Two weeks ago I was involved in a birding weekend to Marakele National Park as the bird "expert" :-) . It was with a bit of trepidation that I took on this role as I am by no means an expert on the level of the local experts but I can identify a bird or two and know quite a few calls which helped to me to fake it for the weekend. My wife always uses a quote "Fake it until you make it!" Hahahaha, don't try this at home though...
|Home away from home, my quarters were the little add on tent to the right....|
Tent set up and settled, the weekend started with a quick drive around to familiarize myself with the habitat and surroundings. Just out of the camp we bumped into a pair of Bennets Woodpeckers feeding in the dry woodland, I managed to get a quick record shot of the male before they disappeared into the bush.
|Male Bennets Woodpecker|
|No idea what type it was but it looked pretty formidable..|
The best part was falling asleep to the sounds of the crickets and nightbirds calling. Two of my favourite night calls are those of the Fiery-necked Nightjar and the African Scops Owl, both of which serenaded me to sleep.
|Violet-backed Starling - Male|
|Bru-bru (so nice, they named it twice ;-))|
|Common (Steppe) Buzzard|
|Cape Bunting admiring the view|
|Buff-streaked Chat Female|
|Buff-streaked Chat Male|
|Malachite Sunbird - Male|
We had a great time on top of the mountain, so much so that we almost missed our bus for the evening drive...where we didn't see that much although the ranger took us to see the overweight Unicorns...who's true names may not be mentioned for fear that someone may crave their appendages for an aphrodisiac.
|African Scops Owl|
|Warthog visitor to the camp|
And so another weekend in the bush comes to an end....happy birding!!