanda.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Take a virtual bird tour of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village!

Interested in nature? Great! New to birdwatching? No problem! Join us for a virtual tour of the birds of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.

Black-headed herons (Ardea melanocephala) visit ASYV- so should you!

The sun rises at about 5:45am here, and we could start our bird walk this early if you like. Birds tend to be most active in the morning (about 6am-10am), but the real draw of the early start is that the sun lights up the sky as it appears from behind the hills.

Worth the early wake-up... sunrise at ASYV

If you are staying in the guesthouses, the bird that greets you in the morning is the lesser striped swallow. Don’t let its laser-like sounds alarm you- the birds just want to rest on your laundry line!

Lesser striped swallows (Hirundo abyssinica)

We take the lower village road that circles around the houses and separates the farm from the residential area. Here we see many widespread East African garden birds, such as brimstone canaries, common bulbuls, common fiscals, and red-eyed doves. Variable sunbirds and bronzy sunbirds dart around in pursuit of nectar. We scan a tall dead tree about 50 meters away for raptors such as black-shouldered kite and common kestrels. This road is one of the easiest places at ASYV to spot the white-browed coucal. Also, the East-Africa endemic black-lored babblers can be found along this road, but rarely elsewhere in the village.

Black-lored babbler (Turdoides sharpei)

As we wind around the road up towards the dining hall, we see speckled mousebirds, arrow-marked babblers, common stonechats, pied crows and hopefully yellow-throated longclaws. At the dining hall, we pause for breakfast, but we won’t be able to ignore the grey-headed sparrows and African pied wagtails scavenging the crumbs on the floor! Red-rumped swallows can usually be seen October-March flying around this area. We fill up our water bottles if we need the amazi (water).

Yellow-throated longclaw (Macronyx croceus)

As we start up the hill toward the high school, greenhouses, and nature park, we see male pin-tailed whydahs chase females with their streamer-like tails and yellow-backed weavers dazzle along during their November-May breeding plumages. Through December-May, the male southern red bishop may be one of the highlights of your bird walk. These birds all breed in the bushes along the road! Tawny-flanked prinias and white-browed robin-chats are also easiest to see along the dirt road up the hill as they come out from the brush.

White-browed robin-chat (Cossypha heuglini)

Once we have climbed the hill, we look for some of the gems of Agahozo. Red-cheeked cordon-bleus, red-billed firefinches, and green-winged pytilias are tiny birds but they can be easily spotted if you look. As we make our way to the nature park, we scan the eucalyptus trees for cinnamon-chested bee-eaters, which is an East African endemic bird that is highly sought after in the Ngorongoro Crater highlands, Nyungwe Forest National Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, but they live right here in our backyard. Sooty chats are another uncommon bird we will very likely see up close.

Cinnamon-chested bee-eater (Merops oreobates)

In the nature park, the bird show continues. White-headed saw-wings cruise overhead for insects. We will probably encounter yellow-fronted canaries, Baglafecht weavers, and yellow bishops. The park is one of the best places to watch for birds of prey like African harrier hawks, black kites, and augur buzzards. We’ll listen for the duets of tropical boubous, and we’ll wait for them to pop out and search for another perch in the undergrowth.

Tropical boubous (Laniarius aethiopicus)do not pose in the open often-
this is my only picture despite seeing them all the time!

While many of the birds you have already seen are present in the park, the mix of grasses, flowers, and trees in the park provides habitat to birds you won’t find anywhere else at Agahozo. Brown-backed scrub-robins, scarlet-chested sunbirds, and spectacled weavers breed in or near the park and can be observed fairly regularly. The park is also the place to find most of the visiting birds that do not live at Agahozo. No one day’s list is the same, but fairly common visitors include African thrush, mackinnon’s fiscal, African paradise flycatcher, long-crested eagle, blue-spotted wood-dove, brown-crowned tchagra, grosbeak weavers, fawn-breasted waxbills, and streaky seedeaters. Some lucky visitors have been treated with birds like black cuckooshrikes, ross’s turacos, and meyer’s parrots, but these are only observed once in a while.

Brown-crowned tchagra (Tchagra australis)

Before you know it, in about two hours, you will have seen about 35 species, even if you are birding for the first time! Yesterday, I birded with two visitors who observed 41 species although they were new to birdwatching. The record for the day at ASYV is 63 species, but for more experienced birders, you will probably find 40-50 species in 2-3 hours.

