Thursday, 29 June 2017

MABAMBA BAY WETLAND - AN IMPORTANT BIRDING SPOT IN UGANDA

Mabamba wetland is a large area stretching through a long narrow bay, bordered with papyrus towards the western main body of Lake Victoria in Mpigi district. It has the status of unprotected area with bird categories which are considered to be globally threatened and Lake Victoria basin biome species. This Important Birding Area (IBA) is one of the best marshy areas along the northern shores of Lake Victoria for birding tours in Uganda

This place is the most closest birding destination to Uganda's capital, Kampala. The climate in this area ranges between 1200-1500mm of rain with average minimum temperature of 17''c and average maximum temperature of 26''c

Mabamba bay has grown into one of the most interesting and spectacular sites for birding in Uganda and one of the wetlands of international importance.  Mabamba bay is the only place so far rated as the best in Africa or the whole world where the rare shoebill stork can be spotted at any time and day of visit, apart from Semuliki national park. Recently Mabamba wetland has become one of the strong holds for the migrant blue swallow with over 100 recorded very years. Mabamba now has over 260 species with one day’s record of 157 species. There are other 4 globally threatened species such as; Pallid Harrier, Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged warbler and the blue swallow, all these birds can be viewed in Mabamba bay. The shoebill feeds on lungfish, and this bird is really loved by the community. Shoebills are recorded in pairs or in threes in the marsh at Nakiwogo, about 2 km northeastern side of Mabamba bay. Recent visits also confirmed presence of flocks of other species especially migrants such as Gull-billed terns, White-winged black terns and Whiskered tern and residents such as Grey-headed gulls. Other interesting species found in this place include; Goliath Herons, Spur-winged and pygmy geese, malachite kingfisher, papyrus canary, Northern brown-throated weaver, carruther’s cisticola and a number of other birds. Five Lake Biome species have also been recorded here.
The overwhelming birding experience in Mabamba is not only at the swamp but also on the way, there are other birding spots with a variety of habitats. After enjoying nature and a canoe experience while birding at Mabamba bay, one can choose to follow a woodland and savanna trail up to the sand mining quarry to maximize on chances of other species apart from the wetland birds, and a small patch of forest a top of a hill, which habours many primates, such as monkeys, baboons, and other bird species as well.

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