Thursday, March 8, 2018

Bird sightings in the Kruger National Park.

A Glossy Starling takes flight...
Setting this posting in motion.
Time to have a look at  some of the bird life
 I encountered on my recent trip to Tented Adventures, Kruger National Park.

And they do!
Often you will find a group of vehicles where the occupants seem to be staring into space.
Then you notice the bumper sticker...
The best retort I got when asking a birder what they were looking at...
"Nests" was the reply.

Just another African sunrise...
And time to hit the road.
The lighting in the early morning can be sublime.

A Tawny Eagle, possibly a juvenile or a pale morph?
When asking for help with bird identification,
there are often more questions than answers.
Especially when it comes to raptors, who often have a variety of plumage cycles.

A Martial Eagle.
This awesome bird is one of the largest raptors...
The eyes seem to stare straight through you.

A Glossy Ibis.
This species caused a lot of controversy when I requested help with ID.
I knew that it was an Ibis, but it was not one I had seen before.
Lots of answers until the consensus was the Glossy Ibis.

A Red-billed Oxpecker.
The bird species has a symbiotic relationship with the host animal.
It eats the ticks and parasites, keeping the animal healthy 
and getting a meal at the same time.

A Brown Snake Eagle.
These are stunning birds...always on the look out for a meal.
As the name suggests, snakes are high on their menu.

A Lilac-breasted Roller, is an opportunistic feeder.
It will take a variety of prey species, depending on what happens to be available.
Here it was in the process of killing a blind snake for a snack.

And this is the cousin.
A European Roller with an Elegant Grasshopper for breakfast

A very stern Steppe Buzzard.
 One of my favourites as it is relatively easily identifiable.

It is found in trees, but this is certainly NOT a bird species of any description.
A female Vervet monkey and her offspring.
She was not very happy with my intrusion and made that very clear
in displaying her fangs.

Cape Vulture.
Without this species, the bush would be littered with rotting carcases.
Thankfully, Kruger has a large and diverse Vulture population.
They arrive at the site of a kill very quickly and
 are able to help the other scavengers clean up the remains. 

Lappet-faced Vulture.
Each vulture species has a particular pecking order at a carcass.

A Helmeted Guinea Fowl...probably the most stupid bird in Kruger.
The flock at the Tented Adventures camp site was so dumb,
that they would spend time running up and down the fence
 trying to figure out how to get over it.
Eventually they would figure out they could actually fly.
They seem to be more aware of their flight capabilities in the evenings, 
when they need to get off the ground and roost in the trees for safety.

A Red billed Hornbill

Made famous by Disney and the Lion King.
A Yellow-billed Hornbill enjoying a meal of termites.

A Woodland Kingfisher.
A beautiful bird, not necessarily found near water...or fishing for that matter.
It is a summer migrant and is often found in the savannah regions that have tall trees.

A young Bateleur during a transition phase.
Interesting fact #12: Juvenile birds will often join vultures and feed on carcasses.

A Wahleberg's  Eagle guarding the entrance of a termite nest,
trying to keep other bird species away.

The iconic African Fish Eagle.
The rather plaintive call of this bird carries with it the sound of Africa.

After a busy day of bird photography,
coming back to the comfort of my tent was a reward in itself.

To find out more about what we offer,
visit our website:

Tented Adventures recently won a Lilizela Tourism award!
Well done to all concerned.

Rather than drive to Kruger myself,
I make use of this shuttle service.
The drive takes about 4.5 hours and there are two comfort breaks along the route.
A complimentary magazine and bottled water makes this company a pleasure to travel with.
Hector Ndlovu has been the driver on four of my trips and I do enjoy his sense of humour.
We have certainly shared some interesting drives together.
But what happens on the shuttle, stays on the shuttle!

This is the drop off and pick up point in Hazyview.
Most camps will come and collect guests here 
and the drive to Numbi Gate takes about 40 minutes

...without whom this Blog
 would not be possible. 




A new "tool" in my camera bag.
For serious birders this is an absolute must!
This locally made product was indispensable when using a long lens.
The ball and socket might look simple...and it is, 
which is why it should be in the gear bag of every serious photographer.
 I got to try out this awesome product on a recent trip to Kruger National Park.
 For tracking birds in flight and animals in motion (what it was intended for)
 it was ideal and it did not take up much space in my camera bag.
 The base set can be used with either a beanbag or a tripod. 
The advantage of this for me is that it offered the opportunity
 to go from a supported to hand held without have to detach
 from the head of a tripod or a beanbag.
Order directly from

An indispensable guide to the Park.
Published by the same company that produces the StabiLens,
this book is the definitive guide to the Kruger Park and all that it offers.
It is also available as an Apple App, but as I have an Android phone,
the paper version works just as well...
Check out to order

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and may not be used without permission

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