Game Drive …

Dawn found us on the banks of the Nile, our taxi was first in line for the ferry …

The savanna awaits on the north bank along with a severe case of pixel intoxication …

Waterbuck (m)
Waterbuck (m)
Denham’s Bustard
Northern Carmine Bee-eater
African Elephant
Hartebeest
Patas Monkey
Rothschild’s Giraffe

What about that sky, the light was magical, and surprisingly not a drop of rain fell.

And then we encountered the lions …

 

 

The some very sharp eyes found these for us.

the Leopard is a very secretive animal. And if you delve into his secrets it could be quite dangerous for you…

Geoffrey Muhanguzi.

Leopard

This is just a fraction of what we saw, and we racked up quite a bird list to go with the mammals. Choosing which photos to include here has been very hard. If I went through the exercise again there might not be too much of an overlap.

All too soon it was over, we had to make the 11 am ferry in order to be out of the park before our 24 hours were up and we all became liable for another 50 bucks.

My advice, if you are visiting Murchison Falls National Park, stay longer and explore the possibility of staying in the northern section of the park.

Distant pizza …

From where I live it’s a 30 km round trip for a takeaway pizza.

This has some advantages.  For one thing you learn to make your own pizzas and they knock the insipid shop bought ones for six. Among the other advantages is the night sky. A clear night is a numinous experience.

Sunset last night was at 5.30 and the moon would not be up until a little after 8. I drove up to a higher point not far from home hoping to get a photo with the milky way springing up brightly straight from the horizon. That wasn’t going to happen, the glow of the lights from Maryborough and Avoca, each about 15 km away, some smoke haze and a little cloud all conspired to make the horizon very soft. Overhead though was pretty good.

That the stars had coalesced into a large R was very exciting but not enough to enliven the composition. Fortunately, I had a foreground element with me which could be made visible by judiciously washing over it with my headlamp …

Improving but the action is really higher in the sky. Home again to my trusty windmill …

I love my windmill. When the wind blows it pumps water from an underground aquifer into my dam. Sadly the water is too salty to use for irrigation but stock could drink it. Perhaps I should get some stock. The dam doesn’t hold water very well. I like to think that it leaks back into the aquifer. My very own hydrological cycle and so immensely aesthetic.

By which time the moon could wait no longer. One day I will get a milky way photo that I can be proud of. For now I’ll settle for a moonrise …

 

 

Time for a change …

Regular readers will be shocked, shocked, I say …

I’m stuck in Melbourne for a couple of days for rehearsals. That means little to do during the day, practising the saxophone would be too much to ask. Last night I took the camera out late at night and added to my night portfolio. Today I rejigged the blog and added the gallery. It will grow in due course …

Doi Lang …

We arrived at Doi Lang during the World Bird Photography Congress, or so it seemed. There were little encampments of portable bird hides at every turn, each containing a photographer possibly seated on a porta potty with a packed lunch by their side, they certainly demonstrated considerable patience …

Mine is on order.

Doi Lang is actually one ridge in Doi Pha Hom Pok National park and the home of some eminently photogenic birds, beauties like Mrs Gould’s Pheasant, Mountain Bamboo Partridge and the rare and sexy Rusty-naped Pitta, none of which are overly confiding. The ridge looks across the valley at similar ridges in Myanmar and there is a considerable military presence on both sides of the border. The top of the hill is currently off limits.

This limits the available birding space to just a few meters either side of part of the ridge road where the birds have become so depixelated that extraordinary measures have become necessary …

So, if you do happen to see any mealworms in my photos they were left by the porta potty brigade, right …

Rusty-naped Pitta
Red-gorgeted Flycatcher
Silver-eared Laughingthrush
Siberian Rubythroat
Spot-breasted Parrotbill
Ultramarine Flycatcher
Crested Finchbill
Mrs Gould’s Pheasant

 

 

Summer slips over the horizon …

As I’ve been driving home of an evening in recent weeks I have been aware that the sun has been setting a little further north on the western horizon each day. One day, in the not too distant future, it would set right at the end of a local road framed at the end of  an avenue of trees. Imagine it right in here …

I pulled up The Photographer’s Ephemeris and wound on the clock until April 5 at 6:15 pm. I use this photographer’s aid with some trepidation. Just as certainly as the sun and moon will rise and set at a certain place and time so it is certain that clouds will obscure the event. At least it seems that way. None the less I was there. The sky was partly cloudy. I had chosen my camera position in advance but a couple of hundred metres east of that I saw that the sun was spotlighting a bridge quite beautifully and thought that, even if I got nothing else, this would be a photo. Just to put the icing on the cake a car drove past at a very convenient moment …

Having captured that it was time to see if my plan would come to fruition …