Posts in Category: Africa

Elephant edition: early encounter 3

African Elephant: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — I have already shared two images of this solitary bull elephant that we encountered early on our final morning in Murchison Falls National Park. After about 5 minutes of our sitting in the Land Cruiser watching him eat, he got tired of our attention, and turned to move us on. Not quite a mock charge, but he was definitely headed our way, so, of course, our guide let out the clutch and we were off. Sony Rx10iv at 97mm equivalent (we were close!). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 200 @ f3.5 @ 1/200th.

Grey-headed Kingfisher

Grey-headed Kingfisher: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — Sometimes it just all comes together. Great bird, great place, great light. This Grey-headed Kingfisher was perched up right beside the road on our way out of Murchison Falls National Park, still with early morning light on it. It just does not get any better! The Grey-headed Kingfisher is one of the few Kingfishers which does not fish…though it still dependent on riverbanks for its nest sites (sandy banks where it digs it tunnel nests), is not an aquatic bird. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 200 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Elephant Edition: Early encounter 2

African Elephant: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — Another shot from our early morning elephant encounter, on our last morning in Murchison Falls National Park. A well grown male posing for us as it plucked leaves from an acacia tree. Uganda’s elephants do not tend to have the huge tusks you see in Kenya (for instance), but the herds are still recovering from the days of Idi Amin when his soldiers slaughtered many thousands for their tusks. After Amin’s overthrow, even more elephants were killed by both sides for food and profit. It has been a hard road back for Ugandan elephants. Sony Rx10iv at 91mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 640 @ f3.5 @ 1/200th.

Immature Bateleur

Immature Bateleur: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — We must have seen a dozen immature Bateleurs. The adult Bateleur is a very distinctive African Hawk-Eagle, mostly black with bright orange-red bill and cere, and deep rust between the wings on the back. Both male and female have grey wing coverts on the shoulder and the female as a grey panel across the flight feathers. Along with the short tailed, big headed look, it is a very striking and unmistakable bird. The immatures share the shape, but are plain brown with a pale bluish bill and cere. Not nearly as exciting :). Still we were always happy to see them…especially since each sighting fueled our hope of seeing an adult in the area…but we never did. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Elephant Edition: early encounter

African Elephant: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — We were on our way early on the day we moved from Murchison Falls National Park to Kibale, since it would be our longest day on the road. Still we had the safari top up. We did not want to miss our last views of Murchison and its unique habitat and wildlife. We were not yet far from the lodge when we encounter this lone bull elephant feeding at its full reach from the lower branches of a big acacia tree. Lone bulls are likely to be older bulls ejected from the herd by younger rivals, but this one, from the size of the tusks, might be a young bull speaking greener pastures between herds. It was a great encounter and I have more photos to share. Sony Rx10iv at 32mm equivalent. (Gotta love the Sony’s 24-600mm zoom which makes a range of views available with a twist. In this situation I would have hated to be “stuck” with long wildlife lens on a conventional camera.) Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 200 @ f2.8 @ 1/500th.

Juvenile Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — This is my third post on the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, from a fourth encounter. This is probably the rarest of my Hornbill shots: a juvenile. Hornbills, as I mentioned in a previous post, only successfully breed every 5-9 years, and only raise one chick per-nest. This bird has, so far, beaten the odds to reach this stage of its young life. Note the limited casque and the small grey wattle. This bird is also, uncharacteristically, showing a lot of the white flight feathers. The bird was right beside the road…so close I had to zoom out to get the full body in. Sony Rx10iv at 266mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 800 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Antelope edition: Oribi fawn

Oribi: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — Still on our way back from the tour boat on the Nile, we came to this mother and fawn Oribi beside the road into the lodge. I selectively focused on the fawn and had to sharpen the female more than I like, but it is still a good photo. Focus stacking would have been nice…but I checked my unprocessed images and in the few seconds I had, I did not get one with the female in selective focus. 🙁 Sony Rx10iv at 221mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 1000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Giant Kingfisher

Giant Kingfisher: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — Though the Giant Kingfisher has a range that covers pretty much all of sub-Sahara Africa, I saw my first one on the Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park from the tour boat to the base of the Falls. It is not an uncommon bid, but evidently there are never large numbers, they are very local and maintain a relatively small territory, and the pairs move around a lot, relocating their territory regularly. This is a male. The female has the rufous band lower on the belly and the streaking on the throat and upper chest. The Giant makes the 9th of the 11 possible Kingfishers of Uganda, and 15 of East Africa, that I have seen. The Giant, the Dwarf, and the Blue-breasted were new for me on this trip. 🙂 Always happy to see a new Kingfisher! Sony Rx10iv at ~550mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. The shot with green background was at ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th. The other one was at ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th, plus 1.7EV to capture detail against the backlight.

Elephant edition: Two more.

African Elephant, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — A couple of other sots of the most cooperative, and most photogenic, of the elephants we encountered on our way back to the lodge from the Nile River Murchison Falls tour boat. You might think the Piapiac birds riding the elephant are like Oxpeckers…but they are quite different. Oxpeckers do not ride elephants because the elephant’s hide is too thick to host ticks…and too thick for the Oxpeckers to open wounds to attract other insects…which they do, for instance, on the tender hides of giraffes. The Piapiacs are strictly hunting from the handy perch of the elephant’s back…and are aided by the fact that the elephant moving through the grass stirs up a lot of insects. It is an opportunistic relationship as opposed to the symbiotic (or parasitic in the case of the giraffes) relationship of the Oxpeckers. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 351mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 1600 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Yellow-billed Stork

Yellow-billed Stork: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — A very wet and bedraggled Yellow-billed Stork on the banks of the Nile from the tour boat to the base of Murchison Falls…showing the pink blush on the wing coverts and pink legs of breeding plumage very nicely. The Yellow-storks must breed in Uganda, since Murchison Falls NP is pretty far from major breeding areas in Kenya, but there are actually no known breeding sites in Uganda. The Yellow-billed Stork is one of four storks in a closely related group…which includes the American Wood Stork and the Milky and Painted Storks of Asia. Yellow-billed, Milky, and Painted all look very alike, while the Wood Stork lacks the bright colors. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 200 @ f4 @ 1/500th.