Friday, November 23, 2012

Drotsky's Lodge, Botswana

We drove into Botswana navigating the very pleasant immigration and customs posts (they have air con!) and then driving down the relatively short distance to Drotsky's Lodge.  This was another accommodation that actually met the expected standard.

Anyway in the very pleasant room we took the opportunity of a coffee, shower and re-pack.  We'd also requested a boat tip for the afternoon.

A monkey outside the hut was eating the bark from the tree, weird:



Rummaging around in the shade of the lodge, Hartlaub's Babbler:



Meves's Starling, beautiful plumage:



Also around the lodge in good numbers and really quite accessible were White-fronted Bee-eaters:





Great looking birds!  They could also be called the Dennis Healey bird I think...

Come the afternoon we headed out on the boat trip, sun-cream and hat protected for a two hour boat trip, up-river.  We saw loads, including African Darter:


a juvenile African Fish Eagle:


African Skimmers:


Brown-throated Martin:


Giant Kingfisher:


Lesser-striped Swallow:


Little Egret:


Pale Flycatcher:


And, drum roll, the target bird for the whole trip and my 'most wanted' for at least two years, the Pel's Fishing Owl:


I was so excited about seeing this bird, as was Helen.  Our planning had paid off and we'd finally seen one (having dipped out in Uganda).  Bingo!  Goose bumps time :)  There were in fact a pair in the tree, this was the only one relatively unobstructed.

On the return trip we saw a lot more including Pied Kingfisher:


Water Thick-knee:


And African Green Pigeon:


It was a surprisingly expensive trip (by a distance compared to anything else we did on the trip) but also frankly, really helped make the holiday.  Now we were calling more of the shots and actually getting some proper birding in!

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