“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
Firstly, the reveal of this week’s Mystery Bird:
It was a particularly difficult one, as it was at a tricky angle and the colouring could be misleading. This is a male Pin-tailed Whydah in transition plumage. This photo was taken at the start of summer, just as his long display feather were starting to grow.
Here is a picture of the same bird with his head turned and red beak visible, which would have been a big clue.
Congratulations to everyone who got it right; the next one will be slightly easier, we promise!
Let’s move on to the Week in Pictures…
After any safari, and no matter how many you have been on, you look back at the images that you have captured and relive the stories that you have been fortunate to witness. It is for this reason that many of us take photographs. To reconnect with the same emotion through a single image frozen in time.
The exhilaration of going out on a game drive and not knowing what you’re going to see or photograph is the real excitement; it gets the adrenaline going and makes us feel alive. The bush is forever changing and so is technology; we choose to combine both to tell our own stories and share our experiences.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The Ntsevu cubs are growing quickly, especially as they are now feeding on meat from their mothers’ kills. After the pride had finished the remains of a wildebeest the cubs went to drink at a nearby pan. Notice how the cub second from the left still has some blood on its front leg, although this is quite possibly from a minor wound inflicted during a fight for meat.
This White Fronted Bee-eater perched on branch after recently eating a bee it caught with its tweezer-like bill. Bees are a common food source for them, and the bird will kill the insect by beating the bee against the perch to get rid of the sting and make it safe to swallow.
Almost at a 90-degree vertical, the Anderson male uses his hind legs to accelerate his weight of over 90kg against gravity and up the Marula tree where he had a hoisted male impala.
Buffalos taking some time out in the late morning to mud wallow. Access to limited mud wallows in an area can often depend on an individual’s rank in the herd hierarchy.
A male Wild dog looks back at the rest of the pack. The colour pattern of each dog is unique and can be used for individual identification.
The Ndzanzeni young male leopard drinking at a small pan. His piercing eyes glance up to keep alert for any potential threats. This male is starting to be seen less, and we can only presume that this is due to escalating conflict with territorial males and most likely his father the Inyathini male as well.
Seeing a hippo out of the water is uncommon at Londolozi. This individual decided to take advantage of the cloudy day and feed on the grasses between the reeds.
A Hooded Vulture tries to balance on a dead trunk using its 1.8 meter wing span. Notice the smaller bill that is adapted so it can get into the harder-to-reach parts of carcasses after the initial feeding frenzy is over.
The secrecy of an animal is sometimes what makes finding them so special. Here in amongst a dense vegetated area, that was difficult to get a vehicle into, we were able to get a glimpse of one of the Ximungwe female’s cubs.
Zebras are often found in the open plains and on crests where they can eat grass and are able to keep an eye out for any predators.
Copy and paste. The young female and male cheetah that have been moving between us and our eastern boundary of late were again spotted in one of the open marula crests. The two are seen in the exact same position scanning the open ground for any potential prey.
A sound recognized by so many on safari, during the months of November to April, is the loud chirp of a Woodland Kingfisher. This one was perched on a dead branch near a watering hole. Although their diet mainly consists of insects, Woodland kingfishers also feed on small frogs which would explain the positioning.
There is something extremely amusing about watching a cub as its inquisitive and mischievous nature comes through. This one decided to climb the fallen over tree but found getting down was far more of a daunting task.
We first mistook this African Rock Python for a log lying across the road but were very excited to realise that it was in fact a snake spread across the width of the dirt track. We estimated it to be between 2,5 to 3 meters. Large, but only half the size the species can reach.
The Nhlanguleni female provided great viewing as she rested up on a rock with a beautiful rock fig growing out of the cavities. She used this as a quick viewing point and to groom before she continued at evening to hunt for her and her 11-month-old cubs.
A small breeding herd of elephants looked like they were thoroughly enjoying themselves as they tried to cool down during the heat of the day playing and mud wallowing.
The Nkoveni female’s cub is now 11 months old. After 12 months the mortality rate in young leopards drops off markedly, so we say that the cub has a very good chance of making it to independence.
One of the Birmingham Male lions stops to scent mark while staring at a nearby herd of Impala