When I have been accosted by the Birdguides whilst standing at Kotu bridge, their usual opening gambit is something like " Have you seen a White-backed Night Heron " or "I can show you a Greyish Eagle -Owl" to which my reply has usually been " No, and I'm not interested !"
The reason being that I know that these birds are often hard to see and don't make suitable photographic subjects unless you are prepared to spend days in the process. I am happy left alone usually but this trip was a bit different. I had signed up for some general birding too so today those two species along with a few others were on the agenda.
First stop was for the White-backed Night Heron and with the help of a local guide we were soon on to the Palm tree it was roosting in but it must have taken me 5 minutes to actually spot it despite the frustrations of the guides trying to tell me where it was hiding way up the tree.
Eventually I got it.
In this photo you might wonder why, but without the light being enhanced as it is in the picture, or the image being cropped... it was 30 feet up in the tree, you might get a better idea.
A whole bird image was never going to happen, the best I could manage was probably this one.
One confirmed sighting and some photographs unlike the black blob we had seen deep in to cover at Tendaba.
Next we revisited the Greyish Eagle-Owl site, where first we did some more woodland birding.
A table in the clearing
Looking at this
No wonder the best I could do was this !
A Spotted Honeyguide, another trip list addition.
It was a little better on the edge of the woodland where we saw another good bird, the uncommon Yellow-breasted Apolis.
The Greyish Eagle-Owl were sat as a pair but the tree canopy surrounding them was so dense you could barely see more than a few percent of the Owls. Alan was so right when he had said you have to take the first opportunity offered as it might not happen again.How grateful we had called on the way up to Tendaba a few days previously.
A wasted visit to Farabanta followed by a couple of hours sat in the car over the lunch time siesta avoiding the Bees that had hounded us out of the bush track was followed by another visit to the Brown-necked Parrot site. More disappointment. A Northern Puffback was added to the list but the Parrots stayed distant even if the light favoured us better than last time.
I think both birder and photographer were glad to call it a day by late afternoon. We had added 3 to the list but now we were beginning to wonder if we would make the 250 target after all.
At least the next day I was hopeful of some decent photo opportunities. We were off to Kartong again !