Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Birding in Kenya

I've been trying to post about the many birds Grant and I have seen since arriving back in the valley two weeks ago. Today when I logged onto my computer, I had a warning against a virus. I have a very good anti-virus programme so I wasn't too worried. However, the box kept dropping down onto my screen warning me. Then my Skype stopped working. Fortunately our younger son, Angus is an IT specialist back in South Africa and I mailed him with my problem. Technology is so advanced that, with a program called Teamviewer, Angus could access my computer across the thousands of kilometers that seperate us, and last night he located and corrected the problem. (Thanks Angus!) Only thing is, I had to stay away from my computer with the result that I couldn't do my complete post for today.  I will post the next section of birding later on (hopefully today).
A Pied Kingfisher, perching on a reed in the water, is ready to dive down and catch a fish

When we arrived at one of the dams on the mine last week, we noticed that there were many Pied Kingfishers, all very active, in and around the water. As we got closer to the dam, we saw that the water surface was literally bubbling with tiny little fish. The Pied Kingfisher perches on branches, reeds, poles and wooden stumps, over water and commonly hunts by hovering before diving, beak first, into the water.

Pied Kingfisher in action

Last week I posted about the Hamerkop and its nest. There are many Hamerkop around the dam at the moment as well. In my previous post I showed how this bird wades through the water finding food. This weekend, however, we noticed the Hamerkops flying over the water surface, swooping down and catching a fish. I sent these photos to my sister-in-law in South Africa. With the help of two birding experts in her area,  she has confirmed that it is normal for Hamerkops to hawk for fish and tadpoles in this manner, but it's not common to see it. (Thanks Shelley!)

A Hamerkop fishing from the air
This was another Hamerkop swooping down on the water a few minutes later. Don't you just love the reflection in the water?

I hope to be back later with more birds and their interesting actions and antics!


  1. Thank goodness for Angus!
    My nephew Scott did something similar for me once, an I was VERY impressed. So nice to have young people in the family, even far away.
    Luv — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. Interesting action shots of these birds. The pied kingfisher is a pretty one.

  3. Sure glad it wasn't terminal.

  4. I'm so glad your son could fix your computer. I love seeing these different birds from Kenya. The Pied kingfisher is pretty.

  5. Wow, that must be awful getting a virus warning ! So far never happened to me and how nice that your son could fix the problem, I tell you the world is getting smaller and smaller !
    I have AVAST as anti virus and so far never had a problem, now I touch wood !

  6. Any wildlife magazine should be proud to post your pictures! Yes, extraordinary great shot with the reflection in the water.


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