Friday, 2 November 2012

The joy of Ceyx



The Malagasy word for foreigner is vasa. It is also the name of Madagascar's two large black species of parrot. (The third parrot here is the pretty little grey-headed lovebird, which we saw today, in the goal of a temporary football pitch on the grassy floor of a dry lake.) Today, after countless lesser vasas on our tour, I at last heard the call of a greater vasa. The parrot was obliging enough to sit in a tree, displaying his powerful bill, waving his disproportionate tail and showing our group all of his diagnostic features.

At the opposite end of the avian size spectrum a boldy orange, white and red Madagascar pygmy kingfisher sat in the shade of the forest and allowed our clients to take spectacular photos. Bulbuls muttered, souimangas chipped, sickle-bills wailed and the mounting heat drove us home to pack bags and make ready for our final adventure, in the wet forests of Andasibe and Mantadia.

2nd November

New this morning in Ankarafantsika and on our journey back to Mahajanga

Birds

967
greater vasa parrot
Coracopsis vasa
968
Madagascar pygmy kingfisher
Ceyx madagascariensis
969
African pygmy goose
Nettapus auritus

Reptiles

60
Grandidier’s dwarf gecko
Lygodactylus tolampyae

2012 Totals
Mammals: 111
Birds: 969
Reptiles: 60
Amphibians: 15
Fish: 12

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