Hiding in the Hide

On a couple of mornings we got up early and left at 6.00 to drive to the bird hide.  The hide is newly built and overlooks a man-made lake, in which hippos wallow, wildlife drink, and birds congregate.  The hide is sunk below water level, so when sitting down our eyes are level with the slit window.  This has one-way reflective glass in, and I still haven’t decided whether this glass is a bonus or a really bad idea.  On the one hand, the birds & wildlife see no movement from inside so have no fear about coming right up to it, but on the other hand, it gets splashed and the hard water leaves marks on the glass, making it a photographer’s nightmare to get ‘clean’ shots. It also cuts out a lot of light.  My camera especially struggled with focusing, which was extremely frustrating, and I have some reflections and water marks in my shots too.  Still, it was very amusing to see the birds pecking at their own reflections, and there is no doubt that I’ve been the closest I ever will to birds – seeing them almost nose to nose was a great experience.  When we first arrived at the hide it was too dark to take any shots apart from this one, which shows the gorgeous colours in the sky at dawn:Sable-240

As it got lighter, the sky was a gorgeous pink and this little kingfisher appeared:Sable-239And some Impala came down to drink:

Here are the other images taken from inside:

We have the Sacred Ibis:

Sable-215I especially like this last one, with the little duck peeking through:Sable-220And the Egyptian Goose:

The Spoonbill:

The Heron:

The cormorant with its wings held out to dry:Sable-225

The Fish Eagle, that ensures all the other birds will fly away in fright when it soars over the water:Sable-221The little Blacksmith Plover

The lovely Pied Kingfisher

The pretty Canary

Sable-79

And whilst I’m on the subject of birds, here are three more, but taken on the lawn at bushcamp:  The Mocking Cliff Chat, the Red Billed Hornbill, and the Blue Waxbill.


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