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!





Happy New Year 2017

1 01 2017

New Year’s eve ended up being super snowy here.  It seems that December 2016 was a SNOW MONTH, here in Burnaby BC. (We are technically a TEMPERATE RAINFOREST!!!)
I went out yesterday and shot some pictures of the lights around our neighborhood in the snow.
1.

New Year’s Eve – Snow and Lights
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2.

New Year’s Eve – Snow and Lights
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3.

New Year’s Eve – Snow and Lights
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4.

New Year’s Eve – Snow and Lights
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5.

New Year’s Eve – Snow and Lights
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6.

New Year’s Eve – Snow and Lights
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7.

New Year’s Eve – Snow and Lights
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

For the whole album of my evening wander in the neighborhood, head over to: https://flic.kr/s/aHskRCdhzw

Happy New Year 2017 to all of my blog readers (about a dozen or so, I think Winking smile )





Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkeys

26 08 2016

Day 3 of our time on Zanzibar took us down to the Jozani forest reserve to see the Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkeys.  For many years, the local farmers have had an ongoing battle with the Zanzibar Red Colobus monkeys due to the monkeys’ predilection for unripened fruit.  However, due to the increasing popularity of the tourist center for visiting the monkeys, more money has been able to reach the villages from tourism, meaning that a small crop loss is outweighed by the tourist value of the monkeys. Slowly, more and more locals are becoming accepting of these primates which are endemic to this part of Zanzibar.

1. The little guy, sticking with mom

Safe with Mom
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Wide Eyed

Wide Eyed
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Grabbing a bite

Checking out the food
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Playful – More fun than a barrel of monkeys

More fun than….
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. There’s always ONE stoner in the crowd

Stoned?
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Fiddler Crab – bonus

Fiddler Crab (Uca annulipes)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

The whole day’s pictures, including the Mangroves and our wanderings in Stone Town can be found in the Flickr album https://flic.kr/s/aHskFHsYos





First Day on Zanzibar

22 08 2016

After a 7 day Safari, we headed to Zanzibar for some R&R….

1. The coastline as we approached

West Coast of Zanzibar
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. With all those patches, does it float?

Patching the Boat
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Sunset at dinner

Sunset over the Indian Ocean
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Ornate Doors are a Zanzibar tradition

Zanzibar Door
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. The meat market at the Darajani Barzaar

Meat Market at Stonetown Darajani Bazaar
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Corrugated Steel roofs of Stonetown

Stonetown from above
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There are many others from our first day on the island. You can see the whole set at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskC7d4Ux

I hope you enjoy them!





Masai Market near Arusha, Tanzania

2 08 2016

On completion of a seven day Safari in Northern Tanzania, we were lucky to have passed by a Masai Market, which we stopped and visited. It was unlike any farmers market in North America, that’s for sure!

1. Whadda ya mean, we look out of place?

Crazy White People at a Masai Market
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Cows, people, colour, dust

Masai Market at Duka Bovu
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Tradition and technology…

Masai Market at Duka Bovu
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Yes, those are old pieces of TIRES for sandals!

Masai Market at Duka Bovu
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Oranges for sale

Masai Market at Duka Bovu
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Tire Sandals for sale

Masai Market at Duka Bovu
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. The wares side of the market – super busy, super colourful!

Masai Market at Duka Bovu
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

For more pictures from the day, including the Safari part from Lake Manyara, you can check out the photos at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskEmfT7x

Hope you enjoyed your virtual market visit :)





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 6 of Safari–Wildlife 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.

The animals are a bit more human acclimatized and so aren’t as skittish when the vehicles pass by.

1.  Hippos just hanging out

Hippos and Oxpeckers
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. The face of a hunter

The face of a hunter
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. "No" means "No!"

That’s enough
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. A playful nip from a black backed jackal

Playful nip
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Thomson’s Gazelle Fawn and mom

Thomson’s gazelle and fawn
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. HUGE Tusks on this guy – WHERE THEY BELONG!

Mammoth Tusker
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. Waterbuck herd/family

Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There were many other interesting beautiful sights that day… Check them out at:
https://flic.kr/s/aHskF2rzU4

I hope you enjoyed the day :)





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





Animals of the Serengeti–Day 5 on Safari

15 07 2016

Day 5 of our Safari took us from the Northern Serengeti down to Ngorongoro crater, where we finished the day.

Along the way, here are some of the sights:

1. The Pride waching us

The pride watching us…
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Momma Baboon and her baby

Mom and baby
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Standoff

Uneasy standoff
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Generations

Elephant generations
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Leopard Tortoise

Leopard Tortoise
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Goofy Giraffe

Photobomb! by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. Contented Lions

How many lions?
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

For the whole day’s pictures including a beautiful leopard, see:
https://flic.kr/s/aHskEfuhdN

Thanks for taking the time to look and comment!





Animals of the Serengeti– Safari Day 4

10 07 2016

Wow – Day 4 on Safari with African Wildcats Expedtions was PACKED with cool sightings!  Leopards, Cheetah, Hyena that looked like he’d been through a war, really cool lion and some great Cape Buffalo photo ops!

1. This hyena may have won the war, but clearly lost a battle along the way (and parts of his ear)

Wounded warrior
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. In itself, this picture is not extraordinary, but the fact that we reunited a small wildebeest with these guys meant that the little guy was back in the herd and had a chance of survival, now.

