Welcome to Birdquest
Tuesday 19th March - Monday 1st April 2013
This journey through northern Tanzania, taking in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, must be one of the world’s greatest wildlife experiences. During this very successful tour we not only managed to record 400 species of birds, including many interesting endemics and other regional specialities, in just fourteen days, but we also observed 44 species of mammals and gained a remarkable insight into the workings of this huge, and almost untouched, ecosystem. Mammal highlights, in addition to the spectacle of the vast herds of Gnus and other herbivores in eastern Serengeti, were amazingly close encounters with many Lions, seven Cheetahs and two Leopards, which will live in the memory for ever, as will the sight of cute little Bat-eared Foxes, herds of massive African Elephants, five different Rhinos, very approachable and photogenic Giraffes, and troops of Olive Baboons. Notable amongst the birds were surely the extremely rare Beesley’s Lark, magnificent Bateleurs, a pair of Amur Falcons, all those Kori Bustards and Grey Crowned Cranes in the Ngorongoro Crater, a close Spotted Eagle Owl in Arusha NP, the trio of spurfowls, four species of coursers including the rarely encountered Violet-tipped and the secretive Heuglin's, three species of sandgrouse, the amazing Schalow's and Hartlaub's Turacos, the flock of tame Silvery-cheeked Hornbills at Lake Manyara, the brightly coloured Yellow-throated, Pangani and Rosy-breasted Longclaws, the stunning Rosy-patched and Grey-headed Bush-Shrikes at Lariboro, all the colourful sunbirds (13 species in total), and the widowbirds and whydahs with their amazing tails. Due to the later timing of this year's tour we experienced more rain than on earlier tours, but luckily we really didn't miss any birding due to the weather, although we had to skip the traditional visit to Nasera Rock due to very soft and muddy tracks and a massive rockslide at Lake Manyara nearly caused me to miss my flight to Europe.