Sometimes it pays to go back in time and take a look at old files. It’s interesting what you find.
When you come back from a trip the focus is always on shots of something that you found particularly interesting at the time. Consequently you skim past a lot of other stuff that when you look at it is actually not too bad. This past week I spent a few hours looking back on our 2011 trip to Kruger and found quite a few photographs that were worth processing and showing here.
During that trip we spent the last three hours of our three days at Lower Sabie parked next to Sunset Dam which is one of my favorite waterholes for Hippos. The light just before sunset was perfectly angled and nicely diffused making for great photography. Whats also nice about Sunset is that you can park very close to the waters edge. As evening draws near the resident troop of baboons make their appearance and put on a show that would make a great TV family drama series. So besides Hippos there’s a lot to watch and photograph.
One of our targets that trip were the Grey Herons which use the hippos as a mobile fishing platform. As the hippos move through the water their feet churns up the silt which attracts fish. For the herons perched on the hippos its easy pickings of any fish that inadvertently comes too close to the surface. Moving Hippos were an especially prime territory that was aggressively fought over and defended. Following the trip I posted two blogs “Get Off My Hippo!” http://www.wildeyeview.com/blog/?p=4355 and “Heron Hippo Surfing” http://www.wildeyeview.com/blog/?p=4321 which showed shots of the herons landing on and fighting over the hippos. But what was missing were loads of other nicely lighted shots of the herons as they came into land or delicately perched on their hippo of choice.
So, todays blog is all about those photos that never made the cut the first two times round, but which in many ways are even nicer than those already shown.
What is always particularly interesting when photographing wildlife is capturing the interaction between different species. When taking these shots I remember being particularly fascinated by the fact that the hippos seemed unfazed by the herons landing on their heads even though its obvious that the herons made a great effort to land softly as opposed to just dumping themselves down.
Sometimes when the hippos were moving and the final approach was obviously a bit short they were forced to stretch out to avoid landing in the water and then quickly rebalance to avoid slipping off….. all good stuff to capture!
So next time you are in the vicinity of Lower Sabie make sure you make a point of stopping off and enjoy the sunset over Sunset Dam. Whatever you do, don’t get distracted by the antics of the baboons as they climb all over your car because then you will miss the hippo and heron show!