Thursday, 6 April 2017

Namibia 2017 Part 20. South to Erongo again.

We were up and off from Emanya@Etosha soon after breakfast in what was to turn out to be a glorious day.
Typical, after poor weather for several days we were once again spending a sunny one in the car.
Still, I was ready to leave as I felt I had seen most of what Etosha NP had to offer at this time and I knew Claire must be getting fed up of driving me around all day.
I decided I'd drive us south to give her a change. Most of the journey was on tar roads , the B1 and C33, so it was pleasant driving with little traffic. We were heading back to Otjohotozu Farm in Erongo, the place we stayed on the way north 2 weeks earlier. Looking back it was possibly a mistake to go back to the same place as we could have gone and experienced somewhere different, however it  is a good stopover and at the cost of around £70 per night for B&B not too unreasonable, especially when compared with other nearby properties.
Once again we were there for two nights, arriving mid afternoon on the first day. My first disappointment was to find out the the African Paradise Flycatcher nest had been destroyed in the recent storms. What was a virtually dry river bed now had running water in it.
The much needed rainfall would bring life to so many but sadly the Flycatcher chick was not a beneficiary.
That was one target bird lost but I still had Rupell's Parrot very much in mind. I was however distracted by a family of Cardinal Woodpeckers in the garden.
Cardinal Woodpecker   Dendropicos Fuscescens
I wasn't sure what I was looking at to begin with!
Cardinal Woodpecker   Dendropicos Fuscescens
The juvenile being quite different.
High in a tree I had a new bird for the trip, Red-faced Mousebird
Red-faced Mousebird Urocolius Indicus
But what I was really after was the Parrot. I decided to head out towards the river where I duly found one but couldn't get a shot as it kept on moving from tree to tree. I eventually gave up only to return to the garden and hear one happily calling in one of the trees. Once again, frustration!

Ruppell's Parrot    Poicephalus Rueppellii
Partially obscured views no matter where I positioned myself.
Ruppell's Parrot    Poicephalus Rueppellii
I eventually gave up and retreated for sundowners.
The next day I was up and out early and went for a wander.
More frustration!
Red-crested Korhaan Lophotis Ruficrista
Another Red-crested Kohraan proved as elusive as the one I saw in Etosha and although I saw some new birds the views were poor.
Grey Go-away Bird(Lourie) Corythaixoides Concolor
and poorly executed photographically.
Marico Sunbird  Cinnyris Mariquensis
Good enough to claim a Marico Sunbird though, another trip lifer.
There didn't seem to be that much about either which was disappointing and getting close was proving very hard anyway. I think this is a Peregrine but I'm not 100% by any means.
Peregrine Falcon   Falco Peregrinus
The one subject that gave good views was a little disconcerting. Warthogs are normally very shy but this one came charging out of the bushes straight towards me!
No need to panic, it wasn't heading towards me deliberately, it hadn't noticed me!
When it did it was back to form.
A couple of better views had the usual problems, a Scrub-Robin does after all hang around in scrub!
White-browed Scrub Robin Cercotrichas Leucophrys
I could attempt to photoshop the branches but why bother!
The one bird I did reasonably well with was the Cuckoo, same tree as last time and after taking a while to locate it, getting reasonable views.
Dideric Cuckoo  Chrysococcyx caprius
The sun was soon unbearably hot so I retreated to the shade of the restaurant area. Claire had a day on a lounger by the pool and I was just as happy playing with some photos on the laptop.
I didn't go out again from what I can recall, well not for long. Early evening it was even quieter than the morning session.
No, I was ready to hit new pastures.
Swakopmund here we come.
We were booked in for 5 nights and all the advice I had been offered suggested we were mad. 
Swakopmund is cold, damp, misty,boring etc, etc. Stay only one night , two at the most was the advice.
I had ignored it at my peril! I chose somewhere to stay that didn't have a pool, the only one of our stay. Claire would not be sunbathing here. However, it is Namibia's main tourist resort so I was hoping for some nice meals in the many recommended restaurants, to us a major part of any trip is the dining experience.
With 4 days to fill I wasn't quite sure what we'd be doing but we'd soon find out!

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