Tag Archives: Steppe Eagle

Nationalpark Pilanesberg: a heaven not only for Kingfishers

GraukopfliestIn the surrounding bushes of the Tidodi Dam there is  loud bustle already. In the gallery forest around, numerous birds such as the Grey-headed Kingfisher (Halcyon leucocephala) enjoy the first sun beams. Haze floats above the water. It is morning shortly after sunrise. The surrounding trees of the dam form a small gallery forest, which attracts many birds such as Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill (Tockus leucomelas), Grey-headed Kingfisher, Brown-hooded Kingfisher (Halcyon albiventris), Crested Barbet (Trachyphonus vaillantii), Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) and Broad-billed Roller (Eurystomus glaucurus).

An alternative is the Malatse Dam along the Dithabaneng Drive. This dam offers the opportunity to photograph the African Fish-Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) and other birds such as Ibisse and Spoonbills at their sleeping retreat.

Not far from the Malatse dam is the Dithabaneng dam. If the water is high, you can go by car directly to the shore. The light is perfect for taking photos in the morning and in the evening. It is worth driving to the Ruighoek waterhole in the afternoon. At this small dam is a relatively low-lying hide.

From the frog’s perspective you can take pictures at the waterhole of the Kwa Maritane Lodge. The waterhole of the Kwa Maritane Continue reading Nationalpark Pilanesberg: a heaven not only for Kingfishers

Bird Migration in Eilat/ Israel

SteppenadlerBirding in Israel in general is unique. But the observation of the spring migration of thousands of raptors is literally breathtaking. The Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus) is one of the first raptors, you can observe migrating. On good days, migration starts as early as before 8 am. Then the birds pass the city of Eilat between Sholmo and Mount Yoash in about 300-400 meters above sea level (asl). During the morning, migration normally moves a little to the northwest of the area between Mount Yoash and Moon Valley. However, the migration may also switch to southeast, directly over Eilat if there is bad weather in the Negev desert. The Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus) forms the conclusion of migratory events in the spring around the end of May. Approx. 1 million birds of this species migrate within just two weeks through the area, in some years, the birds migrate even in the course of just one week. In early May usually the temperature drops at night below 25 degrees Celsius, which means that the Honey Buzzards do not have to wait until the air is heated by daybreak. Therefore, you can already Continue reading Bird Migration in Eilat/ Israel

Vogelzug in Israel

FalkenbussardEs ist noch stockdunkel, als wir uns in der Lobby des Hotels von Eilat treffen. Wenig später stehen wir schon auf einer Landstraße am Berghang des Mount Yoash. Ein frischer Frühlingsmorgen, die aufgehende Sonne im Osten. Schnell ist es taghell. Ein weiterer Tag an der Südspitze Israels, dem südlichen Hotspot für die Zugvogelbeobachtung westpaläarktischer Vögel. Früh am Morgen muß man aber auch raus, um die besten Stehplätze zu ergattern.

Der Falkenbussard (Buteo buteo vulpinus), oder im Englischen Steppe Buzzard, ist in Eilat einer der ersten Greife, die ziehen. An guten Tagen beginnt der Zug bereits vor 8:00 Uhr. Dann passieren die Vögel die Stadt zwischen Sholmo und Mount Yoash in etwa 300-400 Meter NN. Im Laufe des Vormittags verschiebt sich der Zug normalerweise ein wenig nach Nordwesten auf das Gebiet zwischen Mount Yoash und Moon Valley. Der Vogelzug kann sich aber auch nach Südosten, direkt nach Eilat verlagern, wenn im Negev schlechtes Wetter herrscht. Der Wespenbussard (Pernis apivorus) bildet Ende Mai den Abschluß des Zugvogelgeschehens im Frühjahr. Rund eine Million Vögel dieser Art ziehen innerhalb von nur Continue reading Vogelzug in Israel

A Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis: From Eye to Eye

Most pictures of Steppe Eagle you find in the internet are from falconry or zoos. But the keen birdwatchter want the right stuff. Here you can see Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis, in the wild. Photographed in the desert environment of Dhofar/Oman near the city of Salalah. 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 you can find in the western palearctic. Trips to remote places to capture images of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. Part of the images gained are photos of Baillon’s Crake, Heuglin’s Gull and Imperial Eagle. The behaviour of Steppe Eagles is not very eagle-like. They prefer to scavange but are able to kill their own prey, too. This is the reason, that Steppe Eagles can be found on garbage dumps in Arabia where they find easy food supply on carcasses of livestock and slaughterhouse waste. Continue reading A Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis: From Eye to Eye