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.

2020-05-03: Backyard Birds

I’ve been letting the feeders run to empty now, given the likelihood of bears in the back yard, but that hasn’t slowed down the volume of birds in the yard at all, at least not yet.  Today I spotted a new species for the first time, a Townsend’s Solitaire, and while I didn’t get a great image of it, at least it got me outside for a few minutes to capture the other visitors, before it started to rain.

The one bird I didn’t get any images of today is a hummingbird, and they have arrived back here as well.  They are one of my favourite birds to watch, and hearing them buzz and chatter from the bushes or investigate me when I am out walking the dog is one of the joys of summer.

Just a couple today, I hope you are also getting the chance to get outside and enjoy spring.

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I only got my camera out when this bird was spotted to try and snap a picture to help with identifying it.  Since it is a new species for me, I thought I would share, despite it being a bit blurry.

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A dark-eyed junco nibbling on seeds on the ground.  It is so nice not to be seeing snow any longer!

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A group of white crowned sparrows and house finches.  I am struggling to identify the brown and white striped bird in the bottom left corner.  I am pretty sure it is the same struggle I have every year!

2020-04-20: Monochrome Monday

Spotlights can add a strange colour cast to images, and rather than tinkering for ages with colour correction, I moved this to black and white to see how it would look, and loved the result.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week!

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A southern white-faced owl spotted while on the way back to camp while staying at Chitwa Chitwa in the Sabi Sands.

2020-04-05: Sunrise to sunset during safari

I’m working on a guest post for a friend doing an Armchair safari series, and thought I would share the images here as well.  I decided that the theme of my post would be sunrise to sunset on safari; showcasing images from dawn till dusk while out in the bush.  These are all shot during my last trip to South Africa and were from all of the camps that I stayed at.  I would have to plan a lot more in advance while out in the field to have a sunrise to sunset images from a single day (note to self, do that next trip!).

Rather than a highlight reel of amazing sightings, these are just a collection of moments out in the bush.

I hope you enjoy.

6am - Lions
6am – Lions.  Two of the Torchwood Pride greet each other.

7am - Hyena and Impala
7am – Hyena and Impala.  A group of impala look on wearily as a hyena approaches down the road.

8am - Elephants
8am – Elephants.  A pair of youngsters tussle while the older elephants graze nearby.  

9am - Giraffe
9am – Giraffe.  A giraffe bull paused in the road allowing me to capture this image while on the way back to camp for breakfast.

10am - Waterbuck
10am – Waterbuck.  A waterbuck heads towards the dam for a drink.

11am - Hippos
11am – Hippos. A group of hippos making their way back to the water to beat the midday heat.

12pm - Hornbill
12pm – Yellow-billed hornbill.  A “flying banana” perched just beyond the deck at camp.

1pm - Infrared Landscape
1pm – Landscape in infrared.  Midday was a great time to wander around camp with my infrared filter and play around with long exposure photos. This was shot from the deck at Lion Sands Tinga Lodge.

2pm - Purple Crested Turaco
2pm – Purple Crested Turaco.  I tried for ages to capture a good image of this beautiful bird from my balcony, but given they like to be deep in the branches, it really wasn’t meant to be.  It was a fun way to spend part of the afternoon though.

3pm - Cheetah
3pm – Cheetah.  We’d only been out on game drive for about 10 minutes when we came across this cheetah, and had the chance to watch her stalking some impala.  They spotted her right away so supper wasn’t in her immediate future.

4pm - Wild Dog
4pm – Wild Dog.  Spending time with wild dogs always makes my heart happy.  We had a good half an hour with them before they took off in all directions, setting out to hunt.

5pm - Honey Badgers
5pm – Honey Badgers. I had always wanted to see honey badgers and on my first game drive of the trip I finally had my chance.  It only lasted about 30 seconds but it certainly was thrilling, even if all I could get were butt shots!

6pm - Leopard
6pm – Leopard.  We were heading back to camp for drinks and dinner and came across this leopard heading in to this large puddle to drink.  It was a quick stop before the leopard was on its way.