African Harrier Hawk

Partway through our game drive on our last morning at Chitwa Chitwa, I spotted a fairly large bird in some trees a short distance from the vehicle, and our guide Surprise quickly realized that it was a hawk that had been successful hunting.  We headed closer but the hawk was definitely not too comfortable with our presence and headed for a new tree as soon as we got too close.  After that happened twice, we moved on to allow him (or her) to enjoy breakfast in peace.

It was such a cool sighting and I am very grateful I was able to capture it.

Have a great evening!

An African harrier hawk flies with a green spotted wood snake in its mouth. 1/1000 sec, f8.0, ISO 320
An African harrier hawk flies with a green spotted wood snake in its mouth.
1/1000 sec, f8.0, ISO 320
Coming in to land
Coming in to land
He seemed to be settling in to have breakfast, but soon changed his mind and was off again. 1/1000sec, f8.0, ISO 280
He seemed to be settling in to have breakfast, but soon changed his mind and was off again.
1/1000sec, f8.0, ISO 280
We moved the vehicle and for a few moments, had a closer vantage point.
We moved the vehicle and for a few moments, had a closer vantage point.
Off again 1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO 140
Off again
1/1000sec, f5.6, ISO 140
The poor snake had tied itself into a knot while clutched by the hawk.
The poor snake had tied itself into a knot while being clutched by the hawk.
One last view before he was off.
One last view before he was off.

Londolozi Highlights

Londolozi is well known for having amazing leopard sightings, and I certainly had one during my stay, but you’ll have to stay tuned to a future post to hear all about it and see the photos, as that encounter definitely deserves to be a post on its own (as does the Pangolin sighting!!!) 🙂
We had an absolutely fabulous time during our two night stay, and a lot of laughs with our ranger Dave and tracker Judas. I’d be back there tomorrow if I could (I think in fact I asked Phil the camp manager more than once if I could hide myself away somewhere just so I could stay longer).
The following are just a few of the moments that made me smile during my time there; I took over 1500 photos during my stay, so you can be certain you’ll see many more in the coming days and weeks.

This very blog was started after my first trip to Londolozi in 2013.  In case you missed those first posts, you can find some of them here (or use the search function at the bottom of my home page to find them all!)

My First Leopard Sighting

Leopard Sightings – Even Better the Second Time

Here is a link to my guest blog post from my first trip to Londolozi, in case you missed that:

A Home at Tree Camp

And now for the images – I hope you enjoy!

