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Birds blog

Andean Cock of the Rock: an extraordinary beautiful bird!

After about three months of travelling the end of my stay in South-America was near. After three weeks in the Amazon the plan was to spend another week in the Peruvian Andes and after that I would take a flight home. A visit to the Peruvian Andes of course also meant a visit to thé touristhotspot in South-America: Macchu Picchu!

Enjoying birds at a clay lick

Photographers that go abroad often return with nice pictures of the most beautifully coloured birds. This might give the impression that in those countries it must be a lot easier to take pictures and all the birds are patiently waiting for you. However often it takes quite a bit of effort to get that shot of a parrot or parakeet! Of course in one place it can be easier than in another. In Tambopata I walked around for three weeks, but in those weeks I actually barely got the opportunity to really get a good shot of a parrot or parakeet. Of course sometimes I got a nice flight shot, but trying to approach a perched macaw proved difficult! Fortunately there were still ways to get close: a clay lick offered great opportunities.

Visiting Barba Azul Nature Reserve

In my South-America trip I still had to fill in a gap of two weeks. The plan was to travel first for four weeks in Chile. I had arranged to visit a language school in Cusco, Peru, two weeks after that. So it would make a lot of sense for me to travel through Bolivia: new country, new experiences and new animals! Only I didn’t really have a clue of what I would be doing. Three weeks before I was heading off to Chile I stumbled upon the webpage of Asociación Armonía, the Bolivian version of BirdLife. The page about Barba Azul Nature Reserve looked very interesting and I noticed there was also a possibility to stay there working as a volunteer. I was supposed to get in touch with Tjalle Boorsma, which is a very Dutch name! So I just sent an email to Tjalle in Dutch and also received a reply in Dutch. Fortunately it was possible for me to stay there as a volunteer. So after Chile it was on to Bolivia!

Inca tern

The Inca Tern is a unique South-American bird species that I really wanted to see. A gray tern with a red bill and with two white plumes on either side of the head that makes it look like it has a moustache. In the end I was only successful in one place: the harbour of the town Arica all the way in the north of Chile at the coast. That was sufficient though! The harbour was a nice place to visit anyway with pelicans, night herons and sea lions battling for the available fish.

Birds of Patagonia

The main purpose of my visit to Patagonia was seeing puma’s. That worked out fine, but of course I always do my best to see birds as well. Patagonia has some really cool specialties like Magellanic plover and Magellanic woodpecker. This blog however does not concern these species because I couldn’t find them… Luckily there were other interesting birds, I will show a selection of my photo’s of them below.

Birds of the Sahara

A little while ago I was in the Western Sahara looking for a new cat species: Sand Cat! Although searching for the cat mostly meants going out at night, naturally we also went out during the day. That gave us the opportunity to see some nice birds as well. There aren’t a lot of birds in the Sahara but the birds that do live here are top notch!

Birds of the African garden

Although the average Dutch garden does contain much birds then one might initially think, the African garden is something else. Here no Blackbirds or Finches but very different birds. In some ways the basis stays the same, they also have doves here, but there is al lot of stuff  on top of that.

Birds of the savannah

Talking about the African savannah, most people will probably be thinking about lions and elephants. Those species do indeed live there and they are certainly nice to look at! Still, I can recommend everyone to also pay some attention to the birds hopping and flying around the big pile of mammals. Of course there is the Ostrich, the largest bird in the world although it can’t fly. That’s a bird most people will still recognize and probably also want to see when they go on safari. And, to be fair, they are certainly worth a look or two.

Birds of the African swamp

The Okavango Delta is the largest delta in the world that is not connected to a sea. A number of bird species feel right at home in that kind of area. During my trip through Africa I’ve also sailed through the Okavango and spent the night there. You can read more about that over here. Of course along the way I didn’t just have a look at the (very) nice scenery but also at the birds that can be found over there. It’s possible to encounter a lot of different birds here that either like to stay very close to the water or not that close to the water, but not too far away either. I would like to share the pictures of the more conspicuous of those. There are some interesting birds among them!

Hornbills of Africa

When you’re in Africa as a birder there is much to be seen. Although birds in the Netherlands certainly are nice to look upon and each bird is beautiful in it’s own way (except Egyptian Gooses they will always remain hideous), but Africa is a different playing field! Yes, sadly Egyptian Gooses are still an evil that can also not be avoided here, although at least they are actually wild here, but to compensate for the inconvenience there is a whole lot of other colourful birds. A family that I’ve grown especially fond of are the Hornbills. All colourful birds with huge beaks, what else do you want! That’s why I wanted to give this group of birds in a separate blog some extra attention.