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What birds are you excited to see on Safari?

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I have only fairly recently developed an interest in birds, itself a consequence of a developing interest in photography, and now I often mourn the missed opportunities!

 

I am not really into LBJ's yet, and as many have admiited before me, it's the flashy ones that excite: Bee-eaters, Kingfishers, Rollers and Sunbirds particularly. But I have long held a soft spot for vultures and owls of all sorts.

 

However to some extent the sounds are even more evocative than the sights, and for me a safari is not complete without the sound of a Scops or Pearl-spotted owl, a francolin of some sort (particularly Swainson's) and like @@Tom Kellie and @@ZaminOz, the dotty spotty is a particular favourite, as well as the Fish Eagle.

 

I have not yet planned a whole trip around a specific species, but have done several day-trips of this nature and do now choose safari destinations with birding opportunities as a serious selection criteria, and I won't say never as never is a very long time (I hope)...

 

There is a bird book in my car's dash bag almost all the time, but I tend to do my identification after the end of the trip, on the hand of photos (my memory is not good enough for any other method).

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~ @@Peter Connan:

 

I can't say that I set out on safari with birds as a target.

They're just there.

The safari itself is the target. Being outdoors.

If birds it is, then birds it is.

Likewise butterflies, dwarf mongoose, lionesses and reticulated giraffe.

I'm easy to please...

Tom K.

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Well since I am perusing this afternoon after a lovely time with my brother, who I have hopfully turned on to ST to give him some insight into why his little sister is Africa crazy, I saw this thread.

 

Funny I ignored birds my first safari, though I thought them colorful. After about the third one, in Botswana and I came across the most amazing sight ever. A colony of carmine bee eaters carpeting the bush floor. I was mesmerized. There must have been hundreds....looked like a red velvet carpet.

 

From then on I've kept my peripheral vision in tact checking here and there a branch or two for some interesting color or behaviours. I like the water birds quite a bit and enjoyed the Hatchery in Botswana with a guide at Little Kwara, Hobbs. He was quite the guide.

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Certainly for me the kingfishers especially the Malachite.

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Well since I am perusing this afternoon after a lovely time with my brother, who I have hopfully turned on to ST to give him some insight into why his little sister is Africa crazy, I saw this thread.

 

Funny I ignored birds my first safari, though I thought them colorful. After about the third one, in Botswana and I came across the most amazing sight ever. A colony of carmine bee eaters carpeting the bush floor. I was mesmerized. There must have been hundreds....looked like a red velvet carpet.

 

From then on I've kept my peripheral vision in tact checking here and there a branch or two for some interesting color or behaviours. I like the water birds quite a bit and enjoyed the Hatchery in Botswana with a guide at Little Kwara, Hobbs. He was quite the guide.

 

~ @graceland:

 

This is good news!

I say that because a heightened awareness of and interest in birds in a sense doubles the pleasure of a safari.

That's because in lulls between animal sightings, very often our feathered friends are present.

The last of the dinosaurs, birds are highly intelligent, not the ditzy ‘bird-brains’ about which I heard in childhood.

They have personalities, such as drongos, no two of which seem to react alike.

Best of all, when your dear husband agrees to your next African safari, we might note a slight uptick in bird photos or comments.

Tom K.

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Certainly for me the kingfishers especially the Malachite.

 

~ @@Game Warden:

 

You like Malachite Kingfishers, too!

I saw my first in Amboseli, two and a half months ago.

Look forward to seeing the next.

Intense plumage color — zapping the rods and cones in the blue spectrum.

Tom K.

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Posted (edited)

I prefer big 5 of africa....ostrich, kory bustard, maribou stork, secretary bird ..and...flamingo/ brown eagle...

Edited by gagan

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Owls and vultures also fascinate me..

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Next month I'm heading up to Kitale/Kapenguria area for the following birds (and all others I happen to see): White-crested Turaco, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weavers, Borana Cisticola. I'll be accompanying two expert bird guides so I trust we'll come back with a very good list.

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Next month I'm heading up to Kitale/Kapenguria area for the following birds (and all others I happen to see): White-crested Turaco, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weavers, Borana Cisticola. I'll be accompanying two expert bird guides so I trust we'll come back with a very good list.

 

~ @@armchair bushman:

 

That sounds like great fun, especially as the expert birders will accompany you.

What is ‘Borana Cistacola’? Is that Cistacola bodessa?

Before reading this post, I hadn't heard of ‘Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weavers’. I hope that you see them.

I've never yet visited far western Kenya, yet feel as if by not doing so I'm missing something.

May your trip be pleasant!

Tom K.

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@@Tom Kellie,

 

Yes, sorry, I meant to type "Boran Cisticola", not "BoranA". Cisticola bodessa.

Chestnut-Crowned Sparrow-Weaver is Plocepasser superciliosus

 

I should get quite a few "Lifers" as I've never done any birding in that area before.

 

Cheers all.

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@@Tom Kellie,

 

Yes, sorry, I meant to type "Boran Cisticola", not "BoranA". Cisticola bodessa.

Chestnut-Crowned Sparrow-Weaver is Plocepasser superciliosus

 

I should get quite a few "Lifers" as I've never done any birding in that area before.

