Monday, December 12, 2016

full day in Selous

Now it turns out Selous is another Park with a dark side, the area North of the river is mostly allocated to 'photography', the area to the South for killing things.   There is some good news though, a UK ban on the import of 'trophies' has reduced demand and in response the Tanzanian government has declared another large tract of the Park for photography.  Fingers crossed all of Tanzania will one-day ban and eliminate trophy killing.

Ezra and Kharidi had decided the best way to spend the morning was touring the majority of the proximate lakes, which we were really looking forward to.  It's very exciting being somewhere new with people who really know the place and the wildlife therein.

We saw a lot of species during that first day, at times it was hard to keep up.  What we saw included African Grey Hornbill:

African Harrier Hawk:

Asian Lesser Cuckoo:

Bearded Woodpecker:

Bohm's Bee-eater:

Booted Eagle:

Broad-billed Roller, a cracking bird:

Brown-hooded Kingfisher:

Collared Palm-Thrush:

Common Scimitarbill:

Crested Barbet, another cracking species;:

Crowned Hornbill:

Diederik Cuckoo:

Eastern Chanting Goshawk:

Greater Blue-eared Starling:

Green Wood-Hoopoe:

as well as the birds we also got close to a group of Greater Kudu, too close in fact for my photo-framing:

Breakfast was by a lake with a very pleasant view:

The birding continued apace, adding Purple-banded Sunbird:

Red-billed Firefinches:

Sulphur-breasted Bush-shrike, tricky birds to photograph I find:

Violet-backed Starling:

Von der Decken's Hornbill:

Water Thick-knee:

White-crested Helmet-Shrike:

White-fronted Bee-eater, this one with a bee:

and White-throated Bee-eater, to name but a few:

We saw a number of waders and water birds too including Wood Sandpiper:

We think the bird on the left here is a Lesser Sand-Plover:

White-crowned Lapwing:

Common Squacco Heron:

African Spoonbill:

Yellow-billed Stork browsing:

In Selous it makes sense to head back before lunch, we got back at noon having set off at 06:30.   Lunchtime and the early afternoons are just too hot for safari so it's back and relax time, before heading out again around 4pm.

That afternoon we went to another spot this time hippos were grazing amongst the water plants, being followed and perched upon by Jacanas and Egrets:

A White-browed Sparrow-Weaver was lit by the fading light, this species being ubiquitous in the park:

Purple-crested Turacos were visible in a distant tree:

At our last stop hippos were waiting for dark to come out and feed:

The sunlight on the lake created some beautiful effects:

Selous is a stunning location and really good for birding, especially with such excellent guides.


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