Like the giant kingfisher I posted a couple days ago, this is the token photo that I have of a striped kingfisher. And actually, I didn’t even realize I had it until I started going through all my kingfisher photos and rating them; going back and forth between a couple photos, I finally spotted the difference between this and the brown hooded kingfisher (photos to follow on the weekend). I don’t mind admitting a bit of a “duh” moment, and that it took me ages to spot the different species amongst my photos. Honestly, I am just grateful I came home with so many photos, as at the start of my trip, it seemed the only kingfisher sightings I was going to have was as they flew away from me down a drainage line or up into the trees beyond the reach of my camera.
I spent some time going through my kingfisher photos today, and am very happy that I will have lots of shots of both the brown hooded kingfisher and the pygmy kingfisher to come in the following days and weeks. Unfortunately, I only managed a single photo of the giant kingfisher, and while it isn’t a fantastic shot, I thought I would post it anyways, as I think the variety in size and colouration of the kingfishers is phenomenal, and it seemed wrong to leave this one out.
We spotted this kingfisher when we were crossing from the north to the south side of the river. We briefly parked on the bridge to take some photos, but the kingfisher was at a fair distance to begin with, and after I managed only two photos, flew away.
I had a wonderful time watching the lesser striped swallows while staying at the Zimanga volunteer house. There really wasn’t a time at home when they weren’t keeping us company, as they had established two nests inside the house, and one on the front porch where we typically had our meals.
I got used to them calling and chattering from the window when I checked my email (I wish I could find a link to post of their calls; they make such wonderful sounds) or swooping above my head while I had lunch or dinner outside. My vantage point was usually not great to take photos of the swallows (lots of shadows), but spending the time watching them build their nests and interacting with each other was such a treat.
Since I don’t have a lot of variety in my swallow photos, I decided to take my favourites, and edit each of them in different ways. Adding things like a vintage film effect isn’t part of my normal editing process; this has been a fun post to get ready.
While at the Zimanga volunteer house, I had a great time in the garden on a few afternoons, taking pictures of whatever birds happened to be hanging around. A pair of scarlet chested sunbirds allowed me to hover around them for close to an hour while they had a meal at an aloe plant. Unfortunately, getting a photo of both of them together was not in the cards, but I do have lots more photos of them to go through and post in the near future.
Find this photo on Smugmug:
The lilac breasted roller is one of my favourite South African birds – it has such a wide variety of colours in its feathers. While I saw quite a few on my trip, usually it was while we were driving and they were flying away – not the best opportunity for capturing a photo. Here though, I lucked out. A bright sunny day really brings out the feather colours, but the flat white sky also serves as a good backdrop.
Londolozi is well known for the number of leopards they have living within the bounds of the property, and I was lucky enough to see three of them during my visit. They were elusive at first though, and it wasn’t until our third afternoon game drive that we finally saw our first leopard; the lions stole the show for the first half of our visit.
It was around 4:30 when Talley took a call that a leopard had been spotted with a fresh kill, and even though the viewing was not likely to yield great photos, we headed in that direction anyways, since we had yet to see a leopard.
When we found him, he was deep under some bushes with an impala ram. He had already had his fill, but was still working on pulling the fur off of the impala. The view from the vehicle was obstructed by the bushes, while I managed to get a couple shots and a short video clip, mostly I just watched.
We came across this leopard, as well as others, the next morning. The photographic opportunities and the story of that morning viewing were amazing!