tirsdag 28. oktober 2014


Pavarotti !!!

Katavi NP in western Tanzania offers one of the most spectacular hippo sightings I have ever experienced (as for crocs & lions too !). In the wet season this ancient super lake develops into a huge wetland and of course it`s hippo`s & croc`s paradise, … and non accessible for humans. In the dry season however it will be the opposite : a dry, flat savannah with only one single source of water : a limited area where small amounts of water trickles up from the ground in thin layers. All bigger mammals of this ecosystem have to come and drink here … sooner or later, and the Katavi lions have a really good time in this period. In the dry season approx 3000 hippos congregate around the water source and sleep their days off in dense groups in the only water or thin layers of mud that is accessible  … as they are awaiting the dark of night to go out grazing. Especially late evenings when they prepare to go out and early mornings as they return to the mud pool give many situations when males compete over position in the pool & over females. Dominant males can fight terrible battles with severe injuries or even fatal outcome for one or both of them !! 

Hippos can walk 40 km at night (20 km out & 20 back), so you never know where you can expect to meet one. On dry land hippos can be extremely dangerous and they cause many humans fatalities every year. Especially females with calf are dynamite !! I have been attacked by such a female on dry land and I know what it feels like. Really, really scary stuff !!!

I have now visited Katavi NP 3 times … and I know I will have to go back again one of those days. Thanks to Manie Uys & Apollo Ambilikile for great company & great guiding ! 

Late evening yawn


A dominant male in the pool

Positioning is a key question

The teeth in the lower jaw grow continuously all their life. This tooth has penetrated the upper lip, and it must have been painful !! Their environment is not exactly antiseptic !

The hippo spends his day in a stinking solution of water, pooh, urine & the juice of his rotting dead mates. They also drink this liquid as it is their only source of water in the dry season.

Mother with newborn calf. I have never witnessed this so close, neither before nor after. 

Newborn calf & and a very protective mother

The first stage of a hippo attack : the hippo comes forth with open jaws as a showoff ! 
This one is in fact coming for me !!

The second stage of the attack is super fast with closed jaws. I was unpleasantly surprised to experience how fast and easy these animals can run. This one is attacking a lion.

Hippo - male lion interaction

Lions can kill adult hippos, but it would take the whole pride to do it, not only a single female lion. 
The huge wound on the left shoulder is probably caused by another hippo in a fight.

A lousy picture, but it shows oxpeckers cleaning the wound. Looks painful doesn`t it ?

A young male lion is standing guard over a rotten, smelly hippo carcass.

The same carcass two days later

Young male lions are often expelled from the pride and have to manage on their own. They are unexperienced hunters and they often have to eat carcasses. 

A dead hippo in the pool smells truly awful, but the other hippos don`t seem to care to much. 
Check the tooth of the hippo behind to the right, behind the marabou stork !

The remains of a male fighter 

torsdag 16. oktober 2014


D4, 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/2000, ISO 1250

Ørn, gode venner og italiensk rødvin : en uslåelig combo !! 
 Takk til Wenche Anita Dahle, Minna Lindroth, Ingebjørg Une Hagen, Knut Sverre Horn, 
Markus Varesvuo, Arnfinn Johansen & Eagleman for en VELDIG hyggelig opplevelse.

 Over the years I`ve had the pleasure to visit Ole Martin Dahle & Norway Nature MANY times, and even though we constantly see many pictures of white-tailed eagles in Norway, I never get enough of that place !! This time we had 3 full days with teeming eagle experiences, we had innumerable dives out there and Ole Martin no doubt performs the best white-tailed eagle guiding in the world !!

Check : www.norway-nature.com 

In late evening light 
D4, 400 2,8, f/3,5, 1/2000, ISO 450

D4, 200-400 4,0, f/4,0, 1/2000, ISO 400

D4, 400 2,8, f/4,0, 1/2000, ISO 900

"The classic splash"
D4, 200-400 4,0, f74,0, 1/2000, ISO 900

The "classic splash" from behind
D4, 400 2,8, f/4,0, 1/2000, ISO 560

Air battle
D4, 400 2,8, f/4,0, 1/1600, ISO 320

The sunset was incredible !! I did NOT pull the color handles on this picture !
D4, 200-400 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1600, ISO 3600

D4, 200-400 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1600, ISO 9000

D4, 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1250, ISO 3600

Whitetailed eagle & moon (don`t click to enlarge !!) 
Shot handheld with the 600 … from the boat …. in choppy sea !
D4, 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1250, ISO 1600

