Very much a long shot question – I don’t have a recording, but I’m wondering if anyone can think of a bird that would be found in western Uganda that sounds similar to a whip-poor-will? Found in forest or forest-edge, ~1400 m. Often calls around dawn, maybe at other times too.
Try xeno-canto.org I believe it is the largest repository of bird songs on the web.
Thanks for the tip. I’ve looked through there, but the area is a bit of a birding hotspot and though I went through a lot of recordings, I never found it.
If it sounds like a North American nightjar there is a decent chance it is an African one. There is a good diversity of them there. They are pretty secretive though (if you can handle comically bad writing there is a book called The Rarest Bird in the World - I always imagine that in Jeremy Clarkson’s voice that recounts trying to prove the existence of one of Africa’s nightjars) so any inventory may be incomplete
Assuming it is a Nightjar maybe Freckled Nightjar? I use ebird for unknown birds like this. Looking at the illustrated checklist for Western Uganda there’s maybe 10 Nightjars that occur regularly. I opened all their species profiles and listened to recordings in the Macaulay Library and this matches closest to a Whip-poor-will to me. There’s a couple without recordings but I’m assuming if there’s no recordings in the entire library then they’re pretty quiet species.
Thanks. That might be it, or I might be mis-remembering what it sounded like. I’ve learned my lesson – always get a recording!