Madagascar: Trip to Nosy Ve

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We were transported to the boat by Zebu cart.

We took a day away from the Spiny Forest to go out to the island of Nosy Ve which is about a 1.5 hour boat ride from Tulear, on the southwest coast.  The first item of note was the way we got out to the boat as they used Zebu carts.  These carts provide a common method of transportation and now we had a chance to see what it was like.  We were four to a cart and the Zebu did well getting (jolting) us out to the boat.  On the way back it was deeper, rougher water and it seemed that the Zebu were afraid, but at last all were landed with little problem.

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Humblot’s Heron, an endangered endemic.

On the way out to the island passed a large sandbar where there were foraging shorebirds; Bar-tailed Godwits, Common Greenshanks, Curlew Sandpipers and old friends Ruddy Turnstones and Whimbrels.  We then cruised beside a long cliff face where we were rewarded by great views of an endanged Humblot’s Heron.

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Mrs. Red-tailed Tropicbird and her fluffy chick.

We hoped to see the Red-tailed Tropicbird and we were not disappointed.  The island is small and uninhabited, except by the Tropicbirds and a few other species.  There were a number of nests tucked under thorny bushes for shade.  I was delighted to find this one (spoiler alert for those who are on my Christmas card list!) where the tiny chick couldn’t have been more than a few days old.

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The beach at Anakao where we had lunch.

We left the island and rode across a bay to a beachside restaurant for lunch and looks at nesting Littoral Rock-thrushes.  The ride back was very rough but it had been a great day.

 

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