It’s incredible how nature responds to changing conditions. The grass at the moment is longer and, more importantly, thicker than we’ve seen it in many years, and a number of species are thriving as a result. Seed-eating birds in particular are everywhere, and species like Harlequin Quails – that usually remain well hidden in cover, are calling all over the grassy crests around Serengeti plains. The Harlequins haven’t been seen or heard in this area for couple of years and it was good to hear them calling in our area and it is almost certainly the profusion of the grasses which has allowed their population to spike radically. They are partial migrants, flying south to breed and then returning north in winter, and large scale irruptions occur when food is plentiful, as it is now with more grass seeds they know what to do with, as well as an accompanying plethora of small invertebrates that constitute a large part of their diet.

Owing to their habit or remaining in the long grass until flushed, I haven’t managed to get a decent picture of a Harlequin Quail yet, so some of Safari Plain’s larger inhabitants will have to do the job for now…

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