Madagascar Post 4 – Days 15 – 20
Our birding trip was organised by Madagascar Tour Guide (firstname.lastname@example.org), who was really well organised. Our guide for most of the trip was Julian, who was brilliant at digging the birds as well as sorting things out for us along the way. The company is owned by Andre who came to meet us as we passed through Tena. I would highly recommend them and the prices were modest.
Day 15 – 19/08/2018
Sunday 19th August 2018 we had breakfast at what had become the usual time of 6 am. However, it was 6.20 am at the Cristo Hotel before anything arrived on our table and so it ended up being nearly 7 am before we were actually in the forest. There is no point getting stressed about things like this when you are world birding, as there is nothing much you can do apart from starving. I think it was more that there was a large table which arrived after us but was served before us.
So, at 7 am we arrived in Andasibe NP, which is a stunning forest full of birds. As Julian is from this place, he knew the forest really well and where exactly you get particular birds.
The only new bird for the day was Nuthatch Vanga, after a lot of hard work.
Day 16 – 20/08/2018
Monday 20th August 2018 we went to the close-by Mantadia NP, again a forested area.
We spent the whole day there, with new birds being Collared Nightjar, Short-legged, Scaly and Rufous-headed Ground Roller. An amazing 3 Ground Roller day.
Julian had narrowed the Short-legged Ground Roller down to an island in the forest. So being the hard-core world birders that we are, we took off our boots and socks, waded across a rivered, walked around the leech-infested island in our bare feet before finding the bird, watching it for ages before walking back to the river, putting socks back onto our wet feet, getting our boots on and carrying on birding.
Day 17 – 21/08/2018
Tuesday 21st August 2018, we were back at Andasibe NP, birding in the forest. It was a hard day of birding, working hard for everything.
New birds were Red-breasted Coua, which I was gripped off by my parents yesterday, so is always sweet to catch up; Malagasy Turtle Dove, Malagasy Blue Pigeon and Madagascan Owl on a roost site.
In terms of Lemur, we saw two amazing new Lemur Indri and Diademed Sefaqua. There was a large National Geographic tour group watching these animals but they were very quiet compared to the previous forests.
Day 18 – 22/8/2018
Wednesday 22nd August 2018 we did a little birding first thing around the lodge but saw nothing worth noting. Then we headed on our long journey north to Tana.
On the way, not far from Andasibe NP., we stopped at Torotorofotsy Marsh which is run by Asity. We spoke to the manager about a net and dead Snipe which I’m sure he just have known about.
We walked around the wetland area and were really lucky to see Madagascan Snipe and Buttonquail.
From here we carried on north to Tana where we arrived early evening and said goodbye to Julian, who had been the most amazing guide. We were back at the Saka Manga hotel, which was good to be back at.