Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Madagascar Bee-eaters Usambara Foothills 2 Dec 2011

These 3 Mad. Bees were captured feeding actively near a riverbed in the Usambara foothills

Booted Eagle Usambara Foothills 2 Dec 2011

This Booted Eagle (Dvergørn) Light phase was observed near Mombo viewpoint.

Swifts from Usambara foothills 2. Dec 2011

These 3 series of swift photos from the foothills below Mambo viewpoint were taken early in the morning with Canon 7D and 300/2.8L IS. Please comment on photos!

Swift 2

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rare TZ species -5 individuals or less

This shows rare species in Tanzania with 5 or less observations. If YOU have seen one of them please tell us when and where!

Britton no
6 1 Jouanin's Petrel
15 1 Brown Booby
16 1 Red-footed Booby
273 1 Long-toed Stint
302 1 Long-tailed Skua
308 1 Slender-billed Gull
319 1 Black Tern
421 1 Sokoke Scops Owl
428 1 Long-tailed Nightjar
511 1 White-thighed Hornbill
711 1 Joyful Greenbul
923 1 White-browed Crombec
9001 1 Shy Albatross
9005 1 Black-naped Tern
9082 1 Black-collared Eremomela
9086 1 Masked Shrike
9087 1 Rubeho Sunbird
9090 1 Black-bellied Storm Petrel
9092 1 Wedge-tailed Shearwater
9096 1 Wilson's Storm Petrel
9097 1 Great Skua
9098 1 Cape Gull
37 2 Western Reef Heron
74 2 Tufted Duck
141 2 Swallow-tailed Kite
192 2 Black-rumped Button Quail
209 2 Striped Flufftail
212 2 Long-toed Flufftail
251 2 Black-headed Plover
269 2 Red Knot
303 2 Arctic Skua
842 2 Papyrus Yellow Warbler
877 2 Yellow-vented Eremomela
1063 2 Chestnut-winged Starling
1093 2 Orange-tufted Sunbird
1247 2 White-breasted Negrofinch
1252 2 Red-fronted Ant-pecker
9002 2 Giant Petrel
9071 2 Cape Shoveler
9094 2 Malagasy Heron
108 3 Eurasian Sparrowhawk
157 3 Barbary Falcon
266 3 Jack Snipe
304 3 Pomarine Skua
440 3 Standard-winged Nightjar
446 3 Forbes-Watson's Swift
533 3 Grey-throated Barbet
676 3 Mountain Illadopsis
684 3 Brown Babbler
926 3 Sooty Flycatcher
959 3 Yellow-bellied Wattle-eye
1234 3 Black-rumped Waxbill
9020 3 Angola Lark
9023 3 Jackson's Pipit
9043 3 Southern Black Tit
73 4 Northern Pochard
103 4 Levant Sparrowhawk
191 4 Quail Plover
638 4 Mascarene Martin
956 4 Shrike Flycatcher
1097 4 Blue-throated Brown Sunbird
1174 4 Black-billed Weaver
9013 4 European Scops Owl
9083 4 Rubeho Akalat

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No soda ash mining at Lake Natron without addressing environmental concerns, affirms Tanzania’s Director of Environment

In an emphatic declaration of Tanzania’s keen interest to ensure that development takes environmental issues into consideration, the Vice President’s Office has affirmed that it will not compromise its position on environmentally damaging projects.

Tanzania’s Director of Environment in the Vice President’s Office, Dr Julius Ningu, toldThe Guardian on Sunday and the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) in an interview that “the government position for this particular site [Lake Natron] is to maintain [the] ecological system so that flamingos continue to breed … When we talk of sustainable use of natural resources, we mean for the benefit of current and future generations, now extraction of soda ash for sure can’t be beneficial to the future generations.” See full story at http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=34206

75% of the world Lesser Flamingo's breed at Lake Natron
Photo:Stein Nilsen, Tromsofoto.net
“This is very good news and in my opinion, Dr. Julius Ningu has stated the government position that no approval will be given for the mining of soda ash until the issues raised in the review of the first EIA are counteracted.” says Mr Lota Melamari, avid campaigner for the conservation on Lake Natron and former Chief Executive of the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (WCST, BirdLife in Tanzania) while commenting on the article. “This has shifted the burden of clarification to NDC who must prove beyond reasonable doubt that any planned exploration of Lake Natron’s soda ash will not impact the breeding of Lesser Flamingo”.

