Friday, November 23, 2012

Xoba Lodge, Botswana

It was an amazingly hot day and on arrival at Xabo we immediately sought out the chilled drinks and then settled in the open lounge area to read and let the hot middle of the day pass.

While we were sat quietly a commotion started-up with some of the birds.  The Bulbuls were joined by Weavers and finally a group of Hartlaub's Babblers.  It took a while to identify (you can see by the light in these pictures) the source, which it turned out was a highly venomous, rare, and dangerous snake, a Boomslang.

The birds were very disturbed the the presence of the snake and we sat and watched a pitched battle that lasted around 15 minutes:




























Eventually the snake conceded defeat and slid down the branch, dropping into the fast-flowing river:


















We were frankly relieved it was headed off the island.  Apparently the Lodge Manager has now seen four in all his years (fourteen as Manager of the Xabo for starters).

After that excitement it was time to head around the island on a bird walk.  He helpfully pointed out this African Wood Owl:













We were then left to our own devices, seeing African Pied Wagtail:


Brown Firefinch:


Cardinal Woodpecker:




Golden-tailed Woodpecker:























































Crested Barbet:


Green-winged Pytilia, sleeping:


I like the light in this one:


A distracted ground squirrel:


Southern Brown-Throated Weaver:



White-bellied Sunbird:


White-browed Robin-Chat:


Very tuneful birds these.  Next one is a 'dunno bird':


This stuff grows in the forests and is apparently seriously poisonous.  Maybe that's why it's used as a table decoration in the restaurants then?


Willow Warbler:



We know it's they as they sing just like they do in the UK in Spring and Summer!  We enjoyed the walk and enjoyed the Island.  We were looking forward to dinner and good night's sleep.  Just one problem, no mosquito net in the room, which is odd as this is Malaria central!  Maybe they know best...

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