Alas, there has been another long break in my posting to this website over the past weeks. This has not been because of another trip overseas (sadly 🙂 ), but simply because the pace of everyday activities just got so hectic, that blogging had to take a back seat for a while.
Having finally had a chance to catch my breath, I decided that a virtual sojourn to a remote and peaceful place was just the thing for my next post. (A bit like having a holiday without having to pack or travel anywhere!) Looking through my photos, I came across two that immediately reminded me of a magical moment in just such a place – Kruger National Park.
It was 5 years ago now (how time flies) and we were feeling the intense heat of the January morning as we pulled up on a small bridge to see what wildlife we could spot in the riverbed area. One of my keen-eyed companions spotted these two owls sitting on a branch about 60m (65 yards) away. They were difficult to see without binoculars as they were so far off, but with the aid of a zoom lens, we were able to get some good photos.
So what was so special about two owls on a log? Well they were the first owls I had ever seen! I was able to watch them for some time, as they sat in the sun, lazily opening an eye every now and again, but mostly just dozing. I was fascinated at their size and the way they were contentedly sitting out in broad daylight as opposed to being in a shady dark space in a tree somewhere (which is where I thought most owls would prefer to be during the day).
The pair were Spotted Eagle-Owls or Bubo africanus – the most common ‘large-eared’ owl in the Kruger region, with a distribution right across Southern Africa, according to my bird book. But common or not, it was a memorable moment for me as I am particularly fond of owls. I have seen a few more in Kruger since this time, but none out in the open and so easy to watch. What a treat!
(This post is part of the series on African animals that I have seen and enjoyed over the years. For other similar posts, please use the Wildlife > Africa menu at the top of this page).