Giant kingfishers at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden


I am going to try a little activity log for a change. Today, unusually in the afternoon, I went up to look for the Verreaux’s Eagle (black eagle) at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in Roodeport. As usual, the garden was full of people enjoying the lawns and scenery for picnics, but once above the lawns, there was hardly anyone.

The eagles were flying as I was on my way up, but I waited for an hour and then the mountain was casting shadows, so I went back down to the Sassol Bird Hide. Just after the sun went behind the hill, two giant kingfishers appeared, one male and one female. They flew around making their noisy calls, then landed on the dead tree in front of the hide. Here are a few of the pictures that I captured. They are all nouns, as there was not enough light to capture movement.

Male giant kingfisher

Giant Kingfisher, Megaceryle maxima at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, South Africa

F/4.0, 1/1600 sec, ISO 2500

Female giant kingfisher

Giant Kingfisher, Megaceryle maxima at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, South Africa

F/2.8, 1/320 sec, ISO 400

Female shaking off the water after a failed attempt to catch a fish.

Giant Kingfisher, Megaceryle maxima at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, South Africa

F/2.8, 1/320 sec, ISO 400

Male giant kingfisher

Giant Kingfisher, Megaceryle maxima at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, South Africa

F/4.0, 1/1600 sec, ISO 2500

The giant kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima) is the largest kingfisher in Africa, and it breeds throughout most of Africa south of the Sahara Desert, except than the arid southwest. The male has a rufous (chestnut) breast band and otherwise white underparts, and the female has a white-spotted black breast band and rufous belly.

 

 

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