BIRDS – Emerald-spotted Wood Dove

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For the many bird lovers among my blog audience I am starting a new posts series. The first image is of two Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, small doves with beautiful emerald-colored markings on their wings.

I am planning to post at least one special bird image per week.

Smart Birds!

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At a sighting with six White Rhino I took this image of a Fork-tailed Drongo.

These small birds are known for their ability to imitate the sound of other animals and for their hunting technique. They follow large mammals and hunt for any insects stirred up by their large “helpers”.

PS: One of the Rhinos provided the background for this image 🙂

More about Fork-tailed Drongos:

The Fork-tailed Drongos is a widespread resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara. These insect-eating birds are usually found in open forests or bush. They are aggressive and fearless birds, given their small size, and will attack much larger species, including birds of prey if their nest or young are threatened. The call is a metallic strink-strink. Fork-tailed Drongos are capable of using deceptive mimicked alarm calls to steal food from small mammals.

Not only mammals …

On my photography drive last night I did not only spot the Lions, Zebras and Impalas I also took pictures of a few birds.

Here are three of the images: A Cattle Egret in breeding plumage, a male Spur-winged Goose and a Laughing Dove.

Birds, Birds, Birds …

Thanda Private Game Reserve is well known for its excellent game viewing. The Super Seven (Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, African Wild Dog, Black and White Rhino, African Elephant and Cape Buffalo) are spotted regularly. And as you know I publish many pictures of these magnificent creatures.

But especially in the summer season there are also many birds to be seen. Here is a small selection of bird pictures (African Hoopoe, Little Bee-eater, Violet-backed Starling, Fork-tailed Drongo, Village Weaver, Brown-hooded Kingfisher) . I will post more pictures for the birders among you over the summer month 🙂

More of Mkuze …

As promised here are a few more pictures from my day at Mkuze Game Reserve.

Have a great week!

White Rhino (with mudded horn)

White Rhino

Brown-hooded Kingfisher (bathing)

Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Purple-crested Turaco

Cape Turtle Dove (landing)

Blue Waxbill

Crested Barbet


Technical Data – for photographers 🙂

Rhino – Picture 1 – Camera Canon 1D Mark IV – Lens Canon L f/4.0-500mm – 1/2000sec – f/4.5 – ISO 400 – +/-0eV – freehand

Rhino – Picture 2 – Camera Canon 1D Mark IV – Lens Canon L f/2.8-300mm – 1/1250sec – f/2.8 – ISO 400 – +/-0eV – freehand

Kingfisher – Picture 3 – Camera Canon 1D Mark IV – Lens Canon L 28-300mm – at 150mm – 1/2000sec – f/5.6 – ISO 800 – +0.67eV – freehand

Kingfisher – Picture 4 – Camera Canon 1D Mark IV – Lens Canon L f/4.0-500mm + 1.4Ext at 700mm – 1/500sec – f/5.6 – ISO 200 – +/-0eV – freehand

Turaco – Picture 5 – Camera Canon 1D Mark IV – Lens Canon L f/4.0-500mm + 1.4Ext at 700mm – 1/500sec – f/5.6 – ISO 200 – +/-0eV – freehand

Dove – Picture 6 – Camera Canon 1D Mark IV – Lens Canon L f/4.0-500mm – 1/5000sec – f/4.5 – ISO 800 – -0.67eV – freehand

Waxbill – Picture 7 – Camera Canon 1D Mark IV – Lens Canon L f/4.0-500mm + 1.4Ext at 700mm – 1/800sec – f/5.6 – ISO 200 – -1.00eV – freehand

Barbet – Picture 8 – Camera Canon 1D Mark IV – Lens Canon L f/4.0-500mm – 1/3200sec – f/4 – ISO 400 – -0.67eV – freehand




For the Kingfisher lovers among you – as promised 🙂

PS: I got pictures of seven of the ten Kingfisher species in Kwazulu Natal. I will try get pictures of the other three species (Grey-headed Kingfisher, Striped Kingfisher, Half-collared Kingfisher) in time 🙂

Frustration and Birds

Today was a bit of a frustrating day. I could not find anything exciting “in the mammal department” on both game drives. And when good sightings were called in on the radio they were too far away to reach in time before the end of the drives. Well, every occupation must have his frustration from time to time.

A bit of a compensation (at least for me 🙂 were two very nice bird bird sightings:

A Brown-hooded Kingfisher and a Cardinal Woodpecker.

Evening Bird Songs at Thanda Lodge

In my blog message on Friday I mentioned various birds around my Thanda Lodge room.

Here are four pictures I took that evening sitting by the small pool on my porch.

They are Pied Crows (top left), a White-brown Scrub Robin (top right), a Green-winged Pytilia (bottom left) and a Yellow-bellied Greenbul (bottom right). I hope I identified them correctly (I am still a bit shaky when it comes to birds 🙂

Good night from South Africa!