Hope on the horizon: Reported sighting of Shelley’s by Spanish birdwatcher

3 Nov

A big thanks to Alberto Garcia Rios from Spain for getting in touch with us at the RFCG. Rios and a few friends have recently returned from a birdwatching trip in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (a proposed fieldwork site for phase three of the RFCG’s research). Rios reports that he saw a bird that had a striking resemblance to the Shelley’s Crimsonwing Finch. This information is invaluable to the RFCG, and it inspires us to continue searching for and researching this CITES 1 bird. Should you or any friends have had similar experiences, please contact the RFCG at: editor@avitalk.co.za.

You can read the details of Rios’s email below:

Hi, My name is Alberto García Ríos,birdwatcher from Spain. I recently arrived from an independent birding trip to Uganda with another two fellow birdwatchers from Holland and Germany. On the 15 of September we walked in Mgahinga Gorilla N.P. the way up to the Gorge Trail to the Rwenzori Turaco area. On the way down, as I walked with our guide and driver Paul Kaggwa (Terrain Safaris Lmt) at higher altitude than the bamboo belt (2500m a.s.l.), I saw a small black winged reddish bird flying low across the trail and disappeared in the vegetation. Unfortunately I was the only person who saw the bird and we could not relocate it. I read some trip reports claiming Shelley´s at that N.P. It was next day when we arrived at Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort and I saw the poster with a photo of a Shelley´s Crimsonwing in the hand when I was 100% convinced that this was the bird. I hope my information is of any help for you and for the species.

Yours Alberto García Ríos Ibiza,Spain

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