Sunrise at Visitor's Bay Fish Eagle Point, north of Tanga, in late November 2011
Unspoiled and unpretentious Fish Eagle Point is easily the best place along the coast of Northern Tanzania for some relaxed and undisturbed 'natural birding'. It's also the perfect place to get all that Masai dust (or Tan-roads bumps) out of your system after a motorised safari jolting around Tanzania's famous northern circuit.
And thanks to the diligence of Chinese road engineers it's now very easy to get to from both Tanga and the adjacent, yet far more crowded, coastline of Southern Kenya.
The owners of Fish Eagle Point have gone to great pains to minimise the impact of their lodge. In fact, by setting-up here, they have successfully protected a small area of spray-bevelled coral rag forest, into which the few bandas (the 'delightfully rustic' accommodation) have been lovingly secreted.
So, as regards "Sustainable Biodiversity Tourism" it's a shining example.
There are even a few observable medium-sized terrestrial mammals - Blue Monkeys, Yellow Baboons, Galagos and even the diminutive secretive and retiring Sunni antelope.
In truth this small strip of forest continues to support a very pleasing variety of coastal wildlife.
The canopy community includes the nationally scarce Green Tinkerbird and on the forest floor there are such localised butterflies as the Gold-banded Forester. It appears that this elfin coastal woodland currently delineates the northern edge of the distribution of some southern bird species - such as the Kurrichane Thrush.
More conspicuous are the Black-bellied Starlings and Purple-banded Sunbirds present all day, all year, in the trees all around the lodge.
Whilst close looks at BIG choosy birds, like Woolly-necked Stork and African Fish Eagle, remind you that you are still residing in a patch of what's left of our Earthly paradise!
Over the Indian Ocean there are good numbers of terns, of at least four species, offshore at all seasons. Uniquely wonderful, Crab Plovers may number up to 250 individuals in the varied shorebird roost, especially on neap tides, and in the south-facing bay throughout the northern winter.
An hour's cruise offshore, in the lodge's motorised dhow, will get you out into the deep waters of the Pemba Channel. Here a variety of southern seabirds and northern migrants and vagrants, such as Long-tailed Jaeger, occur in season. There are adrenalin-inducing cetaceans here too! Occasionally, especially just after sunrise, on very calm mornings during the South-east Monsoon (August onward) Humpback Whales may be observed, engaged in fluke-slapping courtship, less than a kilometre from land.
Recommendation: If you can, go there asap!
Posted via email from Afrotropical's posterous