Birds Large and Small (2015)

I always consider myself extremely lucky when capturing a cool bird shot.  While my family played soccer at picnic site in the Crater, I saw a pair of yellow-billed kites approaching and executing the most stunning flight manoeuvres right above my head. Never before I had seen them that close in flight. I grabbed the camera and started shooting.

While in Phinda, I tried to capture village weavers as they busily built their precariously fragile nests when seemingly out of nowhere the jewel of all birds – a malachite kingfisher – landed on a branch right in front of my camera.

On the opposite end of the bird kingdom’s beauty continuum, we find the marabous.  But even these fairly unsightly birds make for fascinating shots when caught doing some interesting stuff. We watched them hunting for fish in an almost dried out waterhole which was close to our lodge in Phinda. Not surprisingly, within days – and ‘assisted’ by a group of equally eager saddle-billed storks – they managed to kill off almost every creature that was still alive in the super shallow waters. The stench was overwhelming since the birds were getting picky and did not eat all they killed. Thankfully, this is one feature that can’t (yet?) be captured ‘on film’. The white-faced whistling ducks were simply silent witnesses to the massacre.

The fish eagles made my day when we saw them at a different dam. And, of course,  the flamingoes did the same when they came close to the shore so that I could take a few pictures that showed more than simply thousands of black dots moving about in the middle of the lake.

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