Namibia, day 1 ... Windhoek
Observant Jeremy noticed the rock martins outside as we walked – albeit not far – from Terminal A to Terminal B to check-in for Windhoek, then walked back to Terminal A to go through security again and catch the Windhoek flight. Outside there were little swifts. The onboard meal, an early lunch, was welcome; less so the wobbles in turbulence as we descended. The pilot took us round again and then it was a smooth landing, though he said he nearly postponed it for a second time on account of baboons on the runway. There was full African heat as we walked the short distance to the terminal, with pale, long-tailed African palm swifts buzzing round the buildings and palm trees. Passport control here was very slow, but eventually we were through, meeting Geoff and Darrin who’d driven with the vehicles from
Joe's Beer House, Windhoek, with eccentric paraphernalia
After a bit of a rest, most of the group gathered at 4pm for a short drive to Avis Dam, a popular spot for dog walkers and others out on a Sunday this hot afternoon. Where there is sometimes water today it was dry, though the mixture of scrub behind the dam and dry grassland where water might have been was still productive. Aerial feeders stayed with us in good numbers the whole time: white-rumped and little swifts, rock martins and striped swallows. A plain bird in the scrub had the chestnut undertail area that is a feature of chestnut-vented tit-babbler (actually a Sylvia warbler); a dark bird under a bench revealed the red underside of crimson-breasted shrike. There was more: a familiar chat perched alongside more swallow-tailed bee-eaters; three African hoopoes landed on a bare tree-top; a black-headed heron and six blacksmith plovers flew into the grassy area.