The Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath),
also known as the Giant Heron, is a very large wading bird of the heron family. It is found in sub-Saharan Africa, with smaller numbers in Southwest and South Asia.
This is the world’s largest heron. The height is 120–152 cm (47–60 in), the wingspan is 185–230 cm (73–91 in) and the weight is 4–5 kg (8.8–11 lbs.).Among standard measurements, the tarsus measures from 21.2 to 25.5 cm (8.3 to 10.0 in) and the wing chord averages around 60.7 cm (23.9 in) in length. The culmen measures from 18 to 20 cm (7.1 to 7.9 in), while the bill from the gape measures around 24 cm (9.4 in).
Goliath Herons are solitary foragers and are highly territorial towards other Goliaths entering their feeding territories.
This particular bird I found at Lake Panic in the Kruger National Park, and as I entered the hide it struck and caught a fairly large Carp. As you can see I had little time to take the photograph, and in front of me was a fairly large Lady with a big camera and lens, her arms were just as big and I was not going to argue with her.. but here’s the result…
It left the water and went into the taller grass where it either swallowed it whole or left it for later…
A half hour later it re-emerged and drank water and took a bath, before returning to its original fishing spot.. must have been hungry…
The Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) is a large wading bird in the stork family.
It is a widespread species which is a resident breeder in sub-Saharan Africa.
This is a huge bird that regularly attains a height of 150 cm (59 in), a length of 142 cm (56 in) and a 2.4–2.7 m (7.9–8.9 ft.) wingspan. The male is larger and heavier than the female, with a range of 5.1–7.5 kg (11–17 lb.). The female is usually between 5 and 7 kg (11 and 15 lb.). It is probably the tallest of the storks (though not the heaviest), due to it extremely long legs (tarsus length is up to 36.5 cm (14.4 in)). The long bill measures from 27.3 to 36 cm (10.7 to 14 in). The sexes can be readily distinguished by the golden yellow irises of the female and the brown irises and dangling yellow wattles of the male.
The Saddle-billed Stork breeds in forested water lands and other flood lands in tropical lowland. It builds a large, deep stick nest in a tree, laying one or two white eggs weighing about 146g each. It does not form breeding colonies, and is usually found alone or in pairs. The incubation period is 30–35 days, with another 70 – 100 days before the chicks fledge.
The Saddle-billed Stork, like most of its relatives, feeds mainly on fish, frogs and crabs, but also on small birds and reptiles . They move in a deliberate and stately manner as they hunt, in a similar way to the larger herons.
Elephants are the largest living land animals on Earth today.
The way I eat chocolate, I’m doing my best to haul them in.. Elephants are a symbol of wisdom and are famed for their memory and intelligence; their intelligence level is thought to be comparable to that of dolphins. The saying is “An elephant never forgets”, I’m like that, till it comes to birthdays and wedding anniversaries, but this is a monster that I love to watch. So many stories are bandied about of their memory, how they live in the deserts and know exactly where to go for water and food at certain times of the year. I just love the critters…..
This one was not too friendly and gave us fair warning of that, I gave him a smile and he forgave me, never to forget…
I’m still here by my Son in Kathu… and will be till next month… but he and his wife surprised us with a new car…. so we bought him a motorbike, like all good parents we made sure he can’t have an accident on this one… I think who ever made it is a true artist and very handy… its 200 mm ( 8 inches) tall… and so well made… some enterprising person sat and worked this out and welded it together… bearings, chains, bolts, nuts, caps, washers, locknuts, galvanised pipe fittings and who knows what else… brilliant…
And we bought him a fisherman to go with the bike, also made from the same material… again brilliant…
The Red-knobbed Coot or Crested Coot, (Fulica cristata),
is a member of the rail and crake bird family, the Rallidae.
The Red-knobbed Coot is largely black except for the white facial shield. It is 38–45 cm (15–18 in) long, spans 75–85 cm (30–33 in) across the wings and weighs 585–1,085 g (1.29–2.39 lb.). As a swimming species, it has partial webbing on its long strong toes. The juvenile is paler than the adult, has a whitish breast, and lacks the facial shield; the adult’s black plumage develops when about 3-4 months old, but the white shield is only fully developed at about one year old, some time later.
These photos taken at Rietvlei Dam….