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What birds are you excited to see on Safari?


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#41 Peter Connan

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 02:40 AM

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


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#42 graceland

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 10:51 AM

@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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#43 Tom Kellie

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Posted 08 May 2015 - 07:32 PM

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.



#44 Atravelynn

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 08:15 PM

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, 10 May 2015 - 08:15 PM.

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#45 Tom Kellie

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 09:47 PM

Pink-throated Twinspot.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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#46 Atravelynn

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 12:37 AM

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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#47 Tom Kellie

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 12:59 AM

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.



#48 Earthian

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 01:39 AM

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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#49 Tom Kellie

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 03:07 AM

Female Pygmy Falcon.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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#50 Alexander33

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 07:09 PM

 

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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#51 Towlersonsafari

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 08:53 PM

Good luck @Alexander33 we saw a marina trogon many years ago at Phinda but nearly as much fun was seeing 2 separate vehicles playing taped calls of the bird and getting increasingly excited until they met!
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#52 Atravelynn

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 02:08 AM

 

 

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.

 

Vibes have been sent, it will take a month from yesterday for them to arrive.  Right on time!


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#53 Tom Kellie

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 10:19 AM

Samburu Superb Starling.JPG

 

Samburu Superb Starling

 

~ Photographed on 22 July, 2015 at 3:19 pm in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya, with an EOS 1D X camera and an EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II super-telephoto lens.

 

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/400 sec., 400mm focal length, handheld Manual exposure.

 

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

 

There's no bird which more tells me that I'm back in Kenya on safari than a Superb Starling. From the first safari in August, 2011 to the present, sighting a Superb Starling is a thrill.

 

Yes, they're ubiquitous. Numerous times I've mistakenly thought I'd sighted ararity only to be calmly told by Anthony “It's another Superb Starling”. Such is life on safari.

 

Nevertheless, I like their cheeky character and over-the-top satin finery, shining under bright equatorial skies. This starling was the first sighting after entering Samburu in July, 2016.


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#54 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 01:58 PM

Lynn, just saw your post above - the rosy throated longclaw is really really small and quick - I failed in my attempt to get a decent picture last year in Bots.


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#55 Peter Connan

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 03:22 PM

attachicon.gifSamburu Superb Starling.JPG


Samburu Superb Starling


~ Photographed on 22 July, 2015 at 3:19 pm in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya, with an EOS 1D X camera and an EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II super-telephoto lens.


ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/400 sec., 400mm focal length, handheld Manual exposure.


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


There's no bird which more tells me that I'm back in Kenya on safari than a Superb Starling. From the first safari in August, 2011 to the present, sighting a Superb Starling is a thrill.


Yes, they're ubiquitous. Numerous times I've mistakenly thought I'd sighted ararity only to be calmly told by Anthony “It's another Superb Starling”. Such is life on safari.


Nevertheless, I like their cheeky character and over-the-top satin finery, shining under bright equatorial skies. This starling was the first sighting after entering Samburu in July, 2016.


Tom, what a stunningly superb photo!
One day, I would love to see one myself.
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#56 Tom Kellie

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 12:31 AM

Tom, what a stunningly superb photo!

One day, I would love to see one myself.

 

~ @Peter Connan

 

What?! Superb starlings don't live in South Africa?

 

I didn't realize that. As many mammal species range over much of sub-Saharan Africa, I muddle-headedly supposed Superb Starlings did likewise.

 

They're a striking bird, no matter how many times observed. Small flocks of them turn up out in the middle of nowhere.

 

Chatterboxes, they put their vocal abilities to full use throughout the day.

 

Many thanks for your kind comment.

 

I hope that you and your family do someday have an opportunity to drive through East Africa to see them firsthand.

 

Tom K.


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#57 Peter Connan

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 04:06 AM

@Tom Kellie, while we have several different Starling species here, the Superb is not one of them.

The behaviour you describe does however tie in exactly with a number of our local Starlings, but I guess the closest we have is the Cape Glossy in terms of it's almost ubiquitous presence.

A beautiful bird in it's own right, it's a poor showing when compared to the Superb.

Glossy1ODP.jpg
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#58 Tom Kellie

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 04:34 AM

@Tom Kellie, while we have several different Starling species here, the Superb is not one of them.

The behaviour you describe does however tie in exactly with a number of our local Starlings, but I guess the closest we have is the Cape Glossy in terms of it's almost ubiquitous presence.

A beautiful bird in it's own right, it's a poor showing when compared to the Superb.

 

~ @Peter Connan

 

The Cape Glossy Starling looks mighty fine to me!

 

If I happen to spot one next month, I'll think of you, who first mentioned it to me.

 

That one starling species behaves similarly to another reinforces their ‘starling-ness’, which is comparable to Plato's ‘theory of forms’.

 

Thanks for posting the image, which may well be of use one month hence.

 

Tom K.


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#59 Peter Connan

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 06:53 PM

Tom, if you don't see at least one in Sabi Sands, I will eatr my hat.

 

Guess I'd better go make a chocolate hat and put it in the freezer so long...


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Ek oefen skelm.

#60 Tom Kellie

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 11:00 PM

Tom, if you don't see at least one in Sabi Sands, I will eatr my hat.

 

Guess I'd better go make a chocolate hat and put it in the freezer so long...

 

~ @Peter Connan

 

My eyes will be open...

 

Tom K.







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