Rain and Marabou

Day 4 for the Behaviour course, and we’re off to another early start – leaving at 7:30 to get to Naivasha at 3.

After an uneventful few hours and a stop at the resting place of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, we made it to the equator, where one of the guides showed us the Coriolis effect in action (and we should note that we know it doesn’t work like that but it’s a neat trick anyway.)

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Frisbee over the Equator

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Back in the buses, and on to Naivasha, with a massive flock of circling cranes on the way. After a late lunch, we got ourselves situated in the rooms and put up tents, then headed into Hell’s Gate to do some behavioural observation on the Impala.

Impala observed, we headed back to Naivasha for nightfall, and with mosquito nets and tents all set we had dinner by torchlight and headed to bed, ready to be up at 6:30 again.

Day 5 dawned and those of us in the tents were delighted to find that our mosquito nets worked. After a quick breakfast we left for Hell’s Gate again, driving through to the other side and walking back to the main gate, looking for species to study for our main projects. Highlights of this walk included Woodpeckers, Bee-eaters, Sunbirds, Griffin Vultures and Masai Giraffes, including a baby that followed us for almost a kilometre.

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After lunch was another walk, down to the lake to see more species to study, followed by rides with guides out onto the lake for water bird watching. Marabou Storks made an appearance, getting within a couple of metres of us, and other highlights of this included Giant Kingfishers, Purple Herons, and Sasha Dall’s boat getting caught on an illegal fishing line.

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After dinner we discussed preliminary plans for our projects, and got another early night.

Day 6 saw a scattered start, with some groups up early to start projects at Hell’s Gate or working with birds, while others got up at a more reasonable time to work with daytime animals. The morning was spent doing test runs of data collection and observation, and after project discussions after lunch we began the proper data collection, only to be scuppered by a rather violent rainstorm.

Mad dashes were made back to the tents, which were threatening to blow away, and belongings hastily stuffed into bags, as while the tents are water resistant they are still a bit leaky when the water in question leaves pools on the top of the tent.

Eventually the rain passed, but the day’s fieldwork was fairly well ruined as species that are active in the day went into hiding from the cold and wet.

eu211    January 13th, 2016    Kenya archive    , ,