Monday, 4 July 2011

local goodies

 red-footed falcon at Hornsey
 I have been looking for a doable kingfishers for a while.  I managed a handful of shots before the fishing season started and they disappeared due to disturbance. 
Local marsh warbler giving pretty decent views a couple of weeks ago

garden dragonflies

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Red-flanked bluetail

I almost forgot this one, the Waxham bluetail from back in October.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Turkana Tribe

During my last couple of visits to Lake Turkana we have made friends with a small group of Turkana people who are living close to where we have been carrying out surveys. At the moment a drought is underway, which means they have to collect water from around 10 miles from their settlement.  To save them the two day trip, which consists of one day to walk to the nearest water and one day to walk back to their settlement, we took their water cans back to South Horr and returned them full the following morning.

I'm not sure how they manage such a marathon trek in such heat with so little water, I walked around 1km one day and had to immmediatley drink 3 litres of water! 

Turkanas, dont normally like having their photograph taken because they think the photograph is taking their blood away.  Providing them with water and a few kilos sugar, which they normally trade for goats persuaded them photography wouldn't harm them.  In the end I was inundated with requests to take their photo.

This mum encourages her little girl to drink so she can give us back an empty water container for refill

Turkana women shaing out sugar and tobaco

Heading back to camp

When a baby goat is born the turkanas carry them around for a couple of days until they build up their strength and are able to join the herd. 

The Turkanas usually wear sandals made from old tyres, but they often wear nothing on their feet, the ground is littered with sharp stones and thorns and would rip our feet to shreds in a few hours.  Visible in the photo of the girl above is the missing bottom two incisors, these are always pulled out in early childhood.

Link to Turkana on Wiki
I'm not sure about some of the pictures which I think are of another tribe but the information seems pretty much correct.

Lake Turkana birds

African white-backed vulture taken by a small colony in the South Horr valley

Buff-crested bustard very common between South Horr and Lake Turkana, it is seldom seen in the open like this one and tend to inhabit semi-wooded habitats on the edge of the desert.

Eastern chanting-goshawk

Lichtenstein's sandgrouse, really hard to find, i only managed to see one group in one week in the desert.

Roller, common in semi-wooded country.

Migrating steppe eagle, one of several seen migrating south during the week.

This Verreaux's eagle-owl was hunting weaver birds every night at South Horr Camp. Picture taken using a torch which it completley ignored and carried on hunting.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

More Kenya, Lake Turkana images coming soon

I have been lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time in in Kenya over the past couple of months, great birds and great people. more pics to come soon.  Kori bustard and two Turkana girls.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

American flycatcher in Norfolk

This North American Epidonax flycatcher was present at the end of Blakeney Point this weekend. The jury is still out as too exactly which species is is.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Samburu people

We stayed in South Horr for a few days, the local tribes are really friendly and as the photos show they wear very colourful clothes and massive necklaces.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Grevy's zebra

Probably the highlight of my visit to Africa was this pair of Grevy's zebra, this desert species is becoming increasingly rare and there is believed to be only around 2500 left with numbers decreasing rapidly.  These fine animals are taller and more graceful than common zebra with much more delicate stripes.  The ears are larger and used for signalling as well as listerning in all directions, note one of these is listerning behind while watching us.

first pic uploaded after 5 attempts!

Africa update

Having trouble posting pics, so this is a test post featuring the sought after Quail-plover.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Lake Turkana Africa

I have recently got back from at few days staying near Lake Turkana in Africa, I only had basic camera gear with me but managed a few decent shots. Birds are from top to bottom: Tawny eagle, Somali Courser, Olive thrush, Nubian woodpecker, Kori Bustard, eastern-chanting gosshawk, crowned plover and buff-creasted bustard.