South Luangwa (Zambia) - Songbirds

As already pointed at, the songbirds tend to be harder to spot and identify. One may often catch no more than a glympse of these in the corner of an eye before they disappear into the vegetation. So the viewing is tougher and of course getting them properly on photo much  more so. There are of course some that cooperate a bit better now and then. Some are simply more conspicuous by their bright colours. Some may be real 'posers'. The kingfishers are a good example of both. Most are quite colourful and, if you are lucky, they sit perched on leafless branches for quite a while. Poised motionless to detect the slightest movement of prey (small fish, frogs, larvae etc.) under or above the water. Ready to make their 'dive-splash and back-on-the-branch' flash move. Back often with a precision catch held briefly in the bill before slipping it down the throat. Other good 'posers' are for example the rollers and the bee-eaters.

Some campgrounds themselves may have surprising on-premises varieties and numbers of birds also.  These often are better approachable as they are more or less accustomed to the nearby presence and movements of people.

So the below galleries feature some of these familiar 'posers' as well as a few lucky shots of some of the 'less conspicuous'.

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides)

Right in front of Luwi bush camp, some stranded dead trees lined the steep river bank. Their barren branches serving as perfect perch-posts for insect-snatchers like these bee-eaters.  Their bright multiple colours contrasting nicely with the sun-bleached greys & whites of the branches.

Nature excels - also as master-painter and sculpter

The impression of its colours continually changing with the varying incident and reflecting light conditions

Southern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops rubicoides)

The carmine red cousin of the White-throated. A celebrity bird of nature photographers. Most sought after are their large congregations  in nesting colonies in burrows in river bank cuts.
On a drive we spotted this more modest-sized group socializing in a dead tree. Some did cooperate and stayed put just long enough for a quick  (700 mm) 'stop/shot'.

That's where photos complement (and sometimes beat) binoculars. Appreciating in full detail the intricate feather colour tones and  structures.

Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (Merops hirundineus)

One of the mid/small-sized bee-eaters

The Lilac-breasted Roller (Caracias caudata)

A splendid photogenic bird and pose. An eye-pleasing pertfect 'branch-stretch' as posing finishing touch.

Dazzling colours .....rolling in

Lilac-brested roller. Taking a (very) close look ...

The Grey-headed Kingfisher (Halcyon Leucocephata)

The Southern Cordon-bleu (Ureagynthus anglolensis)

A small group camped for a while in thrub on the grounds of the Luwi bush camp.
Took some aiming and persistance to get a decent shot between the dense shrubs branches.

Lillian's Lovebird (Agapornis Lilianae)

A flock of lovebirds busy picking (presumably) seeds from bone dry almost bare soil.

Lillian's Lovebird (Agapornis Lilianae)

The flock wings away and lands again a couple of metres farther away.

A lovely bird indeed ...........
Sadly, it's lovely cute and colourful appearance has made them sought after as pets. Whereas they breed succesfully in captivity, (illegal)  animal trade is a serious threat for the wild bird populations.

The Bennett's Woodpecker (Camperthera bennettii), female.

The Bennett's Woodpecker (Camperthera bennettii), Male.

The Southern Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus rufirostris), juvenile

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