BirdLife welcomes the progressive views expressed recently by the Government of Tanzania in the management of natural resources, both in safeguarding the world-famous Serengeti National Park, and now the Lake Natron Ramsar site.
In 2006, the Tanzanian Government and the Indian company Tata Chemicals put forward proposals to build a large-scale industrial plant, supported by an extensive road and rail infrastructure, to extract soda ash from Lake Natron’s water. Following a global campaign orchestrated by the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (WCST, BirdLife in Tanzania), Tata withdrew from the project in 2008. But the National Development Corporation (NDC), a government agency, is leading a renewed push to reinstate the project.

Monday, October 10, 2011

CDM Carbon Sink Tree Plantations - A case study in Tanzania

final Timberwatch Tanzania CDM Tree Plantation report is now available! In December 2009, Timberwatch released a preliminary report titled: Potential Impacts of Tree Plantation Projects under the CDM - An African Case Study. After visits to the site of the proposed Idete CDM tree plantation project in southern Tanzania in 2010, and gathering additional information, the findings have been documented in this comprehensive 90-page report with numerous photographs. CDM Carbon Sink Tree Plantations - A case study in Tanzania - Overview: This new report provides greater insights into the motives and activities of the Norwegian owned company Green Resources Ltd (GRL), in the Mufindi district of Iringa province in southern Tanzania. It tackles questions concerning the sustainability and economic viability of alien invasive tree plantations, as carbon emission offset projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol (KP). The report describes a proposed, though already partially planted, CDM tree plantation project at Idete, from which GRL hopes to earn Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). The company hoped to sell the carbon credits from establishing alien pine and eucalyptus plantations in biodiverse grasslands described by GRL as ‘degraded’, to the government of Norway. To earn CERs under the CDM, it should be shown that the project would not have been financially viable without income from the sale of CDM carbon credits. This report challenges assumptions used to justify claims that the project will be a net carbon sink over its lifetime, showing that the opposite is more likely to be the case. There are contradictions in the role of the government of Norway, as a major oil producer and exporter through Statoil, contributing substantially to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while financing an environmentally destructive plantation sink project. It has entered into an agreement with GRL to purchase 400 000 carbon credits, subject to the Idete plantations receiving CDM temporary CERs. On the other hand, Norwegian public funds have also been invested in Green Resources Ltd. Norway wishes to occupy high moral ground and therefore seeks to align itself with progressive policies in social, environmental, human rights and other development issues. In view of the need to address climate change, Norway has committed itself to mitigation projects around the world, seeking to buy more than 6 000 000 carbon credits. The GRL plantations therefore represent an important political investment for the Norwegian government. Timberwatch has studied the social, cultural, political and economic impacts of industrial tree plantations in South Africa and Swaziland, and has concluded that monoculture tree plantations are non-sustainable from many points of view, even with market-based conservation measures such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification in place. This research showed major problems with land being alienated from displaced local communities, poor working conditions, the destruction of biodiversity resources upon which communities depend, reduced water availability, and many other direct and indirect effects that impact negatively on local livelihoods.
The industrial tree plantation model is designed to support corporate financial accumulation through so-called ‘economy of scale’ but it ignores their negative effects especially heavy water use and biodiversity loss. Large-scale tree plantations often cause the economic and social marginalisation of local communities. In this instance, the governments of Norway (via GRL) and Tanzania do not appear to have ensured meaningful decision-making for the affected communities. Despite institutional mechanisms being intended to facilitate participation, in reality they serve little purpose other than to green wash. Full and free prior informed consent (FPIC) principles do not appear to have been followed. Good intentions in project founding and establishment documents are not implemented on the ground. This does not necessarily worry the governments and the companies involved as it also means greater profits. It is clear that the government of Tanzania lacks capacity to protect affected communities from abuse and marginalisation during the course of the project. It seems that the government of Tanzania could have agreed to this type of project in the hope of receiving foreign investment in the short term, whilst ignoring long term social and environmental issues. Another concern is that equitable distribution of income from foreign investment projects is not a strong point of developing country governments. Very rarely do taxes and deductible benefits accruing from a project sanctioned and coordinated at the national level get back to the local communities affected by the activity. This is true of many African countries besides Tanzania and strengthens the case for community self-determination and management of community-business relations. Where this is not possible, mechanisms could be put in place to ensure that a substantial percentage of the income from a project is invested at the local level. There is a fundamental problem in developing countries such as Tanzania in that opportunities for resource exploitation in combination with large tracts of relatively cheap land are being grabbed by Northern corporations and their local agents. Such ‘investments’ bring a host of new problems, including contagious diseases, especially those transmitted via sexual activity. HIV-Aids is increasing, reaching deeper into previously un-afflicted communities. This trend disadvantages affected communities, and results in the destruction, degradation or pollution of the natural landscape, while impacting negatively on biodiversity, local culture and water resources, and serves to perpetuate poverty at a national scale. The report confirms propositions based on similar experiences included in the preliminary report. We hope that existing and would be CDM carbon sink tree and agrofuel plantation projects around the world will in future carry out more inclusive, thorough and wide ranging advance studies to establish the benefits or otherwise of such projects in each local setting. Request a print or DVD copy from plantnet@iafrica.com Media enquiries to: timberwatch@iafrica.com or blessingjk@gmail.com Acknowledgements: This project was made possible through support from the Siemenpuu Foundation in Finland. Envirocare in Dar es Salaam took part in and helped arrange workshops and field trips during our visits to Tanzania. Our sincere thanks go to community members and leaders, NGO representatives, managers and workers at Green Resources Ltd, and government officials who shared their views and experiences with us. About our website www.timberwatch.org has been established to provide access to a wide range of information on topics linked to the industrial production of tree plantation-based industrial raw materials. We aim to create much needed public awareness of the wide-ranging negative social and ecological impacts caused by industrial tree plantations, so that communities in southern Africa and elsewhere will be better equipped to protect themselves from environmental deterioration and the social disruption that accompanies the large-scale establishment of tree plantations. Information will be uploaded in phases, with the initial emphasis being on more controversial topics related to large-scale monoculture tree plantations. While we are building our pages and uploading reports and other resources, you are urged to visit the following NGO websites: REDD Monitor

