June 24: Starry, Starry Owls

Just back from one of those really uplifting sunset drives. Drives are rarely made good solely on the basis of their sightings. Drives are made good by the people you share them with.

I had two separate lion ‘tip-offs’ before the drive and shared these with my two guests. Each sighting was farther than i’d usually drive, but not out of the question, and I haven’t seen lions at ‘home’ now for a long time, so I was more than happy to make the effort. Five minutes into the drive, I knew that these weren’t people to rush off to a lion sighting. They were so content and captivated with the things around them. As a result, we spent a lot of time just parked and absorbing Kalahari. Plenty of good, intelligent questions and wonderful conversation too. Tonight was the sort of drive I wish I could do every night. Love.

We didn’t need lions. The owls were the big stars tonight (not as big as the actual stars, which were also big stars tonight). The Verreaux’s Eagle Owl, Spotted Eagle Owl and Southern White Faced Scops Owl all delivered sightings of the highest quality. The memory I take with me from tonight is that of the Scops Owl’s eyes. They were so ridiculously orange! The only time i’ve ever seen orange that intense was last week when I bought a small bottle of orange flavoured ‘Drink-o-Pop’ from the camp shop. I was so taken with the luminous, rather toxic-looking artificial orange liquid that I took a photo of it. It took great courage to drink it. But it’s the only colour I can use to describe the Scops Owl’s eyes. I shall write to Roberts and make sure that they refer to the Scops Owl’s eyes as ‘Drink-o-Pop Orange’ in the 8th edition.

No camera can capture the true orangeness of ‘Drink-o-Pop’ Orange.

Sightings:

African Wild Cat
Jackal
Bat Eared Fox
Cape Fox
Springhare
Springbok
Steenbok
Wildebeest
Gemsbok
Ostrich
Pale Chanting Goshawk
Verreaux’s Eagle Owl
Spotted Eagle Owl
Southern White Faced Scops Owl
Black Headed Heron

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