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Birds of Nyungwe

We may be here on a botanical trip but the non-plant wildlife of Nyungwe is hard to ignore. For somebody used to taking pictures of orchids (which are considerate enough to stay in one place) photographing birds is a challenge, but the sunbirds feeding on some of the native plants stay still just long enough to get a good picture. This is a female sunbird feeding on a Brillantaisia in Kamiranzovu swamp, two regal sunbirds and a Ruwenzori double-collared sunbird on giant Lobelia gibberoa, and a very large bird of prey in a tree near the KCCEM library




By the way the tree is Polyscias fulva and this post is by Amy using Simon’s iPad.


Orchid of the day – Satyrium crassicaule

Today’s orchid is another of the magnificent terrestrial species from Kamiranzovu swamp. Satyrium crassicaule is an easy one for the Rwandan school children to identify because of the double spur (like devils horns) characteristic of Satyrium species. This is a really robust species that is just coming into flower now with flower spikes that can grow to over 1m tall. Pity we don’t have these in the UK.


An amazing begonia

Sometimes our tropical trips bring us into contact with some really rare plants and Begonia pulcherrima is one of those. Like Impatiens nyungwensis (see July 19th) this begonia is endemic to Nyungwe forest. It is only found in restricted areas in the west of the reserve including the swamp forest around Kamiranzovu where we found it flowering for the first time today.