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bird funding opportunities in Africa

Sound Approach Bird Fund Offers funding up to £10,000 to bird conservation projects around the world. We're looking for projects that will have a significant conservation benefit, making a real impact on the survival of threatened species, for example: · Research projects that aim to identify threats to bird populations; · Projects which aim to eradicate or minimize identified threats; · Projects to protect and assist endangered birds, e.g. safeguarding sites, habitat restoration; · Surveys and other work to assess the status of threatened species and identify new species; · Campaigns and outreach work to address the impact of human activity on birds, particularly relating to habitat destruction from industrial developments and hunting; · Projects which raise awareness of bird conservation issues, e.g. through community work, schools, local decision-making or land-management organizations etc. Deadline: no deadline, decisions within about 2 months of application. Website: http://www.soundapproach.co.uk/funding.php
African Bird Club Makes Conservation Awards and Expedition Awards for conservation projects in Africa. Grants can be used for survey and research of African birds, educational projects, training courses, informational guides, and other ideas. Individuals and organizations can apply for grants of up to £2 thousand. Applicants must be normally resident in Africa, and satisfy other criteria. Deadline: Applications are due at the end of October, February and June. Website: http://www.africanbirdclub.org/club/ConsFund.html British Ornithologists' Union - Small Research Grants and Career Development Support Invites amateurs and professionals to apply for its Small Ornithological Research Grants. Most research grants are £1,000 (exceptionally up to £2,000) per project to support small projects outright, or to partly fund medium-sized programs. Grants are on any aspect of ornithological research in the UK and worldwide. Deadline: November 30 Website: http://birdgrants.blogspot.com/2009/02/bou1_12.html Club 300 Foundation for Bird Protection The Foundation, based in Sweden, makes grants of up to US$5 thousand for bird protection on a worldwide basis. Eligibility is open to everyone. Deadline: January 1 and July 1 Website: http://www.club300.se/Birdprot/Birdprotection.aspx

