Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why I love Critters

This week I have a variety of critters to post about. Not only that; I also want to show why I love the outdoors, looking for and photographing birds and other critters in the area and sharing the love with others.

On Tuesday morning Madu, the Guest House gardener told Michael that a bird I'd been asking about, was roosting in a tree the garden. Michael called me; I grabbed my Swarovski Binoculars which I asked Michael to carry; I already had my camera slung over my shoulder and together we walked across to the Guest House. Madu pointed upwards and sure enough, there was the African Harrier-Hawk that I'd heard but not seen. I'm sure it's the same bird which was born in that tree when its parents nested there last year.
African Harrier-hawk
While I took photos of this beautiful bird, Michael was focusing the binos on it as well. Madu watched in awe as Michael made remarks in Swahili about the red face coloring and the fact that its one foot was raised. 
 Michael looking through my binoculars as if he's born to it !

I finished snapping the Harrier-hawk and told Michael to show Madu how to look through the binoculars. The ensuing scene that played off in front of me,  was precious!
Michael shows Madu how to hold the binoculars and where to focus so that he can see the bird!
As Michael and I walked back to my house, he said: Bibi, the kinyonga/chameleon is here. And he pointed up into the branches of a tree hanging over the road. 

 The Rainbow Chameleon

A few days before Princess gave birth to the pups, Michael called me to see a small snake in the garden. The staff all know I don't kill anything and I discourage them killing critters as well. With all the excitement of the babies arriving, I forgot about this little snake. I don't know what it is; it seemed to be injured so I asked Michael to pick it up on a piece of cardboard and put it in the field beside out house.

A small snake in our garden

While in Mwanza last week, we had lunch at the Malaika hotel (more about this later) Afterwards waiting on the shores of Lake Victoria for our driver to arrive, I got chatting to a young man who was promoting boat tours on the lake.  At the same time I spotted a movement on the rocks beyond and snapped!
Agama Lizard female on Lake Victoria
Perhaps you can see the greenish critter in center of this photo. And huge brownish critter to the left of the photo. I spotted a grasshopper (green critter) but as I was trying to photograph it, Princess (brown critter) was chasing it away. Nothing is safe in the garden while Madam protects her pups!
I managed one photo of the grasshopper before Princess chased it right out of the garden! 

And look what she's so protective of...
The pups, day 17!
We still sleep all day
Note the communal nappy is replaced quite often during the day
Wrrrourrff! Am I cute or what?

And the best news? Today I asked Grant that when the time comes, can we place these pups in and around our house as Michael and I originally planned. Two here with their mama Princess; one as playmate and later, companion to Nando at the Guest House and two each respectively in the semi-detached expat houses diagonally across the road from us. He said YES! Yippee! So the pups are basically all homed already but I get to "keep' them theoretically. 

How cool is that?

I'm linking my post to Saturday Critters with Eileen which you can visit here






  1. what a great looking bird! glad you shared the binoculars so all could see him up close! i like your lizards, too. glad the pups will all be near by and safe!

  2. Hi dear Jo, it's so precious watching the two men look through your binoculars with such excitement. I remember in my first trip to Kenya that it was a delight for me to watch the faces of people I met when I'd let them take photos on my digital camera and also show them the photos when I took some of them. They were so delighted. The dogs are looking so very cute. It makes me want to have a puppy. I love puppies. xx

  3. The communal nappy was my fave.

  4. You set such a wonderful wildlife sighting example.

  5. Fantastic post. Great Hawk shot in the tree. I loved the way your staff seem to love the wildlife as much as you and are willing to share with each other. I am so pleased the pups will be housed close to you and you will be able to see them all growing up. Have a great weekend.

  6. You have quite a variety of critters to watch ! I only see cats, dogs, horses and cows, lol !
    The little tails of the puppies seem to grow ! Good news about the future of the puppies !

  7. Jo, it is a cool looking Harrier-Hawk.. It is nice to see your staff using the binocs, maybe they will become birders.. I Love the chameleon and the lizard..They are neat critters. And the puppies steal the show, I am glad two puppies will be nearby. I hope that means we will all see them grow up..Great post! Thanks for linking up, have a happy weekend!

  8. i always love your critter post but today your people post topped the critters.. that lizard is beautiful and the bird is amazing, i love the ripples his feathers make. i am sure if i lived with all these critters i would snap myself silly all day every day and get nothing else done... the pups are growing fast.

  9. Your puppies are incredibly cute as they sleep!

  10. Wonderful post.. Love the hawk and the puppies are adorable.

  11. Fantastic critter sightings! How wonderful that your gardener and his son enjoy sharing what they see with you. That Harrier-Hawk is amazing!

  12. Wonderful critters all of them. The lizard is beautiful and the puppies are so adorable.

  13. Great shot of the Harrier Hawk. Glad those adorable pups have already found a home.


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