LUTMAN'S 2013 KENYA BIRDING SAFARI TRIP

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.

Report 5. Wednesday, October 23, 2013. Shimba Hills Reserve, Shimba Hills Lodge

 

You can see the platform below where the staff drops meat for local animals to eat and be watched. {Site of Bob's turtle joke} At right is an agile Red-bellied Coast Squirrel, making his ways along the squirrel highway, hoping for a handout.

 

Here you see one of the tables right next to the outdoors, with a good view of the lake and walkway on the other side. {This is the lodge that is like a tree house, in that there are branches of the trees coming into the building many places. It is also built over this pond so that we can see animals that come for water (or come because they put out food) One of the animals that we see are huge momitor lizards, lying on the concrete borders on one end of the pond getting some sun.}

Below, one of the guards of the entrance to Shimba Hills park is armed with his rifle and his son, who seems to have some kind of itch.

 

And here the boy returns the worldwide-understood thumbs-up approval sign. At right, elephants don't like the thumbs up sign.

 

I think the ears out and pointing forward is a warning sign, and we accept that he's the boss. Not sure if the warthog accepts that or not. Warthogs will attack anything.

 

Lynda and Lee, standing in our opened van, are all focus and attention. Wait, is Lynda taking a nap? At right is an animal's-eye-view of what you see just before our van clobbers you.

 

This little fella is a Bongo, unafraid of us, standing at the side of the road. The black and white bird is a Palm-nut Vulture, and one of the prettiest vultures. But then he doesn't have much to beat.

 

Peter drives us up to Giriama Point, dubbed "Elephant Lookout," as you can see here. I love the different layers of gray in the long-distance forest shot below. The elephants look like ants, but we can't see the ants either.

 

Here, Steven is trying to make noises with his hands, and remarkably, it sounds like a White-faced Go-Away-Bird. {Who says "go-way, go-way" or so it sounds.}

 

The two photos below are a wide angle shot from our Shimba Hills Lodge open dining room, and a closeup of what seems to be the resident African Fish-Eagle. The staff is throwing bread into the water, and the fish-eagle flies over, swoops down and collects if he can beat the fish to it, that is.

 

Steven directs Peter up a long, steadily rising dirt road to the a spot looking across a valley at the cliffs shown below.

 

Far off in the distance, up the mountain, and in a heavily shaded area in a gigantic tree, we see a Crowned Hawk-Eagle female sitting on a giant nest. She is really hard to make out, but when her chick is big enough to look out of the nest, it will see an enormous area in which to hunt for food.

 

That night, back at the restaurant and bar, our friend the bush baby is looking for handouts again. Lynda and Peter enjoy the evening and the bush baby..

 

I show off my Baa Haabaa tee shirt, which nobody in Africa gets. That's the fun of it, waiting for one solitary individual to come up and pronounce it with a knowing smile. Sort of like fishing. No particular timetable.

 

Life Birds Today: DWARF BITTERN, BROWN-HEADED PARROT, BROWN-HOODED KINGFISHER, BLACK-COLLARED BARBET, BROWN-BREASTED BARBET, FLAPPET LARK, LITTLE GREENBUL, CROAKING CISTICOLA, GREEN-HEADED ORIOLE, RETZ'S HELMET-SHRIKE

Life Birds Today: 10
Life Birds, Trip: 53

Trip birds today:l palm-nut vulture, hooded vulture, crowned hawk-eagle (on nest), black crake, little bee-eater, crowned hornbill, white-eared barbet, black sawwing, yellow-throated longclaw, siffling cisticola, pale flycatcher, red-billed oxpecker, grosbeak weaver, brown-backed mannikin

Trip Birds Today: 15
Trip Birds, Total: 151

Birds of the Day: Dwarf Bittern (Steven says in ten trips to Kenya, he sees this bird maybe once) Crowned Hawk-Eagle (great long-distance photos of the bird on the nest), Retz's Helmet-Shrike

Mammals of the day: western black-and-white colobus monkey (gorgeous), red-bellied coast squirrel, AFRICAN SAVANNAH ELEPHANT, common warthog, cape buffalo, bushbuck, sable antelope, common waterbuck, impala, coke's hartebeest (aka kongoni)

Reptiles and Amphibians of the Day: brook's gecko, yellow-headed dwarf gecko, NILE CROCODILE

Insects of the Day: dung beetle

Isn't there a song called African Nights?
Bob


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