Sunday, September 29, 2013

Feathered Friends of Pilanesberg

Last month Paul, Piper and I spent a day in Pilanesberg National Park, a game park about 3 hours northwest of Pretoria. Pilanesberg is situated in a long extinct volcanic crater resulting from eruptions over 1,200 million years ago (I can't even fathom that time frame). Driving through you can't really tell you are in a volcanic crater as time and erosion has worn away the walls of the crater and now just hills and ridges remain.

Pilanesberg is a driving park as it contains all of the Big Five - the five most dangerous game animals in Africa, and the ones everyone wants to see on a safari - Lion, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino. On this trip we saw only 2 of the big five, elephants and rhinos, but wow did we see A LOT of elephants! But you will have to wait for those pictures in a later post! :)

This post is about the birds! We love being back in Africa where there are so many birds. Paul and I started birding when we lived in Uganda 10 years ago and we've been carrying around the binoculars and bird books and making our birding life list ever since.

I decided that one of the things I wanted to do while living in South Africa was try to get a good picture of each new bird we identify. This is no easy task but I am up for the challenge. I am not able to get one for every bird on the first try, so we've identified many birds that I don't have a picture of, but I have managed to get quite a few.

Pied Kingfisher

Southern Yellow Billed Hornbill

African Stonechat (female)

Pearl Breasted Swallows

Fish Eagle

Southern Yellow Billed Hornbill

White Breasted Cormorants, Grey Heron, Fish Eagle with White Breasted Cormorants in the background, Pied Kingfisher

Arrow Marked Babbler

Dark Capped Bulbul

Southern Masked Weaver (female)

Arrow Marked Babbler, Pied Kingfisher, Southern Masked Weaver (female), African Stonechat (female)

Egyptian Goose

Black Crake, Blacksmith Lapwing, African Snipe, Cape Glossy Starling

1 comment:

Kathy Matulich said...

Beautiful pics, Dawn! AK