Difficult not to feel that this bird is looking at us with an angry stare. It is a starling with its feathers shimmering saphire blue in the sun light.
Birds of Soysambu
Who do you think is feeding who? It looks like the bigger bird is giving a gulp to the smaller one, when in fact it is the reverse! The bigger bird is a young emerald cuckoo, which probably just left the nest, but is still unable to feed itself. The smaller bird is the surrogate mother which is probably having a hard time feeding this big monster. I was alerted at the camp by the cries of the young cuckoo and was lucky enough to be at the right place with my camera when the mother arrived.
A migratory bird well know in continental Europe, the white stork, comes in Soysambu from time to time in great number and feasts on some unidentified bugs in the grass.
For bird watchers the terraces of the bungalows at the lodge, and at the camp are very good places to see a variety of birds. Following are some of the photos I was able to take from there.
The senegal coucal is normally a pretty bird the size of a pigeon that hides in the bushes near the ground. I photographed this one after a serious downpour, and it was in need of sun to dry its feather!
The hammerkopf is always found near fresh water. We see it occasionally during the rainy season. It is not the prettiest of birds, but it is famous for building huge nests in trees near rivers.
The yellow head spare fowl is not easy to spot except when it comes on the trails. It flies only on short distances, a bit like the quails, and disappears in the grass.
The Hildebrandt francolins (here the male) are often seen near the Camp or the Lodge, I suppose that in addition to a few bird seeds, humans presence pushes back some of its predators. When disturbed, both male and female make a noisy cry that identify them immediately.
The cattle egrets are often seen near the buffaloes where they also feed on parasites and the insects that are disturbed by the big monsters walking near them. It is an easy way to spot the location of a herd of buffaloes by these white birds flying nearby. At dusk, they all fly towards the lake to sleep in their favorite tree.
This buffalo clearly does not understand that it is not the subject of the photo despite its nicely shaped ears and long eyelashes, but the birds on its head and back, that eats the parasites plaguing the mammals in the wild.