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Lunch 125

By SimonFletch  
Greetings everyone, and thank you for your Votes and Comments on 'Lunch 124 - The Violet-backed Starling'. Special "thank you's" go to Dave and Ali , for their cherished User Awards. I was both surprised and delighted to receive them.

The Violet-backed Starling in yesterday's image must have been quite old, because its 'hairline' was somewhat receded. Its beautiful furry feathers would normally come almost to the top of its beak. None-the-less, as Joan mused, he was, "a show off", or as Jeff rightly pointed out, "we guys know how to strut!!!!" --- as old as we may be --- hair combed over the bald patch, deep breath and tummy's pulled in WinkSmileGrin

Today's 'Lunch'
... has somehow managed to drift up to its fifth 'quarter century', so I thought I'd pick out one of my personal favourites for you today. The Kori Bustard; a male in full breeding plumage. We found him in a most unusual place, 'strutting his stuff', with no female anywhere near. And we could see for hundreds of yards all around us, because we were in the middle of a very flat area of the Olare Orok Conservancy.

The Conservancy features many skeletons of various animals, scattered throughout the land and shining a very bright white in the sun - and none of them died of old age Wink In this very flat area, someone had laid out two long rows of these bones, maybe a couple of hundred yards long and a couple of hundred feet apart. At one end, is a large circle of the sun-bleached bones, with a gap, wide enough for a vehicle to drive through. Why?

The Conservancy has a number of different camps, one of which is owned by a young man who is fairly wealthy. His passion is flying and he 'built' his own airstrip, from possibly thousands of old bones. Pure white, against the short grass of the plains, he would be able to clearly see his landing strip from a great distance, way up in the sky. He comes in, flying low, to scare off any animals, before finally coming in to land. The circle is for his guests to wait in, before he flies them back to Nairobi, or on to the coast.

The Kori Bustard is a very large bird, 50" (128cm) and 3 stone (42lb / 19kg) in weight. It is the heaviest of all flying birds and can take off from a standing start.

The males undergo quite a transformation when displaying breeding plumage, their necks swell and feathers puff out like old-fashioned hand warmers. Their tails stick up, pointing almost forwards. They strut about, with a raised crest and the Kori Bustard's display can be seen from a great distance. Even their call changes, to a deep "woomp".

I hope you can clearly see the montage of four images, showing a small lizard, which our finely-plumed friend had captured and was sucking into his beak. The wee lizard seemed to have something to say about it, too..! Anyway, I hope you enjoy the images.

Have a Flighty Friday, everyone ...!


Tags: Male Lizard Lunch Eating Wildlife and nature Bustard Kori bustard Breeding plumage Olare Orok Conservancy

Voters: ugly, LynneJoyce, NDODS and 36 more

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LynneJoyce Plus
13 22 101 United Kingdom
30 May 2014 6:10AM
What an amazing bird you have captured so beautifully here. A fascinating if somewhat gruesome sequence in V2 has my sympathies going out to the lizard, but that's nature for you.
NDODS 10 5.2k 127 United Kingdom
30 May 2014 6:12AM
Great photography as always. I particularly like the sequenced collated and presented shots in image number two.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
bobsblues 11 10 2 United Kingdom
30 May 2014 6:16AM
Wow Simon you've certainly caught this one eating his lunch feel sorry for the lizard though I love them little reptiles
30 May 2014 6:54AM
He's quite ugly in his full plumage, great way to display him in v2. I love to read the write up too always informative and funny too. V2 is gruesome I really like lizards.
Have a good day. Patty Smile
CarolG 14 199 20 Greece
30 May 2014 7:02AM
Superb captures, Simon, that poor little lizard can't provide much nourishment for the bustard, he should have left it alone to enjoy its life Sad Carol
ali63 9 791 1 United Kingdom
30 May 2014 7:03AM
Superb images of this most handsome bird,

Ali GrinGrin
cats_123 Plus
17 5.1k 30 Northern Ireland
30 May 2014 7:37AM
Interesting that he feels he needs to show off his rear end whilst deciding what to have for lunch....a treat often reserved for the queue in BHS!!! Wink
jaktis Plus
17 84 Sweden
30 May 2014 7:56AM
Looks like it needs more lizards to be full fed. Great captured

JohnoP 15 2
30 May 2014 7:58AM
A set of beautifully captured images of this male in fine breeding plumage Simon! Having read a little more about this bird I understand that the males attempt to breed with as many females as possible, and then take no part in raising the young! No wonder he keeps himself in fine shape...both for 'the ladies' and having no youngsters to worry over! Smile John
Ted447 Plus
8 216 1 United Kingdom
30 May 2014 7:58AM
Great images looks like it has a crop full of lizards. Ted. GrinGrin
30 May 2014 8:10AM
Excellent Simon,
12 10 10 England
30 May 2014 8:14AM
Wow Simon, what a super set!Smile
Just stunning Simon,great image of this beautiful bird.

Chinga Plus
10 3 2 United Kingdom
30 May 2014 1:18PM
A superb bird with a great taste for lizards! He's got a personality!
Wonderful nature shots Simon! Grin
Bantu 7 7 1 India
30 May 2014 2:39PM
Perfect capture Simon.

JuBarney Plus
10 33 5 United Kingdom
30 May 2014 3:10PM
Poor lizard but a great capture in all respects!
RonnieAG Plus
11 154 119 Scotland
30 May 2014 3:27PM
A great write up about your subject and it looks to me as if it has already downed a melon or the likes, never mind this diminutive reptile.
Great close-up images too, Simon.
Maiwand 14 3 73 England
30 May 2014 3:58PM
Wonderful capture of the bird Simon and I particularly like the montage of 'feeding habits'. Spot on.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
viscostatic 14 50 11 United Kingdom
30 May 2014 5:20PM
A beautiful image Simon of this really impressive bird.

dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 775 England
30 May 2014 8:21PM
Another great capture, and I the montage showing the eating process is well put together.
30 May 2014 8:44PM
Great image, Simon. Superb montage.

30 May 2014 10:22PM
Fantastic shots Simon but that poor lizard! Cathy
Glostopcat 15 255 2 England
30 May 2014 11:55PM
It looks like you bustard a gut to produce that montage in v2 Simon!Grin Two terrific images and an interesting write up to accompany them

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