Birds and big lizards of Curaçao

Cow parsley

The coast

Hide and seek

The coast

The Northsea coast. We will be visiting soon again. I haven’t had a decent walk on the beach for ages.

Little bee-eater

Little Bee-eater, Kruger National Park

We just came back from two wonderful weeks in the Kruger National Park. I will try to post more pictures this time.

Here are three ‘Little bee-eaters’ to start with. The juvenile in the middle being fed. Taken at the Letaba River, near Shimuwini, Kruger National Park.

Diceros bicornis

Hook-lipped Rhinoceros

The Black Rhino (Hook-lipped Rhinoceros) used to be the most numerous of the world’s rhino species. There are less than 5000 left in Africa today, which is 90% lower than three generations ago. So you can imagine how thrilled we were to spot one!

The Black Rhino faces a variety of threats. The main threat is poaching for the international rhino horn trade.

Black Rhino are browsers, feeding on twigs and shoots, other than White Rhino, that are grazers and feed on grass. Black Rhino are notorious for their bad temper. They have been known to charge cars, trucks and trains due to their very poor eye sight.

Their agression towards anything moving, resulted in a lifelong lasting Big Five membership. The Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting and the degree of danger involved. More info about this hunting phrase on Wikipedia.

Sealed with a kiss

Sealed with a kiss, originally uploaded by gwendolen.

Just as we were about to depart from Vlieland, this seal popped up to wave us goodbye.

Common seals were almost wiped out in the sixties, but they are doing remarkably well in the Wadden Sea nowadays.

It’s always wonderful to see them up close. Like humans, they are quite curious and love a good – who’s watching who – match.

Southern Ground Hornbill

Southern Ground Hornbill, originally uploaded by gwendolen.
Seen near the big baobab tree at one of the Letaba river loops near Shimuwini in Kruger National Park. She seems to have a clouded eye. We saw her in a group of four. Two males were in the baobab, singing. Loved that sighting (and hearing)

Martial Eagle

Martial Eagle, originally uploaded by gwendolen.

Thanks to Tobie Muller for the ID.

Hi Gwen, beautiful photograph of a juvenile Martial Eagle. Wahlberg’s has a smaller head and will show a yellow cere (also with pale morph). Features showing this as juvenile Martial is the slight crest, the dark cere and the white edges to the feathers that gives it a scalloped appearance.