Monday, April 7, 2008

Some bird photos today

About a year ago, I set myself a goal – to photograph as many different bird species as possible. Today I’d like to show you some of the birds I’ve photographed so far. One of those I view as outstanding is a photo of a Ground Hornbill (taken in the Kruger National Park) – what attitude this bird seems to have!!?? Although it was taken with a small HP Camera (my first digital camera), I still view this photo as one of my favourites.

I’m also very proud of the 2nd photo. I saw a little Cape White-eye sitting on a branch in our garden, looking pretty – but as I released the shutter, he flew off. The result – an “unexpected” photo.

Once I’d made up my mind to photograph as many different birds as possible (my collection to date “stands” at over 300 different birds), I learned to be patient (not one of my better-known qualities) – and was rewarded. Whilst sitting having an early cup of coffee and a cigarette on the patio in front of my room at Boehms Zederberg Guesthouse (Mpumalanga Province), waiting to see what birds might appear, along came a couple of Lesser Doublecollared Sunbirds, intent on enjoying a bird-bath. Amongst many others, I captured the 3rd photo.

Since the 4th photo was taken in Graaf-Reinet, I can only assume that this is a female or junior Doublecollared (Lesser- rather than Greater-) Sunbird – or perhaps a Black Sunbird female? (because the other species of sunbirds don’t “appear” in this region of the country). Although I find it difficult to identify the little bird, I nonetheless think this is quite a pretty photo.

It was stormy, cold and very unpleasant during a boat-trip on the St Lucia Estuary (part of the itinerary for a group of tourists I accompanied that day), so we hardly spotted any of the otherwise prolific bird and animal life this area is famous for. The crocodiles were “in hiding” and the hippos barely “showed” their eyes above the water level. But voila, there was an African Fish Eagle perched on a branch!! By the look of it, the eagle was wearing its feathers like a coat against the unfamiliar coldness in that part of the world. The flimsy wind-breaker I wore that day (not expecting such unpleasant weather), didn’t keep me warm – but the sight of the Fish Eagle certainly warmed my heart.

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