Friday 6 April 2012

Glossy Ibis migration along the White Nile

I visited Tuti Island today with Juha and his wife Eleonora. We observed five large groups of Glossy Ibises moving north along the White Nile, each numbering between about 100 and 200 birds, with perhaps 700 in total. Nikolaus refers to the species as uncommon, but locally common on passage, and refers to observations of heavy passage during autumn. On the 9th April last year I saw a group of 81 migrating north along the White Nile, so this must be the peak spring migration time.

Glossy Ibis flock, Tuti Island 6th April 2012

Glossy Ibises, Tuti Island 6th April 2012

last week Juha observed a large group of Great White Pelicans heading north. Today we saw a small group of 8 Pink-backed Pelicans, followed shortly after by a group of 22 Great White Pelicans (my first sightings of this species on Tuti).

Pink-backed Pelicans, Tuti Island 6th April 2012

Great White Pelicans, Tuti Island 6th April 2012

Whiskered and White-winged Terns continued to move along the river in reasonable numbers, but there were no gulls this week. Other migrants were present in quite small numbers and included a Black Kite, some hirundines, a Pallid Harrier (my first on the island), a Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Yellow Wagtails, a couple of Rufous Scrub-Robins, some warblers (including my first Reed Warblers of the spring) and a Northern Wheatear. Many Vitelline and Northern Masked Weavers had moulted into breeding plumage and a colony of the latter was busy constructing nests in a bush overhanging the water at the north end of the island. Construction of most nests was still in the early stages.

Northern Masked Weaver building nest,
Tuti Island 6th April 2012

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