Posts in Category: animals

Elephant Edition: Catching a ride

African Elephant: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — We came up on a second small herd of Elephants moving parallel to the road on our way back to the lodge from the boat tour on Nile in Murchison Falls National Park. A whole flock of Piapiacs were catching a ride and hunting insects put up by the elephants. 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.

African Wildlife edition: Hippos again…

We might as well catch another Hippopotamus mood while we are here on the Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park (or at least while I am going through photos from our visit). Hippos are indeed among the oddest looking mammals, with that huge sardonic smile, stuck-up nose, eyes that do not fit in their skulls…and with their ears tucked back in sockets. Odd indeed…but then we probably look just as funny to them. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 595mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Wildlife edition: The placid side of Hippos

This is a more typical “action” shot of Hippocampus. The youngster here is yawning. A frequent behavior and often photographed as it is about as much action as you are likely to see in a bloat of hippos at mid-day. When an adult does it, with the full grown tusks, it is, of course, much more impressive. 🙂 Again, these hippos will send the daylight hours hiding from the sun in the shallows, kneeling on the bottom to keep as much of their skin underwater as possible, and taking frequent dips to completely submerge. This bloat (or school, or pod) was along the shores of the Victoria Nile between its junction with the Albert and Murchison Falls in Murchison Falls National Park…taken from the tour boat to the base of the falls. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Hippo edition: Fight!

Hippopotamuses live, you might think, fairly placid lives…grazing during the hours of darkness, sometimes wandering miles from water, and spending the days kneeling in the shallows of lakes and larger rivers to protect their somewhat delicate hides from the equatorial sun. Plaid, except when they aren’t! This is mock battle between two (probably young) males at the edge of one of the big bloats of hippos that we saw from the tour boat on the Nile below Murchison Falls, in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda. “Bloat”, “crash”, “school”, or “pod”…all are used to describe a group of hippos. Our guide on the boat called them schools…but bloat is, according to internet sources, the more common and perhaps more correct term. I have heard it said that more people are killed by hippos each year, than by all of the big five taken together. Anywhere between a hippo and the water is a very dangerous place to be. You definitely do not want to be bitten by a hippo, as it only takes one bite. Still, the impression of a placid life is probably correct, 90% of the time. These two quickly settled back into the water once whatever point needed making was made to their satisfaction. Sony Rx10iv at 164mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed (cropped and enlarged) in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.

Wildlife edition: Rothschild’s or Nubian Giraffe (or Northern?)

Rothschild’s (or Nubian) Giraffe, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — Or Northern Giraffe, or just plain Giraffe. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature only currently recognizes one species of Giraffe, though there have been numerous (and conflicting) genetic studies over the past 10 years that indicate that there are at least 3, possibly 4 (just maybe up to 9) different species of Giraffe. The Nubian and Rothschild’s were considered sub-species of Northern Giraffe under the 3 species scheme, but are now suspected to be the regional variations of the same species. At any rate, all the Giraffes in Uganda are (or were) Rothschild’s (if they are not really Nubian) and definitely Northern Giraffes. Confused much? Wherever the ball comes down in the Giraffe species roulette, the Ugandan Giraffe is a beautiful animal…with a boldly marked hide, pale legs, massive shoulders and a long neck. They browse the tops of Acacia trees, giving the trees their characteristic flat tops, and taking only the tender new leaves…stripping them off the thorny branches with nimble lips and an agile tongue. They are big animals…not only tall, but massive, with powerful legs. They do indeed stand tall in the savannahs of Uganda. Sony Rx10iv at 412mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 250 @ 4 @ 1/500th.

Primate edition: Patas Monkey

Another road-side attraction from Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda. Patas Monkeys appear to be the most common primate at Murchison. We saw our first one before we got to the lodge on the first day of our visit, and several on our game drives over the nest days. This one was, as you can see, right beside the road. It looked to be a solitary male, as it did not have a troop of females and young with it. I have to admit that on more than one occasion I almost called out Lion! when I saw a Patas moving on all fours through the tall savannah grasses. It has very much that look about it and it moves in a similar, stalking, way. 🙂 Still I was almost as happy to see another Patas as I would have been to see a lion…almost. Sony Rx10iv at 111mm equivalent (that close!). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/320th.

Antelope edition: Jackson’s Hartebeest

In Uganda they call this the Jackson’s Hartebeest…but a little research this morning indicates that the Jackson’s Hartebeest is considered to be a cross between the Lewel’s and Coke’s subspecies…and in Uganda, at least at Murchison Falls National Park where we saw this one, is most probably identical to the Lewel’s…it is certainly counted as Lewel’s for conservation status purposes. On the other hand, other websites and local guides seem confident that this is the Jackson’s ??? Whatever it is, it is a handsome beast, closely related to the Wildebeest. The name, apparently, means “tough ox”… Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 320 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Dog edition: Black-backed Jackal

We were still on our way to the lodge in Murchinson Falls National Park when we spotted a Black-backed Jackal crossing the road behind us. It was in and out of deep grass and hard to photograph, but not much further on we stopped for antilope and found what was probably its mate enjoying the late day sun in the grass much nearer the road. These are of course, from the northern, East African population of Jackals, far removed from the South African population that hunts similar savannahs. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent (the first shot considerably enlarged in post processing). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 500 and 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th. Plus 1.3EV.

Antelope edition: Ugandan Kob

Ugandan Kob: Murchinson Falls National Park, Uganda — As far as antipopes go, the Impala, by sheer numbers and its wide distribution, could be said to rule the savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa. Except in Uganda, where the very closely related, but separate species, the Uganda Kob replaces them over much of the country. The Kob has very similar horns, much the same life-style and habits…but lacks the distinctive M on the butt. It is also, to my eye, a very slightly more “chunky” version of the Impala, with less of the elegance, and more of the sturdiness. This early morning shot captures some of the “peacefulness” of a herd of Kob grazing the lush savannah of Murchinson Falls National Park. Sony Rx10iv at 477mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 ! 1/640th.

Bonus Pic for today: Black and White Colotuses Monkey

We did not see as many different species of primaries on this trip to Uganda as we did in 2019, but we saw way more individuals. The Black and White Colobuses, in particular, seemed to be everywhere we went. This was our first one, at the Entebbe Botanical Gardens on our second full day in Uganda. I really like the Colobuses…with their 70s fringes and mutton chops and that long tail. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 800 @ f4 @ 1/500th. Plus 1EV exposure compensation.