Mkuze Game Reserve is in the Eastern part of South Africa, about 5 hours away from Johannesburg, and one of the best places I have ever been to for bird photography. In particular, there is one hide that is built over a watering hole, allowing great views of both birds and mammals (though for a dedicated bird watcher like me, those are more of an obstacle than a bonus).
At some point, I almost convinced myself that it would be a good idea to publish a coffee table photo book just showing Red-billed Oxpecker on various animals. I still think the idea is intriguing, but I have to admit that the potential range of buyers for such a book probably does not extend far from myself.
Taking a bath …
And drying on a giraffe with your friends. What a life.
Kingfishers – the poor man`s Pittas?
African Pygmy Kingfisher
Cattle Egrets using public transport
I know it is a bit unfair to this Purple-crested Turaco, but I always wanted to use this Raymond Chandler quotation on a bird: “He wore a two-tone leisure jacket which would have been revolting on a zebra.”
The Red-billed Quelea is regarded as the most numerous undomesticated bird on earth. The photo shows less than 0.000001% of the global population.
A Red-chested Cuckoo that does not really look that different from cuckoos in Shanghai.
A hot bird watching tip: Watering holes are good places to see wet birds, such as this
Broad-billed Roller …
Or a Little Bee-Eater
Some gorgeous looking smaller birds such as
Jameson`s Firefinch …
… Green-winged Pytilia …
… Common Waxbill …
… or Blue Waxbill.
Not too many raptors, but at least an African Fish Eagle.
There seem to be more hornbills at Kruger NP, but Crowned Hornbill is also nice.
And one more of the stars of Mkuze: African Paradise Flycatcher.
Some more Mkuze birds for which I cannot come up with a semi-interesting caption right now …
African Pied Wagtail
Black Cuckoo Shrike
Black-winged Stilt (yes, I could have taken this one in Shanghai)
Emerald-spotted Wood Dove
Greater Blue-eared Starling
White-crested Helmet Shrike
More birds of South Africa here.