Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Balloons over the Nile

Up at first light  watching the balloons over the Nile   With Luxor Temple in the foreground.

Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the River Nile in the city today known as Luxor (ancient Thebes) and was founded in 1400 B.C.E.

Known in the Egyptian language as ipet resyt, or "the southern sanctuary", the temple was dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun, Mut, and Chons and was built during the New Kingdom, the focus of the annual Opet Festival, in which a cult statue of Amun was paraded down the Nile from nearby Karnak Temple (ipet-isut) to stay there for a while, with his consort Mut, in a celebration of fertility – whence its name.

The earliest parts of the temple still standing are the barque chapels, just behind the first pylon. They were built by Hatshepsut, and appropriated by Tuthmosis III. The main part of the temple - the colonnade and the sun court were built by Amenhotep III, and a later addition by Rameses II, who built the entrance pylon, and the two obelisks (one of which was taken to France, and is now at the centre of the Place de la Concorde) linked the Hatshepsut buildings with the main temple.

To the rear of the temple are chapels built by Tuthmosis III, and Alexander. During the Roman era, the temple and its surroundings were a legionary fortress and the home of the Roman government in the area.

 better photos are on  myegypt website   luxor area temples  at the bottom of the on the photos to enlarge

Rufous bush robin , cercotrichas galactotes . first sighting 12/4/10

I am sorry that my photos are only half the normal size when clicked on. this is due to upload problems now I have deleted google products such as  picasa3  and  motzilla fire fox. so many probs with the software.   its a lot more work now  but thats  nile life. 
Wasp nest  made from mud  this is on the Bank of the Nile river 

Rufous bush robin ,   cercotrichas galactotes . first sighting 12/4/10

Whoopoe  with food for its chicks hidden away in the top of the papya tree.

Little white egret looks a bit wind swept.

Quite a job landing in the wind.

Still nest building even though most are now sitting some have even hatched,

Doing a spot of fishing

I give up can't fish with you looking on.


Giant monitor lizard found in Egypt
 This one was photographed  7/4/10  and is over 9ft long  its tail is over a meter
 making it bigger than the one found in the Philippines



Moor hen


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My first sighting of the 

Wryneck, Jynx torquilla      8/4/10


I see you and I am off. 

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Young Night Heron

Took me ages to find out what this heron is. its not in the book so I went for the eye colour
they are so completely different to the parent. young night heron  are brown with streaked underparts.

Night heron adult,
Striated Heron in Flight.

Pied Kingfisher about to do a left turn  

Herons fishing.

first the Night Heron.

Now then!  not too close, and I will show you how its done.

First keep an eye on the target  that's if this log keeps still.

as soon as its in striking range dive in.

OK not exactly what I had in mind. but I got it and I very rarely miss.


I will be OK once this log stops rolling . i will get it in position  and then down in one.


Now I will show you how its done.   the Striated heron  is about half the size of the Night Heron.

 OK you lot make way I will show you how its done


Jees" call them fish 


Look at them two,   master fishers eh" 


There,s one


Wow that a big un  scariee 


Whasup   that was scarie  


OK here goes  watch this   


ready steady


and here we go. King  Pied fisher  watch and learn.


 missed it didn't you.   told you I was good. a clean strike  


Look!  I said a clean strike  right through the head. dead as a doornail 



Ok now all we have to do is get it in between my beak 


that's it enough do not mind showing you how to catch your lunch

 but i am not going to show you how to eat it.

The Squacco Heron  this is a migrating bird to these parts of the ,leaves all through the winter from around October up until end of march,   last week I saw  the first of season and today I saw many not sure  which is the male but the one in flight is a bit larger than the one with the blue beak. both are in full breeding plumage.


Not sure if they are being inquisitive about this big camera,    I have never got this close to them before. 

Water pipit, Anthus spinoletta.   

The things I  have to do to get wildlife photos for you guys.  no its not a buffalo cow pat its a whole area of cow dung. this is the mud flats opposite the dollar hotels on the West Bank of Luxor the first photo  besides the one of my shoeless feet. shows you where I am. I saw a rare migrant bird heading in this direction so I followed it into the wetlands. and so pleased I was there was so many birds in this area  most I have seen and photographed before but not with my new lens,  I saw  and photographed 3  more species to add to my collection of Nile Birds. bringing the total to date to 67 and that is only here in the Luxor and outlying area of 40 kilometers  the black-winged stilts being the furthest. I saw those last week , plus another in flight flock today. as I show the photos I will give the link to that species for more photos.

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Temminck's Stint, Calidris temminckii.

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Spur-winged plover. 

Spur-winged plover

Grey Heron

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Collared pratincole, Glareola pratincola


Water pipit,  Anthus spinoletta.

At first sight I thought they where Larks once i put the photo on the computer  and looked in the book they are my first sightings of the pipit. I will have to go back to the area I saw them tomorrow to get better shots.

Night heron in flight


1 white egret, 2 squacco herons,   3 night herons  +  the rubbish that is littering the whole of the Nile valley.

below a different angle on the 3 night herons.

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pied kingfisher on the hunt

Little white egret

Squacco heron   all todays birds where on the west bank of Luxor on my walk along the Nile river

Yellow wagtail

Normally I can not get close to this bird but now I have my new 100x400 lens
he  came close enough to take a shot with on ordinary lens. he flew in did a bit of looking about and caught what it came to get and off it flew ,

Female yellow wagtail