Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back From Africa and some bird photos

Well I had a long, fun and productive trip to Africa, coming home with many reference photos (though completing zero art) and memories.  But I am HAPPY to be home (at least for a couple of weeks...LOL).

We saw LOTS of animals in SA! An incomplete list off of the top of my head includes Elephants, Impala, Springbok, Steenbok, Bushbuck, Greater Kudu, Common Duiker, Bush Duiker, Klipspringer, Eland, Blesbok, Gemsbok, Waterbuck, Blue Wildebeest, Black Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Burchell's Zebra, Mountain Zebra, White Rhino, African Buffalo, Warthogs, Bush Pigs, Hippos, Giraffes, Lions, Leopards, Side Striped Jackal, Black Backed Jackal, African Civet, Honey Badger, Spotted Hyena, lots of Mongoose of various types, various bats and tons of birds!

Here are a few photos of birds that we saw in South Africa throughout our trip.  South Africa is a premier birders spot with over 900 species calling it home for at least part of the year.  And while I am far from a hard core birder I do enjoy documenting and looking up the species that I saw.  Since I didn't even have a bird book for that part of the world (the cheapest one I saw was about $35) I had to sneak peeks at the bird books that were being sold in each and every gift shop to get my IDs :)
Yellow Hornbill - a VERY common species around Kruger National Park

This is a Crombec (not sure what type).  They have virtually no tail feathers to speak of, which makes them look quite funny.  Before I looked up the species I thought maybe his feathers had been pulled out by a predator, but nope... that is just how they are!

Collared Sun Bird - These little guys are Africa's version of a hummingbird, though they do not hover, they do LOVE nectar from aloe plants.  This is a male sitting on a Marloth Aloe flower. 

Greater Blue Eared Starling - South Africa has many starling species.  Several of them are incredibly iridescent (they look anywhere from black to green to blue depending on the light) from head to tail (not something that you can capture all that well in a photo).  These guys are very common, but nevertheless the beauty of them is something I never got tired of.

Many would consider the Lilac Breasted Roller as one of Africa's more beautiful (and trademark) birds.  I never did get the 'killer' shot of one that I wanted but got a few shots I can't complain too much about.

White Capped Shrike - These little guys flock together and like to talk a lot.   I think their fluffy look is very cute :)

Pied Kingfisher hovering above a river.  I WISH I could have changed the lighting situation on this photo to illuminate his head better, but it is still a neat thing to see.  I also got photos of a brown hooded kingfisher and a giant kingfisher.


Bev said...

Wow what great photos Cathy, takes me back to Africa.

Roger Brown My Botswana Art said...

Great photos of our African Birds next time you should also visit Botswana,the Chobe and Moremi National parks.

Cathy Sheeter said...

I definately plan to go back to Africa some time in the future, though think I sould shoot for another country (Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania or Nairobi I think)just to see more/different stuff. The wildlife is amazing!!