In Search of Another Continent

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Wildebeest Migration, Serengeti

…if not another planet! We are experiencing rather horrible weather at the moment. I have been almost glad my car is at the shop so I don’t have to deal with it. But the prospect of walking in a deluge of thunder and anything from freezing rain to torrential downpours was not a fun option either. Watching for black ice underfoot, lest I tumble. Add the warning of heavy wind gusts until 3:00 p.m. today to yesterday’s flood warnings.

I saw a beautiful male White-Winged Scoter yesterday morning in the river outside the train station, but could not even bring myself to pull the point-and-shoot, which was all I dared pack in anticipation of the forecast, out of my backpack, because the next moment I was nearly blown over by a gust of wind. This morning when I arrived three WW Scoters flew by with five Red-Breasted Mergansers – nice to see even if they were gone in a split second.

Anyway, I’ve grown tired of the weather – today we are presently, at 34 degrees and whatever the wind, warmer than we will be for the next 6 days as temperatures steadily plummet again. I have retreated to the task of going through the East Africa trip pictures, and here are some from the day we left the Serengeti and traveled to Tarangire National Park.

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Leopard Tortoises

Perhaps no surprises here but a reminder that color does exist somewhere.

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Eastern Double-Collared Sunbird

There are so many species of eagle to worry about, and there are snake eagles and fish eagles and hawk eagles too… This Steppe Eagle was nice enough to pose. Please click on the photos for more detail.

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Steppe Eagle

The Black-Breasted Snake Eagle below flew by close enough to identify later.

Black-Breasted Snake Eagle

Black-Breasted Snake Eagle

So as not to leave out the magnificent mammals that were spectacular to see…never as many elephants to constitute a herd, but small groups nonetheless.

African Elephants

African Elephants

On the same day as the rest of these photographs, we were fortunate enough to see Cheetahs.

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And in my desperation for color, I conclude this post with a Grey-Headed Kingfisher.

Grey-Headed Kingfisher

Grey-Headed Kingfisher

I’ll be back soon, weather (ha!) permitting.

Out of Africa

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

I am back from an incredible safari in Kenya and Tanzania. It would be more accurate to say I am only partially back, as jet lag persists. I should not be surprised: it took four days to get used to being nine hours ahead. Only now I am nine hours behind.

Cokes Hartebeest, Nairobi National Park, Kenya

Cokes Hartebeest, Nairobi National Park, Kenya

In any event, I wanted to begin sharing a few images from the last few weeks. It will take me some time to go through all the pictures, but I will be posting more as soon as I am able.

Secretary Bird, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Secretary Bird, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

As it turns out my laptop died shortly after I arrived in Nairobi so I started editing on the camera to save room on the flash memory cards. I think I only accidentally deleted one better photograph of a less-than-flashy bird…

Zebras and Wildebeest, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Zebras and Wildebeest, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Not wanting to take any chances, today I downloaded all the pictures to my desktop, which machine has also been unreliable. I then copied everything onto an external hard drive.

Lions, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Lions, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

I look forward to a new laptop, namely one that is not confused by software updates. I am contemplating switching to a MacBook Pro. One adventure after another.

Wildebeest Migration, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Wildebeest Migration, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Please click on the pictures for larger images.

Yellow-Collared Lovebird, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Yellow-Collared Lovebird, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

With luck I will have a sizable collection on my flickr page by Christmas… Except I get redirected away from the flickr page login from every other machine except the dead laptop. What to do, what to do…

P.S. It’s snowing in Chicago!

House Finches through the back window

House Finches through the back window