In this post I have chosen to let the images talk for themselves rather than tell stories. This post is a gallery and hope fully the images are enough. This gallery shows you the wonderful variety of birdlife you can see along the Chobe river. As I have mentioned in earlier posts on this trip, we did not see big flocks of birds but we saw a wide variety of Chobe’s avian residents. This is a small selection of what you can see in April along the Chobe river. At any time of the year this is a paradise for birders and wildlife photographers alike. In this post I have shown birds not already presented in previous posts from this trip, so it excludes raptors and Jacanas.
“The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds – how many human aspirations are realized in their free, holiday-lives, and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song!”
A pair of Pygmy Geese, male on the left and female on the right. The female usually flies first, so be ready!
A male Pygmy Goose, he is quite vocal when agitated.
“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
A male Pygmy Goose takes off like a “pocket rocket”.
A Squacco Heron in hunting mode.
“Taking pictures is like savouring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
A Squacco Heron standing dead still waiting for prey to come within striking distance.
A Darter, also called the snake bird, because of its long supple neck.
“A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looked into.”
~ Ansel Adams
This snake bird was drying its wings in the warm, late afternoon sun.
All over preening flexibility, with style.
A Great Egret hunting.
“It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.”
Small success for the Great Egret.
A Black-headed Heron shaking it up.
A Black Egret with frogs legs for breakfast.
Frog tossing for smooth swallowing.
“At first glance a photograph can inform us. At second glance it can reach us.”
~ Minor White
Black Egret emerging from its hunting “umbrella”.
A pair of Red-billed Oxpeckers on the back of a buffalo bull.
A pair of Pied Kingfishers.
“Reaching a ‘creative’ state of mind thru positive action is considered preferable to waiting for ‘inspiration’.”
~ Minor White
A Pied Kingfisher hovering in hunt.
A Pied Kingfisher rearranging its catch.
A Pied Kingfisher subduing its breakfast.
A Woodland Kingfisher caught a Mantis while it was praying.
“One should not only photograph things for what they are but for what else they are.”
~ Minor White
Billed for a Praying Mantis dance on a woodland stage.
A sleepy nocturnal Water Dikkop in mid-morning.
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
Those big eyes are all the better for seeing you at night.
You will never find the Water Dikkops far from the water’s edge.
A Sacred Ibis beach combing.
Egyptian Goose bathing.
Making quite a splash.
Like water off a goose’s back!
A Blacksmith Lapwing on a sortie to attack Jacana chicks on the adjacent water lily pads.
A Cattle Egret enjoying the late afternoon sun.
“We talk of communing with Nature, but ’tis with ourselves we commune… Nature furnishes the conditions – the solitude – and the soul furnishes the entertainment.”
Great Egret, well fed and watching the world go by.
A Cattle Egret taking in Chobe’s view across the water from an overhanging branch.
“The sun shines not on us but in us.”
~ John Muir
Lilac-breasted Roller bewildered by so many dragonflies congregating above.
A pair of White-fronted Bee-eaters about to start excavating their nest in a limestone bank.
A Green-backed Heron, dead still, trying to camouflage itself in the late afternoon light.
A Hammerkop foraging along the river’s edge.
Nesting time for this Hammerkop.
This Hammerkop was gathering bark for its “super nest”.
A sleek Squacco Heron flying towards us.
“If you want to fly you have to give up everything that weighs you down”.
Perfect glide lines.
A juvenile Allen’s Gallenule.
A characteristic tail flick from this young Allen’s Gallenule.
A Burchell’s Coucal skulking in the long grass next to the river’s edge.
Skulking success for this Burchell’s Coucal.
“Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.”
Two cold Little Bee-eaters huddling together in the early morning light.
Avian gem sparkling in the early morning light.
Hungry White-throated Swallow chick begging for food.
A tricky landing in the gusting early morning winds for this White-throated Swallow.
I hope this gallery of bird images gave you a small idea of the bird variety which you are likely to see along the Chobe, even after the migrants have left.
“Everybody needs beauty…places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike.”
~ John Muir
Explore, seek to understand, marvel at its inter-connectedness and let it be.