WILD 4 PHOTO Pty Ltd

Wild4 African Photo Safaris

Specialist small group photo safaris to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia

African Photographic Safaris since 2003

BIRDS of KRUGER photo safari - October 2014

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 27th Oct 2014

Yet again this proved to be a very successful photo safari with the focus being slanted towards trying to photograph the amazing bird diversity that the Kruger has to offer.

A total bird count of 178 with a very impressive 144 photos (of different species)

The aim of this safari is not to tick species off, but instead the challenge is to try and get some decent photos of Kruger's birds, with the additional challenge of trying to improve upon existing shots when better opportunities present themselves.

Northern Kruger is the real hotspot as this area has some special species not commonly seen in the rest of Kruger. We did very well with the Crested Guineafowl and Broad-billed Rollers, as well as getting to see the Trumpeter Hornbills again at the exact same nest site as last year ! We also added the rarely seen Crowned Hornbills to our photo list.

Kruger has such a diverse range of habitats which made the trip very enjoyable as we travelled from the North right down to the south over a period of 14 days. The trip was really relaxing, the binoculars and cameras were well used and our safari vehicle acted as the perfect mobile bird hide, this is the best way to get original and different shots of Kruger's birds. We saw a number of the same species as we did last year but they were all in different situations and circumstances which helps to keep the subject matter unique and fresh.

A number of migrants were already back, gearing up for the summer season in South Africa, Yellow Billed Kites, European Bee eaters, Cuckoos, Wahlberg's Eagles and a very rare sighting of a Grey Kestrel, normally only seen in Namibia.

The beautiful African Paradise Flycatchers seemed to be everywhere this year and we had a special sighting of a Black Heron and a Greater Honeyguide.

We did very well on the Owl front, notching up 4 different species (all during the day time)

Other highlights were getting to photograph both of the Helmet Shrikes and the Orange Breasted and Grey headed Bushshrikes.

The waterbirds were fantastic this year, Squacco Herons, Collared Pratincoles, Black Crake, African Jacana and many more. The visits to Lake panic Bird hide near Skukuza proved to be very productive - it is still one of the best places to see and photograph the Malachite Kingfisher !!

Sunbirds, Woodpeckers and the very active Weavers also added some great photo opportunities.

All in all it was a fantastically productive trip and really enjoyable to be able to go at a very different pace to the normal bigger mammal type photo safaris (of which we still got to see and photograph anyway)

Thanks very much to John for coming on the safari, it was a great pleasure to shoot alongside you !

Here are a few photos - enjoy !!!

