Am on to the 6th story of this! I guess patience would be wearing thin already. Well, this is going to be the last of the series. Normal programming will soon resume. Which is, hopefully, normal posts from me. I haven’t been doing too much of those, and I am using these stories to buff up some post numbers. Kind of obvious, isn’t it? Anyway here goes.
The first bird that comes to mind when you think of Africa is probably the Ostrich. These are the largest birds on the planet. And you can’t help noticing that. They are big. And this is from someone who has seen emus and cassowaries. And their legs! They are really stout. You don’t want to be at the receiving end of any kicks from them!
As with birds the males are more colourful, in this case black with white tufts in the back. The females are a duller grey.
We saw one with multiple females. Apparently there is no such ratio. Can be a male and a female, or one male with 3-4 females tagging along.
And one mating and then moving away.
They were one of the main highlights of the trip!
I did two posts just for vultures, but let me just plug in 2 more pics of them. The first is the Nubian Vulture (Lappet-faced vulture), one of the largest vultures in the world.
The other is the white-backed vulture. The pic below shows an immature on the left and an adult on the right.
We really wanted to see secretary birds, and we saw just one of them. These are raptors and unlike anything we’d seen. They are taller than other birds with long stilt like legs and a serious continence.
The best sighting was of a Lesser Spotted Eagle. It came down to feast on a nearby Eland carcass.
We saw a few ground hornbills foraging in the ground. Although not eagles or hawks they do feed on smaller insects and mammals.
We came across a bird sitting on a tree stump. This turned out to be a Gabar Goshwak.
There was this bird perched on a tree in Nakuru. Turned out to be an Augur Buzzard.
I got a silhouette of this bird perched against the sun. Turned out to be a Brown Snake-eagle.
Naivasha offered opportunities to spot African Fish Eagles. There were lots of them! The guide threw a fish into the water and drew an eagle to pick it up!
Among smaller birds, the first and most interesting one is the Lilac-breasted roller. The name itself is interesting. This is a relative of the Indian Roller and they are in the same genus: Coracias.
Almost every bird was colourful! This is a very common bird, called a superb starling. Superb only!
We saw these little birds with banded eyes. They are Greater blue-eared glossy starling. Can do with a smaller name, eh?
This is an African Weaver bird. Vert bright and colourful.
Yellow-billed storks were seen a lot, and quite close by too!
Nakuru was home to many lesser flamingoes. But they were too far for really good shots. But here’s one of the flock from far away.
We saw a lot of Pelicans in Nakuru, standing on one small island.
But the best shot was in Naivasha when one came really close to check us out! Apparently, tourist boats had been feeding her once in a while and she comes close to every boat to see if there’s anything for her! These are pink-backed pelicans and are seen in India too apparently.
There were a couple of grey-crowned cranes. We had never seen cranes before, being restricted to storks and herons so far. They are very colourful with the crown on their heads.
Kingfishers were seen a lot in Lake Naivasha. This one is a pied kingfisher, also seen in India.
We spotted a Giant Kingfisher. This is the largest of the Kingfishers. The one here is a male which has a band on its chest.
There were two species of cormorants. The long-tailed cormorant.
And the great cormorant.
We saw a lot of Egyptian geese. I finally got a good shot of one after spotting quite a few farther away everywhere.
This ibis below is the sacred Ibis. Not sure why it is called so, but best guess is the Egyptians. You might remember their hieroglyphs and the Ibis in them. The photo isn’t a great one.
This Ibis is the Hadada Ibis.
This last stork is the Marabou stork. They were even seen hanging around a carcass in the plains and scavenging on them!