Chobe River Photographic Safari - Sept 2014, Day 3

29th September 2014
A Hunting Croc tries Again and Again

Another heavenly beautiful morning awaited us on the river this morning, and again the abundance of wildlife was breathtaking. A nocturnal wind blew away any haziness last night, leaving the air and light crisply sharp and clear.

We watched about five different Fish Eagles on the banks or on tree stumps, and waited until they took off for those wonderful flying shots - and when they started to fish, we had exactly the iconic images we wanted.

The three Crowned Cranes were more or less where we had left them yesterday, giving us an extra opportunity for more images of them in this idyllic setting. The Pied Kingfishers were extra busily fishing, diving sleekly into the water to emerge a moment later - sometimes with a fish, sometimes not so successful.

At Elephant Beach a herd of about thirty Sable Antelope arrived to drink at the river. What a magnificent sight, with their dramatic colouring and majestic sweep of horns - all reflected in the water of the river. We simple could not pull ourselves away.

And of course this was the spot where the White-crowned Lapwings (Plovers) were busily ensuring a secure future of their species.

Although we saw many crocodiles, it was one small crocodile, not more than a meter and a half long, that kept us entertained at Elephant Beach for simply ages. The little croc was earnestly hunting the doves that were drinking on the sandy beach. Time and again it approached a bird almost unseen, and then launched itself at its prey. Although there were numerous very close shaves, the croc had no success - well, not during the time that we watched, anyway. But watching with expectation again and again and again was quite enthralling!

This afternoon we photographed even more Kingfishers - Malachite, Grey-headed, Brown-headed, Pied ... they seemed to be out in force, hovering, diving, fishing, flying ...

We noticed that the egrets eagerly wait in the shallows next to the river for the boat to pass, - and we found out the reason. When the boat passes, the wake washes small fishes into the shallows where the egrets have learned to wait and then grab them before they have the chance to swim back to deeper water! Smart birds!

Although not as many as yesterday (probably the windy conditions), we still saw quite a few hundred elephants - some feeding along the banks, some swimming across the river to one of the islands, and one group - at Savannah Backwater - kicking up a cloud of dust as they enjoyed throwing sand all over themselves.

And at Savannah Backwater we also found a leopard - a female was lying in a tree, watching the river, and beautifully silhouetted against the setting sun. Just the best sighting to end another fabulous day! Hopefully she will remain in the area for a day or two …

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