So I awoke this morning with a bit of a hankering to post some photos of my first love, Birds, and as I sat and looked at some of my bird photos in my Lightroom catalogue, one thing caught my eye. The huge number of Birds of Prey images that I have taken over the last 9 years, so I just needed to decide on this week’s opening image. It was an easy decision rally.
Backstory to the image:
For the past 15 years, every time I have entered the Kruger National Park in South Africa, I’ve had a bet with myself about what the first animal or bird sighting would be. There is that wonderful sense of anticipation after you check-in at one of the main gates, and then hear the rumble as you drive over the entry cattle grate. Incidentally, I have a terrible record and would clearly not make a living as a gambler.
I always make the same mistake of going with impala’s, zebra’s or even elephants. On the bird front, I have gone with Common Fiscal, Grey go-away bird and even a vulture in the sky. Have only one successful hit in 15 years, when I jokingly convinced myself that I would see African Wild dog, and I did, just outside the Orpen Gate.
This year was no different as I went with zebra again and strangely didn’t see anything for the first few km’s after I had entered via the Malelane Gate. Then as the road veered to the right and went back towards the river, I came across this beauty. I was happy to be wrong again as this Fish Eagle just sat on the dead tree and impassively looked at all the cars passing by. A true African icon.