Herring gull & moon (gråmåke)
D4, 200-400 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1600, ISO 20 000

Cormorant / storskarv
D4, 200-400 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1600, ISO 4500 

Cormorant / storskarv
D4, 400 2,8, f/4,0, 1/2000, ISO 3600

October black grouse (orrhane) lekking on the sea-shore. Picture shot from boat !!
D4, 800 5,6, f/5,6, 1/1600, ISO 5600

D4, 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/100, ISO 1800

In the Flatanger forest all big boys want a beard like Eagleman !!
(photo : Ingebjørg Une Hagen)

Ghost from the Underworld ?? Alice in Wonderland !? 
These one-celled zombies have adapted the physical shape of me & Eagleman !! Scary stuff !!
(photo : Ingebjørg Une Hagen)

mandag 13. oktober 2014


D4, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/2000, ISO 800 

Med riktig vindretning hadde jeg krøpet og ålt noen 100 m ... på magen gjennom myr og kratt, noen ganger så lavt at jeg måtte trykke ansiktet ned i myra, og lå nå på en tørr rabbe og observerte den lille reinsdyrflokken på ca 50 dyr på respektfull avstand. Det var midt i brunsten og de største bukkene vekslet mellom å sloss seg imellom, jage bort yngre jyplinger og å utøve utilbørlig sexpress på alt som kunne krype og gå av damer. Ikke engang de yngste tenåringsjentene ... som såvidt hadde utviklet ... horn (!) ... fikk gå fri. Noen ganger endte tilnærmingene i reinspikka voldtekt !! Stygge saker ! Flere ganger så jeg simlene komme akutt haltende ut av disse basketakene. Mens jeg lå der i dype tanker og utviklet en stadig stigende "simle-solidaritet" hørte jeg plutselig raske og høylydte tramp i bakken bak meg. Jeg kastet et instinktivt blikk bakover og så to reinsdyr komme stormende mot meg i vill fart. Foran en skrekkslagen simle og bak jagende en diger bukk med vilt blikk, vrengt overleppe og pikken daskende hit og dit i vierkrattet. Jeg hadde aldri trodd at jeg skulle bli redd for et reinsdyr, men nå gikk alarmen. Jeg rakk såvidt å gi fra meg et lite feminint "piv - piv" og vifte kokett med leggene der jeg lå på magen i lyngen .... før "toget dundret forbi perrongen" så søla skvatt på bare 1,5 m avstand ! .... som et løpsk damplokomotiv på full steam ... med rabies !!!

English to my foreign friends : First of all : These are NOT the habituaded or even domesticated kind of reindeer frequently used by Stanta Claus & the lappish people of the northern hemisphere, these are wild reindeer and a part of the only remaining populations in the Nordic countries found in the high alpine region of southern Norway. The fact that they are very shy and have an extremely good sense of smelling ... in combination with the open alpine landscape, make them a difficult photo object. Believe me : I had to work hard for these shots. Pictures are shot in last part of Sept in Forollhogna NP. Thanks to Arnfin Johansen for great company and to Danny Dale Cothren for local knowledge and good advice (Danny is offering guiding on reindeer in Forollhogna : +47 930 37 559 / dannys-tresmie@kvikne.no). Also thanks to Per Gunnar Voll for his helpful attitude !

D4, 600 4,0, f/4,5, 1/1000, ISO 320 

Two males fighting over a female 
D4, 600 4,0, f/4,5, 1/1000, ISO 800

D4, 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/800, ISO 2200 

A big male chasing av younger "dude"
D4, 600 4,0, f/4,5, 1/800, ISO 1000

D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/640, ISO 200 

D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1600, ISO 1000

Two males fighting ... both with "hard ons" !! Hormons is a powerful stuff !!
D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1000, ISO 1250 

D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1000, ISO 1000

D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1000, ISO 800

D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1000, ISO 800

D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/5,0,1/800, ISO 1600 

D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1000, ISO 2200

D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/5,0, 1/800, ISO 1800

An old warrior !!
D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1000, ISO 3200

Portrait of a female
D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1000, ISO 2800

Portrait of a female
D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1000, ISO 2200

D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1600, ISO 720

D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1600, ISO 500

D4, 600 4,0 + 1,4 conv = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1250, ISO 900

D4, 600 4,0, f/4,5, 1/1000, ISO 800

D4, 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/800, ISO 1400

D4, 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 3200