The pygmy is the smallest of the kingfishers seen in Southern Africa, and they really are a treat to spot, with jewel tone feathers and an intensely orange beak. This one was seen in typical woodland habitat. The barbed wire seems out of place in the bush, but the track we were driving along had an open construction excavation along the length of the road (I believe putting in a new water pipe), and the wire provided some demarkation between the work zone, and where it was safe to drive.
We were fortunate as this kingfisher kept flying off and back to almost the same spot on the wire, giving everyone in our group ample opportunities for spotting and photographs.
My photo sharing has been quite haphazard and random lately, and today is no different. As I got to my computer to work on images, the heavens opened up with the first thunderstorm of the year. After calming the pups down from the surprise of the loud noises, I thought decided to focus on bird around the water for today.
All of these birds are ones that I had seen before, but I still needed to go to my bird app to double check on both the heron and the kingfisher. Hopefully I have those identified correctly.
Again this week I am replacing my “What I’ve seen this week” post with some photos from my time in Uganda. Basically, because all I have seen recently is snow… and not the nice to photograph, snow glistening from sunlit trees… the regular, driveway and road clogging, get out the snow blower and get on with the day kind of snow. Perhaps my desire for winter to end is a bit apparent!!! But anyways, on with today’s post.
During my time in Uganda, I took an afternoon boat trip along the Kazinga channel, where I saw more kingfishers in under 3 hours than I had seen in all my life before, combined. I’m not exaggerating to say there were hundreds of individuals there. There are nesting colonies along the river banks with dozens of birds at each site, and it just kept going and going.
Note, I meant to post this much earlier in the day, but I have been having nothing but issues with the WordPress “http error” when trying to upload images. My workaround was loading them to Google Drive, downloading to my mobile phone and uploading to media that way, but it certainly isn’t an efficient work around. Hopefully the “Happiness Engineers” will have some info as to how to resolve this issue.
Now, onto the pictures.
It was easy enough to get a photo of a pair of kingfishers as we cruised along, but the tree had probably 20+ birds in it.
Unlike the pygmy kingfisher, I didn’t have any success capturing the brown hooded kingfisher in the water. Next time! He did however provide me with lots of lovely photo opportunities. My favourite will probably be a surprise to most, but there is just something about it that makes me smile.
I’ve finally worked my way through all the photos that I took of the pygmy kingfisher at the Mkombe hide at Zimanga. Some of the action shots I’ve included are not as crisp as I would like, but I’ve posted them anyways as they do show a nice representation of what the pygmy kingfisher looks like in flight and when coming out of the water. The sole crisp water shot that I managed to capture was done by pre-focusing on the spot I thought it would fly to (an ounce of technique and a pound of luck).
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.