Southern red bishop (Euplectes orix)

The ASYV bird list continues to grow, and now surpasses 120 birds. It always amazes me that we see new birds here. Last week, I found a white-eyed slaty flycatcher on the property for the first time in the last year, and yesterday we had a booted eagle flyover and visiting African golden-breasted bunting, both new records for the property. Who would have guessed a residential/agricultural hillside with a tiny nature park could host so many types of birds?

Thanks for taking our virtual bird tour. If you can make it to Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, beautiful birds await!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The ones you miss (Ballad of the Birding Blues)

Get ready for some heartache... as much as birds can cause.

First, think about basketball. You have to take shots to score. It is the only way to get points. Inevitably, you are going to miss some of those shots too.

If you want to see a wide variety of birds, you have to go out looking. To see new birds, you may have to travel and spend money/energy/time to find them. Sometimes you get the birds. Sometimes you don't.

Green-breasted pitta, painting at Kibale National Park headquarters.
Never saw it in the flesh (in the feather!)

There are plenty of birds we missed in East Africa. For example, we missed the endemic or localized birds of Kenya, Pemba Island, and Southern Tanzania, because we never made it to those areas. Missing those birds doesn't bother me so much. There are migratory birds that do occur nearby but just never flew my way. Again, they don't bother me much. It's the resident birds of Rwanda, Southern/Central Uganda, and Northern Tanzania that we spent money/time/energy to find that we truly missed.

At the end of this post, I will list birds that we hoped to see and missed, but I want to share stories about two birds we missed (called "dipping" in birding linguistics). 

Papyrus gonolek, illustrated in Birds of East Africa (Stevenson/

The papyrus gonolek is an insect-eating resident of papyrus swamps inhabiting just five countries: Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and western Kenya. Michele and I have gone looking for this bird numerous times, even visiting sites specifically because they are known to support a population. In Uganda, we spoke to several local guides who told us the only way people ever see it is by playing tape recordings which may draw a bird in (we don’t have the capability, though I don’t oppose the practice). This information never stopped us from standing or walking around papyrus swamps for a couple hours just in case it popped out.

Papyrus swamp, Lake Mugesera, Rwanda

We have heard the gonolek call, but we have never seen it. The last time we heard it, in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary in Uganda last Friday, the fact of missing it set in, but it had long occurred to me that this would be a bird we would miss. I am sad not to see it but have grown used to the idea that we would not. Fortunately, we have seen the much more common black-headed gonolek many times. Both gonoleks are very similar birds, and so it is like missing a close relative of the same type of bird. 

Not all misses are so easy to swallow. As soon as I moved here, I made a list of the top 200 birds I wanted to find. Although that list would look very different knowing what I do now, at the time the African green broadbill was #23. Broadbills are classified into two families, and can be found in forests in tropical Asia and Africa. I have never seen any type of broadbill so this is not only a new species but a new family of bird I have no experience with (we also missed the African broadbill and rufous-sided broadbill, species of broadbills from the other family in East Africa. Both were also in that top 200). Observing such a diverse species is highly alluring to me.

Furthermore, the African green broadbill population numbers no more than an estimated 2,500-10,000 individuals and the species is only known from three sites in the world. Two areas are in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, in a war-torn, dangerous region with poorly developed tourist infrastructure. The other site is Bwindi Inpenetrable Forest, a national park in southwestern Uganda. If I didn't make it to that park, it would be easy to write this bird off because hey, I never got close. If only that were the case...

African green broadbill, painting at tourist information center, Kabala,

After an exciting experience in Kibale National Park in central-western Uganda this past weekend, Michele and I traveled over bumpy dirt roads in 5-person sedans packed with 9 passengers and a driver back to central-eastern Uganda (Mbarara). There were two species we wanted to chase: the green broadbill and the African finfoot. The finfoot is found all over sub-Saharan Africa but is difficult to see. It is rumored to be much easier to locate at Lake Mburo National Park, about 60 km from Mbarara. Theoretically, we could go to Lake Mburo, look for the finfoot, make our way south, and go for the broadbill before continuing further south back to Rwanda.

National parks are expensive, and we were exhausted from the previous days of traveling (and the past year of working). We could only afford to go for one of the species if we wanted to stay in our budget, and after much deliberating chose to bypass the chance at the finfoot to go for broadbill. We took a ridiculously slow 120 km public mini-bus down to Kabale, the nearest city to Bwindi, checked into a guesthouse, and got some rest. Several knowledgeable people we talked to told us we would have no problem showing up at the park, getting permits, and hiring a ranger.

