Monday, October 29: This morning we wake up before dawn to go on a guided birdwatching stroll. While waiting for our guide near the lodge dining area, a scaly francolin with bright orange webbed feet hops about on the ground and on the low branches of trees. Wild horses graze near the lodge dining area.
Once our guide arrives, we spend two hours traipsing in the acacia zone by the lake and then through the forest. We cross a big open field, and then wander along the fringes of the forest. Yellow-fronted parrots flit about in trees near the lake.
The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp. –John Berry
In the forest, we marvel at the huge gnarled ficus trees, and as we walk out into the open field, we come across a group of baboons romping around and grooming each other. We nearly stumble into a hole dug by an aardvark, and up the trees, we spot three black & white Colobus monkeys watching us like spies from the treetops.
Lines of schoolchildren, books under their arms and dressed in colorful mismatched clothing, pass by us in the field on their way to school. One elderly gentleman accompanies his children on horseback.
We find scores of different birds. Most of them I’m not able to capture on film. Blue-breasted bee eaters flit about on some bushes. Greater blue-eared starlings hop about in the field. A red-headed weaver industriously builds a nest.
In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence – Robert Lynd
A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. –Chinese Proverb
Later, as we have breakfast at the lodge, Ed identifies all the birds we saw on the walk: speckled pigeons, lemon doves, African paradise flycatchers, white-rumped babblers, Grey-headed bush shrikes, fork-tailed drongos, red-checked cordon bleu, white-throated seed eaters, African dusty flycatchers, Eurasian hoopoes, common red starts. And many more elusive little birds with colorful names.