 

Cheers all.

 

~ @@armchair bushman:

 

Thanks for that. I'm such a novice at East African birds that I wondered if there might indeed be some other Cisticola species.

The only place heretofore where I've photographed Cisticolas was in the bushes near the Succulent Garden of the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi.

Looking at an image of Plocepasser superciliosus, it's a beauty!

I hope that you're able to observe it during your visit.

Tom K.

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I always like to see the Common Hoopoe because it was the first cool bird I saw on safari. When the crest is up that's a bonus.

 

If we can include Peru, I stayed 3 nights at the Cock of the Rock Lodge in Manu, hoping to see a Cock of the Rock and I saw several. That bird was the catalyst of the last Peru trip, along with the macaws at the clay lick. I am exciting about some day seeing the Andean Condor in Colca Canyon. Have I become a Peru pusher?

 

In Samburu I'd like to try to get some photos of the Golden Breasted Starling.

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I'm looking forward to the bird life when we are at Phinda in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa this September. Narina Trogon as well as any kingfishers (Malachite especially) and sunbirds are on my wish list. Also, after seeing @ Peter Connan's spectacular photograph of the black egret in an umbrella formation while hunting, how about one of those, too?

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I always like to see the Common Hoopoe because it was the first cool bird I saw on safari. When the crest is up that's a bonus.

 

If we can include Peru, I stayed 3 nights at the Cock of the Rock Lodge in Manu, hoping to see a Cock of the Rock and I saw several. That bird was the catalyst of the last Peru trip, along with the macaws at the clay lick. I am exciting about some day seeing the Andean Condor in Colca Canyon. Have I become a Peru pusher?

 

In Samburu I'd like to try to get some photos of the Golden Breasted Starling.

@@Atravelynn

 

I'm looking forward to the bird life when we are at Phinda in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa this September. Narina Trogon as well as any kingfishers (Malachite especially) and sunbirds are on my wish list. Also, after seeing @ Peter Connan's spectacular photograph of the black egret in an umbrella formation while hunting, how about one of those, too?

I am a newbie to looking for birds on safari; now that they have been appearing regularly I appreciate them so much more; and since moving to a river, I have developed much more of an interest (as well as married to a birdwatcher, binos always ready) .

 

In Africa I'd love to see a Shoebill.

 

I was excited to see the kingfisher in Matusadona;

 

post-5364-0-97349300-1429704399_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

I thought it just beautiful. But I have simple tastes; I am sure there are much more exotic birds I have yet to discover!

Always learning here on ST

Next stop...Birding Forum :D

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@@graceland, they don't come much prettier than that!

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@@graceland, they don't come much prettier than that!

Thank you @@Peter Connan,

 

It was sort of hidden and we were moving in a boat, so I was thrilled to have captured one. Birds seem to "sense" me and fly on away LOL! My reputation proceeds me and they do not want a bad photo showing up on ST. :rolleyes:

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I am a newbie to looking for birds on safari; now that they have been appearing regularly I appreciate them so much more; and since moving to a river, I have developed much more of an interest (as well as married to a birdwatcher, binos always ready) .

 

In Africa I'd love to see a Shoebill.

 

I thought it just beautiful. But I have simple tastes; I am sure there are much more exotic birds I have yet to discover!

Always learning here on ST

Next stop...Birding Forum :D

 

 

~ @graceland:

 

I'm with you in wanting to someday observe firsthand a Shoebill.

As a kid I saw them in books about birds of the world, wondering how they turned out looking like that.

Safaritalk is my continuing education class.

Nearly any forum stretches my understanding about wildlife conservation, birding, animal behavior, and species identification.

Nothing fancy or elaborate is needed to enjoy life on safari. An open mind, observant eyes and a grateful heart are more than adequate.

I rather suspect that with your travels you'll spot a Shoebill before I do!

Tom K.

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Posted (edited)

I'm looking forward to the bird life when we are at Phinda in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa this September. Narina Trogon as well as any kingfishers (Malachite especially) and sunbirds are on my wish list. Also, after seeing @ Peter Connan's spectacular photograph of the black egret in an umbrella formation while hunting, how about one of those, too?

I just found my list of Phinda's star birds you can look out for.

 

In order

1 Rudd's Apalis - endemic to Southeast African coast

2 Neergarrd's Sunbird - endemic to Southeast African coast

3 Southern Banded Snake-Eagle

4 African Broadbill

5 Pink-throated Twinspot (my personal fav on the list) - endemic to Southeast African coast

6 Narina Trogon

7 Lemon-breasted Canary - endemic to Southeast African coast

8 African finfoot

9 White-backed Night-heron

10 Rosy-throated Longclaw

 

There is a bird mentioned by @@inyathi in his Guyana report--the Scarlet Ibis.

 

"The scarlet ibis is a bird that is definitely worth getting up early in the morning to see even when as in this case there’s only one, there are doubtless much better places in Venezuela or Trinidad places where you can see whole flocks roosting in the mangroves but even just seeing this one bird was pretty special."

 

I think seeing one would indeed by pretty special.