A small group of wildebeest gather around a tree, on a perfect autumn afternoon. 1/1000sec, f10, ISO360
A small group of wildebeest gather around a tree, on a perfect autumn afternoon.
1/1000sec, f10, ISO360
A saddle billed stork on one of the sandy banks in the river. 1/1000 sec, f9, ISO 560
A saddle billed stork on one of the sandy bars in the river.
1/1000 sec, f9, ISO 560
This photo brings me close to tears; I think it shows what I love best about being out in the bush, just bearing witness to the day to day lives of animals.  I absolutely love elephants, and capturing this tender moment when the youngster had a chance to suckle was one of the benefits of parking ourselves in the river and hanging out with this small family. 1/1000sec, f8, ISO 360
This photo brings me close to tears; I think it shows what I love best about being out in the bush, just bearing witness to the day to day lives of animals. I absolutely love elephants, and capturing this tender moment when the youngster had a chance to suckle was one of the benefits of parking ourselves in the river and hanging out with this small family.
1/1000sec, f8, ISO 360
We parked in the river to watch this small family group drinking and crossing the river.  What came next??? 1/1000sec, f8.0, ISO 400
We parked in the river to watch this small family group drinking and crossing the river. What came next???
1/1000sec, f8.0, ISO 400
Well and truly stuck! Our position in the river gave us brilliant viewing and photographic opportunities, but unfortunately left the land rover with tires at least half buried in the sand.  Dave was so worried that we would be upset at waiting for rescue and being late for breakfast, but we all had an absolute blast; just another part of the safari adventure!   1/1250sec, f16, ISO900
We got well and truly stuck!
Our position in the river gave us brilliant viewing and photographic opportunities, but unfortunately left the land rover with tires at least half buried in the sand. Dave was so worried that we would be upset at waiting for rescue and being late for breakfast, but we all had an absolute blast; just another part of the safari adventure!
1/1250sec, f16, ISO900
The tractor arrived to remove our stuck vehicle from the river; I'm not sure if Dave has lived that one down yet.   1/1250sec, f10, ISO500
The tractor arrived to remove our stuck vehicle from the river; I’m not sure if Dave has lived that one down yet.
1/1250sec, f10, ISO500
The result of having to call for rescue, Dave ended up with the dreaded pink ammo pouch.  I think it may be good luck though, as we had some amazing sightings after he took possession of it!
The result of having to call for rescue, Dave ended up with the dreaded pink ammo pouch. I think it may be good luck though, as we had some amazing sightings after he took possession of it!
Even after getting dragged out of the river, Dave still stopped in the sand along the river so I could photograph this beautiful white fronted bee-eater. 1/1250 sec, f10, ISO 1000
Even after getting dragged out of the river, Dave still stopped in the sand along the river so I could photograph this beautiful white fronted bee-eater.
1/1250 sec, f10, ISO 1000
The morning sky was like a painting, and I was happy just to sit and watch that;, stumbling across this herd of elephants made it all the better. 1/640sec, f5, ISO 3600
The morning sky was like a painting, and I was happy just to sit and watch that; stumbling across this herd of elephants made it all the better.
1/640sec, f5, ISO 3600
My first attempt at photographing lightning; I set up my camera on the tree camp deck under a patio umbrella, and let the camera do it's thing on a timer function while I enjoyed wine and dinner.  We were out on drive and returned just before the rain started, but watched the most intense part of the lightning from the vehicle on the way back to camp.  I'm pleased with the results for my first attempt; it was basically focusing and aiming at nothing and hoping for the best! 25sec, f11, ISO 800
My first attempt at photographing lightning; I set up my camera on the tree camp deck under a patio umbrella, and let the camera do it’s thing on a timer function while I enjoyed wine and dinner. We were out on drive and returned just before the rain started, but watched the most intense part of the lightning from the vehicle on the way back to camp. I’m pleased with the results for my first attempt; it was basically focusing and aiming at nothing and hoping for the best!
25sec, f11, ISO 800
A slightly different editing technique, but from the same storm as the other lightning photo (one of only a few periods of rain I had on holiday). 25 sec, f11, ISO800
A slightly different editing technique, but from the same storm as the other lightning photo (one of only a few periods of rain I had on holiday).
25 sec, f11, ISO800
I asked both my Dave's to find me owls, and they both succeeded :)  The light was not in my favour for photographing this southern white faced owl, but I really like this black and white conversion. 1/1250sec, f6.3, ISO 900
I asked both my Dave’s to find me owls, and they both succeeded 🙂 The light was not in my favour for photographing this southern white faced owl, but I really like this black and white conversion.
1/1250sec, f6.3, ISO 900
A couple of iconic African shapes - elephants and  cheetah. 1/250sec, f7.1, ISO 3600
A couple of iconic African shapes – elephants and cheetah.
1/250sec, f7.1, ISO 3600

Wild Dogs

I recently had a request for some more wild dog photos, so I spent some time this evening going through the photos I took back in April 2013 when I was lucky enough to see them in Botswana.  I had dismissed many of the photos when I originally took them, as the light was rather difficult, but what a difference a year makes.  I have more skills in editing now, and am able to correct things that I wasn’t able to just a short time ago.    I didn’t have time to go through all the photos I flagged this evening, so if you are a betting person, you can put money on the fact that you’ll see more of this group later in the week 🙂

Torn ears and a face full of flies. 1/400sec, f5.3, ISO1600
Torn ears and a face full of flies.
1/400sec, f5.3, ISO1600
A group of wild dogs rests in the shade from the mid afternoon heat, at Chobe Game Reserve in Botswana. 1/500sec, f5.3, ISO1600
A group of wild dogs rests in the shade, away from the mid afternoon heat, at Chobe Game Reserve in Botswana.
1/500sec, f5.3, ISO1600
I have no idea what they might have saw, heard, or smelled, but it certainly captivated the attention of the group. 1/640sec, f4.8, ISO800
I have no idea what they might have saw, heard, or smelled, but it certainly captivated the attention of the group.
1/640sec, f4.8, ISO800
A wild dog heads away from the group. 1/1000sec, f4.5, ISO800
A wild dog heads away from the pack.
1/1000sec, f4.5, ISO800