Tuesday, 3 April 2012

One More Night - Phil Collins

I am having great difficulty pulling myself away from Playa de Oro having intended 2 nights and last night going for the third extension, effectively giving me 6 days here. The staff are relaxed, happy and efficient, the rooms are basic, the food is 'native' and the feel is Woodstock - could someone put my house on the market please?

Who would believe it if the claim was Blue Rock Thrush first bird of the day? As usual that fell to the ubiquitous Tree Sparrow, which had a count been made would now be running into 'thousands',

but this with an out sized Grasshopper certainly caught me unawares.

So that made this 'pair' of BARRED RAIL the third species

and a 'lifer' to boot, the earlier start was paying off already despite being gloomy at 05:00.

That was likely 'late in the day' for the local Fishermen who were busying themselves with net repair

boats already pulled high up the beach.

On close inspection, glad it's not me who has to go to sea in this! Anyway, the idea was to get to St Helena this morning, just a paltry 3 miles away, but given the humidity and accompanying heat it's always a good idea to consider the return trip.

On the way I had to pass the 'scorched earth' left by yesterdays burning, which was having the effect I had hoped for. Pipits and Larks were gathered in force for the free 'fry up' including about


6 Shrike both Long-tailed and Brown, 4 Oriental Skylark

a pair of the Philippine's sub-species of Singing Bushlark, an attendant number of Barn Swallows and even a few Little Ringed Plover getting in on the act.

Once again the Fish Farm pools came up trumps with an additional 6 Black-winged Stilt, bringing the total to 18,

3 Greenshank that can be heard clearly throughout the day,

possibly 5 Common Sandpiper, a single Green Sandpiper, 3 Pacific Golden Plover and while maybe the same 2 Lesser Sand Plover it is strange to report not a single Kentish Plover. Likely moved to a 'smoke free zone'.

Not far from the village are a small group of Fishermen's Houses,

with their attendant herd of cows

plus a 'boat building yard', not exactly John Browns Clyde-side but it does it for them.

Inside the village the usual clanking of a scavenger pump sucking the last vestiges of what water is left in the well, while the bucket, bamboo rig and counter weight lay idle.

It's just a part of the day here that people wave and shout out to you, but today I was to be joined by the Saint Helena Ornithological Group, better known as 'The Flushers'.

With both Common and

White-collared Kingfisher in the same field of view, these were first to be chased off, but the kids had their uses.

A small Heron, which they also kindly 'put up' landed deep inside the Mangroves and Acacias but with a little persuading the youngsters were sent round the back to coax it into the open.

It was a Striated Heron, nothing more than an addition to the Trip List, but had been a long time coming considering the huge numbers in Asia etc. The nippers weren't for leaving, so as I had made my destination best to get a Tri-cycle back to base.

With the heat and humidity once again playing a part, this may well have been the end of the day for me had i not been invited to a party. Passing through another village a couple of days ago, I stopped for a chat and won the invite. Time for a shower, best hat and even a clean shirt, it was about a mile and a half to the venue, so on the way there was always a chance of a bird/photo or two.

Lots of Blue-tailed Bee-eaters en-route as well as a Trip Addition by way of what the book refers to as


but I much prefer the alternative name of PEACEFUL DOVE.

BULLOCKs, yes alright, and the


to the party in Honour of this young lady (center) who Graduated at the end of this School Year.

The gathering was a little spread out, but having been invited

to Dine I got straight into the Native Pork, Chicken Curry, Various Vegetables and Boiled Rice with every mouthful delicious!

There was an insistance that I got into the Karaoke (oh alright then, if I must),

with the obvious choice being HOTEL CALIFORNIA.

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