A giraffe on a hot and sunny day. I think I caught the giraffe mid-chew, making it look even a little more awkward than they normally do.
2023-05-14: Pygmy Kingfisher
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.
2023-05-07: Tawny Eagle
I believe this is a tawny eagle, but raptor identification has never been my strong suit, so I hope if I have that wrong, someone will provide a correct ID. I saw a lot of raptors on my trip, but didn’t get into the habit of writing down names, as often they were spotted when I couldn’t get an image of the bird. It was different being on a specific birding trip, rather than a general safari. Birding was concerned with sightings, whether they were close up or far away (and some of them were really, really far!), whereas a general safari is more focused on close sightings and photography. It was interesting learning more about birding during my trip, but I must admit, I prefer my bird watching to be closer to me, where I can really enjoy them, rather than a small spec through binoculars.
2023-03-19: Stormy Skies
These images caught my eye while I was trying to decide what to work on this week. I do love a dramatic sky, and while the rainstorms I can do without, the clouds at sunset are beautiful watch, as the colours change moment to moment.
2023-01-29: Tsowa Island from the water
Tsowa Safari Island was a beautiful place to stay in the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe. Getting there involved a game drive through the park, with some dramatic views of the river valley, and then arriving at a boat launch and transferring to a small craft for a short crossing to the island. The afternoon we arrived, we set out for a sundowner birdwatching cruise. While not a traditionally good time of day or direction for photos, I love seeing the sun peaking through the fluffy clouds.
2023-01-22: Zambezi Sunrise
During my recent tour in southern Africa, we headed out for a morning of birding, and started the day walking along the edge of Zambezi River. We were a few kilometres upstream of Victoria Falls, where the water was flowing at leisurely pace and we could safely walk along the rocky bank. While most of the group was focused on trying to find new birds, or spotting birds on distance sand bars and tree branches, I was enjoying the beauty of the sunrise and the rapidly changing colours in the sky. When we finished along the edge of the river, we returned to our vehicles for a picnic breakfast before a leisurely drive around some of the birding sites in Victoria Falls.
2023-01-08: Impala Lambs
The majority of my time in southern Africa has been during the fall and into the winter (the dry season) which also happens to be the time for the impala rut. The dynamics at play during that period are very interesting to watch, and sometimes the result for the fighting males can be an untimely end (I shared some images taken during rutting season here, if you’re interested).
This time, while traveling through the bush, we saw many heavily pregnant impalas, and were hopeful of the chance to see some newly born lambs. Our group lucked out in two areas, Zambezi National Park and Chobe National Park, and had the chance to see two of the newest members of the herds. In both cases, these were our guides first lambs of the season. We were a bit early for the baby boom, but it was nice to see the couple that we did.
2022-12-18: Eagle Owl
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.