Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A day out in Dar-es-Salaam

Mangrove kingfisher, my first lifer of the tour (neatly exposing the fact that I have never birded Kenya!). Not sure how many more new birds there will be for me on the tour but a new kingfisher is never to be sniffed at.

Unlike January 2012, the weather and the gods were kind to us in Dar this year. We got exposed mudflats in the morning and a little later on a trip out to Bongoyo Island just offshore. Last year fierce onshore winds effectively arrested the tide and the boat broke down!

This morning could not have been more different with the exposed mudflats visible from the hotel producing our first views of crab plover, 8-9 reasonably approachable individuals. Also present were some common migrant waders and a single Terek sandpiper.

Off to the island we sweltered in the heat and finally chased down a new bird for me - mangrove kingfisher. But the best was yet to come when after lunch a flock of 250 crab plovers invaded the nearby beach as the tide rose pushing them to roost. I went down on my knees and shuffled towards them in a photographic act of homage. Superb birds.

Crab plovers rock!

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