Grootfontein to Waterberg Plateau
Another relaxed morning because yet again I woke up feeling a bit grim. Not ideal as a 250km drive was ahead of me.
On the way to Waterberg I stopped off at the famous Meteorite near to Grootfontein. Apparently it fell 80,000+ years ago and is the largest known anywhere. Well it took all of one minute to get my meteorite fix before heading back to the main road through various cultivated fields. These fields held a plethora of Larks including large numbers of Chestnut-backed Sparrowlarks and a single Rufous-naped Lark, whilst overhead a Wahlberg’s Eagle drifted over.
After a tedious long drive (only enlightened by a large wild fire sweeping through a valley) I finally arrived at Waterberg NP, checked into my chalet and fell asleep for a couple of hours. I still felt ropey but I really wanted to walk to the plateau which involves a semi-steep ascent over mainly fallen boulders. Not only for the view, but I also wanted to get to grips as to where will be a good place to stand at first light for Hartlaub’s Spurfowl, and unfortunately this is at the top meaning an early morning ascent in the dark. On the way up a Snake species was found and a Rockrunner scuttled across my path. The views at the top were worth the trek and I felt much better for it.
As it became dark I set myself up halfway between the chalet and plateau as I knew this area is good for Freckled Nightjar. However after dark there was no sound of them and so I retreated to have dinner, although finding two Bush-Babies on the way back was excellent.
After dinner I was then surprised to hear a couple of Freckled Nightjars, and although distant, one bird did the decent thing by calling right next to me and then flying into view, phew!! An African Scops Owl was also calling but failed to find it after a half hearted attempt.
Highlights for the day are as follows:
Wahlberg’s Eagle - 1
African Hawk Eagle - 2
Speckled Pigeon - 2
FRECKLED NIGHTJAR - 1
Bradfield’s Swift - 20
Golden-tailed Woodpecker - 1
Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark - 50
Rockrunner - 1
Chat Flycatcher - 3
Scaly-feathered Weaver - 5
Black-faced Waxbill - 10