I always enjoy visiting Macha, as I have mentioned. The pace of life there seems slow and peaceful. Of course it helps that I don’t actually have any work to do usually so can take it pretty easy. With the kids getting old enough to play for long periods with little supervision, I have the ability to spend an hour or more out walking on the paths and just relaxing. We visited Macha twice last year. These pictures are from our first trip in August when we visited our friends and co-workers, the Ulbrichts. We went on many walks together and they indulged me in all of my birding adventures.
On that particular trip, I added four new birds to my Zambian list (three were “lifers”) and enjoyed seeing many more.
We saw many of these Magpie Shrikes. They are so striking with their long tail and black and white markings. Really beautiful. I had seen these in Zimbabwe but this was the first time to see them in Zambia.
While out for a walk, just at dusk, we saw a Black-bellied Bustard, and then flushed this Marsh Owl out of the tall grass, the first and only time I have seen one. It was already half dark out and I was unable to identify it without the pictures Jonathan took, so I was really thankful that he got some decent ones. Owls always seem magical to me. It is no wonder there are many superstitions about them.
Here is the female Black-bellied Bustard we were chasing. . . I mean hunting. . . I mean stalking . . . ummm, looking at, when we flushed the owl. What a beautiful bird she is. Her camouflage is excellent, but it also gives her a subtle beauty. It always feels exciting to be out in the bush and find one of these. (If you are wondering about the name, the black belly is only on the male. We didn’t see any that particular day.)
Two other “lifers” for me included Jameson’s Firefinch and this tiny Grey Penduline -Tit. I managed to i-d the Firefinch on my own, but again needed a photo to i-d this Penduline-Tit. He was hiding quite well in this leafy tree. The photo wasn’t so great, but at least helped with identifying.
What great memories! I think I will just finish off, with my favorite photo of me and my friend Natasha walking on the path near Macha Dam.