My first day on the forest program was an exciting day. After a filling breakfast of porridge and a nice cup of tea, we set off into the wilderness. The forest itself was not how I had expected. Instead of there being clear paths to walk along, I found myself weaving through the dense undergrowth as if on an army assault course... Ducking under branches, jumping over logs and scrabbling along the rough terrain. By the end of it I was covered in scratches and mud, but I discovered this was all part of the fun!
|Stacey, Andy, Lisa, Alex and Kevin - forest ninjas!|
Whilst walking, we came across an amazing sighting of both the Colobus and Sykes monkeys, together in one tree. We were so lucky to see two little Sykes monkey babies, which were adorable enough even to rival the newborn dolphin’s I’d seen the previous week on marine! The Sykes monkeys were so funny to watch, their cheeky faces leaped around the tree, playing with and annoying one another. Whilst the Colobus sat there looking wise and superior, seeming annoyed at the immature Sykes, and occasionally giving them a little shove if they got too close. It was spectacular to see this scene, especially up so close! We stood there watching in awe for a good 15 minutes, everyone squealing at how cute they all were.
After a while of conducting a survey looking at the canopy coverage and height, we stopped for lunch. It was a nice picnic spot, in the heart of the forest, sitting surrounded by nature, and after navigating through the forest I had worked up an appetite. The delicious pasta and sauce we had prepared, was more than welcome.
On the way back home we spotted several very interesting birds, including a Silvery Cheeked Hornbill, which looked like something back from the dinosaur ages, as well as vibrant yellow birds known as Black headed Weavers.
|Black headed weavers|
I wonder what else I will get to see in the next two weeks ahead of me.
Andrea Hinson – Combination expedition volunteer