Tag Archives: Lappet-faced Vulture

South Luangwa Nationalpark/ Zambia

ErdbeerköpfchenEventually we are standing on the Luangwa Bridge. Crocodiles sunbathe on the other side of the river, baboons and impalas roam through the woods. The call of the African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) is the final proof. That’s Africa!,

Luangwa Bridge offers already great photo opportunities. The Luangwa Bridge leads into the park. Immediately you are introduced to the scourge of South Luangwa, the tsetse flies (Glossina sp.). This noiseless, painful stabbing tormentor is not a disease carrier in this area, but allows only two alternatives: driving with closed car-window and switched on air conditioning or to be equipped with enough fly swatters. Taking pictures with the window open requires a certain degree of self-control, so that the shots do not blur.

South Luangwa is normally be visited during the dry season from June to October. During the heavy rainy season, the park is largely flooded and only a handful of specially created road on upper levels provide very limited movement possibilities. It will be very hot from the end of August. In September and October, the Luangwa River has reached its lowest level and the water holes are drying. But in contrast to some other parks in Zambia, accommodations are also available during the rainy season when the birds are in the breeding plumage.

The fees are heavy. $ 30 per person and $ 15 per vehicle will be Continue reading South Luangwa Nationalpark/ Zambia

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

Vogelparadies im Krüger Nationalpark

SenegalliestVögel im Krüger Nationalpark zu fotografieren bedeutet Herausforderung und Belohnung zugleich. Eben noch hat man in komfortabler Zivilisation beim Frühstück von der Veranda einer Lodge aus zwei Fitisse (Phylloscopus trochilus) und einen Grauschnäpper (Muscicapa striata) bewundert. Ein Kaptäubchen (Oena capensis) kam mal angeflogen und trank aus einer Pfütze. Ein besonders schöner Liest, wie die Eisvogelverwandte genannt werden, ist der Senegalliest (Halcyon senegalensis), der eines Morgens mit ausgebreiteten Schwingen im Morgennebelsaß und sich trocknete. Das war direkt im Letaba Camp Dann ist eine Rundfahrt angesagt. Das Straßennetz im Krüger Nationalpark gehört wohl zu den besten aller Nationalparks weltweit. Die Straßen erleichtern es einem Fotografen ungemein, sein Ziel ohne große Probleme zu erreichen. Man kann bequem mit dem Wagen durch den gesamten Park reisen und hält trotzdem das Equipment jederzeit griffbereit. Es muss nichts verzurrt werden, um zu verhindern, dass beim nächsten Schlagloch alles im Wagen herumfliegt. Schon das erste Wasserloch zeigt einen alten Bekannten. Zwischen den Grasbüscheln am Ufer steht ein Flußuferläufer (Actitis hypoleucos).

Eine Fotoreise Krüger Nationalpark sollte trotz der guten Infrastruktur sorgfältig vorbereitet werden. So ist eine größtmögliche Ausbeute in diesem Paradies der Vogelfotografie zu erzielen. Wie in anderen Parks auch, beherbergt der Krüger Nationalpark im Sommer andere Vögel als im Winter. Ich persönlich ziehe die kühlere Zeit zwischen Mitte Mai und Anfang September vor, weil sie trocken ist und daher bessere Bedingungen vorherrschen. Außerdem hat man eine schöne Alternative Continue reading Vogelparadies im Krüger Nationalpark

Shalatayn – birding in the south-east corner of the WP

OhrengeierThe main target of the trip was the Lappet-faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotus). This uncommon resident breeder of the south-east corner of Egypt can be found sporadically from Gebel Elba down to the Somali border. The best place to see the species is at Bir Shalatayn. Here a dozen of these vultures can be seen feeding on the carcasses of slaughtered camels in and near the town. You  might also see the bird near the coastal highway, feeding on road kills.

After having birded the mangroves at Hamata at dawn (with success for Crab Plover (Dromas ardeol) and Greater Sand-Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii) and without luck for the Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath)), we drove south to Bir Shalatayn (or just Shalatein or Shalateen or Shalatin) on the administrative border with Sudan. Bir Shalatayn is the southern-most spot most visitors can reach along the Egyptian Red Sea without getting a military permit. Calling it a town might be a exaggeration. It is said, that this settlement with – indeed – a strong Continue reading Shalatayn – birding in the south-east corner of the WP

African specialities on Bird-Lens

On the southern edge of the western palearctic, in Egypt, south of the Sahara, in southern North Africa are living some strange bird creatures which touch the borders of the western palearctic only. Sometimes they occur as a rare breeding species in countries like Morocco or Egypt or you can see them as a strangler on the Canaries, in southern Europe or Northern Africa. Unlike Nearctic species, which are put on the wall especially in fall, because then there is a high influx of birds from Northern American, you do not see the southern specials on a regular basis. But for the keen birdwatcher of western palearctic birds these species are highly though-after mega birds.
To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer birds of the western palearctic from science & public customers Bird-Lens is proud to present a wide range of pictures shot in Tanzania, Malawi, Namibia and the Republic of South Africa (RSA). Are you interested? A first impression you will find in the gallery here. There you will find 42 pictures of various bird species. Continue reading African specialities on Bird-Lens