Part of "The Herd"
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Rock Hyraxes after a puddle bath

Nothing like a quick puddle bath!
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. He walked right up next to the truck!  (I could have reached out to pet him – if I didn’t want my hand/arm/body back)

Walking right past us!
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. This one made us decide that "Hung like a Horse" is no longer the best term :)

Right of way
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Disruptive Camouflage

Like a maze of lines
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. Intensity

King of the Beasts
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There are so many other amazing things we saw this day.  For the full set of pics on Flickr from day 4, just go here:  https://flic.kr/s/aHskCVmwpC





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!





Safari Day 3–Serengeti Scenery

4 07 2016

1. Sunrise on the Serengeti

Sunrise on the Serengeti
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Ballooning over the plains

Ballooning the Serengeti
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Kopje with a face

Smile!
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Tree on the Serengeti

Lone tree on the plain
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. God Rays

Rainy plains
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Desolation in B/W

Desolation – B/W
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. Sunset at the end of the day

Sunset on the Serengeti
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

For more from the day, feel free to check out the whole album at:
https://flic.kr/s/aHskz8fQgo

Thanks for taking the time to check my photos!





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. :)





Birds of Day 2 on Safari

26 06 2016

The Second day of our Tanzanian Safari saw us travel from Tarangire National Park and up into the Serengeti. Sights were aplenty. Here are some of the birds from the day:

1) Yellow Billed Stork
Image
Yellow-billed Stork by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2) Marabou Stork in flight
Image
Marabou Stork in-flight by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3) Beautiful Sunbird with a mantis for lunch
Image
Beautiful Sunbird (Cinnyris pulchellus) by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4) Baglafect Weaver
Image
Baglafect Weaver by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5) Yellow-bellied Sunbird
Image
Yellow-bellied Sunbird by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6) Superb Starling (great name for this one!)
Image
Superb! by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7) Secretary Bird – LOVE these guys!
Image
Secretary Bird by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

8 Kori Bustard
Image
Kori Bustard – Big Bird! by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There were also many INCREDIBLE non-bird sights too… Feel free to check out my Day 2 Album on Flickr at:https://flic.kr/s/aHskCHfWQQ

Thanks for taking the time to visit and check out the photos!





Safari Day 2– Tarangire–> Serengeti

26 06 2016

On Day 2 we travelled from Tarangire up to Serengeti…. A sampling of the beautiful beasts we saw that day:

1. The omnipresent Wildebeest

Run free!
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. The Graceful giants of the Plains

Graceful Giants on the Plains
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Ex-Wildebeest

Once a Wildebeest
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Grant’s Gazelle

Grant’s Gazelle
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Relaxing

Paws up if you’re content
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. On the lookout

Waiting for food.
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. The Great Migration at sunset…

The Great Migration at sunset
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There are many non-animal pictures from the day as well (birds, landscape) – feel free to check them out at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskCHfWQQ

Thanks for taking the time to visit and enjoy!





First Day on Safari–Tarangire National Park

22 06 2016

Some photos from my first day on Safari in Northern Tanzania.

1. Masai Herdsman

Masai Herdsman and the cattle
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. A little family time

Family time – in the middle of the road!
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Male Impala checking us out

Male Impala  (Aepyceros melampus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Nobody here but us flowers

African Bush Elephants (Loxodonta africana)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Nile Monitor looking for a meal

Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Waterbuck

Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. REALLY close

Such nice eyelashes!
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

8. Lip smacking good

Itchy nose?
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

The whole day’s album can be seen at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskBQKhKA





Birds of Tarangire National Park

19 06 2016

This was my second time visiting the Northern Parks of Tanzania. This time we went with African Wildcats Expeditions, based out of Arusha. I’m pretty sure I saw as many new species (to me) as I did during my FIRST visit in 2009!
Some of the birds from Tarangire National Park, Tanzania, that I saw on my Safari in May:

1. Red-billed Firefinch (what a cool name!)

Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Lesser striped Swallow

Lesser Striped Swallow (Cecropis abyssinica)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Yellow-Collared Lovebird

Yellow-Collared Lovebird (Agapornis personatus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Lilac-breasted Roller

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

5. African Jacana

African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. African Crake (I didn’t even know that there WAS such a bird as a "crake"!)

African Crake (Crex Egregia)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

7. Water Thicknee (honestly – who comes up with these names? LOL)

Water Thicknee (Burhinus vermiculatus) by the river
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

8. African Fish Eagle

African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

By my quick count of pics from that day, I have 20 species sighted in the first day… Not a bad day.  Not bad at all, considering it’s not a bird-specific outing.

For the whole set, you can can visit my "First Day of Safari album on Flickr" at https://flic.kr/s/aHskBQKhKA

Asante Sana!





Elephants of Tarangire National Park

19 06 2016

Magnificent animals.  So powerful and yet at times they walk like they are floating on air.  Not a sound, not even a rumble.  Hard to believe people would kill them for their tusks.

1.  Head-on!

African Bush Elephants (Loxodonta africana)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Single Tusked

One Tusked Elephant
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Those big trunks get heavy sometimes!

African Bush Elephants (Loxodonta africana)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. Nothing here but us wildflowers ;)

African Bush Elephants (Loxodonta africana)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Looking after the little one

Looking after the little one
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

6. Elephants get the right-of-way EVERYWHERE

OK – he gets the right-of-way
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

Hope you enjoyed them.

More from our first Safari day are at https://flic.kr/s/aHskBQKhKA

Safari Njema!








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