Kingfisher Week

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 :-).

Malachite Kingfisher
Striped Kingfisher
Woodland Kingfisher
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
8 of 10 South African Kingfisher species
Giant Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher
Mangrove Kingfisher
Malachite Kingfisher

Pygmy Kingfisher

Sunrise …
A little bath …

Note:

Grey-headed Kingfisher and Half-collared Kingfisher are the two South African Kingfisher species which I have no pictures of.

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The South African Kingfishers

Kingfisher Collage

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!

Not supposed to be there! – Bird of the Day – Malachite Kingfisher

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!

To view more of my Malachite Kingfisher images go to http://www.sperka.biz/sgb10

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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.

Malachite Kingfisher

 

They are well!

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We saw the Thanda Cheetah mum today with her two cubs. Both of the cubs have grown a lot and are looking very healthy – they look like real Cheetah now 🙂 – What a sighting!

During the same game drive I got my first picture of a Pygmy Kingfisher and we had sightings of our two male Cheetah, three Lions and two Spotted Hyena feeding on a kill.

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BIRDS – Brown-hooded Kingfisher

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One of the Thanda guests was very surprised when this Brown-hooded Kingfisher did not fly off when we approach but kept sitting on its branch almost to “touching-distance”.

These small birds are usually not to tolerant to vehicle approaches, but this specimen did not care. Thanks for the great photo opportunity :-).

Heavy Mating and Fishing!

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.

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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!

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On the way to Lake Panic I passed the Sabi River. This Elephant bull almost disappeared in the high grass along the river bank.

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I enjoyed the Sabi Sands, Kruger and Lake Panic!

… and I am back home at Thanda 🙂 …

A summer evening with rare guests!

When we were looking for Rhinos in the South of Thanda Private Game Reserve we came across some very rare guests.

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A few Woodland Kingfisher were displaying to one another in the Fever Trees along the Mduna River.

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A little later found a female White Rhinoceros and her calf and ended the game drive with gin&tonics – enjoying a beautiful summer evening in the bush!

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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 🙂

Pied Kingfisher

This morning I spent a few hours at Panic Dam in the Kruger National Park, before the start of second Trails Guiding Course in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

My favorite picture of the day is of a Pied Kingfisher taking a bath. I also caught him with a fish in his beak.

It was great to spend a few hours at the hide without rushing around and without assessments 🙂

I will be very busy the next few days preparing for my theoretical trails guiding exam. So there may not be as many blog messages as usual until next week.