Monday, 5 May 2014

Etosha to Waterberg

A nice walk around the large gardens of our lodge was pretty successful as we finally found Black-faced Babbler

We finally found Black-faced Babbler in the lodge gardens.....

There were plenty of other good birds with a female Black Cuckooshrike being something of a surprise, whilst we also had a group of Southern White-crowned Shrikes, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Southern Black Tit, and a White-bellied Sunbird.

Crimson-breasted Shrike - one of my favourite birds of the tour.

 We packed up and set out on the 400kms drive to the Waterberg Plateau, stopping for a Dark Chanting Goshawk along the way. 

Dark Chanting Goshawk

At Otjikoto sink-hole lake we called in for a brief visit and quickly picked up African Green-Pigeon and yet more Pearl-spotted Owlets and then headed out towards Otjiwarango  for lunch. Afterwards we visited the local sewage works at the edge of town and scored big-time with up to 6 Allen’s Gallinules – a supposedly rare bird in this part of Namibia. Several Black Crakes, including a family with 2 small chicks, Lesser Moorhen (another cracking find), Squacco Heron, African Jacana, Southern Pochard and African Reed Warbler were also seen.

Dusky Lark - a monster of a lark.....

Moving on we eventually reached the turnoff from tarmac to gravel road and up towards Waterberg Plateau Park and the approach road was quite soggy due to a recent thunderstorm. However, we did see our only Hamerkop of the trip, a Bearded Woodpecker and a little later the elusive Burchell’s Starling, and even better a superb Dusky Lark on the road.

After checking in at reception we walked around the campsite but only picked up a pair of White-browed Scrub-robins, so drove up the road and then found a Ruppell’s Parrot feeding in some large trees. We birded around our cabins as well, finding another Ruppell’s Parrot but the light began to fade so we decided to have a quick shower before meeting up at 6.15pm to walk the road in search of Southern Lesser Galago (Bushbaby) which we duly found without too much trouble.

Lesser Galago or Bushbaby

After dinner a couple of us decided to do some more spotlighting along the road outside our cabins and found another 3 Lesser Galagos, Barn Owl, African Scops-Owl, and best of all a Small Spotted Genet right outside our cabin.

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