Thursday, January 24, 2008

I’ll Fly Away

In addition to the elephants, Amboselli is also a famous birder’s paradise with over three hundred different species once being identified in a single day. There are the obvious egret, ibis, and ostriches but there are also the pretty blue ones, and the cool brown ones!

Ok, so I’m not a professional birder and I forgot to write down many of their names, but at least I took their photos and paid attention to some of their cooler stats. For example, the brown ostriches, we were told, are the females. So in addition to not being able to fly, these large tasty ladies are also cursed with dealing with their prettier (and therefore more ego driven) husbands. Poor girls!

On Tuesday afternoon, the three of us went on a nature walk with our Masai guide, Leonard. The walk was surprisingly brief and, despite the heat, we all wished it could have been a wee bit longer. Taking us around the outer perimeter of the lodge, Leonard showed us several different varieties of birds, some of which he was able to identify only from their call.

One of BBS’s favorite birds was the Crested Crane , which I kept thinking was something else every time we spotted one. These rather distinguished looking birds never seemed bothered by our car and just sat grazing on whatever patch of grass they had chosen for the day.

I wish my camera had a better zoom on it so as to better identify some of the birds we found. During our four days of safaris, we spotted everything from eagles to Egyptian ducks but many times these could only be seen off in the distance.

The best place to see birds was the wetlands about ten minutes from our lodge. In addition to being home to some difficult-to-spot hippos, the wetlands are also the nesting place for hundreds of different birds. Much like the grazing animals, these birds seemed to hang out together regardless of species. The water, grass, and bugs were there to be shared and they didn’t seem to care who partook of the available feast.

My apologies for not identifying most of the birds in these photos but as I said, I just don’t know. Feel free to play amateur ornithologist and share your knowledge with me. (Please!!) After enjoying several days of birding for beginners, I must say that the next time I go on safari I will bring a bird book with me so that I too can participate in this interesting new hobby.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good pictures!