Saturday, October 20, 2012

Best Lunch Ever

After a drive like that, you would expect a quiet afternoon with not much going on, right?  Ha!  First we went back to our tent to relax and clean up a bit before lunch.  We were in good company with this reedbuck.......

.... and this hoopoe!  I learned that they raise their crest for a few seconds after landing, so I was able to get a shot of the bird with the crest up.  Just not zoomed in very far, because of course I don't know where the bird will land, and time is of the essence.  Still, pretty cool, eh?
African Hoopoe
 A coucal came over to the bush right by our plunge pool.
Coppery-tailed Coucal
 We headed over for lunch, where this crested barbet teased us, hopping around in the boma area.  No, I did not make this bird up.  This bird exists.  And yes, it really looks like that.
Crested Barbet
 A black-collared barbet was in the fig tree, and did finally allow a picture.  Thanks Buddy!
Black-collared Barbet
 Then we had some very special guests indeed.
 Jack invited a friend to lunch.
Human and Elephant
 They started with the figs.
 One left after the first course, apparently satisfied, ready for a dip in the river.
 The big one stayed for a while.  We agreed this was the best lunch we have ever had.  We have no idea what we ate.
Human and Elephant
 I'm pointing to make sure you don't miss the elephant.  Lunch took forever!  We were a bit distracted.  :-)
Human and Elephant
 Back at our place, I finally got a good look at these firefinches.  I had seen the female before but not the male.
Red-billed Firefinch Pair
 I just don't have the energy to figure out what this is.
Mystery Finch
 I saw this cuckoo and was taking a good long look, when this other bird came over.  I thought it looked weird but figured the pictures would probably show its parent.  I guess they sort of did!
Levaillant's Cuckoo and Large Golden Weaver
 Cuckoos are known for laying their eggs in another bird's nest, so that the other bird raises their chicks.  This weaver has apparently done so, without noticing that its chick is a rather large cuckoo!
Levaillant's Cuckoo and Large Golden Weaver
 I noticed these little guys making a nest right by the path between our tent and out plunge pool.  To the left of the bird you see in this shot is a cluster of leaves that looks random but is actually a nest that these birds built.  It's hard to see!  One of the birds is in there.
Grey-backed Camaroptera
 And now here is that bird poking its head out of the nest!
Grey-backed Camaroptera
 These guys came through on the path to the main area.
Red-billed Quelea (?)
 And there was a water monitor by our tent!
Water Monitor
 This purple heron took off just as I was getting into position to photograph it.  What an afternoon!
Purple Heron

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