Thursday, August 25, 2011

September Gaps - Tanzania Bird Atlas

Hi everyone,
It's a while since we sent you one of these gap maps.
Still a surprising number of Sept gaps for Yellow-vented Bulbul. Such gaps are indicative of poor coverage for that square for September.
Something here for everyone so print this for your wall and plan a birding safari with friends to fill a few of these important gaps.
Neil and Liz Baker, Tanzania Bird Atlas, P.O. Box 1605, Iringa, Tanzania.
Mobiles: +255 776-360876 and +255 776-360864.
Subscribe to: tanzaniabirds-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Selous - Africa’s Largest Hunting Reserve in Danger

The World Heritage Committee (UNESCO) has warned Tanzania not to start
uranium mining and to continue with plans to build a large dam in the Selous Game Reserve, before it has provided hard data on the ecological consequences.
Otherwise the Reserve will be declared a “World Heritage Site in Danger”. The 50,000 km2 reserve is the home of continentally important populations of elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, antelopes and wild dogs and has anoutstanding universal biodiversity value.

The CIC said that the Selous as Africa’s largest hunting reserve holds a great
economic potential for the country and for the rural poor living near
the protected
area. Th is potential should not be put at risk through environmentally questionable
and risky investments. The CIC also encouraged the Government to combat
poaching more energetically by providing more of the revenues from
hunting to the reserve and by involving the local people into wildlife management in accordance
with the Tanzanian Wildlife Policy.

La plus importante réserve de chasse africaine en danger

Le Comité du patrimoine mondial (UNESCO) a mis en garde la Tanzanie
contre la mise en exploitation de mines d’uranium dans la Réserve de
gibier de Selous et contre le projet d’y édifi er un important
barrage; ce, préalablement à la publication par ledit Comité de
données concrètes quant aux conséquences écologiques. A défaut, la
Réserve sera inscrite sur la „Liste du patrimoine mondial en péril”.
La réserve, d’une superfi cie de 50 000 km2, abrite des populations
d’éléphants, de lions, de léopards, de buffles, d’antilopes et de
chiens sauvages qui sont importantes à l’échelle du continent
africain. Cette réserve a une valeur exceptionnelle en termes de
biodiversité universelle.
Le CIC (ou : Lors d’un bref séjour en Tanzanie, le Président Bernard
Lozé) a affi rmé que Selous, en sa qualité de réserve de chasse la
plus importante d’Afrique, offre un potentiel économique important
pour le pays et pour les communautés rurales pauvres qui vivent près
de cette zone protégée. Il ne faudrait
pas que des investissement tant risqués, que discutables d’un point de
vue écologique mettent en danger ce potentiel. Le CIC (ou : Il) a
également encouragé le Gouvernement à combattre le braconnage de
manière plus vigoureuse en distribuant davantage de revenus de la
chasse à la réserve et en associant
les populations locales à la gestion de la faune sauvage conformément
à la Politique tanzanienne de la faune sauvage [Tanzanian Wildlife Policy].

