Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monkeys and sunbirds in the garden

Have had very slow connections and cannot download pictures, so the mention of them here will have to be left to the imagination.

Safely arrived in Nairobi to be greeted by a heavy rain storm. The November rains failed, and with it an entire crop season, and it took no time for our taxi driver to tell about the latest corruption scandal, which involves the sale of maize to Sudan, the emptiness of maize silos here in Kenya and his opinion that the members of parliament involved in the scam should be dumped en masse. Will it happen? Not likely.

The rain lasted several hours, and over 25 mm fell in some places around Nairobi. Much welcome of course, but of no used to the crop sector as nobody will have planted and the proper rains are not expected until March.

Dropped off copies of The Trouble With Lions at five book shops and have lined up two more for tomorrow. We also visited Jean Hartley of ViewFinders Ltd, who acts for film crews in Kenya. She told us that she had acted for 78 such crews last year and already has 19 under way this year, and it is only January! While were with her, a lone colobus male sat in a tree in her garden and looked at us, while a troupe of very troublesome Sykes monkeys raided the sugar water feeders that she had hung up for the sunbirds. This green-headed sunbird, looking a bit like a character from The Muppets, was one I snapped a few years back. (What green-headed sunbird, I hear you ask)

Jean’s dogs tried to chase the monkeys, a futile effort of course and she worried about them as an aggressive male Sykes can make a mess of a large dog, and she has only Jack Russells. She took this picture of the colobus. (another non-download!) All this primate activity was taking place within a kilometer of Westlands, one of Nairobi’s busiest shopping areas.

Jean has also written a review of TTWL, but I have not seen that yet. Meanwhile we purchased copies of some of the classic Alan Root Films such as Castles in Clay that set the bar for wildlife films. We hope to show these to the children at Kasenyi as we endeavour to build up the conservation side of their education.

I will try & get the colobus and the bird on later, but don't hold your breath

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