Kenya diary… Grey Crowned Cranes in a mating dance…

My very first post on my brand new WordPress site way back in 2013, when I thought I’d be a blogger, having done all my 101’s, before I launched myself out there in the big wide blogging world was a tiny and very nervous step into blogging and I just threw out a teeny, weeny little précis of a truly amazing weekend trip.

I re-visited my photographs during our current lockdown and was quite amazed that I actually managed to get some really good photos.

As well as it being my first foray into blogging, it was also my first trip with a proper camera, which I really didn’t know how to use properly, apart from the auto function. (FYI it was a NikonD3200, but I think I bought a few days before and had no idea of its many functions, so it was a point and shoot expedition)

I’d booked a random travel to Nairobi for a weekend on a special offer  (Dubai was a really good place for last minute special offers) and I booked a trip online to Amboseli National park.

I hadn’t quite taken into account that Amboseli was on the Tanzania border and was a 4 hour drive from Nairobi, but, hey-ho, when the company responded to my booking request and asked for a 4.30am pick-up, I just clicked the ok box!

Experience now tells me there were many closer places, but actually I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

I cannot describe the African light, especially in Amboseli, it’s totally different to our polluted European (and other) skies….

The day was a magical experience I will never forget. I have so many photos, I’m going to break this up into several posts but one of the many magical moments was stumbling across a Grey crane mating dance and being able to photograph the whole performance.

I wasn’t party to the result, they did fly away after the dance for a bit of privacy, but I did have a David Attenborough moment as the incredible performance took place right in front on my lens…


For information on the Crane ( thank you Wikipedia)

The grey crowned crane (Balearica regulorum), also known as the African crowned crane, golden crested crane, golden-crowned crane, East African crane, East African crowned crane, Eastern crowned crane, South African crane, is a bird in the crane  family, Gruidae. It is found in Eastern and Southern Africa, and is the national bird of Uganda.

The grey crowned crane is closely related to the black crowned crane, and the two species have sometimes been treated as the same species. The two are separable on the basis of genetic evidence, calls, plumage and bare parts, and all authorities treat them as different species today.

There are two subspecies .The East African B. r. gibbericeps (crested crane) occurs in the east of the DRC and in Uganda, of which it is the national bird represented in its national flag, and Kenya to Eastern S. Africa.

It has a larger area of bare red facial skin above the white patch than the smaller nominate species, B. r. regulorum (South African crowned crane), which breeds from Angola south to South Africa.