Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Another very busy but fun few days involving 2 birthdays, a school play and a safari.

Kitty shot rapidly to stardom as the Little Red Hen in her school play on Friday after the leading lady went down with chicken pox. Kitty was, herself, going down with something and looked rather dopey throughout.
Mr B had headed off to Manyara Ranch on Wednesday, to earn us another free visit by adding to their bird list etc, so I had a manic couple of days without him procuring ingredients and creating a birthday cake, doing the school run, attending an evening school meeting, running Music Makers and packing up before finally heading off to join him straight from the school play on Friday lunchtime. We were stopped twice by Police on the way but the sight of Kitty still with her face paint on was enough to stop either of them bothering to look at our documents...which was just as well as I hadn't actually attached the new license disc or insurance disc onto the windscreen yet. (I have now!)

We had a lovely weekend at Manyara Ranch, with a few friends joining us to celebrate Mr B's birthday. We made the most of our time, arriving back home exhausted after two night drives followed by early morning starts. I managed a walking safari one morning, following fresh lion tracks but failing to find the lions, while Mr B and the kids stayed in camp watching the wilderbeest and zebra wander by and exploring the various animal droppings to be found. The impala midden was particularly impressive.

We had two lots of sundowners out in the bush and our night drives yielded 8 bat eared foxes, two aardwolves, a wild cat, lots of spring hares, slender-tailed night jars and a variety of owls [Verreaux's and Spotted Eagle Owls in the main]. We also took a daytime drive to the shore of Lake Manyara which was heaving with tens of thousands of [white] pelicans and plenty of [lesser and greater] flamingos, waders [little stint, Caspian plover, chestnut-banded plover, curlew sand, etc.], terns [whiskered, white-winged black and gull-billed] and a few [grey-headed] gulls.
The Mancub particularly enjoyed the dust.

[The other birthday was also photographed, but internet was playing up last night and Mama B aborted, so she'll have to finish off with those ones another time. Still, suffice to say it was a great birthday weekend. One to remember! And, btw, I did see the lions whilst out walking the day before the others arrived - including a huge male with the most extraordinary pale mane with a nice black streak across the top. Very impressive. And one night they killed a wildebeest right in front of the camp. Lots of activity there... And plenty of new birds for the ranch too.]

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