Sunday, 30 January 2011

Mwiba ranch, or just another day in the office

So internet issues continue to plague us, with cuts every few minutes, but I thought I'd take a moment of relative stability and calm to add a few pictures from my trip last week to Mwiba. Situated south of Ndutu, a destination we love, it promised to be a hard task to check out the rufous-tailed weaver status and put together a checklist of the birds for our lawyer, who happens to own the lease. It's a chunk of village land that is probably one of the most beautiful spots I've seen in Tanzania so far. And 22,000ha with just two anti-poaching teams I us in in for the week... I drove over via a night in Ndutu, which was again fabulous, and a good chance to catch up with a couple of people running a project there who I'm trying to persuade to pay for me to burn Serengeti...
Ndutu was overrun with eagles - this is an immature Steppe Eagle

King of beasts - or just lazy oaff...

Sunset at Ndutu marsh

Cheetah on the plains south of Ndutu

Company for the trip were two brothers who have come camping with us before (in fact, you can see the older at his blog here as he runs his own rather high end safari business, if anyone else fancies his company for a trip to TZ! And the local manager, who;d decided the week would be his training in bird identification too, so we had lots of fun together. As the photos show we also managed to look at lots of plants, butterflies and other wildlife too. The number of scorpions we found was extraordinary - under each and every rock! Walking was a major part of the trip, and happily the first evening, whenw e walked into 7 large bull buffalo was not repeated the rest of the time!
Caspian plovers on the plains in Maswa GR

G's ear and buffalo whilst we pretented t be a many-headed beast to elt them pass by...

Plant sp (trust me, I'm an ornithologist...)

Another plant sp. Probably different to first. Honest.

Climbing Kopjes is fun!

Though you have to avoid the Puff-adders...


Black-backed Jackal pair - we had a pretty good mammal list by the end of the week too.

Baby giant bullfrog. Probably...

And the view over the escarpment to lake Eyasi is pretty special too.
So all in all a great week, and a little over 200 bird species recorded - highlight for me being loads of Shelley's Francolins. Though a pair of Black (Verreaux's) Eagles soaring at eyelevel past us on the escarpment was pretty special too.

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