Edited by Atravelynn
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post-49296-0-19616400-1431380708_thumb.png

Pink-throated Twinspot

~ @Atravelynn:

 

You've convinced me.

The above image isn't mine — from an Internet site.

As soon as I saw it — wow!

What a bird!

Natural selection outdid itself on this species.

Thank you for bringing it, and the other species, to our attention.

Tom K.

 

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I see one of those Pink-throated Twinspots on a kill at Phinda. It was early in the morning and the birds was under some bushes eating a worm. In July they were common enough to see about one a day. In Dec I saw none at Phinda.

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I see one of those Pink-throated Twinspots on a kill at Phinda. It was early in the morning and the birds was under some bushes eating a worm. In July they were common enough to see about one a day. In Dec I saw none at Phinda.

 

~ @Atravelynn:

 

You've turned my thoughts to Twinspots, about which I knew nothing until tonight.

Looking in field guides, it seems that in Kenya I'm most likely to encounter the Greenback Twinspot or Peters's Twinspot, assuming that I was fortunate to see them at all.

Fascinating that in South Africa's Summer they vanished. Is there any possibility that might result from a preference for staying in heavy foliage bushes, which are more verdant in December but more sparse in July?

That's no more than highly under-informed conjecture.

In any case, they're lovely birds. Should I ever observe and photograph one, I'll be sure to remember that it was you who first brought them to my attention, for which I'm grateful.

Here in Beijing magpies and sparrows abound. Early in the morning crows fly across the city.

No Twinspots in these parts...

Tom K.

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I have only fairly recently developed an interest in birds, itself a consequence of a developing interest in photography, and now I often mourn the missed opportunities!

 

I am not really into LBJ's yet, and as many have admiited before me, it's the flashy ones that excite: Bee-eaters, Kingfishers, Rollers and Sunbirds particularly. But I have long held a soft spot for vultures and owls of all sorts.

 

However to some extent the sounds are even more evocative than the sights, and for me a safari is not complete without the sound of a Scops or Pearl-spotted owl, a francolin of some sort (particularly Swainson's) and like @@Tom Kellie and @@ZaminOz, the dotty spotty is a particular favourite, as well as the Fish Eagle.

 

I have not yet planned a whole trip around a specific species, but have done several day-trips of this nature and do now choose safari destinations with birding opportunities as a serious selection criteria, and I won't say never as never is a very long time (I hope)...

 

There is a bird book in my car's dash bag almost all the time, but I tend to do my identification after the end of the trip, on the hand of photos (my memory is not good enough for any other method).

@@Peter Connan

my sentiments exactly. I used to look at birds and not see them! if at all a bird was to be photographed, the prettier ( meaning colourful, bright, etc etc) the better. No way i was going to waste precious time looking for a nightjar in a shrub. Now i rue all the opportunities that were presented.

well, never too late.

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post-49296-0-34571400-1436756393_thumb.jpg



Female Pygmy Falcon



Photographed at 8:30 am on 22 January, 2013 in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, using an EOS 1D X camera and an EF 200mm f/2.8L IS telephoto lens + EF 2x extender.



ISO 100, 1/400 sec., f/5.6, 400mm focal length, handheld Manual Exposure.



*****************************************************************************************************



This female Polihierax semitorquatus, Pygmy Falcon, was the first of its species that I saw in Kenya. Since then there have been regular sightings of Pygmy Falcons.



I look forward to seeing Pygmy Falcons on safari because their bright plumage, diminutive size and distinctive appearance are unlike anything that I ever see elsewhere.


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I'm looking forward to the bird life when we are at Phinda in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa this September. Narina Trogon as well as any kingfishers (Malachite especially) and sunbirds are on my wish list. Also, after seeing @ Peter Connan's spectacular photograph of the black egret in an umbrella formation while hunting, how about one of those, too?

I just found my list of Phinda's star birds you can look out for.

 

In order

1 Rudd's Apalis - endemic to Southeast African coast

2 Neergarrd's Sunbird - endemic to Southeast African coast

3 Southern Banded Snake-Eagle

4 African Broadbill

5 Pink-throated Twinspot (my personal fav on the list) - endemic to Southeast African coast

6 Narina Trogon

7 Lemon-breasted Canary - endemic to Southeast African coast

8 African finfoot

9 White-backed Night-heron

10 Rosy-throated Longclaw

 

There is a bird mentioned by @@inyathi in his Guyana report--the Scarlet Ibis.

 

"The scarlet ibis is a bird that is definitely worth getting up early in the morning to see even when as in this case there’s only one, there are doubtless much better places in Venezuela or Trinidad places where you can see whole flocks roosting in the mangroves but even just seeing this one bird was pretty special."

 

I think seeing one would indeed by pretty special.

 

 

@@Atravelynn

 

Yikes! I just saw this. And a good thing I did, as well. We leave a month from yesterday, and I now have my well-vetted Atravelynn's Top Ten List for Phinda birds to take with. Couldn't have done a better job if I tried. Send good vibes our way for vehicle mates that are willing to stop for a few minutes for something feathered in addition to all the other attractions that may be out there.

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