Kruger birds

Last week, I returned home from a three week break in Southern Africa. One of those weeks was spent in the Kruger National Park (visit number 18!) with a new camera. So, as you can imagine, the next few blog posts will focus more on “seeing” than on “walking”.

Many visitors to the Kruger get hung up on seeing the Big Five i.e. elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino. We had a different remit this time, wanting particularly to see creatures we hadn’t seen before, regardless of size. In addition, I was keen to get some landscape shots and to be able to capture what it’s like in the Kruger: taking photographs of animals in their habitat, illustrating their capacity for camouflage, rather than just getting close-ups that could have been taken in a zoo.

So this is the first of a number of blog posts about the visit. Over the next couple of weeks I will post about animals, reptiles/insects and landscapes, but I’m going to start with birds. It’s surprising to me (and sad) that many people drive straight past these wonderful creatures without a second glance, in their quest for cats. Here’s just a small selection of the many bird species we saw on this trip.

Black-winged stiltDSC_0209

White-fronted bee-eaterDSC_0124

BulbulDSC_0239 (2)

Crested barbetDSC_0304 (2)

Lilac-breasted rollerDSC_0093

Temminck’s coursersDSC_0256

Female Southern masked weaver (I think)DSC_0244

Black-headed orioleDSC_0338

Burchell’s starlingDSC_0231

Fish eagleDSC_0202

Bateleur eagleDSC_0266

Pied kingfisherDSC_0252

Blacksmith ploverDSC_0090

JacanaDSC_0334

Magpie shrikeDSC_0400

Brown-hooded kingfisher (the really colourful ones have migrated at this time of year)DSC_0116

The incredibly-well-camouflaged Kory bustardDSC_0352

VulturesDSC_0167

Last but not least: a juvenile lilac-breasted roller (I think this one’s my favourite)DSC_0402

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