Not far from Oldupai Gorge, the cradle of mankind, you’ll find a few Pale Chanting Goshawks making their living in the arid scrubland. The rains have come and the Thompson’s Gazelles have arrived along with the Wildebeest and Zebra. This Tommy’s Gazelle doesn’t phase the Goshawk in the slightest.
Nothing can distract it from the lizard sunning itself on a rock out of the frame. Yes, moments later it got its meal.
Time to cool off.
I’ve posted images of the Martial Eagle which is the largest in Africa… here is the stunning African Pygmy Falcon, the smallest raptor in the continent. It is actually smaller than an American Robin.
I love tiny birds with immense attitude like Anna’s Hummingbirds or Northern Saw-whet Owls. Now I have a new favorite to add to that diminutive list of minuscule marauders.
Here is a quick VIDEO befitting a quick bird.
The best thing about roaming around in a new land is seeing things that are brand new to you… like this dark grey beauty in the Serengeti. Any falcon is cause for an increase in heart rate but an unknown falcon always stops you in your tracks.
I have to give my Mom and friend props for being patient with me while we sat by the roadside watching a little grey bird in a distant tree. These pics were digiscoped from the back of our truck.
It looked back to keep tabs on a Lilac-breasted Roller nearby and then shifted forward as it prepared to depart.
Grey into gray. The kestrel dips into flight and flaps powerfully away. It’s probably about the size of a Eurasian Kestrel (slightly bigger than the American model).
Well now it’s a falcon that I know… and admittedly, I’d still stop in my tracks for another look at one. Great bird.
Hippos are amazing. They make extraordinary noises. Heavy long distance grunts and hollers. They secrete sunscreen. They spray feces with their paddle-like tails. They graze in fields at night. They run much faster than you. They are the most dangerous animals in Africa. Yup, see those teeth. If you trouble them they’ll have no compunction about disemboweling you on their way back to the water. Respect!
This river in the Serengeti is a Hippo hotspot. They gather in the eddies and pass the daylight hours in large groups.
The roiling waters aren’t always caused by the current. The Hippos sometimes snap out of their sedate reverie and swirl around furiously as they address their space issues.
A friendly warning is issued to a younger hippo who strayed too close.
With order reestablished, a Hippo feels comfortable cooling his exposed back and momentarily sunning his pallid feet.
A mother feels comfortable enough to encourage her baby to climb on the back of a submerged neighbor.
Farther out, a loner settles into the current and stands firm while the water races by.
A Red-billed Oxpecker gets a free ride on its roaming buffet. They can easily logroll a Hippo if it rolls onto its back, sprinting onto any available surface above water.
Yup, they certainly are fierce. I was glad to be on ledge near the pool with good visibility in all directions.
There you have it. Hippos from front to back. See you tomorrow folks.
Baboons are brilliant. Scary. Cute. Smart. Crass. Social. Intriguing. Below are a few images from the Serengeti. The one above is from Lake Manyara.
What an interesting substance. Satisfying curiosity is the main activity of baby Baboons.
While the adults are slaking their thirst the youngster tries to remind them that it’s also a pool.
After cooling off it’s time for a quick grooming session.
The kids begin to play and an older sibling quickly asserts his dominance.
Fully recovered from being pinned down. Time to investigate something else.
A Giraffe in the Serengeti.
A Leopard Tortoise ambles along not far from the giraffe.