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Dr Russell - Op Wallacea Madagascar - 1st August 2011

Day 13

This morning we went up to the area baited for fossa but found few tracks, and none of them from this strange creature.  After coming back to camp I went for a wander round the lake.  It’s only 50m from the camp and is quite large and absolutely teeming with wildlife.   Went slowly and so took 1 ½ hours to go round, photographing snakes, chameleons, and birds.  I was trying to get a decent photo of a bee-eater in flight, but they seem incredibly erratic as they dive and weave all over the place hunting dragonflies and other insects. 

The students were swapping over today so in the lull, Ben, Tash, Stu and I went to a relatively unexplored piece of forest with our guide.  We were away for about four hours.  Stu had asked for a machete to be brought with us, but I think that was interpreted as “everything must be chopped down”.  We spent most of the afternoon asking the guide not to hack so much – almost all of the forest we could squeeze through without damage and with far less noise, destruction and effort.  We did manage to see a lot of lemurs (common browns, sifakas and sportives) and came to the conclusion that the area would be well worth exploring further.  Got an interesting shot with my camera bungee’d to a long stick, on self-timer, which was then hoisted up to the top of a hollow tree trunk to shoot down inside with flash: got a rather bemused sportive lemur trying to have a nap.