Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Welcome to the Rockjumper Birding Blog by Adam Riley

Welcome to the Rockjumper Birding blog! I am certain that this will be the first of countless postings over the years to come and I am sure we will enjoy numerous fun interactions through this blog. Wow, so where to start…… I’ve been mulling over creating a blog and engaging in social media for quite a while and I’m excited to be finally grabbing the bull by the horns and jumping in! 

So far its been a sensational and at the same time challenging year for Rockjumper. I’ve personally done two very successful tours so far, Colombia (well over 700 species and one of the most enjoyable birding tours I have ever guided) and more recently, a birding and wildlife extravaganza to northern Tanzania.  At this time of year, the Blue Wildebeest which perform the amazing Serengeti-Mara migration are calving on the dry plains of the eastern Serengeti and this attracts numerous predators. General wildlife is just fantastic and the birds abundant, conspicuous and generally colorful. I’d like to share a favorite image from each of these tours with you.

Andean Cock-of-the-rock at Jardin, Colombia by Adam Riley

This Andean Cock-of-the-rock was one of around ten males displaying a stone's throw from the lovely town of Jardin in central Colombia. These impressive birds showed absolutely no fear and performed their remarkable displays at close quarters. I have seen cock-of-the-rock leks elsewhere but these ones certainly took the cake and were one of my favorite Colombian birding experiences (and that's saying a lot....)

Hunting lioness, Ndutu northern Tanzania by Adam Riley

One of the adrenalin pumping moments during our Tanzania tour was watching this Lioness hunting Zebra in the Ndutu area of the Eastern Serengeti. She had spent 10 minutes crouching in the grass and a large herd of blissfully unaware and thirsty Zebra approached closer and closer. Finally she couldn't resist this mare and foal and launched into attack mode, however, she misjudged the distance and the zebras survived to take another migration! The men on our tour were disappointed, the ladies relieved! You might be wondering what this has to do with birds, well if you look carefully to the left of the zebra, you will see an equally startled Wattled Starling making a fast exit! Flocks of these starlings follow the migrating zebras, often perching on them and feeding off insects they disturb.