Eremomelas, parisomas and whydahs

Red-fronted Warbler

Red-fronted Warbler

Well, here on the Faroese it is snowy and cold. Standard migration is going on as usual – aka 1 Barn Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff, some Golden Plovers, White Wagtails and Meadow Pipits. So I’d rather continue blogging about warm Tanzania.

After seeing the extremely rare Beesley’s Lark with James Wolstencroft we continued to the far side of Mount Meru. There are large areas only used on a very low intensity level – that is grazing and chopping for wood.

White-browed Scrub Robin

White-browed Scrub Robin

The first place we stopped was simply amazing. Due to the recent rains there were birds everywhere. And because James is a real birder, he just picked out everything by hearing the calls and songs. So I was kinda set back as I don’t know the calls of Brubru, Grey Wren Warbler, Red-fronted Warbler, Tiny Cisticola, Red-throated Tit, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, White-browed Scrub Robin or Banded Parisoma. But eventully I got to see them all.

Yellow-bellied Emereo

Yellow-bellied Eremomela

After walking a while I spotted a small bird in a bush. It sat upright like a raptor – and yes, it was a female Pygmy Falcon. What a weird and cool little fellow.

Pygmy Falcon

Pygmy Falcon

Birding in these low-intensively used areas was wonderful. New birds just kept appearing. 3 Steel-blue Whydahs was quite a treat, White-headed Mousebirds were common several species of barbets were seen.

White-headed Mousebird

White-headed Mousebird

Suddenly we heard a call, that James couldn’t identify right away. So we checked it and it turned out to be a pair of Spotted Thick-knees.

Spotted Thick-knee

Spotted Thick-knee

James pointed out that these areas with casual grazing, logging and shepherds random fires seen to be even more biologically diverse then the national parks, where grazing is often lacking. Well, the numbers and variety of birds was simply stunning.

Temmincks Courser

Temmincks Courser

We later continued to some more cultivated areas, where a flock of Temminck’s Courses gave amazing views.

Temmincks Courser

Temmincks Courser

Close to a small village two Red and Yellow Barbets were seen just in front of the car, but were soon chased off by local kids.

Red and Yellow Barbet

Red and Yellow Barbet

We ended the day in a more wooded area, where we saw Grey-headed Silverbill, Cardinal Woodpecker and Marico Sunbird.

Cardinal Woodpecker

Cardinal Woodpecker

All in all we saw about 106 species (and it was not a bird race!).

Common Kestrel ssp rufescens - probably a separate species

Common Kestrel ssp rufescens – probably a separate species

Again, if you go to Northern Tanzania don’t hesitate to contact James on gonolek@gmail.com. He guarantees both great birding and great company – and a true passion for nature!

Silas

Fischer's Sparrow-lark

Fischer’s Sparrow-lark

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s