I was so excited when I had the chance to watch a goliath heron two evenings in a row; I wasn’t so impressed with the light and weather conditions I had to photograph them. Hopefully one day I will see one of them again in more favourable conditions; until then, here are a few of the photos I captured 🙂
On my first trip to South Africa, I completely blanked on the name of this bird while watching a pair perched in a tree along the river, and asked my guide the brilliant question “What is their primary prey?” Fish. Oh dear… I felt quite silly. I learned a bit more about the fish eagles this past trip (thank you to Graeme, Rebecca and Vincent for all the valuable information throughout my stay!) You can tell the difference between the males and females by the white front feathers. The males have a shirt, and the girls have a skirt. I had serious trouble distinguishing between the two at times though – those fish eagle girls sometimes have VERY short skirts! I’ll give my best guess as to the sexes in the pictures below. I’ve got a 50/50 shot of being right. Have a great evening!
I saw this beautiful firefinch couple at the Zimanga bird hide during our morning session. They are similar in size to the blue waxbills, and like them have such soft, gentle looking faces. As with (almost) all birds, the male has much more vibrant colouring than the female. And check out the tiny white dots running along the sides of their chests; such a delicate detail.
I spent a lot of time watching these little birds on my last trip to South Africa, both around the yard at the volunteer house, and while at the bird hides. There was something about the way they gathered in small groups, their flight style and their happy looking faces that reminded me of the oregon dark eyed juncos we have here at home; it certainly wasn’t based on appearance, as other than size and beak shape, they physically have nothing in common.
I was lucky enough to see a black rhino cow and calf – moving along a hill opposite to where our vehicle was parked. This photo was taken at full zoom (300mm) and I haven’t cropped it. If I had to guess I would say they were somewhere between 400-500 metres away; and from what I have heard about the black rhino temperament, that is a pretty comfortable distance! (In case you are wondering, the calf is the indistinct lump slightly behind mom).
Unfortunately with the distance there is no way to post a comparison (using my photos) to show the difference between the black and white rhino. Still, a really cool experience.
I had the privilege of experiencing tracking white rhino on foot. The original hope had been that it would provide us with some great photo opportunities, but the rhino were spending the day in fairly thick bush grazing. In order to remain downwind of them, we ended up in some thick bush as well.
While the photography aspect didn’t pan out as the organizers had hoped, it was a truly special adventure which I enjoyed immensely.
There have been an awful lot of things going on that have severely limited the free time I have had recently, which is why there hasn’t been a post from me in ages. Thankfully a lot of the items on my must get done list are now finished, and I can get back to working on my photography. With the lovely weather we have been having, it seems a shame that I’ve been stuck indoors, but there will be lots of time (and hopefully lots of good weather) for photos in the coming days and weeks.
I wanted something that would be fairly efficient to work on, so I decided to go through the photos I took of oxpeckers at the bird hide. I had posted one photo previously https://wordpress.com/post/51960952/1129/ but had a few others that I thought were worth posting.
This crested barbet stopped by the watering hole while I was at the Mkombe bird hide at Zimanga Game Reserve. For reasons I can’t quite put my finger on, it reminds me of the cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn from the Looney Tunes cartoons I watched when I was a kid.