Saturday, November 21, 2009

Birds (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

Years ago now, in what can seem a different lifetime, I lived and worked in Tanzania -- mainly in the urban areas of Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar Stone Town. However, I felt I couldn't leave that East African country with going on safari to -- and in -- some of its national parks at least once. And, so, towards the end of my stay there, I went with an Irish aid worker friend (with the very Irish first name of Fionnuala) on a tour of Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks (and, for good measure, also spent time in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area's Ngorongoro Crater and visited Olduvai Gorge).

As we toured the national parks, Fionnuala and I thrilled over the wild landscape and, of course, the spottings of animals such as giraffes, elephants, lions, cheetahs, zebras, hippopotamouses and wildebeests going about their life. Our Tanzanian safari guide-driver, however, only ever seemed excited whenever he spotted some rare -- i.e., not flamingos, of which there were hundreds at Lake Manyara and thousands at Ngorongoro Crater! -- birds! (To the extent where he would literally bring the four-wheel drive vehicle we were in to a skidding halt and shout out its name whenever he spotted some unusual feathered creature that caught his eye!!!)

While I don't think I ever achieve his level of excitement at spotting any avian animal, I nonetheless have to admit to being pretty happy at the photos of birds that I managed to take on my Korean visit last month. In particular, I like the ones that this Photo Hunt entry allows me to show off because: the photo at the top is of a sight that many fellow visitors to the Jongmyo Shrine that day passed but didn't notice as it was above eye-level for most; and the second is of the Korean magpie that I have subsequently learnt is seen as a symbol of Korean identity (even though it is found in other parts of Asia -- and sometimes also is called the Chinese magpie!). :)


Bengbeng said...

aduh.. birds..i saw through sleep deprived eyes yesterday that it was technology :) guess i got to revise it some how or give it up as a lost cause. Hey sister :) , thanks! I imagine if i had put the link in PH i would have been this week's fool hahahahha

YTSL said...

Hi Bengbeng --

You're welcome for the correction -- and thanks for the sneak peek at your Technology entry for next week! ;b

jmb said...

Lucky you I would love to go on safari. But you found some nice birds in Korea.

Happy weekend to you.

MaR said...

Your top picture is fantastic, I clicked to enlarge it!!
Birds are hard to photograph, your shots are beautiful.
Happy weekend!!


Randi said...

The top-photo is gorgeous with all little birds! I seldom manage to take a good photo of birds - but your photos are beautiful.

YTSL said...

Hi jmb --

Twice lucky me then -- because I've been on safari in Kenya as well as Tanzania! :b

Hi Mar --

I'm glad you enlarged that top photo as well as like it. Thanks! :)

Hi Randi --

Thank you - praise from you for my photographs is real praise indeed! :)

kim said...

Nice pics! My son lived in Korea for a year, and visited many shrines--may be the same one you visited.

jams o donnell said...

I love you photos especially the Magpie but then I love all members of the Crow family. Have a great weekend

Hootin' Anni said...

Wow....the magpie is pretty, but that top photo is just plain AWESOME!

Mine's posted HERE

gengen said...

Nice shot...Happy hunting...

A. @ A Changing Life said...

I have a cousin called Fionnuala!

I love your bird photos. The first in particular reminds me I have several of birds in unexpected places, but I forgot about them. Interestingly they look remarkably like European sparrows and magpies. I would have expected a greater difference, especially when I see American robins which look little like European ones.

EG CameraGirl said...

Sounds like you've seen a lot of our planet. Lucky YOU!

Very nice photo of the magpie!

Carver said...

What an interesting post. I always enjoy your photographs but also your narrative is so well written and informative. Happy weekend.

Ladykli said...

Wow a safari, that must have been awesome! Your bird photos are awesome too, although at first I didn't notice the little birdie in the top photo!

My birds are here.

rdl said...

nice shots!!

Barbara H. said...

What neat excursions! I especially like the top photo.

annie said...

Love your photos and story about living in Tanzania. Pretty cool to see birds from Korea this morning. Hope you have a great weekend.

Rebecca Mecomber said...

Excellent photos, and a wonderful post. I always learn so much about your side of the world when I visit!!

My Photo Hunt is up, too. Hope you can visit. Have a great weekend!
Mrs. Mecomber

Chris said...

Great post - I would love to go on safari. Perhaps one day!

Both of your shots are great but I adore that first picture.

sammawow said...

Great bird pictures! I couldn't see the birds in the first one until I enlarged it - wow, lots of birds!

Smalltown RN said...

Your photo of the Korean Magpie is a very similar bird to the Magpie here in British Columbia....these birds are seen in dried climate in BC near what we call the Interior of BC places like Kamploops or the Okanagan....thank you for sharing...

Unknown said...

i bet the safari was a great experience. Tanzania--what an exotic place! thanks for sharing your bird photos.

bonggamom said...

Amazing! I wish I could go on safari.

My photo hunt post is up

Anonymous said...

Cool photos! Have a great weekend.

healingmagichands said...

I like the little Eurasian house sparrows on the roof. Magpies are an amazing bird, very much a survivor. I wish I could go on safari. I just have to wander around my own place to find cool stuff, though.

YTSL said...

Hi Kim --

The Jongmyo Shrine's a major one -- so wouldn't be surprised if your son has visited it.

Hi jams --

D'oh. Didn't realize a magpie was a crow! Thanks for that bit of info! :D

Hi Hootin' Anni --

Glad you like the photos. :)

Hi gengen --


Hi A. --

Did your cousin Fionnuala live in Tanzania? If so...

Apparently, the difference between European and Asian magpies is that Asian ones have black beaks. Re sparrows: yeah, they look pretty similar to me too!

Hi "Your EG Tour Guide" --

Re seeing a lot of this planet: maybe you might like to check out this blog entry (and try the meme yourself!):-

Hi Carver --

I really appreciate your taking the time and effort to read as well as look at the photos. Happy weekend to you too. :)

Hi Ladykli --

"Safari" actually just means travel/going somewhere in Kiwsahili. But, yeah, safaris to national parks in East Africa are really cool. :)

Hi rdl --


Hi Barbara H. --

Seems like you share the sentiments of quite a few people. :)

Hi Annie --

Thanks for reading, looking and appreciating. :)

Hi Mrs Mecomber --

In this case, there are two sides of the world to my blog entry... so two for one this time around! ;b

Hi Chris --

Going on safari is definitely recommended. (Though beware terrible roads both to and in the parks!)

Hi Sammawow --

Yay re your having taken time to enlarge the photo to see the birds in it. :)

Hi Smalltown RN --

Thanks for the info re BC -- with its towns with presumably very native American names! :)

Hi Luna Miranda --

Tanzania -- yes... for a time, it actually felt so normal and almost like home. But nowadays, it seems so foreign even to me!

Hi Bonggamom --

Hope your wish comes true some day before too long!

Hi Kissedalotatoads --

Thanks -- and you have a good weekend too! :)

Hi healingmagichands --

Wandering around your own place to find cool stuff is not a bad activity -- but hope you get the chance to venture out of your own area every once in a while! :)

Anonymous said...

The solo bird is really unique!
Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.

Dianne said...

It's me Dianne!

LifeRamblings said...

it must be a wonderful experience having to live in many different countries before. soundslike you're a global traveler.

YTSL said...

Hi Dianne --

Actually, the solo bird's not that unique. It's found in many parts of Asia -- but have to say that I've not seen it so often as in Korea!

Hi Life Ramblings --

It's not always wonderful but I have to say that I believe I've learnt a lot from living in many different parts of the world -- so wouldn't trade it for, well, the world! ;b