Bills, Bills, Bills

One fine morning, I was taking walk down my old man’s farm. I wasn’t exactly intent on birding that day-just looking for a nook where I could catch up with Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I found it in the far end of the farm which has a series of undulating small valleys. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. Just near the spot where I was seated stood a tree with a dug out stem that looked quite comfy. Therein, two southern ground horn-bills flew and snuggled without making a sound. I sat there transfixed on the pair. The male popped out its head and glanced my way. I did not move a muscle lest I startled it. I do not think the female was aware of my presence. After a while the male returned to its mate and snuggled next to it. I did not look at the time but I bet they sat still for twenty minutes or so before flying off. Of course by then, I had noiselessly taken a snapshot and gotten back to my reading. Somehow, the reading was more pleasant with the big fellows around.

 

Image
Spotted in Cherangany hills, Kenya

 

Another day, in the same “happy valleys”, I spotted a flock of black and white–casqued horn-bills flying over head. Their black outer primaries and white outer tail feathers, seen properly while in flight, are a beauty to behold. I hoped that they would perch on one of the trees in the farm but they flew off to a nearby river. I could hear their calls which were pretty loud. I could have gone after them. However, in the short time that I have watched birds, I have realized it is much more satisfying if they come to you. Of course, wisdom has it that you place yourself in such a position that they might just do that. Hence, that evening I took a stroll down River Chepkaitit (Kalenjin for cold waters). At the banks, I saw a pair of grey-crowned cranes feeding. I smiled, knowing that they must be the pair that visits the cowshed at the farm from time to time. A few minutes later, I heard the unmistakable call of a lone horn-bill nearby. I followed it and there it was perched high up on a tree. I studied its beak for some time, thinking to myself it why the odd shape. Two snapshots, and I sat back studying its design. Not the cutest but I was sure it must serve some purpose. I plan to do some research on this later on. For now, I give you the black and white casqued-hornbill! Big round of applause!

Image
Spotted in Cherangany hills, Kenya

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s