Kori Bustard in Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

Early spring sees life returning to the thirsty bushveld landscape in the Taita Hills. Knob-thorn trees (Acacia nigrescens) in full bloom dot the landscape in their yellow splendor, and birds too experience a renewed surge of energy. One day I saw a male Kori Bustard (Ardeotis kori) displaying in some distance from the road.

I was able to get some fair pictures of him as he stood in one position, displaying and uttering his low, booming call. I decided to stay in the area, hoping that he might come closer to allow me to take better images, but l had to abandon the passionate wait at sunset due to bad light. Although not expecting to see him again, I returned to the grassy area with low bushes the following afternoon and to my surprise the bird was still around. This time he was following two female Kori Bustards. As the females crossed the road behind our Land Cruiser, the male tried to approach them but they felt offended and disappeared. As an alternative the male Kori Bustard started to catch grashoppers quite close by allowing me to capture images of him in his extravagant and impressive beauty.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is a privately owned sanctuary, located in Taita-Taveta in the south west region of Kenya. Taita Hills is a great park for bird watching throughout the year, but the best months are from November to April. This is when migrants swoop into the park. Also, during these months a lot of birds are breeding, and some waterbirds can be found nesting along the riparian woods at the river. The best time for mammals, however, is in the dry months from May to October. Since the sanctuary borders another conservancy and also is near Tsavo West National Park all birds and animals randomly traverse the vast savanna in search of food and water.

The sanctuary is majorly savanna with some few areas covered with bushes and thicket. As the name suggests the sanctuary offers panoramic views of the neighboring Taita hills.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds not only in the western palearctic.  Trips to remote places like this one to capture images were very successful. The nice image of the blog is only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Just give me a message, if www.bird-lens.com could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

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