Sunday, 8 November 2015

Moving on to Mahango National Park (Namibia)

With breakfast not until 7.30am we had a little time to enjoy the birding around the gardens and scanning across the river produced a Fan-tailed Widowbird and a Greater Swamp Warbler, with David and Chris finding a Lesser Honeyguide. It was quite hard to leave this wonderful lodge but we had to leave Botswana and along the way a dripping waterpipe beside the road was attracting lots of non-breeding Red-billed Queleas and Long-tailed Paradise-Whydah, along with flocks of Violet-backed Starlings, and lots of Yellow-fronted Canaries. Crossing back into Namibia was again relatively easy and from here we drove across Mahango National Park towards our lodge. a Striped Kingfisher was a good spot as we drove along and we finally arrived at Poppa Falls Lodge just before midday. A short 300m walk took us to a small river where a few Rock Pratincoles were found, and were almost eclipsed by a couple of Spot-necked Otters gambolling mid-stream, and a Red-footed Falcon flew by.

Spot-necked Otter

After lunch we drove across the river and entered a different section of Mahango National Park and drove along a sandy track towards the flood plain where we hoped to find some new birds. At the park entrance we were told about some African Hunting Dogs that had been chasing antelope yesterday, which was very exciting news. So we drove inside the park and stopped at a couple of sites to scope African Spoonbill, Spur-winged Goose, Long-toed Stint, Comb Duck, Long-toed Lapwing, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Common Waterbuck and a few other species, including Cape Buffalo and some more Hippos. It was the sandy track that proved to be our downfall and curtailed our drive as our minibus got stuck in the soft sand and we had to push it out a few times before deciding to turn around and head out. 

Roan Antelope

Another stop on the way back produced an African Skimmer actually skimming in a lagoon and a Pearl-spotted Owlet. One last stop to watch a family of African Elephants resulted in a large male flaring his ears and charging at us, kicking a cloud of dust up as we sped away to safety….. We exited the park to a fabulous African sunset… And to round off the day, I put the spotlight on a White-backed Night-Heron in the stream below the restaurant and a pair of African Wood Owls were spotlighted in the large trees right above our cabins.

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