Tanzania Travel Diary - p
the end of Tanzania's main rainy season, Ngorongoro's Lake Magadi is filled with
water and some 10,000 or more flamingos. Most are Lesser Flamingos with a
sprinkling of Greater Flamingos as well.
We pause along the road to watch the Flamingo Parade.
This tight grouping of birds, complete with head tilts and coordinated marching
back and forth, is part of their mating behavior.
African birds of prey seem on the whole to be more tame than their North American
counterparts. And there are lots of them. So far we've tallied Bateleur,
Eurasian Hobby, Forest Buzzard, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Brown Snake Eagle,
Yellow-billed Kite, and African Fish Eagle. But none are more confiding
than the Augur Buzzard, who posed on a rock out in the Ngorongoro plains on a
dark overcast morning. His chestnut tail, best seen in flight, reminds us
of our Red-tailed Hawk.
are also rich in starlings here. The most common is Superb Starling.
They're found in small flocks along the roadside, and are a fixture at picnic
sites like Ngoitokitok Springs in the crater. For this reason Steven
relegates them to trash bird status, and cannot understand my passion for
photographing them. But I just love the play of light on their metallic
plumage. For me the bird is, well....superb.
the picnic site and driving past Gorigor Swamp, we spot a Pygmy Kingfisher and
then our third cat of the trip, a Serval. Its large ears help it to hear
small prey like rodents that it hunts near watercourses.
a stream, the late afternoon sun backlights the first of many Little Bee-eaters.
You can't help but get a good bee-eater photo: they're colorful,
semi-tame, and perch low where they sally out for insects including of course
bees. As well, they often return to the same perch. If these birds
were any more obliging, there would hardly be any sport in photographing them.