Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Giant Kingfisher on National Road

On our way down to Cape Town (which I posted about yesterday), we stopped at a "One Stop" : roadside filling station, restrooms and cafe. I'd made food for the road;  Grant had made a flask of coffee and we decided to have it here. 

As we drove in, I saw a rather large "spotted" pigeon with a huge bill on top of a security light. I squealed that I thought it was a kingfisher and Grant said he couldn't stop there as there was another car right behind him. I snapped the bird in passing (photo below) and thought that would be my only photo. 
The photo I managed in passing! 

We parked under the awnings and while Grant took the food out of the boot, I ran back (camera bouncing on my chest) to where I'd seen the bird.
As I got there it flew off... another pole nearby where I focused on it and snapped away. By now I'd seen that it WAS a Kingfisher; in fact, it was a Giant Kingfisher - one of my all-time favorite birds. 
Giant Kingfisher
With the white breast band and rufous belly, I identified it as a female Giant Kingfisher
I zoomed out to remind me (when I downloaded the photos) that I'd seen this bird on a pole (center) right alongside the N1 National Road between Bloemfontein and Cape Town! (a passing truck and trailer is just visible at the bottom of the photo) 
The male Giant Kingfisher has a rufous chest and white belly  unlike this lady with her speckled chest, white breast band and rufous belly
I was thrilled to get several photos of this bird. Here I caught the sun glint in her eye 

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday here.  Please do pop over to Stewart's bird blog (by clicking on the link)  He has beautiful photos of a large water bird called a Shoveler. 



  1. she is gorgeous, and i am smiling as i picture Grant taking your food out of a BOOT. he he he... yes, i do know it is your word for our word trunk... still smiled. also smiled a my picture in my mind of you running with camera bouncing to grab that SHOT.... it was worth it

  2. Hello Jo, awesome captures and closeups of the Kingfisher. Beautiful bird! Enjoy your day and the week ahead!

  3. Kingfishers look so topheavy, huh, but really cool

  4. Superb pictures of the Kingfisher. Wonderful!

  5. Amazing captures. If you changed his head to an ow's head, to me the rest of body would look like an owl. I can't even imagine getting this close to a Giant Kingfisher. The spots are stunning. genie

  6. He is a beautiful bird, not unlike our Kookaburra in shape but not in colour.


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