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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We later continued to some more cultivated areas, where a flock of Temminck’s Courses gave amazing views.
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.
We ended the day in a more wooded area, where we saw Grey-headed Silverbill, Cardinal Woodpecker and Marico Sunbird.
All in all we saw about 106 species (and it was not a bird race!).
Again, if you go to Northern Tanzania don’t hesitate to contact James on firstname.lastname@example.org. He guarantees both great birding and great company – and a true passion for nature!