Starting off 2017 with a walk in the Wetlands

5 01 2017

After dropping Mrs Dragonspeed at the airport, I headed out to Westham Island for a nice walk around the Reifel Bird Sanctuary… in the COLD winter weather.  (Cold in Vancouver means a bit below 0C )  Some of the highlights are here

1. Juvenile Baldie – having lunch

Juvenile Bald Eagle – having lunch
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Golden-crowned Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrow
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Icy Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane on ice
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. The Grey Ghost – Male Northern Harrier

The Grey Ghost
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Sunset Hunt….

The Grey Ghost
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

and because I always love it when these guys perch at a good angle with the sky to get good polarization…

7. Posing Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

The complete set of the day can be found at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskLehJnS

I hope you enjoyed the birds – it’s always a good day when you can get out and shoot!





Day 7 of Safari–Lake Manyara National Park Birds

1 08 2016

Day 7 – Lake Manyara National Park
Slow park for most wildlife, but a huge variety of new birds!

The whole day’s photos are here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskEmfT7x

1. Hamerkop (yes – a bird with a hammer shaped head!)

Hamerkop
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Grey-headed Kingfisher

Grey-Headed Kingfisher
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Speckled Pigeon

Speckled Pigeon
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Black-winged stilt
5. Yellow-billed Stork
6. Little Egret

7. Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

8. Glossy Ibis
9. Hottentot Teal

10. Silvery-cheeked Hornbill

Silvery-cheeked Hornbill
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

11. African Spoonbill

African Spoonbill (Platalea alba)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

12. Lesser Flamingo
13. Spur-winged Plover
14. Hadada Ibis
15. Woodland Kingfisher

16. Red and Yellow Barbet

Red and Yellow Barbet (Trachyphonus erythrocephalus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

17. Tawny Eagle (?) https://flic.kr/p/KiR1Yj

18. Little Bee-Eater

Little Bea-Eater (Merops pusillus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

19. Black-winged Red Bishop
20. Hildebrandt’s Francolin

An amazing 7 day Safari with African Wildcats Expeditions Ltd, out of Arusha, Tanzania





Grey Crowned Crane

26 07 2016

In my opinion, this bird ranks right up there with "Lilac Breasted Roller" for incredibly sexy bird!  Did you know it is the National Bird of Uganda???  These pictures were taken in the Ngorongoro Caldera, Tanzania – May 30th.

1.

Grey Crowned Crane (Balaerica regulorum)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Chicks (over cropped a bit, but they’re SOOO cute!)

Perfect colour for protection
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Family

Grey Crowned Crane (Balaerica regulorum) family
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. In flight

Grey Crowned Cranes in flight
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Walking

Grey Crowned Crane (Balaerica regulorum)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Classic head shot

Grey Crowned Crane (Balaerica regulorum)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

Hope you loved seeing this bird as much as I do!  More shots from that day at:
https://flic.kr/s/aHskF2rzU4





Safari Day 6–Birds of Ngorongoro

26 07 2016

Day 6 of our safari saw us down in the Ngorongoro Crater (actually Caldera).  It is 30x20km across and acts as a mini ecosystem all on its own as the steep walls minimize migration in and out of the Caldera.

We saw some more beautiful birds this day, both in the crater and at our lodge in the Ngorongoro highlands, nearby.

1. Black-Chested Snake Eagle

Black-chested Snake Eagle (Circaetus pectoralis)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Probably a few thousand Lesser Flamingos feeding in the Alkali lakes

Wildebeest walking past Lesser Flamingos
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. An Egyptian Goose that found a very interesting place to sleep.

Just resting – on a hippo!
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. A Capped Wheatear

Capped Wheatear (Oenanthe pileata)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Rosy Pelicans

Rosy Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. A whiskered Tern flitting in the marshes, eating bugs

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida) in flight
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. Augur Buzzard

Augur Buzzard (Buteo augur)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

We saw a bunch of other ones too, but I won’t clutter things up too much in this post. 

Check out the day’s pictures at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskF2rzU4





Day 5 of Safari–Birds

16 07 2016

Vultures, vultures, vultures!  That pretty much sums up day 5’s birds with a couple of "normal birds thrown in for good measure.

1. Coming right at us

Incoming!
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. The pecking order

Feathers, talons and fur!
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Blood soaked

Blood Soaked
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. But we don’t WANT to share

Greedy
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. I hope these don’t deliver babies

Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Something more "Normal"

Northern White-Crowned Shrike (Eurocephalus ruepelli) by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. Possibly a Sooty Chat

Unknown black bird in Serengeti
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There were also lots of Lions, Elephants, Giraffes, Leopard and Hyenas to round out the day!  Another great day on Safari!

For the full day, drop by the Flickr Album for Day 5: https://flic.kr/s/aHskEfuhdN





Birds of Tanzanian Safari–Day 4

10 07 2016

Day 4 of our Safari saw us heading up to the North Serengeti, Lobo area.  Not as many birds this time, but a few, nonetheless….

1) The morning started with a pair of Egyptian Geese singing and dancing

Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2) Next to the geese was an apprentice Blacksmith Plover (juvenile)

Juvenile Blacksmith Plover (Vanellus armatus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3) Rummaging nearby was a Black Crake

Black Crake (Amaurornis flavirostra)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4) Later, as the sun was higher, we saw what we figured to be a Juvenile Magpie Shrike

Magpie Shrike (Urolestes melanoleucus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5) We even drove by a few bushes with these guys in them… Rattling Cisticola

Rattling cisticola (Cisticola chiniana)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6) We actually had a Helmeted Guineafowl not run madly away, into the bushes

Helmeted Guineafowl
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7) Then we saw this guy – I know he’s not a bird, but MAN… he is so cool.  A flap-necked chameleon!

Flap-necked Chameleon (Chamaeleo dilepis)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

On this day we saw amazingly close leopards, lions and cape buffalo.  We saw a cheetah on a fresh kill and a spotted hyena that looked like it had been through a war. 

These pics and others from the day can be found at the flickr album for the day at https://flic.kr/s/aHskCVmwpC

Thanks for taking the time to enjoy – that’s why I share!





Birds from Day 3 on Safari

30 06 2016

Day 3 had us driving all around the Seronera region of the Serengeti.  Another stunning array of wildlife and landscapes…

Birds from the day:

1. White-Backed Vulture in acacia

White Backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Super cute little Silverbird

Silverbird (Empidornis semipartitus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Pygmy Falcon that I think KNEW we were shooting and posed for us

Pygmy Falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. White-Bellied Bustard (mis-heard from our guide as White-bellied bastard – good for a laugh in the vehicle!)

White-bellied Bustard (Eupodotis serengalensis)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Lilac-breasted roller (because you can’t have too many shots of these guys!)

Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. White-browed coucal – looking a bit demonic

White-browed Coucal (Centropus superciliosus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. Tawny Eagle (light morph) hanging out with a Hooded Vulture

Tawny Eagle with Hooded Vulture
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

For more, you’ll have to check out the day’s photos at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskz8fQgo including a Tawny eagle making short work of a snake. :)








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