Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 08/07/2011

Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’

Well blow me down (I mean that figuratively of course), for the second day in a row one of my photos has found it’s way on the Flickr’s Explore group. Explore is a showcase of 500 photo from that day that appear to show merit – I say “appears” as it’s not widely known what criteria is used to select these images but they all do show a certain level of skill… so heaven knows how two of mine are on there!

Todays image was taken at Lake Nakuru, a national park 2 hours drive north of Nairobi and shows the national bird of Kenya, a Lilac-Breasted Roller. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t doctor my pictures before I upload them to Flickr (with the exception of the watermark) and I still haven’t, the bird really is that colourful. These birds are quite easy to spot, they perch anywhere where they can have a good vantage point from where they hunt, it also makes them very easy to photograph.. erm, no, very difficult, very very difficult. I did, however, have to use both 1.4x and 2.0x extenders on the 600mm lens to be able to fill the frame with the bird.

Whilst these birds are plentiful in all of Africa, we saw far more of them in Lake Nakuru than we did on the Masai Mara, though this may reflect where we spent most of our time in the Mara rather than their relative distribution. Incidentally when entering the Nakuru Park, there was a sign proclaiming the Park was a birdwatchers Dream or words to that effect and indeed it was. I became particularly excited when I spotted a Hammercop (type of small brown heron), only to find them particularly plentiful (though not as numerous as the Pelicans and Flamingos but that’s another story.. and blog!) and you’ll be seeing a photo later this month of one which I’m particularly proud of. I wonder if that’ll find it’s way on to Flickr’s Explore stream.



  1. Stunning detail. I’ve tried many a time to capture these birds…they always sit still long enough for you to decide to stop the car and point your camera in their general direction – and just as you’re framing it – poof! It’s gone!

    • This bird as well as a second Roller and two Superb Starlings were using a wall as a base to hunt from and were totally unconcerned by our presence (we were in a vehicle which helped), otherwise I might have had to break out the camouflage gear.

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