Up early and see different stars, Mars in Scorpio, Big dipper up high. Southern Cross. We have coffee and then we are off on our walk with our armed guard and Dick (contrary) Estes. People seem have no trouble walking, legs have not atrophied after spending so much time in the land rovers. Feels good to get moving. Good tracks- dik dik, jackal, genet, beetle, hyena, Grants, giraffe, zebra, ellie, Kongoni. Great view of the pygmy falcon (malevolent butterball). Great spotted cuckoo, gray headed gull, stilt, giraffe and lesser flamingos, red-billed teals, Land snail shells. Real purty out there, we see the truck get the alkaline water for the showers. We cut cross-country back to the lodge and others take the land rover back. Good breakfast with millet porridge and then off again to 940 out on the Makow Rd. We see a very young giraffe. Sam and I see two simbas, females laying down in thick grass.
Kori bustards displaying. Meanwhile Kumbi goes off to the north to check out the large w-beest and zebra herd and proceeds to fall into an aardvark hole. They manage to extract themselves; meanwhile Phanuel expresses his fear of aa burrows and promptly falls in one. He can't get out and we then pull him out. In a herd of many w-beests and babies we have our dung beetle story and song. Hunter and his MP3 player are turning the drivers on to the pleasure of Sublime in the Serengeti.
Am I talented or what?
African or Cape hare. We are way out in the Makow area. Our land rover suffers many gnu jokes on the way back to camp. Iggnuranous, gnuclear power, gnutrition, Gnu foundland, you get the idea..groan. One male eland seen. Elands (the ox in the antelopes clothing.) one ton, good to eat and slowest but it flees from humans in parks at 300 yard. wary. The young can jump 10' form standing position. We figure that one of these giant antelopes is equal to 180 dikdiks!.
Back after 1 for another great lunch served by Joseph. R and R until 400 for our Predator II lecture by Mama Simba. Here is a compendium of previous lecture notes.
George Dove (builder of Ndutu Lodge)
enabled all the famous filmmakers to function. Even today it is
a common spot to set up camp here. We like it. 90% of all birds
are monogamous, 90% of all mammals are not. Solitary= Leopard.
Monogamous= jackals, bat-eared foxes. Extended families= dwarf
mongoose, wild dogs, wood hoopoes. 4 migrators are W-beets and
Zebras eat only grass, Elands and Gazelles eat grass and forbs.
Grass knits the soil to the earth. Cape Buffaloes practice democracy.
2 rift valleys- saline and fresh water lakes. Lake Victoria 2nd
largest in world, source of the Nile. Soil is volcanic ash built
up on tuff. The soil is deeper with high grass, not so good for
w-beests. June-Oct. = dry. Nov-May= rain 600m. Tsetse flies need
2 hosts- warthogs and buffaloes flies need trees, buffaloes need
5 different vultures. 4 X as many hyenas as lions. Females are the glue that hold many societies together, esp. related females. 75% of cheetah cubs are killed by lions or hyenas. Only 300 in the entire Ser. ecosystem. 3000 lions, 12000 hyenas, at least 4000+ leopards. Hyenas commute to hunt gnus. One lion needs 5KG of food per day= 15-20 gnus per year..not many. Bob wrote a paper on it in college
Two land rovers go out and the rest of us stay put to catch up on journals etc. Afternoon trip report from Mike. He and Jeannette graduated from UCB in the same year- 1962. They had great looks at a family of 5 bb jackals; one fleeting glimpse of a leopard and more lion sightings but the birds once again proved more entertaining. Peaceful sunset.