Afrikas größtes Jagdreservat in Gefahr

Das Welterbekomitee der UNESCO warnte Tansania davor, mit einer
Urangewinnung zu beginnen und mit den Plänen eines großen Dammbaues im
Selous Wildtierreservat fortzufahren, um schwerwiegende ökologische
Konsequenzen zu verhindern. Bei Nichtbeachtung dieser Warnung wird das
Reservat als „Welterbestätte in Gefahr“ deklariert.
Das 50.000 km2 große Reservat ist das zu Hause von zahlreichen
kontinental bedeutsamen Tierpopulationen von Elefanten, Löwen,
Leoparden, Büffeln, Antilopen
und Wildhunden und hat einen herausragenden universalen Biodiversitätswert.
Der CIC weist darauf hin, dass der Selous als Afrikas größtes
Jagdreservat ein bedeutendes wirtschaftliches Potenzial für das Land
und die ländliche Bevölkerung, die in ärmlichen Verhältnissen nahe dem
geschützten Gebiet lebt, darstellt. Dieses Potential sollte nicht
durch fragliche und bedenkliche Investitionen in Bezug auf die Umwelt
riskiert werden. Der CIC ermutigte die Regierung auch zum intensiveren
Kampf gegen Wilderei indem mehr Einnahmen aus der Jagd an das Reservat
selbst abgegeben werden und die Einwohner gemäß der tansanischen
Wildtierpolitik in das Wildtiermanagement einbezogen werden

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Furadan poisoning kills tens of thousands of wetland birds including migratory species in Bunyala Kenya

Dear all,

WildlifeDirect is stepping up a campaign to have carbofuran, the active ingredient in the deadly pesticide product Furadan, banned in Kenya and East Africa.

Martin Odino who is scientist and an author of the WildlifeDirect blog, Stop Wildlife Poisoning, has reported that despite FMC claims that Furadan is no longer in Kenya, it actually continues to be used to poison tens of thousands of wetland birds in Bunyala rice irrigation scheme in Kenya. The product is coming in from Uganda.

He has documented in photographs and film how the birds are killed by lacing a meal of rice with the poison and laying out in the rice paddies. Ducks and other waders eat it and die shortly thereafter. Insects, reptiles and fish in the water are all killed. Predatory birds pick up the carcases and so the pesticide is affecting a whole chain of species. Open billed storks are killed by lacing snails and using decoys to attract overflying flocks. He claims that up to 50% of each flock that lands in these fields die, and this amounts to some 6,000 bird deaths each month in Bunyala rice irrigation scheme alone. We suspect even higher mortalities in Mwea and Ahero irrigation schemes.

The consequence of poisoning to raptors and migratory birds could be catastrophic.

But its not just birds. The human cost is enormous, the people handling the deadly toxic chemical do so with bare hands. The product is put into the water which is consumed by the community, and the ducks, storks, doves, sandpipes and other speccies that are killed, are sold in local markets as human food.

The evidence is shocking and we will be releasing a short documentary on the same shortly. For latest updates check out http://stopwildlifepoisoning.wildlifedirect.org/

Although FMC claims that Furadan is not available in Kenya, it is permitted for use in the production of flowers in Kenya. Our largest flower farms are by Lake Naivasha, a Ramsar site and an extremely important bird area.

We have submitted reports, attended meetings with the pest control products board and government officials and we are part of the government task force on the impacts of pesticiedes on the environment. That Task force which is under the Ministry of Agriculture and is chaired by the CEO of the PCPB, has not met since September 2010, and few of the actions agreed on have been implemented.  We believe that the PCPB is not in a position to attend to the problem due to resource constraints and conflict of interest.

We would like you to share this through your networks, put it on your websites, blogs, facebook and email it to everyone.

Our campaign has two targets.

1. The immediately and total ban on use of carbofuran and other carbamate pesticides in any pesticide control product.
2. We are demanding that the government to move the Pesticide Control Products Board out of the ministry of Agriculture where the organization faces a conflict of interest, and into the Ministry of Environment where it can effectively achieve it's mission "To provide professional, efficient and effective regulatory service for manufacture, trade, safe use and disposal of pest control products while ensuring safety to humans, animals and the environment"

We ask that you support our initiative by circulating information,advise us on funding opportunities to continue the research, monitoring, reporting and education, as well as the advocacy to change the Kenyan laws.

Please circulate this information widely

Kind Regards

Paula Kahumbu
Winner of the National Geographic/Buffet Award  for conservation leadership in Africa 2011
Executive Director WildlifeDirect
P.O. Box 24467 - 00502

cel + 254 722 685 106

Raise money for wildlifedirect
 just by searching the Internet with http://www.goodsearch.com

Monday, June 6, 2011

FURADAN is history! Good news for our birds!!

