Making a splash
06.04.2019 - 06.04.2019
Afternoon at Tanji Bird Eco Lodge
As soon as we get back to Tanji Bird Eco Lodge from our birdwatching at Brufut this morning, we head for the bird baths, of course.
Black Necked Weavers
Red Bellied Paradise Flycatcher
Snowy Crowned Robin Chat
Western Red Billed Hornbill
Common Wattle Eye
Red Billed Firefinch
Grey Headed Bristlebill
As I said yesterday, we are the only overnight guests at the lodge, although other visitors come for a drink or just to watch the birds at the bath; including the two Dutch ladies we saw this morning at Brufut. For lunch, however, there is just the two of us, and we sit at one of the tables on the ridge overlooking the sea beyond.
Fish with spicy sauce
After lunch I return to the paddling pool while David goes to the room for a siesta. The girls have been in to make the bed and have lovingly created some more designs with flower petals.
Black Necked Weaver
Red Cheeked Cordon Blue
There is quite a pool party going on.
Black Billed Wood Dove
All through the afternoon, birds come and go, different species, some of which are familiar to me, but many of whom I'd not seen before this morning. I am absolutely captivated by the goings-on and can't tear myself away.
This poor little bulbul has a bent beak, and I am not sure if it is a birth defect or whether he has collided with a window or similar. He is still alive, so is presumably able to survive on soft fruits and suchlike.
The Little Bee Eaters dart in from the confines of the trees, swoop down for a brief dip in the cool water and once again return to the safety of the woods. All in the blink of an eye.
Blue Spotted Wood Dove
I am particularly fascinated by the splashing in the shallow water. Dialling in rapid shooting on my camera, I fire off picture after picture after picture of the weavers (mainly) cleaning their feathers.
There is even a squirrel who makes a brief appearance at the water hole.
Feeling a slight twinge in my elbow from spending the last ten hours or so photographing birds (taking nearly 5000 pictures in the last 24 hours while holding a heavy lens in the air); I figure it is about time to call it a day. Popping into the bar on the way back to the room, I grab the last three Cokes to go with the Duty Free rum for me, and the last beer for David; for us to enjoy a little snifter in the room before dinner. It looks like we have drunk the bar dry. Again. This seems to be a fairly regular occurrence on our travels.
By the time we wander down to the restaurant for something to eat, the bar has thankfully been restocked, and we can both enjoy a beer with our food tonight.
Sarra, the manager, comes over for a chat and asks: “You want wine? I'll get you wine for tomorrow”.
Followed by “We have internet, a service we offer to The Gambia Experience. 200 Dalasi for the duration of your stay”.
As I do like to be in touch with the world (really?), I reply with gusto “Great. What's the password?”
“I will go and get it”.
Sarra proceeds to walk over to a pile of papers and start to rummage. Nothing. He pokes around in the bar. Still nothing. Continuing his search in the kitchen, it is apparent he still has not found what he is looking for. Nor in the office. Eventually he wanders off to one of the bedrooms, presumably still looking for the elusive piece of paper with the code on it.
The food arrives, but still no wifi password. Oh well, it is not that important anyway.
Chicken and chips, Gambian style. The chicken is served in a delicious sauce, but I am missing my veggies. I find the vast majority of restaurants, both in the UK and abroad, serve far too few vegetables with their meals for my liking.
Just as we finish our food, Sarra comes back with the password and I am yet again in touch with the world.
Acutely aware that we are the only guests in the lodge, we vacate the restaurant and retire to our room for the night so that the staff can go home. Before we go, we ask for an extra duvet to put on the bed - not something I expected to do here in the Gambia.
The room is eerily dark, with the only sound coming from the crashing waves and rustling palms. Pure heaven.