My last trip had to be along the Terekeka road, the most productive easily accessible areas near Juba. I only went a few kilometres up the road - I still had to pack for my flight. Some birds posed in the morning sunshine, including a Black Coucal and a Black-and-White Cuckoo.
Female Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird
Black-headed or Grey-headed Batis
Exclamatory Paradise-Whydah (top two: male; 3rd: female)
Grey-capped Social-Weaver, pair and nest
Bruce's Green Pigeon
Cardinal Woodpeckers (male has red on crown)
I would like to especially thank Tom Jenner, who was the inspiration for this blog, and who continues to blog at http://birdingsudan.blogspot.com/. We only managed one joint trip, back in April 2011 (see Tom's blog for an account of our exploits, including seeing South Sudan's first Eleonora's Falcon).
I'd also like to thank Lesley, Andrew, Richard, Laura and Martin for their company on many of the more recent outings; and Bosco, who often drove the vehicle whilst also seeing birds without binoculars that I'd struggled to find with binoculars.
I found around 330 species of birds within a 50 kilometre radius of Juba. I only twice travelled west along the Mundri road, and only once down the Yei road. I never explored the west bank of the White Nile south of Juba; I climbed Jebel Kujur but once; and made only occasional visits to Gondokoro island. I predict that another 30 species could be found by enthusiastic future birders quite easily, and another 50 or so may occur more rarely. So a species list of over 400 for the Juba area as defined above, seems quite plausible. And travelling further afield in any direction would add many more species, with the hills along the southern borders of the country being especially species rich.
I hope that this blog inspires others to follow where I leave off, and I particularly hope that a generation of keen South Sudanese naturalists will emerge in the coming years.
I may add an occasional post here if friends in Juba send interesting reports, but otherwise all the best to my readers.