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A boat trip on the Chobe River on a winter morning

13. September 2018, inke - Gondwana Collection, Environment

In the vicinity of the Chobe River Camp the reeds and papyrus as well as the tall trees which characterise the banks of the other rivers on Namibia’s north-eastern border are absent. At the end of July, during a boat trip in the morning, a total of 31 wetland bird species were counted along the Chobe River and within two days altogether 97 bird species in and around Chobe River Camp. 

A boat trip on the Chobe River on a winter morning

Report on wetland bird counts and bird mapping at Gondwana lodges in north-eastern Namibia, July 2018

04. September 2018, inke - Environment, Gondwana Collection

After a very successful series of summer counts at the four Gondwana lodges - Hakusembe River Lodge, Namushasha River Lodge, Zambezi Mubala Lodge and Chobe River Camp - in February it was time to repeat the exercise, this time in winter. Although the primary aim of the visit was the wetland bird counts, bird mapping (atlasing) was also done. 

Report on wetland bird counts and bird mapping at Gondwana lodges in north-eastern Namibia, July 2018

680 bird species in Namibia

30. August 2018, inke - Environment

According to the latest statistics no less than 680 different bird species are found in Namibia. Four of them were introduced to southern Africa and acclimatised well to Namibia and the neighbouring countries. Sixteen bird species are endemic. Fifty-one of the 680 bird species are threatened with extinction and another 27 species are endangered. 

680 bird species in Namibia

Otoliths help to determine fish species and age

28. August 2018, inke - Environment

Stones in the head of a fish – is that possible? Some anglers are aware of stones, or otoliths, in the head of the Madagascar meagre, but it is not generally known that ear-stones, most of them tiny, are found in the skull of all fish. Ear-stones, according to scientists, probably help fish to keep their balance. Otoliths are used to find out what Cape fur seals eat on our coast. 

Otoliths help to determine fish species and age

After a rain shower: The desert at Lüderitzbucht is alive

22. August 2018, inke - Environment

It is three months now since a heavy shower of over 50 mm came down in and around Lüderitz on May 17th. It revived many flowers that had not bloomed for years, or even worn leaves. Seeds which had slumbered in the parched soil for ages, awakened to life. The greenery and the colours are not short-lived, however: delicate pink blossoms are still to be admired, lush green stands out against the greys and browns of the desert floor, large patches turn yellow and insects are out and about everywhere.

After a rain shower: The desert at Lüderitzbucht is alive

Pearl-spotted owlet rescued - the story of 5H63061

21. August 2018, inke - Environment

In the middle of May a Windhoek resident called to tell me that her father-in-law had brought an injured pearl-spotted owlet with a ringed leg to her house. He had picked it up from a busy road in Klein Windhoek earlier that morning. She asked if I wanted to care for the owlet. When I brought the small bird home I noticed that I had actually ringed it myself. Owlet number 5H63061 had probably been hit by a vehicle.

Pearl-spotted owlet rescued - the story of 5H63061

The omnivorous Marabou Stork: old man in a tailcoat

14. August 2018, inke - Environment

Many people perceive the Marabou Stork as ugly or describe it as an old man wearing a tailcoat. Some call it the “undertaker bird”. The Marabou is a large member of the stork family, just under 1.5 metres tall. Since they are highly effective scavengers these storks are very useful to people. Marabou Storks are classified as “possibly endangered” in Namibia. 

The omnivorous Marabou Stork: old man in a tailcoat

Generally unknown: Namibia is an angler’s paradise

02. August 2018, inke - Environment, Sport

One doesn’t expect to find much fish in Namibia – after all it’s the driest country south of the Sahara.  And yet a large number of Namibians make a living from catching fish. Besides the fact that commercial fishing is the second largest sector of the economy there are also countless opportunities for leisure and sport angling. 

Generally unknown: Namibia is an angler’s paradise

A false entrance to the Cape penduline tit’s nest

24. July 2018, inke - Environment

Heavy gusts of wind are relentlessly battering the landscape. Trees and shrubs are blown back and forth for hours. Several metres above the ground an almost white nest dangles from a thin, thorny branch. It consists of soft plant material which looks like cotton wool. Crouched inside are three Cape Penduline Tit (Anthoscopus minutus) chicks. Cape Penduline Tits are among the smallest birds in southern Africa.

A false entrance to the Cape penduline tit’s nest

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