Don’t know if you all saw this but FMC just lost the court case/appeal to sell Furadan...detail below. It is an important move. Many of us have been working on this for some years and its been a back and forth battle but with at least the tunnel if not the light at the end, in sight.

For any doubters, and for clarity, the Petition that Defenders filed recently gave voice and substance to this matter and it was the primary reason for its design and submission.

Subject: Supreme Court rejects pesticide case

Supreme Court rejects pesticide case
Decision stands to prohibit use of carbofuran in domestic food production

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 31, 2011) - The U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition today to reconsider the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ban on domestic food tolerances for carbofuran, a deadly pesticide used in food production. FMC Corporation, the leading manufacturer of carbofuran, and a group of powerful agribusiness lobbyists including the National Corn Growers Association, have repeatedly challenged a 2009 rule from the Environmental Protection Agency to revoke all food tolerances. EPA has shown that dietary exposure to carbofuran is unsafe for humans. In 2006, EPA announced that all uses of carbofuran should be cancelled because of occupational and ecological risks to humans and wildlife.

The following is a statement from Jason Rylander, senior attorney for Defenders of Wildlife:

"The Supreme Court's refusal to hear the case allows EPA's decision to stand.  The EPA decision confirmed what we've been saying for years: carbofuran is a deadly poison that has absolutely no place in our food or the environment. The Court's action means that, in this case, the health and safety of the American people and our nation's wildlife have trumped the profits of powerful corporations.

"EPA made the right decision in 2009 to revoke all food tolerances for carbofuran and should take further action to cancel the use of carbofuran altogether. There is absolutely no reason to continue using this substance in the U.S. or anywhere else.

"Carbofuran has killed millions of birds and other wildlife in the U.S. alone for decades. Preventing its use domestically was a critical step, but our job is not finished. Foreign countries still use carbofuran on food imported in the U.S., and in places like Africa, it's even being used illegally to poison animals like African lions, which Defenders has petitioned the Secretary of the Interior to list as an endangered species. As long as this dangerous pesticide stays in circulation, people and wildlife around the world will remain at risk. We hope this decision influences other nations still using carbofuran to reconsider its use in their country. We are committed to assisting our international conservation partners in putting an end to the use of carbofuran and other dangerous pesticides."

In August 2006, EPA  <http://www.defenders.org/newsroom/press_releases_folder/2006/08_03_2006_pesticide_ban_follows_millions_of_bird_deaths.php> published its Interim Re-registration Eligibility Decision and concluded that no uses of carbofuran were eligible for re-registration because of ecological and occupational risks. In response, some uses were voluntarily withdrawn. EPA plans to proceed with cancelling remaining uses through its cancellation process.

On May 15, 2009, EPA issued a final rule revoking all domestic and imported food tolerances for carbofuran, and that rule went into effect at the end of 2009 <http://www.defenders.org/newsroom/press_releases_folder/2009/12_15_2009_court_rules_against_fmc_corporation,_pesticide_users.php> . FMC Corporation, the leading manufacturer of carbofuran, along with powerful lobbying groups for the food industry challenged these decisions in federal court and were successful in getting a federal court to allow some imports containing carbofuran to continue entering the country. FMC then appealed to the Supreme Court to reinstate domestic food tolerances for carbofuran.

Friday, May 27, 2011

NEW species for Tanzania - Nguru? Greenbul

Diversification across an altitudinal gradient in the Tiny Greenbul (Phyllastrephus debilis) from the Eastern Arc Mountains of Africa.

John Fjeldsaa and his team have made it again, and found a new species for Tanzania!
Read the exciting story of the Tiny Greenbul and the new (My suggestion (Nguru Greenbul) still unnamed?) greenbul from Nguru Mts. and W. Usambara Mts. The blue spots on the map shows where the new sp. occurs. This gives TZ at least 1130 species!!


Distribution of Phyllastrephus debilis; dots represent our sampling localities (blue: albigula; green, rabai; red, debilis). The painting depicts the typical plumage of P. d. albigula and P. d. rabai/debilis, respectively.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird

fantastic image of an adult female from Tony Evans, note the lack of colour on the face and then check the fieldguides.......
Cropped - see original below.

