Sunday, March 26, 2006

Karau-timur hariis

Today we helped a newly arrived AVI find a place to live. She then came back to our house for a walk along the beach. Upon disembarking from the taxi, I noticed an enormous bird high above the hill opposite our road. It was a “manu-hi’it” (bird of prey such as an eagle or hawk) and was carrying a small mammal (possibly a rat?) or reptile (lizard?) in its claws. It was flying lower and lower towards the sparsely growing eucalyptus trees that dot the hillside but due to a strong gale, spent considerable time just cruising on a wind current. I assumed that it had a “manu-knuuk” (nest) containing a chick or two somewhere on the hill. It was a sight to behold as “manu-fuik” (wild birds) are few and far between in Timor.

In the afternoon we went for a walk along the beach to Dili Rock and across to Tasi Tolu Peace Park. On the outskirts of the first lake we noticed a “manu-lubun” (flock of birds) of very small “manu-fuik” (finches perhaps) with beautiful orange “manu-ibun” (beaks) and heads and speckled orange, white and black “manu-fulun” (plumage). Every time we tried to get close however, the flock flew further away from us.

Once we passed the first lake and were approaching the second and third lakes which are now conjoined, we came across the most delightful sight: a herd of “karau-timur hariis” (buffalo bathing) in the lake. They were all submerged up to their necks while their proud regal faces rested on the water’s surface. I couldn’t resist taking lots of photos of my favourite Timorese animal.

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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