Greetings, my EPZ friends - and Thank You to all who Voted and Commented on Lunch 78 - The Red-billed Firefinch. A special Thank You, to my friend Rob
, for his very generous User Award.
Yes, folks, every day that passes, brings us one closer to our return to UK and I shall indeed miss Kenya, its wildlife and people - and the sunny skies..! Never mind, there's still a month to go and I intend to utilise that to its full advantage.
Barbara asked about the Firefinch - and - "Who Lunches on him". Well, bigger birds, mostly Barbara. That's the intriguing thing about nature. Our Guides have a laugh amongst themselves when we say we want to see "something eating something - and it doesn't have to be the big cats". That's largely because the vast majority of people dream of their safari being all about a big cat chasing its prey, capturing and eating it. While I totally agree that this is extraordinarily exciting, it doesn't happen much in the daytime - and when it does, the cats success rate is not that high.
So, why not look for other things; animals or birds - "something eating something". It makes for a far more interesting safari than staring down on a big cat sleeping...! BTW, that's something else I smile about - the mini-buses, with pop-up roofs and crowds of heads poking out, taking pictures of animals backs. That's surely all they see from that angle...! If you are planning a safari, take a piece of advice and sit beside the Guide, it's the lowest seat in a vehicle and you can eyeball animals at their level.
Another "Red-billed" bird today, the female African Grey Hornbill. A completely different bird and, at 20" (51cm), substantially larger than yesterday's tiny Firefinch. This bird is one of The Most Frustrating
birds to photograph, never mind catching it having a spot of Lunch...!
It is found in pairs, or small family groups after breeding. It's beak is the ideal tool for prising bark from trees and winkling out grubs, caterpillars and other Bugs (really sorry about all this, CarolG...
). It is very flighty and will leave a tree after it has prised away one or two pieces of bark, flying on to the next, passing several on the way. I have followed many pairs of these birds, all over the Conservancy, arriving at trees, just as they depart. On the occasions I have seen them in trees, they are deep inside, covered by branches. So frustrating..!
Today's images are the result of one bird uncharacteristically finding a bug on the ground. I do have shots of them in trees, eating, somewhere on my hard drive, amongst a total of 17,000 images taken in the past 5 months and will hunt them down for another upload...
Have a Thundering Good Thursday, everyone ...!
Wildlife and nature
Olare Mara Kempinski
Olara Orok Conservancy
African Grey Hornbill
prabhusinha, kathrynlouise, bobsblues and 29 more