Thursday, April 7, 2011



So, yesterday I asked in a couple of places about Furadan. I was told that it is not on the market or available to buy but there is old stock around, I also found out that Oikos have a guy here at the moment working on chemical usage in farming and this is one of the chemicals that is under discussion. Let me get this right, it is now illegal to distribute and sell, but what about the old stock, does that have to be destroyed and how?? Does the distributing company have to, legally, recall stock?


Marc Baker
Ecological Initiatives & Carbon Tanzania
+255 (0)784448761
Skype: babaniamh

Monday, March 28, 2011

Please help with this Kitulo Pipit!

Please help with this Pipit!
And RN Lark attached as an example.

Paul Oliver
Box 425
Why is this NOT a Grassland Pipit ? hind claw looks good (would prefer it to be longer though) and those pale, close to white, tips to the secondary (greater) wing coverts suggest a juv / immature bird. Bill looks OK. There is tremendous variation in this bird, even within local populations. The classic STANDARD Anthus cinnamomeus hardly exists and it's VERY difficult for field guides to even begin to depict the variations.
If it's at all possible pipits can be more dificult than cisticolas so anyones comments on this individual would be most welcome.
I find the Faansie Peacock (2006) Pipits of Southern Africa to be really useful.
and yes, this high altitude race of Rufous-naped Lark has very dark, almost black upperparts.
as ever, great pics. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Info for the book on carbofuran poisoning


I am several days away from completion/submission the book on carbofuran poisoning. I am going through the chapter on Kenya and trying to tidy up some loose ends. I have anecdotal evidence that Furadan is still accessible in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. I have a personal communication on this from Uganda, but not for Tanzania or Rwanda. Can you or any of your colleagues substantiate this for me (ie, serve as a personal communication)?

Best wishes,



Ngaio Richards, PhD
Department of Forensic Science
Anglia Ruskin University
East Road
Cambridge CB1 1PT

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cape Parrot publications

a number of publications about the South African population are now on our web site
Neil and Liz Baker

Subject: RE: African Parrot distributions.

Friday, February 4, 2011

ID help needed - please comment!

G'day all

I photographed two birds today which I would like help with please. The location is Katoke about 40 km south of Bukoba. Habitat is grassy hillside with scattered shrubs (don't know the species I'm sorry).

The first I think is Singing Cisticola but I'm not happy with that conclusion - mostly because of the uniformly whitish underparts. The only call it gave was a harsh scolding possibly because we were too close to a nest or chicks. Trilling Cisticolas were calling nearby.

The second I initially called as a Plain-backed Pipit but - as normally happens - the more I look in the field guides the more confused I get with pipits. It seems quite grey on the head and back to me. It didn't seem to have much white in the tail when it flew.

I've also attached a picture of my first Weyns's Weaver from the same location today.

Hope you can help with my Cisticola and Pipit.

Steve Clark

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oustalet's Sunbird in Sumbawanga

Photo: Silas Olofson silasolofson@gmail.com
Always awesome to bird in Tanzania. Yesterday I saw an adult martial eagle just outside Sumbawanga... Now I need to find the spotted creeper, cape wagtails and the locust finch!
Today I was a mountain outside Sumbawanga and came across a small sunbird with white belly. According to Stephenson and Fenshawe the white-bellied 'variable sunbird' only lives in Kenya. 'White-bellied sunbird' should not be this far north - I cant find any maps of this species on the atlas-homepage, but I might be blind.
That leaves us with oustalet's sunbird... but that cant be... or?
Nice one Silas,
see Moyer, D.C. 1983. A record of the Angola White-bellied Sunbird Nectarinia oustaleti from Kasesya in southwestern Tanzania. Scopus 7: 52. for the 2nd record from Tanzania.
13 records in our database that will include these first two.
yep, Tanzania a magical place to bird, please stay a while longer !!
Neil and Liz Baker, Tanzania Bird Atlas, P.O. Box 1605, Iringa, Tanzania.
Mobiles: +255 776-360876 and +255 776-360864.