2020-11-15: Francolins

Anyone that has been on a game drive in Africa will be familiar with francolins, spur fowl and grouse, as they are often encountered on the roads and have a funny habit of jogging in front of the vehicle for what seems like a rather long distance (given their size) before ducking into an opening in the grass or bushes. It always makes me chuckle every time I see this. Given where they are encountered though, and their natural behaviour, it is surprisingly tough to get a decent photo pf these birds, unless you are on a vehicle all to yourself… most people aren’t too keen to stop for every bird sighting while out in the bush.

A pair of crested francolins foraging at the side of the road.
A family of francolins on the run.
A coqui francolin being very accommodating and pausing for a photo op.
Double banded sand grouse were enjoying a dust bath in the middle of the road, until we rudely disturbed them!

2020-09-20: Selenkay Conservancy

For the last few weeks I have been revisiting my trip to East Africa in 2016. Today, I have some images from the Selenkay Conservancy and Amboseli National Park. The main reason I went to East Africa was to visit Uganda and trek to see gorillas, but since I was in the area, I added on five nights in Kenya. It was a place I had always wanted to travel to, and the add-on gave me a bit of a feel for the country; which I absolutely want to explore in greater detail in the future.

One thing I didn’t get to see in any real detail was Kilimanjaro. All of the amazing images from Amboseli of elephants with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background was not my experience, as it was quite hazy and I inly had a brief glimpse of the mountain. Hopefully next time!

I hope you enjoy my selection of images for the day. You can find some older posts from my trip here and here.

One of the homes in a Maasai village that I was able to visit during my stay.
A gerenuk stretching for tasty leaves on an acacia.
A gazelle and her calf.
A secretary bird strutting along.
A flock of flamingos at the Amboseli marsh.
A pair of gray crowned cranes.
A curious hyena cub

2020-09-13: Uganda Revisited

For the last few blog posts, I have been revisiting my journey through Uganda and editing some photos that I passed by the first go around. It’s been wonderful to review these images and relive the memories that I carry of that wonderful journey. Today and tomorrow will be the last of Uganda revisited, and after that, I am going to be moving on to revisiting my time in Kenya.

These images were taken at Queen Elizabeth National Park while staying at Ishasha Wilderness Lodge, along the Kazinga Channel while staying at Mweya Lodge, and in the Kibale Forest, where I stayed at Primate Lodge.

I hope you enjoy!

A yellow throated long claw seen in burnt vegetation along the side of the road, just after coming into Queen Elizabeth Park from Bwindi.
A beautiful sunset while on a game drive from Ishasha Lodge.
A leopard and a topi. This leopard has in fact taken the topi’s small fawn which was why she was standing and looking at the leopard so intensely.
A group of pied kingfisher seen while on a birding boat cruise. The number of pied kingfisher we saw was unbelievable, as they were nesting in the tall sand banks of the channel. They were there by the hundreds.
A woodland kingfisher see along the Kazinga Channel
Traditional boats along the Kazinga Channel.
A red-tailed monkey I spotted while walking around the grounds of Primate Lodge.
A malachite kingfisher seen while on a birding cruise along the Kazinga channel.
Toti the chimp telling our group what he really felt about us (assuming that means the same in chimp language!)

2020-07-19: Yellow-rumped warbler

I was out with my dog at lunchtime this past week and saw an unfamiliar bird hopping through the lawn. I had just enough time to dash back inside and grab my camera to get a few shots to try and ID it later. I was actually a little disappointed when I did, as the yellow-rumped warbler summers to the north of here and winters far to the south in California and Mexico; Prince George is part of the migratory zone, so it was already on its journey southward again, reinforcing the notion that summer is waning (when weather wise, it has never really begun).

I’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the hummingbird numbers over the past week and I am sure within a week or so they will all be gone. I will miss hearing their buzzing while out for walks and my daily feeder fillings.

The seasons move on, whether we want them to or not, and I am going to keep this brief as the sun has finally come out, and it is time to get out and enjoy the few hours of summery weather we will get this weekend.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week.

2020-06-28: Hummingbirds

For a while it seemed that all hope was lost for hummingbirds this season, as all but a couple disappeared within two weeks of showing up (that’s what Prince George weather does to you!). But I kept filling my feeders for the couple that were around and enjoyed the brief glimpses that I had. Then quite suddenly it was a flurry if activity, at one point counting 15 individuals, and I’ve been filling up 5 feeders at least once every second day, if not more often.

They don’t stick around long so I am enjoying it while it lasts, although I do call them my little piggy birds.

While I would much prefer to get shots in a natural environment, we have so few flowers that the feeders are the only attractant, and they disappear deep into the forest when not feeding.

Hummingbirds galore!

2020-06-07: Local Birds (and more)

We have had some truly dismal weather the past few weeks, so much so that almost all of the hummingbirds have disappeared, presumably to find somewhere a little more hospitable to nest. But, I have seen a fair amount of wildlife, even though I haven’t had a chance to take pictures of all of it. The western tanager couple is back, and I see them flit through the yard usually once a day. Out on my walks, there have been frequent sightings of hermit thrushes, which surprises me after all the years I listened to them singing without being able to see one. There have also been a few different warblers; the Townsend’s, which I didn’t manage to get a photo of, and the Wilson’s warbler, which I managed a couple of ID shots of.

A male western tanager
A Wilson’s warbler
A hermit thrush

In addition to the variety of birds, I’ve seen both black bear, a cinnamon bear, and I finally caught a glimpse of the lynx that I saw tracks of all through the winter. I was walking my dog early one morning and saw it at the side of the road off in the distance, and it was so far away that I needed my camera to figure out what it was! Gratefully it stayed put for enough time to let me snap one photo, and then it evaporated into the bushes.

That’s all for today, wishing everyone a wonderful week.

2020-05-18: Monochrome Monday

I had grand plans for photography and posts this past week, but my schoolwork got me bogged down, so much so that I even missed my usual Sunday post.  Now it’s nearing the end of the long weekend and the weather has cooperated to get out for a round of golf, so a quick image and then I am off.  After a long winter and lots of time during the week spent at the computer, I have to have my priorities!  Have a great week everyone!

 

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A grey heron preening in the early morning, seen while out on a game drive from Lion Sands River Lodge.