It’s Monday 7th December 2009 and yet more babies

Well I have to admit it is Friday morning but I am flying to Lusaka today and will not be back in time to write Its Monday on Monday! This evening I am joining the staff of Proflight Zambia at a reception where the new brand of the airline will be presented. A small group of us have been working on this since July (well to be honest I am the director “sponsoring” the process, not doing the legwork!). It has been fun. For a new brand for an airline you have to find colours and a design that will work on various types of planes, as crew uniforms, in the offices as well as on the letter head! Quite a challenge. But we got there and next year you will be flying with the new colours! Here is a photo of a 747-400 in the new brand. This is a joke of course. Our long term strategy does not, I assure you, include a 747.

Proflight Zambia's new airline colours

It was a late decision to fly today. I thought that I would put choir practice in jeopardy but I could just make it. On Wednesday the Luangwa Association Choir started the twice weekly practice to prepare for the carols on Christmas eve. Blimey – the voice does get rusty if not used. I am now singing loudly and enthusiastically every time I am alone. Need to tone up those larynx muscles. Of course the Zambians think this is very odd as they sing all year and their voices are always “in training”.

Luangwa Association Choir rehearsing for Christmas carolsleopard cub with mother

Last night, just as I was thinking “help – what about Its Monday” an email came through from Alison and Peter Williams. They were with us for 13 nights in November. They have been a number of times and at different times of the year but this was their first November. They were amazed by the “new life” as David Rogers put it last week. Youngsters everywhere. I know that I am beginning to harp on about this but you have to admit that it is every endearing. They had attached “new life” photos to their email and I simply have to share them with you. It is not often that you see a leopard so young so you are getting the lot!

proud mother with cubleopard cub and mum

gorgeous leopard cub with its eyes still blueand more babies, Lion cub

They also saw three Angolan pitta. Now for anyone who is not a birder will probably be saying “a what?”. Well it is a very very rare bird and anyone with the slightest interest gets very excited about seeing one. They are very migratory, elusive and tend to live in thickets. They only arrived here recently and are an “emerald season” treat. In the 22 years I have been here I have only seen one (see Its Monday of last December) but admittedly I do not spend my days crawling around thickets looking for them. Usually you have to take a recording of their call, get them to call back and then crawl towards the calling bird. Not easy bird watching. So Alison and Peter were thrilled when Keyala identified a bird call as a pitta one day. They failed to find it but went back to the same spot the next day and found two pittas. And again another one on the third day but in a different spot. Lucky them. Daudi cme along too but unfortunately was not in luck!

Daudi, sad to have missed the very rare Angolan pitta birds

I have heard from Robin in the Liuwa Plain. All going well and the first group are out after a great five days. Slight drama yesterday when not all the supplies planned to go could get on the charter. Too heavy. What to leave behind? Well I said the cans of beer in the end. I am sure that my ears will be burning in a few days if they turn out to be big beer drinkers!

baby impala and mothersweet new born puku

mother and baby giraffekeeping up with mum, baby elley!

So although its Friday today, here is your Its Monday and have a great week.

PS The annual photographic competition closed on Tuesday but I should have sent a reminder last week so I will allow another few days and will close it on 10 December. Details.

warthog with its piglets, not to be left out!

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