Warmest regards

Stu

Arrow Marked Babbler
Arrow Marked Babbler
Black Collared Barbet
Black Collared Barbet
Crested Barbet
Crested Barbet
European Bee-eater
European Bee-eater
Yellow-bellied Greenbul
Yellow-bellied Greenbul
Dark-capped Bulbul
Dark-capped Bulbul
Sombre Greenbul
Sombre Greenbul
Red-crested Korhaan (male)
Red-crested Korhaan (male)
Kori Bustard
Kori Bustard
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Jacobin Cuckoo
Jacobin Cuckoo
Red-eyed Doves
Red-eyed Doves
Emerald-spotted Wood Dove
Emerald-spotted Wood Dove
Laughing Dove
Laughing Dove
African Green Pigeon
African Green Pigeon
Immature Bateleur Eagle
Immature Bateleur Eagle
Yellow Billed Kite
Yellow Billed Kite
African Fish Eagle and moon
African Fish Eagle and moon
African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle
Martial Eagle
Martial Eagle
Lappet-faced Vultures
Lappet-faced Vultures
Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
African Paradise Flycatcher (male)
African Paradise Flycatcher (male)
Southern Black Flycatcher
Southern Black Flycatcher
Ashy Flycatcher
Ashy Flycatcher
Greater Honeyguide
Greater Honeyguide
Double Banded Sandgrouse
Double Banded Sandgrouse
Swainson's Spurfowl
Swainson's Spurfowl
Crested Francolin (male)
Crested Francolin (male)
Natal Spurfowl (male)
Natal Spurfowl (male)
Common Ostrich Chick
Common Ostrich Chick
African Hoopoe
African Hoopoe
Green Wood-Hoopoe
Green Wood-Hoopoe
Crested Guineafowl
Crested Guineafowl
Southern Ground Hornbill
Southern Ground Hornbill
Trumpeter Hornbill
Trumpeter Hornbill
Crowned Hornbill
Crowned Hornbill
Yellow Billed Hornbill
Yellow Billed Hornbill
African Grey Hornbill (male)
African Grey Hornbill (male)
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher (male)
Pied Kingfisher (male)
Pied Kingfisher (male) with fish
Pied Kingfisher (male) with fish
Malachite Kingfisher
Malachite Kingfisher
Purple-crested Turaco
Purple-crested Turaco
Purple-crested Turaco in flight
Purple-crested Turaco in flight
Grey Go-away-bird
Grey Go-away-bird
Black-headed Oriole
Black-headed Oriole
Verreaux's Eagle-owl
Verreaux's Eagle-owl
African Scops Owl
African Scops Owl
African Barred Owlet
African Barred Owlet
Pearl-spotted Owlet
Pearl-spotted Owlet
Red-billed Oxpecker
Red-billed Oxpecker
Brown-headed Parrot feeding on Baobab Tree Flowers
Brown-headed Parrot feeding on Baobab Tree Flowers
White-browed Robin-chat
White-browed Robin-chat
White-throated Robin-chat
White-throated Robin-chat
White-browed Scrub Robin
White-browed Scrub Robin
Mocking Cliff Chat (male)
Mocking Cliff Chat (male)
Lilac-breasted Roller
Lilac-breasted Roller
Purple Roller
Purple Roller
Broad-billed Rollers
Broad-billed Rollers
Brubru
Brubru
Chinspot Batis (male)
Chinspot Batis (male)
Black-backed Puffback (female)
Black-backed Puffback (female)
Black-backed Puffback (male)
Black-backed Puffback (male)
Black-crowned Tchagra
Black-crowned Tchagra
Orange-breasted Bushshrike
Orange-breasted Bushshrike
Grey-headed Bushshrike
Grey-headed Bushshrike
Burchell's Coucal
Burchell's Coucal
Magpie Shrike
Magpie Shrike
White-crested Helmet-shrike
White-crested Helmet-shrike
Ret'z Helmet-shrike
Ret'z Helmet-shrike
African Yellow White-eye
African Yellow White-eye
Cape White-eye
Cape White-eye
Golden-breasted Bunting
Golden-breasted Bunting
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
Cinnamon-breasted Bunting
Sabota Lark
Sabota Lark
Yellow-breasted Apalis (male)
Yellow-breasted Apalis (male)
Bronze Mannikin
Bronze Mannikin
Yellow-fronted Canary
Yellow-fronted Canary
Speckled Mousebird
Speckled Mousebird
Meve's Starling
Meve's Starling
Violet-backed Starling (male)
Violet-backed Starling (male)
Red-winged Starling (male)
Red-winged Starling (male)
White-bellied Sunbird (male)
White-bellied Sunbird (male)
Marico Sunbird (male)
Marico Sunbird (male)
Lesser Striped Swallow (male)
Lesser Striped Swallow (male)
Kurrichane Thrush
Kurrichane Thrush
Saddle-billed Stork (male) with Platanna (African Clawed frog)
Saddle-billed Stork (male) with Platanna (African Clawed frog)
Yellow Billed Stork
Yellow Billed Stork
Blacksmith Lapwing
Blacksmith Lapwing
White-crowned Lapwing
White-crowned Lapwing
Three-banded Plover
Three-banded Plover
Collared Pratincole
Collared Pratincole
Common Greenshank
Common Greenshank
Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Little Stint
Little Stint
Ruff
Ruff
Black Crake
Black Crake
African Jacana
African Jacana
Squacco Heron
Squacco Heron
Green-backed Heron
Green-backed Heron
Great Egret
Great Egret
Little Egret
Little Egret
Western Cattle Egret
Western Cattle Egret
Hammerkop
Hammerkop
Hadeda Ibis
Hadeda Ibis
Water thick-knee
Water thick-knee
White-faced Whistling Ducks
White-faced Whistling Ducks
African Spoonbill
African Spoonbill
Pied Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
Spur-winged Goose & Little Egret
Spur-winged Goose & Little Egret
Egyptian Goose
Egyptian Goose
Spectacled Weaver
Spectacled Weaver
Southern Masked Weaver
Southern Masked Weaver
Lesser Masked Weaver
Lesser Masked Weaver
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver with nesting material
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver with nesting material
Cardinal Woodpecker (male)
Cardinal Woodpecker (male)
Golden-tailed Woodpecker
Golden-tailed Woodpecker
Bennett’s Woodpecker (male)
Bennett’s Woodpecker (male)
Bennett’s Woodpecker (female)
Bennett’s Woodpecker (female)
Water Monitor Lizard
Water Monitor Lizard
Hippos in the Letaba River
Hippos in the Letaba River
Elephant herd at the Letaba River
Elephant herd at the Letaba River
Baby Elephant
Baby Elephant
Moth
Moth
African Rock Python
African Rock Python
Hippo with babay
Hippo with babay
African Wild Dog
African Wild Dog
Sub-adult Male Lion
Sub-adult Male Lion
Sub-adult Leopards
Sub-adult Leopards

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1 Comment

  • Love the kingfisher taking off with the fish.  Great shot!!

    Marian Herz - March 03rd, 2015 at 3:13pm

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Testimonials We have a particular affinity for bird photography, but also enjoy the African game animals. I'm pleased to say we are all thrilled with the entire trip. Stu met us at the airport on day 1, and what was to have been a quick couple hour drive to camp, took all afternoon until sunset, we found so many things to shoot. Then we wanted to do something slightly off the itinerary on day 2, and Stu again accommodated us. It was like that throughout the entire trip, the Porter family was very accommodating. Even though we were in a big national park using public facilities, the Porter family made us feel like we were in our own private game reserve, and the animals were there just for us. Stu's local knowledge of the birds and game is just great, he's a walking guide book. And because he's in Kruger so often, he knows where the best spots are. Also he knows all the other guides, and they share information. And most importantly if you are considering a photo safari, Stu is an accomplished nature photographer himself. He knows the light and how to position and approach for the best shot. He knows what photographers want and how to get it. The experience might be quite different if just any guide were to drive you around. And having a spotting vehicle out searching for game really helped us see some extra animals we wouldn't have seen. The results were outstanding. We saw and photographed all the of the big five, and several seldom seen animals totaling 33 mammal species and 164 bird species. All in all, the trip was great!!  highly recommended!

Con Foley, USA


Testimonials 'Thank you Stu for such a memorable safari to the Kruger. WILD4 provided a totally professional service, from the pre-safari preparation to the sighting and photographing of so many animals and birds, at all stages your team provided first class support and advice. The package you provide is superb and that is why I am booking another safari with you.

Pete Farmer, UK