Our second day at amazing Etosha was equally fruitful. Overlying everything was the extreme dryness and near-dead shrubbery, but there was still a wide variety of animals and birds in the Park.
The Birds of Etosha
We saw an amazing array of winged creatures.
We had seen the Social Weaver’s giant, sagging nests, but here was the (anti-social?) Weaver’s compact little indoor-outdoor nest.
The Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk kept his eye on the landscape from a treetop.
Meanwhile, the beautifully marked Northern Black Korhaan stuck to the ground.
The Double-Banded Courser settled below the surface where the ground was cooler.
A pair of Tawny Eagles kept watch together for 360 degree coverage.
An elegant Heron shared the water in a waterhole.
The delicate White-Tailed Shrike stayed on the grass at one of the Park’s resorts.
Two Egyptian Geese swam into the reeds of one waterhole.
And the country’s largest flying bird, the Kori Bustard, readied for takeoff.
This tenacious creature did not get its name for its sweetness. Once he makes his mind up, he will not let go.
Here, he is digging for small rodents and large insects. Expending the least possible amount of energy, he digs and then reaches deeper and deeper into the burrow.
The Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk typically stays close since its diet is similar and he is waiting for the spoils. The Badger is not amused.
But the Goshawk will not be intimidated.
Some of the many ungulates we have already seen were here. Repeats are only to capture unique behaviour, including:
A pair of little Steenbok with those oil-painting ears, who mate for life;
A Kudu browsing and a family at a waterhole;
The Oryx, who stand well into the water at the waterhole, a galloping Oryx and an Oryx with a wonky horn, possibly bent in a jousting match;
But we saw a lot of new animals, too, including:
The elegant Impala, easy to identify by the 1-1-1 on their rear;
The majestic Blue Wildebeest;
And the tiny Dik Diks.
A wide assortment of animals were seen in the Park:
A cheetah in the wild, seen from afar;
A Black-backed Jackal, always on the prowl at the fringes;
And the ferocious Mongoose, whom I love because it kills snakes. It is said that if a Mongoose tries to attack a Black Mamba and is bitten, its digestive system is such that he can immediately eliminate the poison and get right back into the fight.
A stalwart little Ground Squirrel held his position, guarding his clan in the burrow next to him.
Later, just outside the Park, we ate dinner overlooking the lodge’s waterhole and saw a spotted hyena –
and a Common Duiker.
We saw some groupings of a variety of species clustered around a water source, but not by the thousands as in the past because of the drought. The Park supplies the animals with water, they do not go thirsty. But the shrubbery and trees most of the animals need to eat are dead or dying, so the animals are hungry. Many have moved on outside the Park. When there is a rain, it is hoped most will return. Still, there were plenty for us to see.
Sunset over Etosha
As the sun went down, we had to say farewell to Etosha, this magical and amazing Namibian treasure.