Friday, November 28, 2008

Just thinking about SA Birds.

This is a Grey-winged Francolin. We saw several together in Lesotho not long after we entered that Country from the Sani Pass.

The story of the Sani pass will wait for another day.
It was interesting to say the least!

Now the pic above (or where ever it will be on the page, was only a half recovered pic but I was able to crop it. I have a limited range of tools at my dispersal at present. Until ican down load more software on my new pc.

So mainly pics will be raw except they are not technically RAW.

I am particularly pleased about this pic. The birds were spotted and then called in nearer to the 4x4 and one came really close.
Well the real urpose of 4x4 was brought home on the Sani pass both going up and coming down. Fog we would call it here in UK there its cloud cover!

LOL! I was in the passenger front seat and had to keep an eye out for Lorries as at each hair-pin bend there is little room for manouvre - sometimes there is a bit but you go very near the edge!

oh and a Hornbill - I grew quite attached to the antics of the Hornbills.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

South African photos recovered!

Well what clever software we can now purchase! My deleted photos are now recovered - mostly!

Some are lost but majority are now on my hard drive and being copied. They are all read only but I can sort that out and then maybe some will need cropping ...whatever!

Very happy Eagle!

Monday, November 24, 2008

300th Bird UK 2008 year list

I was going to Folkestone for lunch whats about? Do I see the bird before or after lunch? Before would be good.

A Night Heron at Hythe - well the same place as the Green Heron!

So in the weather that was Sunday I drove to Kent. Snow, rain, sleet, hail, fog and wind where there was not fog! Great driving conditions but it was forecast to clear up late afternoon so on I pressed!

I stopped on route for the coffee and petrol required for moi and car.I looked at pager
Bird had flown south! Oh not in this weather wonder where its gone. So lets get to the turn off and see if its relocated?

At the turn off not been seen since.By now I was going to be late if i went to seek out the bird so i decided that the bird was an extra add on and my friends were expecting me so on I drove to Folkstone. Here I had a delicious dinner and chat.
Recalling my South Africa trip with pics from the compact camera seen through the camera! Look good there!

I got into my car for the drive home in the light and thought is anything about? Pager - showed the Heron was back!

Well I just had to stop to see and yes there was the 300 for my year list!Great.But how interesting that the same canal held both a Green and a Night Heron within a month of each other!

Home was rain and rain but we were able to travel at a faster pace than the morning trip!


Steppe Grey Shrike - what an impressive bird it has been wowing birders since 7th November (when I was in SA). I got back shattered and unable to go due to committments until the sat evening for early sunday morning viewing (talons crossed) I also wanted to go to Donna Nook to see the seals!

Photos to be posted here later......

Friday, November 21, 2008

Birding in South Africa

Well where to start?

Truely amazing trip with over 300 lifers. Not as overwhelming as you might first think as i had done lots of research and tried to learn as much as I could from videos before I went. Being in the field is where its at and i was soon learning faster than a cheetah runs!
We saw over 350 birds - and that helped, seeing birds I was familiar with.

(I learnt my lessons from my trip to peru in 2005 - I was overwhelmed there - but since I thought there was a bird called a College Cleaner are you surprised? It was of course Foliage Gleaner! I was very tired when it was called and I did spot it!LOL!)

As well as the birds we saw lots of Mammals - well not lots of different species but lots of individual species...lots of Elephants, Lions, Buffalo's and a fair amount of White Rhino's (1 Black Rhino) + 2 Cheetah's (defo the stars of the trip!), all those "deer" now I know they are "Antelopes" ...I had given up trying to learn which was which before I left but now i can tell a Kudu (I grew to be impressed by this ante) from a Sable ( and as for the fast food for all that is the Impala.(or pyjama bottoms)

My big regret was not seeing a Leopard. They were everywhere apparently. We missed one in Kruger by 5 mins or so....where we stayed in St Lucia - there was resident male who frequented the garage roof, not when I was there alas!

But Giraffe are as elegant (and very pretty) in the wild as I thought and Rhino are scary! Elephants just cant help but be endearing.....except when they sway at you......get out quick...they didn't at me but....respect!
It was surreal though looking out of the minibus to see Giraffe by the window and then later a Rhino looking at the front of the minibus and spraying!

Hippo's lie about, submerge and reappear with no noise at all, we did see one trotting off about his business, on a Game Drive, this was just outside a camp.Moving remarkably quickly!

Crocs - yes there were a few - some huge ones - I must admit I as happiest when they were not to be seen , altho come to think of it actually it was better when you could see them!

Warthogs I found surprisingly endearing!

Gnu/wildebeest were there...might find something to say about them......

but ah yes the Duiker -( Red the most attractive little Ante. and the best of all - really liked this little ante- the Steenbok ( how could you not be when they look like this?

Thats it for this afternoon!