Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Final Countdown - Europe

I didn't pay good money to come here and sit around doing nothing, so I am well pleased that the final 2 days here have, like all the others, been full to the brim. There is of course a downside to that, and like yesterday there is little time to do the Blog so once again it becomes a pictorial.

This is one hell of a reserve being almost entirely Primary Forest.

Eastern Woolly Lemur, like most species, confined to the tree tops.

A spider wanders aimlessly within the warmth of a shadow, not the regal creature of border caves - Marillion referring to Bonny Prince Charlie.

Moth Sp

The only endemic and naturally occurring Cactus in the country. It will be noticed this is a hanging cactus.

Nelicourvi Weaver one of 2 'endemic Weavers.

Nelicourvi Weaver's nest, unlike most others of the genre they are solitary breeders.


Nuthatch Vanga (male) very difficult to photograph.

Ditto (female)

The delightful Ward's Flycatcher, one of the 'endemics' high on my list of 'must be seen'.

Baby Preying Mantis

Parson's Chameleon, this is what all the Culture Club rubbish was about on yesterday's post.

It is regarded highly on the wants lists of Nature Tourists here,

and our guide for the day, Maurice came up with the goods.

It is worth noting that he and his brother Patrice are acknowledged by Morris and Hawkins in their Photographic Guide to the Birds of Madagascar.

and so to yesterday which was another great success, as almost immediately we entered the Rain Forest the elusive

Madagascar Blue Pigeon perch right before us, albeit of a couple of seconds a volley of shots rang out.

Blue Coua which seems quite common and easy to see here.

Mascarine Martins were nesting in the eves of our exceptionally nice hotel.

Stick Insect, if you can make head or tail of it!

Another shot of Eastern Woolly Lemur and another of

Madagascar Malachite Kingfisher - a much better shot than the previous ones.

and also better than the distant last effort, this Madagascar Little Grebe was both much more confiding and in altogether better plumage.

Mellor's Duck only seen briefly previously, this one of a breeding pair remained distant but viewable. This has to be one of the rarest Ducks in the world?

Scaly Ground-Roller

a real demon of a bird.

and yet another unnamed species of Forest Frog.

Red-bellied Lemur being slightly more cooperative that its cousin.

A profile of

Madagascar Cuckoo Roller, this one a male showing a back view plus

an extraordinary gape,

and a front profile of another individual in poor light.

Madagascar Cuckoo Roller (female)

A forest bloom.

Short-legged Ground-Roller which, contrary to its name, spends much time aloft spotting prey species. This sighting cleared up all the Ground-Rollers in Madagascar with only oneRufous-headed having not been photographed.

Pill Millipede

and a second shot.

Madagascar Swamp Warbler a species I relate to Cetti's Warbler at home.

A real skulker but on this occasion obliged - thank you.

and a fairly large Tree Boa ends the series of photoes for tonight.

If everything goes to plan I should arrive home somewhere near to 18-00 tomorrow, so although I don't need to say it to Bowie & Sheila, but anyway - "have the cider ready"!

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