These little birds are so colorful that they sometimes sparkle in the light like little gems.
I miss my regular photography excursions to Lake St.Lucia in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and to Nsumo Dam at Mkuze Game Reserve where one can find Malachite Kingfishers and many other aquatic bird species.
I am featuring a species or family of species per week on my social media channels. Here is a summary of the last week’s posts (and some blog bonus images). I hope you enjoy some of my favorite Kingfisher pictures :-).
Grey-headed Kingfisher and Half-collared Kingfisher are the two South African Kingfisher species which I have no pictures of.
After yesterday’s post about a Malachite Kingfisher on Thanda a few people have asked me about the various South African Kingfishers. So, here is a short post about them:
There are ten Kingfisher species in South Africa. Five are aquatic species and five are considered woodland Kingfishers. Up til now I took pictures of eight of these ten species. I am still missing the Half-collared Kingfisher and the Grey-headed Kingfisher.
Four of them (Woodland Kingfisher, Striped Kingfisher, Brown-hooded Kingfisher and African Pygmy Kingfisher) are regularly seen on Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve and I had one – rare – sighting of a Malachite Kingfisher. Giant Kingfishers, Mangrove Kingfishers and Pied Kingfishers are aquatic species and are therefore not resident on Thanda.
Enjoy the pictures!
Malachite Kingfisher (C) Christian Sperka Photography
Giant Kingfisher (C) Christian Sperka Photography
Mangrove Kingfisher (C) Christian Sperka Photography
Pied Kingfisher (C) Christian Sperka Photography
Brown-hooded Kingfisher (C) Christian Sperka Photography
African Pygmy Kingfisher (C) Christian Sperka Photography
Striped Kingfisher (C) Christian Sperka Photography
Woodland Kingfisher (C) Christian Sperka Photography
It is always very exciting to see a bird in an area where it usually does not occur. Malachite Kingfishers are one of the aquatic Kingfisher species. They live on Rivers or other large bodies of water. Finding one on Thanda Safari – Private Game Reserve was a very special treat for our bird-loving guests. Bheki (my Zulu tracker) spotted it at the waterhole near my home.
These are not my best Malachite Kingfisher images, but they are very special to me!
The Malachite Kingfisher (Corythornis cristatus) is an aquatic, small Kingfisher which is widely distributed in Africa south of the Sahara. It is only 13 cm (5.1 in) in length. This species is common to reeds and aquatic vegetation near slow-moving water or ponds. The flight of the Malachite Kingfisher is rapid, with the short, rounded wings whirring until they appear a mere blur. It usually flies low over water. The call of this kingfisher is then a short shrill seek. The breeding song is a chuckling li-cha-cha-chui-chui.
While I was in the Lowveld for my training course I spent a few hours at Lake Panic in the Kruger National Park.
Besides many good bird shots I took a series of pictures of mating Hippos. Because of their size/weight they mate in the water. For most of the mating time one sees only the male but in the quite lengthy process the female occasionally surfaces to get some air.
My favorite lake panic bird picture is of a Malachite Kingfisher returning from fishing. I also got images of a Brown-hooded Kingfisher, a Woodland Kingfisher and a Pied Kingfisher. A good Kingfisher day!
On the way to Lake Panic I passed the Sabi River. This Elephant bull almost disappeared in the high grass along the river bank.