I made the most of my visit to Musul to make a few notes on the beautiful and fascinating local wildlife - every sort of fauna and fauna from grasses, flowering plants, trees, birds, amphibians, small mammals, large mammals and a wide variety of bugs and beasties.
Having chemically treated my bed to try and be rid of them, the biting elephants instead took refuge in the (yet untreated) mosquito net above my head – this providing them with an extra night's feasting at my expense before they were eventually discovered and dealt with by immersing the net in boiling water...In the process of trying to ward off the biting elephants, I also discovered that DEET made little if any impact on them, but plenty on me...
Next day, pointing with giggles at their many remains in each corner of the now thoroughly boiled net, Maria (my hostess) firmly stated in her limited but perfectly pronounced English “Very serious dudus!!!!”
Laughing helplessly along with Maria, I couldn't agree more...
Footnote. One of these 'very serious dudus' can be found bottom right in the collection box in the photo, alongside the other insect specimens that I collected to take back to the Entomology Department at NMK. This is so that we may begin a basic species inventory for Musul Group Ranch and community-led conservation area. Interestingly, many of the moth species seen at Musul were ones that we had been recording during TAIB's long-term biodiversity monitoring project in Mallorca (Spain) back in October, 2006. (Whilst also full of mosquitoes, Mallorca had been mercifully free of the bed bugs.)
(A 'dudu' is kiswahili for insect or bug).
Some species seen at Musul between 14th & 28th December, 2006....
The following are just some of the species seen during my recent Christmas stay at Musul in western Mukogodo, Laikipia. The list is not in any way inclusive of all species recorded in the area.
Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk (2 regularly seen together in acacia close to the 'boma' where I was staying. Interestingly, 2 were also seen in same area on my previous visits during Dec 04 and 05)
Chestnut Sparrow (nesting)
Rufous Sparrow (nesting)
Village Weaver (nesting)
Speckle-fronted Weaver (nesting)
Grey-capped Social Weaver (nesting)
Rosy-patched Bush Shrike
Red-chested Cuckoo (1 was heard calling 'It will rain' 'It will rain' every morning at dawn above the manyatta in which I was staying). Needless to say – it was raining.
Kori Bustard (1 flew up from the road directly in front of the 'piki-piki' on our way from Musul towards Il Polei)
Bufo garmani (1 found alive within the 'boma' (homestead, compound)
Leopard (several, including young, were regularly present in vicinity of homesteads at Musul)
Scrub Hare (1 seen at Musul, and another individual beside the road to Il Polei)
Gerbil Tatera sp or Taterilus sp (1 individual found freshly dead at Musul)
Dik Dik (several seen at Musul and also on way to Il Polei)
Thomson's Gazelle (several seen at Musul and also on way to Il Polei)
Zebra sp (distant views of several at Musul, reported by locals to have been Grevy's)
Elephant (many at Musul and on way to Il Polei)
Baboon (a troupe seen close to homestead at Musul, and also many between Musul and Il Polei)
Giraffe (2 seen in a fenced area on the way from Musul to Il Polei)
Black-Backed Jackal (2 individuals seen beside the road from Musul to Il Polei)
Mongoose sp. (2 or 3 individuals seen briefly)
Hyena (regularly heard in the vicinity of homesteads at night)
Lion (heard roaring on a couple of occasions overnight)
(Out of interest, Eland was also seen during a previous visit of mine to Musul, in December 2005. A Rock Hyrax skull was also found at Musul in December 2005 and subsequently deposited as a reference specimen at Mammalogy Dept, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi.)
Many, only some of which were caught and retained as reference specimens.
(List to follow)
Many, only some of which were caught by hand and retained as reference specimens.
(List to follow)
Flowering plants and trees:
Many, only some of which were photographed for later identification.
(List to follow).