Tag Archives: wildlife

One Hour in the Garden

I have often shared the wide variety of bird and animal life here on the Compound in Mwanza but I thought I’d give a flavor of what can be seen in about an hour on the verandah. All the birds below were seen.

  • Red-chested Sunbird
  • Variable Sunbird
  • Black-headed Gonolek
  • White-browed Robin-chat
  • African Firefinch
  • Green-winged Pytilia
  • Purple Grenadier
  • Speckled Mousebird
  • Grey-backed Cameroptera
  • Common Bulbul
  • African Paradise Flycatcher
  • Spectacled Weaver
  • Yellow-billed Black Kite

A number of the photos here were taken between 6pm and 7pm this evening, others are for reference purposes.

Not forgetting

  • Slender Mongoose


Grey-capped Warbler

This is one of a series of occasional blogs highlighting the wildlife (and often more specifically birdlife) which visits our Mwanza Garden

This recently discovered visitor is  the grey-capped warbler. A striking visitor as so many are – this one is also a noisy one.

Butterflies and Bougainvillea

Since our return to Mwanza there seem to be a lot more Butterflies around of various types flitting about amongst the rejuvenated Bougainvillea plants. These thorny bushes not only deter unwelcome visitors but they look attractive with their brightly coloured leaves surrounding the true flowers of this vine.

Garden Visitors

Here on our Mwanza compound we get a very different selection of birds visiting our garden.

In fact the only recognisable visitor is the ubiquitous House Sparrow – introduced to Africa in Kenya in 1950, these birds have spread throughout East Africa and there are now more in Tanzania than in the whole of the UK apparently

A pair of House Sparrows

A pair of House Sparrows

Our other regulars are much more exotic and I thought I’d post a few pictures of the latest batch of garden visitors.

Wag Hill Wildlife

Wag Hill Lodge is just a few miles outside of Mwanza, the rough roads make it about half an hour by car, but in reality it’s a few miles.  So close and yet so far – this applies to the environment too. The area is forested and landscaped with a number of lodges surrounding central buildings and a pool. We stayed there last weekend for two nights and had a great time. One of the great attractions of the place is the wildlife and in particular the bird life. Here are some of the wildlife we encountered

Sunday Morning Sounds

Following a suggestion by my brother I thought I’d share some of the sounds Mwanza and I have started with the dawn chorus and the bird songs of Sunday Morning here in Isamilo.IMG_1074-1
We have a lovely garden here and birds are aplenty – in the track below you will here Black Headed Gonoleck ( dop dop dop weep and wowp wowp) Mourning Doves (dhloooo), a bird as yet unidentified with it’s rhythmical “do do we do”, a cockerel, black kites (high pitched wheeek), Cape Robin Chat (choop be choop be woo), the dogs, our cat mewing to come out, among other sounds including the Imam at a local mosque.

These are the sounds of my Sunday morning. What are yours?

A year ago it was a very different Saturday  as we started our Clear Out in earnest.

Year in the Life of this Humble Blog – Thankyou

1 year WordPressA year ago today I started this blog – Valentine’s Day 2014 right at the beginning of our transcontinental odyssey. To begin with we catalogued our preparations for moving out. Very soon I started  peppering the blog  with submissions to the weekly photo challenge (run by word press and a way of getting noticed as well as being creative with the theme of the week) and put in a section cataloging our earlier travels.

The blog has been my way of unfolding our story and has acted as an online diary for me.

Once here in Tanzania it began chronicling our new lives here and our experiences and travels.  We also decided to list the wildlife here. One of the driving forces behind the blog has been communication with those in our families who aren’t on Facebook and have no desire to be. A way of informing them of our lives and activities and share the people and the town we live in.

Along the way others have followed our journey and it has been amazing to see from where these people have hailed.  As of this moment this blog has been viewed by  no less than 54,936 times, received 1,603  comments with visitors from 137 countries.

1 year Map

The two newest countries are at extremes China (at long last) and Vanuatu (tiny Pacific islands). The most, of course, have come from the UK, then USA and hot on their heels (and soon to take over) is Tanzania of course. Canada and Sweden lead the chasing pack, followed by Italy, Ireland and Australia. The full list is below  and shows views not visitors (Google skews this in favour of the US on visitors – see right panel) .

1 year Top Countries 1 year Top Countries 2 1 year Top Countries 3 1 year Top Countries 4 1 year Top Countries 5 1 year Top Countries 6


In truth the blog has seen a downturn in views as we have become more established here (our peak was in August and early September). Even so to those who’ve stuck with it (even if not every day) – thank you for viewing, thank you for commenting and above all thank you for taking an interest, whether you hail from the UK, US, Tanzania or China, Vanuatu or Gabon or somewhere in between  Karibuni (you are welcome).

The blog will continue and in coming weeks I will add links to a year ago for my reminiscence and others close to us.

Today is the one year anniversary of this blog –
here is what I wrote a year ago today



Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale (of Insects)

A submission to this week’s photo challenge : scale.
In the tropics insects come big like this (sadly dead) bee from right here in Tanzania …….

… and small like these ants in Vietnam, feeding on a glob of jam.




Mysterious Whooping

Outside of my classroom for several days now there has been a mysterious sound. Repetitive, loud, almost mechanical I originally thought it was far away but today it seemed much closer. Intrigued as I was I took a recording.

Here it is


So what was it – I wondered if it might be a monkey? A student suggested it might be an owl. It turned out to be something altogether smaller

IMG_1013It’s called a Speckled Pigeon and although I took this photo several weeks ago in the tree outside my classroom – it’s undoubtedly the same bird. I saw it in the eves above my room (chest inflated and whooping – sadly no picture). Mystery solved.

Postscript – a less mysterious sound!
Incidentally this sounds above are a jolly sight nicer than the Ranting Preacher we have had to endure this past week (think Tanzanian Ian Paisley on steroids). I say this as a fellow Christian but there is only so much Fire and Brimstone you can take and he sounds so angry.

Update to Animal Pages

The page has been updated to include the recent creatures seen in Zanzibar, as have the AmphibianFish, Mammal and Bird pages

On Land


 In Water


Birds Page

This gallery contains 27 photos.

Wildlife at Malaika

Whilst at Malaika Beach on Sunday we encountered a number of different wildlife species. These included a number of different lizards including a Monitor Lizard

Monitor Lizard

Monitor Lizard







Monitor and Cormerant


Monitor in hiding













Mwanza Garden Chronicles : Birdlife

T + 9

Our garden has a large number of established trees as well as several bushes. Accordingly there are many birds all exotic which frequent the garden. Some I recognise, most I don’t – I must get a guidebook to East African birds!



A Photo A Week Challenge: Wildlife

A submission to A Photo A Week Challenge: Wildlife








Do Nothing Days!

T Minus 130

Today is a “Do Nothing Day”, or more strictly a “Do Nothing on the House Day. Time to relax and do other stuff. It’s been pretty intense these past few weeks so it’s nice to have a break.
So what are we doing?

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