Brendon’s News from the Chobe Pangolin Voyager: Another Idyllic Day …
Being a predominantly birding group we headed straight to Elephant Beach, hoping to photograph Fish Eagles and maybe some Skimmers. We did both! The Fish Eagles were ultra cooperative, scooping fish from the river close to our boat, and on a number of occasions other eagles, lurking somewhere nearby would spot the eagle with the fish and swoop in to try and steal the handy meal. The chases were so exciting, with aerobatics and aerial combats that were amazing to watch.
We visited Skimmer Island – the smallish island that we spotted yesterday covered with Skimmer nests. We saw some flirting and mating among the birds, but it is a little early for chicks to be around.
We concentrated mainly on birds again for the morning and as always a comprehensive list would be too long. But even ordinary little doves coming to the golden water’s edge in that glorious light looked absolutely beautiful in the setting. So imagine the Pied Kingfishers, Giant Kingfishers, –
– vibrant Lilac-breasted Rollers and Carmine Bee-eaters. And more Purple Herons and some White-crowned Plovers.
Of course we did stop to look at and photograph the animals along the river. Huge crocodiles basked in the sun on the banks, while a massive herd of buffalo arrived to drink and splash in the water, and hippos either snorted in the water or slept on edges of the river.
Another fabulous sighting was a lone Sable Antelope Bull that also came down to the river for a drink.
All too soon it was time to return to the houseboat for brunch. The boat is parked at an area called Puku Flats, and while we were on board we watched a steady stream of animals on the flats and arriving at the water. Herds of 200 to 300 impala were followed by 300 to 400 buffalo. 10 to 12 small giraffe herds arrived as well as a herd of Tsessebe and a small herd of zebra.
This afternoon, in addition to the birds that I listed this morning, we also saw Coucals –
– and spent quite some time at a Lesser Swallow nest. The swallows flew in and out, very busy with their nesting activities.
There are so many water-lilies that it is not surprising to see numerous Jacanas trotting around on them, and the final bird that I will mention is a Black Crake.
So all in all this was another extremely blissful and successful day – and now we are back on the houseboat, enjoying sundowners as we watch some noisy hippos. Idyllic, to say the least.
And tomorrow – another day like today would be perfect …
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