NAIROBI PARK DIARY

Flight feeding frenzy

Camera technology can capture speed moments that the human eye cannot see in fine detail

In Summary

• I decided to try and capture this speed-feed moment, and was rewarded

A red-rumped swallow speed-feeds a young bird
A red-rumped swallow speed-feeds a young bird
Image: GARETH JONES

Early one morning after some good rain, I drove past junction No4 A parallel to the stream. Suddenly I observed a lot of activity near the side of the road. I approached slowly and stopped next to an opened termite mound.

Wow! What a sight. Thousands and thousands of termites (incorrectly called flying ants) were flying out of the termite mound in search of a new territory. However, the action of the flying termites was also a major attraction to many bird species, as they swooped in their hundreds and hundreds in a flight-feeding frenzy.

I sat fascinated for a few minutes, and then quickly grabbed my camera to try and capture some of the mood of the moment.

Red-rumped swallows were very abundant as they swooped repeatedly at high speed. I noticed a young swallow sitting on a low branch of a shrub. As I watched, an adult swallow amazingly fed the young bird at speed while in flight.

So I decided to try and capture this speed-feed moment, and waited in the hope that the adult parent swallow would repeat the feed. After a short wait, I saw a swallow swooping at high speed towards the branch and took a rapid series of photos.

I was very grateful and joyful when I saw that an image of the speed feed had been captured as if in a split second frozen moment. Camera technology can capture speed moments that the human eye cannot see in fine detail.

I always find it a joy to see birds when driving in the park. God has created so such amazing diversity, and that includes our feathered friends. The Nairobi National Park is a very unique place that at times reveals some incredible sightings.