As we came down the hill the country opened in front of with 100,000 Wildebeest scattered over the horizon. It hard to imagine that, in a couple of weeks, there will be 10x this number! We spent a better part of the morning driving among the herds looking for predators.
The Wildebeest were enjoying their new-found grazing lands after surviving the crossing of the Mara River and its reptilian death traps. The young ones were rambunctious, chasing each other and making mock battles. The older ones eyed us as we drove by and grunted their disapproval for having to move from the road.
I also got a poor photograph of a possible Western Banded Snake Eagle, but the ID is tentative.
|Black-chested Snake Eagle|
Wattled Starlings rode on the backs of the slower-moving animals.
|Wattled Starlings on Wildebeest|
|Border of Tanzania and the Serengeti just meters away|
Eland were our first of the day. As we drove out a Lilac-breasted Roller popped out of the trees to our right. We also stopped long enough to grab a couple pics of a Black-headed Heron and a Spur-winged Plover that were foraging in a small pond next to the road.
A Deadly Crossing (see next blog post)
Overwhelmed by what we had just witnessed, we headed back to the lodge, hoping to spend a quiet afternoon without any more 'nature'. Along the way we passed large numbers of zebra that had successfully crossed (and stayed), Wildebeest, and local herds of Impala and Topi. We would drive by the same Topi atop his giant termite mount several times during the next two days. A family of Giraffe were atop a distant hill and provided poor views, as did a few distant elephants.
With about an hour before dinner Robin and I walked out to the terrace next to the lobby to surf the web and look for birds. A Fork-tailed Drongo was perched far out in a tree and did a little flycatching, while flocks of Common House Martins, Lesser-striped Swallows, and Speckled Mousebirds kept my camera busy. I would manage a couple fly-by shots of Ring-necked Dove before putting the camera away for the night. One last photo of the Masai Mara at sunset would have to do.
Tomorrow, a Hot-air Balloon Ride!