The second part of the trip was disappointing inmany ways. We had an extended stay from 3 to 4 nights at the hotel, which is on the island of Ankaniníny Nofy in Lake Ampetabe, with the plan of looking for more lemurs, and some birding in the down time. The bad news was that the lemurs on the island had all been imported from elsewhere on the island, and while now free roaming on the "reserve", they were anything but the WILDlife we were looking for. It was so bad that the staff would coerce them down with bananas, and even on to people's shoulders and arms. In addition, the close community of different species, which would normally occupy different habitats and usually not meet, had even interbred to form hybrids. Pretty, but not natural. For anyone who wants down time with some touchable lemurs thrown in, this would be as well accepted as with the tourists around who seemed to lap it up.
Some birding should have compensated to a degree, but was also disappointing. The hotel is backed by a small and fairly thick forest, with some more open land once out of the tree boundary. There were some birds present, but not in the numbers which could have been expected. The most common species by sight and sound was Sourimanga Sunbird, with lesser numbers of Madagascar Bulbul. Outside of these, birds were hard to come by. Madagascar Coucals could often be heard, but were seen only once when venturing beyond the forest. 2 separate Crested Coucals were seen well, one in the vicinity of the accommodation, the other within the forest. Separate Madagascar Green Sunbirds were seen on the last morning, but pride of place for experience must go to the France's Sparrowhawk. It was spotted by one of the staff who saw it land on a branch to take a chameleon almost above us. It was hanging upside down in the air for some time, with one foot grasping the stricken reptile, with the prey clinging on to the branch. Once standing, the tugging and probing with the hooked beak went on for several minutes, before the bird flew off with its prize.
The exit from here was by boat, on a 3 hour long journey across the lake to Tamatave. This was on both open water and through channels. There were surprisingly few water birds during the whole journey, with only Madagascar Bee-eaters and Crested Drongos for much of the way. Nearing Tamatave, there were many more channels, with the additional bonus of 6 Madagascar Kingfishers perched occasionally. An even bigger surprise was the sound of Madagascar Nightjars around the airport, with one on the ground in front of the perimeter fence.