We talked to the tourist information center in the town the next morning and of course the tour operator told us we should employ his bird guide. We considered it, but the guide wanted $100 USD for 1 day (in addition to transport costs, park fees, lodging, etc.). It would be great to have a guide, and we love employing local guides, but that is a lot of money. We opted to go without a guide. We tried to hitch on trucks without luck, and thus had to hire a private car to drive us the 50km to the park. Half the road was unpaved, muddy and holed up from the rains, but the forest was beautiful. Get the bird or not, it looked like we would have fun trying to find it the the lush greenery. The beauty of the forest, however, was the only enjoyable part of this trip.

Montane forest at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

We arrived at the gate and inquired about paying fees and hiring a ranger for a walk. The man at the gate told us they do not allow afternoon walks because it would be dark soon. It was not yet 2pm, and since the sun sets at 7pm in Uganda, I suggested we could take a short walk on the trail. The man inquired why we wanted to walk in the forest (on a trail that has been there for years, mind you, this is no off-the-trail adventure). When we told him that we were looking for birds, he said we needed to have a bird guide. Though no bird guide is required he said, we should really hire one and come back. I politely told him that we could not hire an outside specialist and would only need the services of an escort. Finally, he agreed to call a ranger and have him meet us. Keep in mind, these are services we are buying, not favors they are doing for us; we pay every step of the way. A light rain hit but quickly the sky cleared, giving us perfect weather for searching.

We finally got a hold of the ranger in nearby Ruhija but he said there were elephants in this part of the forest and we could not take the trail. I respect that elephants are dangerous animals. But we had just come from hiking all day in Kibale where there were also elephants around (their dung was all over the place the ranger pointed out to us). We had hiked in the highland forests of Ngorongoro Conservation Area where elephants were very near. Rangers carry weapons for this very reason. We asked if we would be able to take the trail in the morning, but were told that the elephants may still be around. So, after paying to drive all the way, we faced two choices: leave now and cut our losses, or pay for lodging, pay for park fees, and maybe get to look for the bird the next day. We would have had only a chance of finding this difficult-to-see bird, and it seemed like we may not even get a shot. We decided to leave.

This is the part of the movie where Harold and Kumar realize that
White Castle is just out of reach, with no hang-glider to save the day

Seeing the bird is not the only fun part; the chase is pretty exciting too. There was no chase here, just getting close and being disappointed with no chance to even look.

As we were waiting for the Ruhija gate to open and let our driver take us back, we sat within meters of the best place in the world to see this rare bird. Meters from the trail, but worlds apart from the bird. I am now 50 kilometers from that trail as I write. Soon I will be back in Rwanda, hundreds of kilometers away, and quite soon thousands of kilometers away in the United States. I thoroughly enjoyed East Africa and would love to come back, but there are many other places I want to visit over my lifetime. Even if I do get back to East Africa (a region almost three times the size of Texas), I may never make it back to this spot.

It stings. It's not like seeing this bird is really important in the scheme of things. It's not like your sports team winning a national championship is that important either. In fact, that's exactly what this feels like. I remember a team I loved losing by a 3-point shot in the NCAA national championship game. They had the chance to tie it at the end, but the shot was blocked. End of game. I haven't forgotten that loss or what might have been if the shot went up, and I suspect I won't forget the time I missed out on looking for the African green broadbill either.

Bummer. Drag. Such are the birding blues. But we live to bird another day...

Narina trogon,
painting at Kibale
National Park

Birds we heard but did not see: Papyrus gonolek, Fischer's turaco, Afep pigeon, mountain sooty boubou, Usambara akalat, green-throated sunbird, yellow-billed barbet, yellow-spotted barbet, Nahan's francolin, red-chested flufftail, Neumann's (short-tailed) warbler, western green tinkerbird, chocolate-backed kingfisher,  standard-winged nightjar (all of these were in the presence of guides who knew the sounds)

Birds we hoped to see but never did, despite being in appropriate habitat: narina trogon, tacazze sunbird, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, white-winged warbler, spotted eagle-owl, green-breasted pitta, greater flamingo, all four crimsonwings, African pygmy goose, African finfoot, wooly-necked stork, abdim's stork, rufous-bellied heron, african skimmer, white-collared oliveback, and plenty of others!