18th Nov. The night started off with a bit of a drama: the main generator for the lodge had broken down and the support machine could not run all night and the news was it was going to be switched off between 2am and 4:30am – exactly the hours when we need it on for the lights to work and attract the migrants! However after a discussion with the lodge manager he very kindly agreed that it could be switched off at 10:30pm and back on at 2am.
However despite this… there was a significant lack of mist once again and whilst the askari (night watchman) banged on our door at 4am saying the mist had come down and sure enough it had done… it only stayed down for 10 minutes and then evaporated again leaving our nets standing proud under the starlight and a very vague thought of mist at high altitude. Result? Night total: 7 birds, full day total: 27. There were no swallows to catch either even with the tape running so our final total was exactly that: 27. 12 Thrush NIghtingales, 13 Marsh Warblers and one Whitethroat – the first day, however that Marsh Warbler has ‘beaten’ Thrush Nightingales.
ONce again the Afrotropical species saved the interest of the day with a second African Green Pigeon making Malcolm puff up the hill at high speed to get it out of the net before it escaped, 2 Red-billed Buffalo Weavers with a very powerful bite, the first Vitelline Masked Weavers and a male Nubian Woodpecker.
The Leopard has come already and also the old porcupine has come for his bread rolls once again – hugely bizarre and ridiculous creatures! We’ll see what the night brings us this time!