Sunday, 29 June 2014

Saddlebilled Stork - Photo essay.

Saddle-billed Stork is a declining species in southern Africa & its recent decline is a cause for concern. Even in the 1980’s this bird could be found in a variety of wetland habitats, even those found on farms. Today the situation is very different, it being more or less confined to the large game reserves & national parks.
 I came across a pair of these birds fishing in a rapidly diminishing pool, on a small river close to Orpen Dam in Kruger National Park. At first nothing much was happening, but then one bird came tripping through the water towards me. I was just in the correct place at the right time!
 Hammerkop looking hopeful!
 It didn't even get a morsel!

 It eventually caught quite a large fish, which it repeatedly stabbed until it was dead before swallowing. However, this took quite some time! The whole episode was quite fascinating to watch.

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