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Lunch 79

By SimonFletch  
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.

Today's 'Lunch'
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...Blush ). 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 ...!


Tags: Female Bird Lunch Eating Masai mara Wildlife and nature Olare Mara Kempinski Olara Orok Conservancy African Grey Hornbill

Voters: prabhusinha, kathrynlouise, bobsblues and 29 more

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27 Mar 2014 4:20AM

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27 Mar 2014 4:36AM
Wonderful captures Simon and as always a very interesting read to accompany them Grin Grin

bobsblues 8 10 2 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2014 5:28AM
Another fab set Simon well taken shots with the bugs in its mouth which reminds me I am at the dentists this morning
CarolG 11 199 20 Greece
27 Mar 2014 5:34AM
A superb set of images, Simon, though the hornbill is going to need tens of those little bugs to satisfy his hunger Smile Carol
Andysnapper 10 109 25 England
27 Mar 2014 6:40AM
That's a big bird Simon and consequently that's an enormous bug it's eating.....wouldn't want to find one of them in my wellie.

Excellent set.

cats_123 Plus
14 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
27 Mar 2014 6:46AM
Sit with your beak open for a long enough and along will come lunch!! - fabulous shot sequence SmileSmile
Caziwinkles 5 3 1 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2014 6:58AM
Great images as always. That reminds me - not to sit with my mouth open!! Wink

barbarahirst 9 27 12 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2014 7:27AM
......and life continues on
I am so aware of this in my tiny allotment in back to back South Leeds.
Every vegetable attracts a small critter
Every small critter attracts a larger critter....
.....and life continues on.......
NDODS 7 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2014 7:37AM
Fantastic imagery Simon. So very well observed, composed and captured. Makes a great mouse rollover...

Regards Nathan Grin
LynneJoyce Plus
10 20 99 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2014 7:53AM
Superb documentary series showing this impressive bird really relishing that deeeeelicious bug.

Quote: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..!

Well how very uncooperative of them. Have they not read The Photo Mafia's rule book or The Camera Club Guide for models? Education is obviously required here.
27 Mar 2014 8:16AM
Wonderful series V3 my favourite, thank you so much Simon for your User award and the laugh too, interesting information and super shots again.
Have a good day Patty GrinGrin
ali63 Plus
6 775 1 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2014 9:13AM
Brilliant set of images Simon I particularly like V4 about to eat his Lunch SmileSmileSmile

CaroleS Plus
8 433 3 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2014 9:50AM
Well captured sequence, and that bug is not exactly small is it!! Very well captured Simon.
Maiwand 11 3 73 England
27 Mar 2014 10:06AM
Very fine series Simon. A bird I have not seen before.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
dark_lord Plus
14 2.2k 540 England
27 Mar 2014 1:39PM
A super set.
viscostatic 11 36 5 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2014 4:32PM
Graet images of this bird at lunch Simon.

Glostopcat 12 255 2 England
27 Mar 2014 8:32PM
A superb sequence of shots Simon, you've documented the catching and devouring of the bug remarkably well in these. Your images of African wildlife are always a real pleasure to view as you tend to concentrate on species that many others overlook. There are a wonderful range of different birds and smaller creatures on the plains that often go unnoticed but not by your eagle eyes!Wink
JuBarney 7 26 3 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2014 8:54PM
A splendid set esp. V2
27 Mar 2014 10:52PM
Brilliant set Simon. Cathy
29 Mar 2014 11:39AM
wonderful set of shots
Four beautifully timed images Simon..a very interesting looking chappy.

Lynette Grin

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