Beacuse I went to sleep at 18:30 last night, I was more than awake at 05:15 this morning! The insect choir was really intense, but when a little before the sun appeared bird calls again dominated. It was rather frustrating actually, hearing lots of fascinating sounds, but not being able to see any of them. I had a nice breakfast, and was again picked up by Vincent, the WESM driver.
On our trip towards the flats below the forest reserve of Dzalanyama, we picked up a few guys that accompanied us during the day. The aim of the day was to visit five different communities that Birdlife Norway support in the project. These communities are all into planting trees, mainly Senna spectabilis and siamea, as well as Acacia polyacantha. The leaders of the communities showed us the results of their effort, and their plans in the future. In addition we are encouraging the communities to build and use Rocket Stoves for cooking. These stoves are many times more efficient than the traditional ways of cooking.
There were lots of impressions to consume during the day, and I was impressed by their enthusiasm and efforts. Tomorrow we will visit more communities closer, and probably inside the forest reserve. People of these communities traditionally travel into the forest reserve to collect wood for fire. The combination of producing their own wood, as well as starting to use efficient stoves is far more sustainable and efficient than the traditional routines. It was very nice to see this work having an effect on both people and nature.
Birdingwise the day was naturally less productive, We did however see a few good species, and a total of about 35 identified during the day. One of the most numerous was wintering European Bee-eaters. I summed up a total of 80 of them during the day. An adult Martial Eagle (picture above) gave great views, and an adult African Marsh Harrier and a Rock Kestrel were a new raptor species for me. Other noteworthy (new species for me) birds were a couple of Crested Guineafowls, African Pied Wagtail, a party of African Openbills, Southern Red (very common) and Yellow Bishop, the impressive Pin-tailed Whydah, Lilac-breasted Roller and quite a few Southern Fiscals.
November 2018: Fieldwork in three IBA's in Nepal