Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Not Short Morning Drive

Sssooooooo....... remember yesterday, when we saw the big fire?  Well, it wasn't super-close (I think) but we could smell it a tiny bit at camp.  And that night, guess what happened?  Oh, yes, the smoke alarm went off at about 1 AM.  What to do?  At night in these places you are really on your own - I mean, you can call the desk, but it won't help, because nobody will answer.  And nobody was close enough to hear the alarm going off.  Jack got up and through a somewhat complicated stack of furniture managed to get it down and switched off.  Back to sleep, hoping the fire stayed far away and we hadn't just doomed ourselves.

As we got into the car this morning, the guides said that the drive would not be as long as we have been doing.  We were going to try to limit it to about 4 hours.  They were sort of apologetic, and said that since we haven't had a breakfast yet, they would try to get us back in time for breakfast.  Oh no!  I did mention that we had not yet had a breakfast, but that was not complaining - that was bragging!  I tried to laugh and explain that we didn't care at all about breakfast, we cared about seeing stuff.  The guys looked unsure, and off we went.

Right away there were some kudu, and this one female stayed really close to the vehicle, quite relaxed.  Tseppo said it was the closest he's seen one stay to the vehicle.  Check out her ears!
Some oxpeckers were warming up in the morning sun, looking out for some buffalo or whatever.
Yellow-billed Oxpecker
 Geese in a tree!  Hahahaha, I love this!
Spur-winged Geese
 A chili pepper on a termite mound.  Spicy!
Southern Red-billed Hornbill
 This roller had a lot to say.  We actually saw a display, but I was to slow with my camera to catch it.
Lilac-breasted Roller
 Tchagra!  We found this instead of an owl.
Black-crowned Tchagra

A parrot!  Hahahaha, who knew we would see parrots in Africa.  THe light was exactly wrong, so this is way processed, but the bird is actually quite beautiful.

Meyer's Parrot
This sacred ibis is dirty.  It's quite unsavory.
Sacred Ibis
 Hammerkop!  I love these guys.
 This is the coolest praying mantis!  It is extremely well-camouflaged in the grass.  So skinny!
Praying Mantis
 We followed some southern ground hornbills for a while, after hearing their call.  We got quite a good look at them this time.
Southern Ground Hornbill Flying
 They remind me of Abraham Lincoln.
Southern Ground Hornbill
 We saw a troop of baboons, this one with a baby.
Baboon Mother with Baby
 I love seeing swallows perched.
Red-breasted Swallows
 Sunbirds!  Yes, the pictures are pretty awful.  These guys are so fast!  And so shy.  Harder to get shots of than hummingbirds.
White-bellied Sunbird Pair
 Weaver!  I think this is a male that doesn't have its mask yet.
Southern Masked Weaver
 Sunbird!  Yes, that's the same one, flying.  Wheeeeeee!
White-bellied Sunbird
 This weaver has its mask.
Southern Masked Weaver
If coucals hacked up hairballs.  
Coppery-tailed Coucal
 We saw this woodpecker go into a hole in the tree, we think that was its home.
Cardinal Woodpecker
Yellow-billed Kite
 This tsessebe is contemplating running.  Soon it does.
 A stork flew over.
Saddle-billed Stork
 The flying stork was much prettier than this guy.
Maribou Stork

 Another woodpecker, this one we did not find its home.  We did not get back much earlier than usual, but we did have breakfast!  It was really delicious.  Best bacon ever!  I mean, better than the bacon in Kauai even.  Incredible!  We finished at noon, and they asked us when we wanted lunch........ Um, I think this huge breakfast will carry us right through to tea, thank you!
Bearded Woodpecker

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