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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pick on someone your own size !

Whilst on a short Safari recently in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya with Nature's Wonderland Safaris,  we came across a watering pool with White-headed and Rüppell's Vultures along with Steppe Eagles.  There was a mound that was a good vantage point for one of the Steppe Eagles,  however a Rüppell's Vulture had other ideas and thought it would be a great place to dry wings and cool down a little !   You can get the story from the Image series below.

Rüppell's griffon vulture (Gyps rueppellii)
Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Eagles in Hungary

I recently took a trip to the Hortobágy National Park in Hungary, staying in a small town called Balmazújváros.  I had previously photographed a White-tailed Sea Eagle in Scotland but had not been prepared with the right focal length at the time photographing from a boat.   Therefore I felt the lure of the chance to photograph many birds from the hides of Sakertour, an example of which can be seen below.  The hides use reflective glass which I was a little unsure about but certainly needn't have been, slight loss of light but not significant especially when the sun was shining !  I entered the hides at 5:30am well before sunrise and left late afternoon after all the birds had left.  That way the Eagles never know that there are humans in such a close vicinity.  It's a great chance to spend 10 hours or so observing at close range the behaviour of not only the Eagles but other birds too.  A very stimulating experience indeed !

The following images show a sequence in which an Immature Eagle takes on a more mature bird and loses !   I didn't see too many squabbles of this nature so feel lucky I was able to capture the action.
Other images from the trip can be seen here Flikr

White-tailed Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) aggression

Monday, January 19, 2015

Desert Ducks

There are some new man-made lakes that have recently been created to the South East of Dubai. They are still a way from becoming established sites and for some reason the authorities have introduced feral species from around the world leading to strange sights of birds that would normally never co-exist !   It has already become a popular place for Walkers, Picknickers, Quad Bikers etc.... but nevertheless still provides good photo opportunities.  In this blog are pictures of wintering Northern Pintail and Eurasian Wigeon at sunset,  they are regularly flushed by passing 4x4s and so do provide nice images in the fading light of them arriving back at the lake.  I will be visiting on a regular basis over the coming weeks look forward (hopefully) to more opportunities to capture more species as the year goes on.

Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)

Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)

Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)

Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Forest Wagtail - UAE Record No 10

This Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus) is a recent vistor to Abu Dhabi,  I believe, according to the Emirates Bird Recorder, it is the 10th Record for the UAE, the first being Nov 1989 and the last Dec 2012.   It is only my second sighting,  the last being in 2009, so I enjoyed my hour or two yesterday in the Ghaf woods with this little bird.

It is extremely shy and does not tolerate human company much at all,  so best strategy was to pitch up nearby and wait !   Patience after all is a virtue and often rewarded.   Date Taken 16.01.15

Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus)

Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus)

Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus)