Spotted Stone Curlew, freezing motionless to avoid detection as I very gently draw my VW Beetle to a halt close beside it in Nairobi National Park, Kenya; October 1980.

Stone Curlews, also known as Thicknees, have large eyes because they are mostly active at night.  They spend the day motionless in cover, like the one pictured here.

Another species, the Stone Curlew, breeds in precariously small numbers in the UK.  Nairobi National Park is right on the outskirts of the city, and ideal for quick visits.

OM-1 with 75-150 Zuiko at 150mm; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.

About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. bluebrightly says:

    Isn’t he handsome – thickknees: yes! Glad to know a little about the bird, and the story behind the shot.


  2. paula graham says:

    Amazing, did not know about this behaviour and this nocturnal species. You did well, not to spook it!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Its surprising how unaffected by vehicles many birds and animals can be, as long as the vehicles’ occupants don’t make noise or sudden movements. In Amboseli Game Reserve, where elephants are in any case habituated to humans due to long term research projects (eg Cynthia Moss), I used to park a vehicle full of safari clients directly in the path of an advancing elephant herd, tell everyone to “sit still and shut up”(!), and the great creatures would flow around us like water flowing around a small island. On one occasion, one actually took and ate some vegetation that had become stuck on our front bumper. A


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