Saturday, 31 October 2015

Waterberg to Etosha

Wow - been having real problems trying to post anything on any social media over here in Africa for most of the tour. So we're going to catch up with everything straight away......

An early morning walk at Waterbury failed to produce any francolins, but thankfully a pair of Ruppell’s Parrots decided to appear in a large acacia tree right in front of our cabins as we were loading our luggage into the trailer. 

Ruppell's Parrots saved the morning...

There hadn’t been a sniff of them anywhere this morning and we’d all but given up, but here they were. Phew! There were also a few other birds in the area such as Verreaux’s Eagle, White-rumped Swift, Carp’s Black Tit, White-browed Scrub-Robin, but more importantly there was African Hawk-Eagle, Bradfield’s Swift and White-bellied Sunbird - new birds for our list. A group of Dwarf Mongoose were found near the restaurant, and we were joined by a few Banded Mongoose and a Chacma Baboon at our breakfast table. 

These Violet Wood-Hoopoes performed well...

Driving back to the main road we saw a pair of Monteiro’s Hornbills, Black-chested Prinia and a cute little Steenbok

A too close to photograph Monteiro's Hornbill...

From here it was around 90 kms to Otjiwarongo sewage pools and along the way we saw a Rattling Cisticola.

The pools held a few trip ticks such as African Swamphen, Black Crake, Cape Teal, Red-billed Duck, Squacco Heron, Three-banded Plover, Little Stint and Ruff. Our lunch stop was at a small lodge near Outjo and the gardens held a bunch of birds with Yellow-bellied Eremomela being new, but we also saw Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler, Pririt Batis and Crimson-breasted Shrike amongst others. Then it was another 100kms drive to the Anderson Gate entrance to Etosha National Park where Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill and a Great Rufous Sparrow greeted our arrival. We quickly checked the first waterhole but there was only a few Ostriches present so we proceeded to Okaukuejo and checked-in. 

An African Cuckoo, Southern White-crowned Shrike and an Icterine Warbler were found near the swimming pool before we reached our rooms. After a rest we met just before dusk at the waterhole and waited for some Double-banded Sandgrouse to arrive. The early arrivals saw African Elephants and Giraffes, whilst 7 Kori Bustards were pretty spectacular. As dusk settled lots of sandgrouse came down to drink and just as it got dark a pair of Spotted Thick-Knees and a Rufous-cheeked Nightjar showed. After dinner at least 3 Black Rhinos and a Freckled Nightjar were present at the floodlit waterhole.

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