Friday, July 25, 2014

Winter sunset over Songwa Dam


Last Saturday we joined friends, Wessel, Louise and their young son, Wessie at Songwa dam. This beautiful body of water is situated outside town after crossing the main road.

Apart from enjoying a lovely evening together, we also watched the sun setting over the dam. Stunningly beautiful, don't you think?

I'm linking my post today with Skywatch Friday which you can access by clicking here

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Good fences, gorgeous grandchildren

Eijah and Bethany, two of our precious eight grandchildren!

For more Good Fences posts, please click here

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More Winter Birding in and around Mwadui

Well, since last Wednesday when I posted on this meme, we've enjoyed several bird sightings. One has to wonder if the dry and dusty conditions really do prohibit  prevent good sightings! 

As we left the mining area and entered the bush proper, we stopped to photograph this little bird.
Grey-capped Social Weaver
Around the next corner, we stopped to photograph the ever-obliging d'Arnaud's Barbet

While I focused on the barbet above, we could hear the call of the  most elusive Slate-colored Bou-bou. I turned around, spotted the bird in a bush behind me and managed to capture this bird quite clearly at last. 

 Slate-colored Bou-bou

Recently Wessel showed me another feature on my camera. It would enable me to take photos of fast - moving objects; in my case: of birds in flight. I noticed a raptor soaring above us and swung my camera up to capture it. Although it's not very close (I'll master that part yet!) and I can't identify the bird, I was thrilled to be able to get this shot.

Raptor in flight: an image I captured using a function on my camera which I didn't know I had! 

Driving along towards New Alhamasi Dam which has been so full since the summer rains, that we've not been there for a while, Grant spotted a Coucal hopping across the road. These birds have a flopping, waddling gait on the ground and when moving in and around bushes and trees above. It's also surprising to see a coucal, as I always equate this bird with heralding the rain. (and it's dry season now in Northern Tanzania) 

White-browed Coucal

Still riding along the road next to the dam, we spotted a Grey-headed Kingfisher. As always, this bird always sits still while I get good photos! 

Grey-headed Kingfisher

On our right, we watched a pair of Long-tailed Cormorant sunning themselves on a dry tree in a body of water
Just below them was a third cormorant in an iconic stance drying its wings

Grant drove up onto the dam wall and turned the vehicle around. We drove along with New Alhamasi dam on my left. Soon I was calling for Grant to stop so that I could capture the many birds sitting on dry branches in the dam or forages on the water's edge.

African Pied Wagtail
Little Egret with its diagnostic yellow feet
Malachite Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher
Yellow-billed Stork (I believe the pink-tinged wing coverts mean it's a breeding adult, but that's still to be confirmed)

Then it was time to wend our way back to town. As we left the dam area, we both spotted what, at first looked like a pigeon;  but it landed in tree nearby, and looked like it was eating fruit or greenery on it. Grant stopped the car, I got out and crept towards the tree. I managed one decent photo before the bird  flew away. 

Red-necked Falcon

Along the slimes dam wall, we stopped to watch another another bird which always affords great photo opportunities.  

 I'm linking this post to Wild Bird Wednesday which you can visit by clicking here
I hope you're all having a wonderful week full of birding and whatever else you enjoy.