A new RFCG YouTube video ” Finding Shelley ” is currently in production

10 Sep

Geoff Russell, Russell Kingston and Joe Kitching just outside Ruhija, on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest looking for finches. Photo Eelco Meyjes 

At 2300 metres above sea level the tiny village of Ruhija, just outside the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest , has been described by some as the most beautiful place in Uganda . It is one of the few places in Africa where all four crimsonwing finch species have been seen ( Abyssinian ( Cryptospiza salvadori ), Red Faced Crimsonwing ( Cryptospiza reichenovii ), Dusky Crimsonwing ( Cryptospiza jacksoni ) and the elusive Shelley’s crimsonwing ( Cryptospiza shelleyi ). Unfortunately not many visitors to Uganda have been to Ruhja  because it normally requires your own transport and it is strongly recommended that a 4×4 vehicle be used .

Locals will travel to and from Ruhija using a 4 x 2, but will often have a lot of extra hands to help push when needed. Photo Eelco Meyjes

The RFCG is currently producing a YouTube video titled ” Finding Shelley ” which will share the magnificence of the area and provide an informative insight to some of the most recent developments in and around the tiny village and its friendly people . Bwindi is home to not only 43 different finch species , but more than 350 different bird species have been sighted in this world heritage site national park . ( In total more than 1000 different bird species have been recorded in Uganda making it one of Africa’s top destination for serious birders ) The recent successful RFCG EcoTour spent a couple of days in Ruhija and a few of the guests also took the opportunity to participate in some exciting Mountain Gorilla trekking.

Following on the success of Amos Monday , who is a local bird guide working in  Ruhija , and who first saw a pair of  Shelley’s crimson wing finches back in August 2010, the Uganda Wildlife Authority  ( UWA ) informed the directors of the RFCG that they have now introduced a special 4 hour Shelley’s birding hike.

Eelco Meyjes, Godfrey Baryesimo UWA Bwindi Warden of Tourism , Russell Kingston and Benson Bamutura RFCG local bird guide and field research manager celebrating the good news with the introduction of the new Shelley’s bird hiking trail.Photo Eelco Meyjes 

The RFCG is currently planning a possible 3 additional fund-raising tours over the next 24 months . ( One tour to South Africa which will include visiting the world-famous Kruger National Park and seeing many of the  whydahs and weavers in full colour . The second trip will be from South Africa to Australia which will include attending the Queensland Finch Convention in Brisbane in 2014 as well as travelling to the Kimberley’s to see the beautiful gouldians in the wild . The third tour will be another trip to Uganda to go and see some of the magnificent 43 finch species as well as to possibly participate in some Gorilla Trekking. Most of the EcoTours will be approximately 17 days in duration.

For more information on these exciting planned tailor-made RFCG EcoTours please contact either Russell Kingston in Australia at indruss@bigpond.com or Eelco Meyjes in South Africa at editor@avitalk.co.za . All profits generated from these fund-raising tours will be donated to the Rare Finch Conservation Group.

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