I was glad to start the new year working on my photography a bit, even if it was primarily behind the scenes, housekeeping type work, like finally finishing my first round of star rating my trip photos. When I came to the few photos I captured of the male violet backed starling, I smiled remembering how excited I was to finally have the opportunity to capture one of these birds in fairly decent light; that was enough to decide that this was the photo to edit if there was only going to be time to do one.
Our tour had a one-day trip into Chobe National Park in Botswana. It was a place I had visited on my first trip to Africa, and our group even had lunch at the same lodge I visited the first trip, so it really was a walk down memory lane. Being a different season, the experience was significantly different, but still very enjoyable. After border formalities and getting to the park, we were driving towards the river when our guide heard of some lions off of the main road about 20 minutes away. Our two guides chatted for a few minutes while slowly driving along, before making the choice to turn back to give people the chance to see some big cats. We spotted this starling just before making the decision to turn around, and it was only one of two that I saw on the trip (the other not offering any photo opportunities) so I am glad we carried on as far as we did before turning back for the lions.
It’s been a long time since I’ve taken any volume of photos (May 2019 to be exact) and I’d forgotten how time consuming it is to go through images and rate them to determine which deserve editing. With other obligations for my time, I’ve only gotten through about 2/3rds of my images from my recent trip, on a first pass only. But, at least I am making progress. I reached the image I’m sharing today and decided to stop and edit it. I absolutely love owls, and it’s magical whenever there is an opportunity to see one. I was lucky enough to have one land outside my office window earlier this week, but as I was working I didn’t get any images. Maybe that is why this one stood out for me today.
On my recent tour, we were transferring from Hwange National Park to Tsowa Island in Zambezi National Park, and came upon a family of 3 Verreaux’s eagle owls. While they were quite high in the trees, there were still opportunities for good viewing and photos. I think I captured a few images with a least two of the family together, but I’m running out of day, so a single owl will have to do for today.
While I still haven’t gotten back into any type of routine with editing and posting, it feels good to be spending some time on this again.
I’d planned to edit and post these two weeks ago, but life got in the way. First, I was distracted by some ravens in the yard, and last week, I was caught up with studying for finals and didn’t manage to sneak in any time for photo editing. I’m enjoying a very brief break from studies and to be honest, not quite sure what to do with all this free time on my hands!
This week will feature some hornbill images, and hopefully I can carry on with local birds next week, as there are lots of new faces in the area now that it is warming up.
Now that February is ending, it won’t be long before it is time to bring in the feeders, as the birds start having better sources of food available. Mostly though, it’s to mitigate the risk of having bears close to the house; if I could, I would keep feeders out year round to watch the birds.
With the cold and damp, I’ve not spent much time outside snapping shots of the chickadees and pine siskins, so instead, I found some bird images I hadn’t worked through yet from my last trip. There is one mystery bird in there, that I didn’t write the name down when I saw them, but I am hoping a friend based in South Africa will be able to help me out – fingers crossed.
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.
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 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.