2019-04-07: Birds

A random selection of bird images this week!

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Oftentimes, spotting a congregation of vultures like this, and heading to where they are circling yields an interesting discovery… but in this case, they were all just hovering over a bare patch of desert beyond this bush.
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A group of wattled cranes seen in Botswana.
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A little bee-eater ruffling its feathers.
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Try as I might, I am unable to identify these raptors.  They were spotted on a game drive in Botswana from the Leroo La Tau camp.
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A red-billed quelea flock at sunset.
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Red-billed quelea leaving a roosting spot.  That small tree was absolutely vibrating with energy while they were there.
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An African harrier hawk taking some grief from a pigeon.
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My personal favourite, the lilac breasted roller.
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A Meyer’s parrot spotted in Botswana.  This was the first wild parrot I’d ever seen.
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A Meyer’s parrot.

2018-06-17: Monthly Photo Projects – Birds

I had planned on creating a post about hummingbirds this week, but it’s just not going to happen.  I have been out taking photos of them as much as possible, but I haven’t had a chance to edit them yet.  As it’s Father’s Day today, I want to spend time with Pops rather than at my computer editing images.

Below is a selection of bird images from my travels that I haven’t had a chance to share yet.

Hummingbirds next week – I promise.

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A huge gathering of marabou storks and white backed vultures on the banks of the Boteti River in Botswana.  May, 2017.
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Groups of darters and cormorants in the early morning fog at one of the dams on Phinda Game Reserve.  A few hippos in there for good measure 🙂

 

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A pair of tawny eagles spotted in the Okavango Delta.  May 2017.
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My best guess at identification is a banded snake eagle.  This bird was up and away very quickly; spotted on a game drive through Amboseli National Park.  September, 2016.
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A Coqui Francolin spotted in the Masai Mara.  September, 2016.

Wild Dogs

Before I left for my first trip to Africa, people would ask me what I was most looking forward to seeing. Of course, I would say “Everything!”. I enjoy nature, love watching wildlife and birds, and enjoy traveling and seeing new places, so I really was looking forward to seeing everything. When pressed though, I would admit I would really love to see a baby elephant, and wild dogs.

As we were traveling to the Zambezi River and a taking a day trip into Botswana, I knew the chances of seeing a baby elephant (or many baby elephants as it would turn out) was quite high. In talking to people though, wild dogs seemed very unlikely. My ranger at Londolozi explained that for private reserves, unless the wild dogs den on the site, viewings are very rare because the wild dogs travel over great distances, and are a threatened species, so there are not many of them to see. She also told me of more than one group she knew of that had been on several safaris, never to see the elusive wild dogs.

In Botswana, we spent a lovely morning on a boat cruise, viewing elephants, hippos, water buffaloes, crocodiles and loads of different types of birds. In the afternoon, we went for a game drive in Chobe Park, allowing us to get much closer to the elephants. Our lovely guide Mike pulled over early in the drive to read a text message sent by another guide, and told us that wild dogs had had a kill the previous day in the area, and would likely still be near the water hole – would we like to try and find them? I answered yes for the group and we went off on an hours trek, up to the water hole, following their last tracks, over to their kill site – which by this point was nothing more than a pile of bones being fought over by vultures.

Vultures on Wild Dog kill (1 of 1)

Just as we were giving up hope of seeing them, another guide had found their position, and a few minutes later, we were sitting amongst a pack of wild dogs – 18 in total. They were enjoying the shade, trying to beat the mid afternoon heat and digest the large meal they had recently had. The lighting was unfortunate for photography, but the experience was simply amazing.

African Wild Dog, April 2013
African Wild Dog, April 2013
African Wild Dogs April 2013
African Wild Dogs
April 2013