Wednesday, December 07, 2016

2nd Day in Tarangire National Park

To make the most of  our time in Tarangire, our driver had planned to cover as many habitats as possible within the park.  It is a mostly dry park, with grasslands and Boabab trees, mixed in with Acacia:


There are plenty of ponds, lakes and marshlands though, hence the frequency of hearing and indeed seeing African Fish Eagles:


We also saw a Brown Snake Eagle on our trip:


A lot of birds that would normally fear and flee from humans have had so long without danger that they are actually quite approachable (in the car), including this Crested Francolin:



Spotting smaller birds from a moving 4x4 can be quite tricky, however in Tarangire there are lots of birds, and we saw a good number and variety including this Chin-spot Batis:


Our attention however was very much taken by our first lion of the day, as you can see here apparently asleep, in a tree!


Not so asleep in fact, just resting the eyes:


Close-by more of the pride, here three youngsters one of whom really did wants to sleep:




They go from asleep, or dozy to alert in a snap-second:


Fascinating animals and always a pleasure to see them.

Round the next corner (pretty much) a Red-and-Yellow Barbet, a species with fantastic plumage:


Just along from the vehicles gathering to see the lions, was a watering hole.   The usual species abounded however we were very, very pleased to see our first ever Greater Painted-Snipe, a species I never thought I actually would see:



So while everyone else watched the lions, we watched the Snipe:


Its fair to say this is a common experience of the guides we met in Tanzania.   They find birders properly odd as we fuss over species identifications of various waders while there's bigger animals around to watch.

That said we did enjoy watching the elephants drinking:


Further on into the day we stopped by an apparently dry river to watch elephants digging into the sand to then drink from underlying water in the river bed:


As the day progressed we saw more and more species including this Grey-headed Kingfisher:


A Magpie Shrike:


A pair of Nubian Woodpeckers:


Secretary Bird, apparently with an impending name change to Ground Eagle or something:


Antelopes abound in the park, including this Reedbuck:


Waterbuck:


As well as the equine Zebra:














A much larger bird, and one we didn't know could fly but can and does, is the Southern Ground Hornbill:


Also on the ground, though much more likely in cover, a Spotted Morning-Thrush:


The landscape changes slowly as you meander through the park:


A Striped Kingfisher unusually seen head on:


And as the day headed towards the evening, a Yellow-throated Sandgrouse was one of the last species we saw.


We were pleased with the variety of birds we were seeing and also our ability to identify them, better than we'd expected or indeed hop.ed   Tanzania was proving everything we'd hoped for thus far.

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