Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Twitchers and Lifers

I am in Kampala, and even though this is in the middle of the city, I am amazed by the bird life that I have seen since my arrival. I am NOT a bird watcher ("twitcher") by any stretch of the imagination and don't know the difference between a hawk and a kestrel (if there is a difference), but I actually regret not having my better camera here to take some pictures. This morning when I left the hotel I saw this huge shadow above me and when I finally gathered that it was not some phoenix or flying ostrich, I was too late to take a picture. It was in fact a Marabou Stork, actually three of them sitting at a tree top and flying around from one side of the road to the other side of the hotel, each time looking very impressive with their huge wingspans. Further above them were some kestrels (or were they hawks?) circling around looking for a morning snack.

Marabou Storks
When I returned to my room this afternoon I heard a loud crawing noise like crows make, but a bit different. At least I could figure that one out. I was however still wondering if it might not be the storks sitting closer for a better picture. When I opened my window I saw something more beautiful than what I saw the morning. And this time I didn't know what these bird were called. (My first "lifer" I guess). I might be completely wrong but from what I could find on the Internet it has to be Black Casqued Hornbills. A pair sitting and watching me like I was a tourist. Damn, I guess I am a tourist. I might not know much about birds, but I can read. So of course after reading a bit about these birds I was starting to understand why some people can get totally carried away with this bird-watching thing. Anyway, these two lovely birds are still sitting outside my window and the best picture I could get with this little useless camera was what you see below.... 


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