Saturday, 15 October 2011

East African Safari 1985 Mount Kenya Naro Moru to Tree Tops

We drove southwards to Mount Kenya and made our way to Naro Moru Lodge on the lower slopes
of Mount Kenya.
Arriving in the afternoon I met a young Swede, Mikael Hake who was doing a survey on Widow
birds for Gothenberg University.In the grasslands of Naro Moru these birds perform their rituals
jumping up and down in circles around the female.Wintering European Marsh Harriers hunted above
them no doubt preying on them.That evening a large Swallow roost at the camp site and a Hadada
ibis was heard in flight.
Mount Kenya's snow capped peak was still visible at dusk as frogs called and fire flies danced and
glowed in the dark.
Got up early and found African Black Duck along the river,Taccazze sun bird flitted  amongst the bushes with attendant Long tailed Fiscal Shrikes.
Leaving for Outspan Lodge gave everybody a chance to have some laundry done,also birding in the
hotel grounds produced some memorable birds for eg, Black and White Casqued Hornbill,Hartlaub's
Turaco and down by the river a Augur Buzzard crossed a perfect sky.
That afternoon we made or way to Tree Tops on arrival we were met by Ron Prickett,he was armed
as we were escorted to Tree Tops lodge.
 We were allocated our room and once inside this Bamboo Lodge we could only marvel at it's colonial
splendour.I threw my gear in the room and made my way on to the roof,it overlooked a water hole
with Mount Kenya visible in the background.
Early visitors  to the waterhole were Defassa Water buck and Buffalo,however my mind was on
some baboons making a nuisance of themselves trying to steal my camera bag, a long stick deterred
them from taking it away.Birds came very close and I had some marvellous views of Speke's weaver
and Blue eared Glossy Starling.
That evening  most people never used their rooms to sleep  they were all waiting for nocturnal
visitors.The sounds of splashing water and  bone crunching jaws could be heard as Hyaenas made
short work of a rotting carcasse. More gentle was the Genet who came out of his hole in a tree to feed
on our evening meal left overs on the veranda.Finally  the Giant Forest Hog came to food below the lodge.

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