Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 15/07/2011

How many Flamingos? F-o-u-r!*

I’m not sure I should be talking to you today, Dear Reader, after the comparison to a hungry gorilla yesterday, but you know I can’t stay away even if my ape like fingers are having trouble typing these words!

Well, wasn’t that a week and a half (it certainly felt longer than the usual 168 hours) and one I would like to repeat in a hurry. The exposure on WordPress has certainly boosted both my confidence and my spirit for this daily challenge plus it’s done wonders for the number of people visiting my photos on Flickr. I used to be pleased if I managed around 300 visits a day, and over the moon if I received in excess of 500; I’m now receiving well in excess of double this last figure a day. I am hoping this is not just some sort of bubble, the aftermath of the WordPress feature, and that people keep returning – though I fear it might be.

Anyway, enough of my hopes and dreams (if there’s anyone out there from National Geographic or the BBC“giz a job”) to today’s image. Words cannot start to describe the sight (or smells) or 1.5 million flamingoes and 500,000 pelicans – it truly is a wonderous sight, in fact the brain can’t quite take it all in. After having had a tour of Lake Nakuru plains and woods, we made our way down to the waters edge. I think I could hear the congregation of water birds before I actually saw them and when we got out of the vehicle on to the muddy side of the lake I didn’t know which way to look first, there were birds in virtually every direction (okay, not ever direction, they weren’t under my feet, cut me some slack I’m try to be all poetic here!).

After watching (and photographing) the pelicans, storks, stilts, spoonbills and many other types of birds we drove to a different spot on the lake; if we’d thought there were a lot of birds at the last shoreline, they paled in comparison to the vista in front of us. We’d arrived at the main spot where the flamingo’s were, and boy was the area pink (well, OBVIOUSLY not the trees, grass etc.). There were two types of flamingos which were very easy to distinguish from each other, the Lesser Flamingo and the Greater Flamingo. I won’t insult your intelligence as to which was which, with regards to size, but another noticeable difference was the colour. The Lesser Flamingos are much darker pink than their counter parts and their deep red eye is most striking – today’s image is just such a bird. One thing I would have liked to capture on “film” (on pixels just doesn’t have the same ring) is the birds in flight. I did see them flying, and they certainly do look strange, but they were not near enough when I was ready for them – another good reason why I need to go back (any excuse!).

* they were used as golf clubs (or is it bats?  I mean golf bats, not the mammalian bat.) in Alice In Wonderland.



  1. Love how they “strike a pose” even whilst just drinking water!

    • They are quite a striking bird – very elegant – but noisy and smelly!

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