Can you cheat at birding?
It's a good question. I mean, how do people know I don't just open the Sasol bird book/app, see which birds occur here, in this specific season and this specific habitat, and write them down? Then hope that some sharp-eyed birder doesn't spot a mistake...? Sounds like way too much effort to me. Much more fun to actually spot the birds anyway! I did do a small cheat though, and I hope it's forgivable: number 47: Domestic Fowl. Chickens. Well, it's an additional bird species!
Anyway, herewith the list for day 3. All fairly common birds here in the Etosha area. The Black-shouldered Kite (no. 42) was a nice road-side sighting on the way into town. The Cattle Egret (43) we saw outside the Ministry of Finance in Otjiwarongo (who says paying your taxes is all bad news?). Surprisingly the Lark-like Bunting took me ages to identify. When we were working in Gondwana Canyon Park in the south of Namibia, a friend of ours, Holger Kolberg, visited us one weekend with his bird ringing equipment. We got loads of nice species, and also about 50-60 Lark-like Buntings! Suppose I just didn't really expect them up here in the Bushveldt.
18 July 2014
41. Helmeted Guinea Fowl (Vreugde Guestfarm)
42. Black-shouldered Kite (Outjo)
43. Cattle Egret (Otjiwarongo)
44. Black-chested Prinia (Otjiwarongo)
45. House Sparrow (Vreugde Guestfarm)
46. Red-billed Spurfowl (Vreugde Guestfarm)
47. Domestic Fowl (Vreugde Guestfarm)
48. Red-billed Quelea (Vreugde Guestfarm)
49. Golden-breasted Bunting (Vreugde Guestfarm)
50. Lark-like Bunting (Vreugde Guestfarm)
51. African palm Swift (Vreugde Guestfarm)
52. Red-billed Buffalo weaver (Vreugde Guestfarm)53. Black-throated Canary (Vreugde Guestfarm)
So, who has watched the Hollywood movie called the Big Year? Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. Not the three guys you would associate with a 'serious movie'! But I really liked it. That movie is partly what got us started on our own "big year". Watch it when you can! I bet you, you'll feel different about birding afterwards, for better or for worse!
I was in Etosha again the other day, with three guests. They were nice enough to allow me to stop right at the end of the tour, when they were tired and wind swept and sun-burnt, and identify this guy which is a completely new species for me! And then to try and get a photo on my cellphone. This shot is taken through my Swarovski bino's:
Southern White-crowned Shrike ( number 121)
In addition, we saw the mother Cheetah with her three cubs that Rachel had seen a week earlier (see Sightings day 1). It was a good sighting, and is it just me, or is Etosha's cheetah population increasing? I have the feeling there might be more than 80 at the moment!
All for now!