Ruhija cuckooland updates 2017

May 2017


Mountain gorillas (and forest elephants) have been seen on the road a few kilometers away at The Neck. Chimpanzees have been very vocal as usual, and have been eating the tops of the bracken at the side of our paths. I’ve seen them four or five times in the trees at our boundary with the forest. Other primates (black and white colobus, red-tailed, L’hoest’s and blue monkeys, and baboons) have made regular appearances usually at the forest edge, sometimes venturing into Cuckooland itself. Birds Three or four sightings of Dusky Long Tailed Cuckoos in last two weeks, usually they are very vocal, but hard to spot.

Other interesting recent sightings include: Mountain Masked Apalis Woodhouse’s Antpecker African green Pigeon Olive Pigeon Red-headed Bluebill Buff-spotted Woodpecker Yellow-crested Woodpecker Shelley’s Greenbull Red-headed Malimbe Cassin’s Grey Flycatcher Other Mammals Side-striped Jackal seen near the restaurant

Fruit of the Land

Avocados, guavas and passion fruit producing well at the moment. Bananas still being ravaged by villagers goats- waiting for the hedge of tea and thorn bush to grow enough to keep them out. In the garden, cabbages have survived the attention of the speckled mousebirds and other creatures. Also producing well right now Chinese cabbage, rocket, leeks, amaranthus. Tomatos just beginning to be harvested.  

Points of Interest in Ruhija. Change A Life Bwindi. Visit their Craft Shop and Help support local community Projects. Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC) Has small arboretum and conducts research in forest. Support Local Schools with Omushana

June 2017


Lophotarsia Cuckoolandia

It’s now official, Cuckooland now has its own species of moth, Lophotarsia Cuckoolandia, new to science, following the visit of two German lepidopterists in March. They may have discovered several previously unknown species during their visit.  They are awaiting further tests and checks.


We have seen chimpanzees many times this month.  There is a very noisy gang of 3, who have been seen at our forest boundary and also walking along the paths at the lodge. 

Other primates (black and white colobus, red-tailed, L’hoest’s  and blue monkeys, and baboons) have also been seen regularly.


Black-billed Turaco and Equatorial Akalat have been making regular forays out of the forest, onto our land.

A pair of Cassin’s Grey Flycatchers have been seen down at the river, where I have also seen Lead Coloured Flycatcher here for the first time.

Narrow-tailed Starlings (permanent residents here) are now also out of the forest, feasting on the fruit of Bridelia Micrantha.

Other interesting recent sightings include:

Red-Faced Woodland Warbler

Yellow-Spotted Barbet

Ruwenzori Batis

Chestnut-Throated Apalis

African green Pigeon

Yellow-crested Woodpecker

Blue-Throated Brown Sunbird

Wilcock,s Honeyguide

Fruit of the Land

Coming to the end of this crop of avocados.  Guavas still doing well-as one tree finishes, another tree comes into season.  Passion fruit and pineapples are also continuing to produce.

In the garden, tomatoes are abundant at the moment – we are having a hard time to eat them all. Other crops in season include cabbages, leeks, rocket, Chinese cabbage and turnips.   


I have just labeled around 70 trees, mainly indigenous forest trees, but also some fruit trees.  Following the visit of a local Batwa expert, I have now discovered the local names for several other trees and am currently researching their botanical names – so more tree labels can be expected soon.

August / September updates

  • Primates.
    Chimps have been seen a few times the last month. They have been eating the tips of the bracken all over our land, so they obviously come out of the forest, when we are not looking.
    Red-tailed, blue and black and white colobus monkeys seen often. Baboons are uprooting the millet on my neighbour�s land.
    Notable sightings during the last month include:
    Red-headed Malimbe
    White-winged tit
    Dusky tit
    African Hill babbler
    Red-faced woodland warbler
Redfaced woodland worble

Yellow-eyed black flycatcher
Equatorial Akalat
Hairy-breasted barbet
Dusky twinspot
Bar-tailed Cuckoo
Dusky Crimsonwing
Buff-spotted woodpecker
Tuilberg’a woodpecker
Still plenty of Black cuckoo-shrikes around, and long-crested eagle semi resident.
Plenty of signs that side-striped jackal is around. He is leaving presents on the paths.
Fruit of the Land
Children discovered the guava tree, so only a few are left. But we are picking pineapples, avocados, and the last of this season�s passion fruit.
In the garden, we are harvesting leeks, cabbages, lettuce, carrots and turnips amongst others.

Now that the rains have started, we have been planting indigenous trees in the few gaps that are present on our 10 acres.