Monday, March 7, 2011

Anniversary Weekend

Can you remember what you did over the weekend of 5-6th March. Gattina from Writer Cramps hosts this fun meme. Do check out Gattina's blog, you will enjoyed her posts tremendously.
For a cat who slept outdoors for alll his life and was fed only sporadically, Ginger's taken to a pampered lifestyle as if born to it

Friday was our wedding anniversary but for Grant it was business as usual. Ginger and I stayed in bed awhile. I was treated to a cup of tea  and he'd already been fed by the master after which he tootled back to bed.

At mid-morning on Friday, Sharda brought me a gift to commemorate our wedding anniversary. Isn't she just the sweetest person?

Ross' Turaco in the wild fig tree next door

On Saturday Grant worked in the morning and then had to attend a quarterly meeting, followed by lunch with the contractors. So it was only me and the cat at home most of the day.  If you read yestersday's post, you'll see that Ginger and I did a spot of birdwatching. In the photo above I wanted to sho  how difficult it is to actually SEE birds unless you look for them. Above is Ross' Turaco which I saw fly to and land in the wild fig tree next door. (More later this week about the other birds Ginger and I saw in the garden on Saturday)

African Jacana, a bright chestnut bird with long legs and long toes, The head is distinctive with a black crown and hindneck, white face and foreneck with a golden-yellow band at the base. He has a blue bill and frontal shield. Next week we'll visit this dam again and go down onto the marsh to get a better photo

On Saturday evening Grant took me up to one of the dams to look for birds. We were amazed at the huge selection in the scrub, trees and reeds below. Once again, I almost missed the African Jacana (which was quite far away, hence the fuzzy photo)  feeding in the shallow waters below.

The White-fronted Bee-eaters on top of this acacia were much easier to see and photograph. Then again... the bird in the above photo. This is also a White-fronted Bee-eater tucked away on a branch towards the back of this tree

On Sunday morning Grant and I went on a field trip (him to do mine inspections and both of us to spot birds!) We stopped on a bend in the road back down from the outdoor workshop and waited. Within minutes we spotted a pair of Rufous Chatterers flying up into a large tree to the right of our vehicle. Not long and a weaver (unidentified) landed in the same tree. While we watched, a Red-faced Crombec landed and began to crawl up the trunk of the tree feeding on insects. All the time to the left of us, I could hear the humming of bees behind some scrub. Of course, the bee-eaters and sunbirds were having a field day eating these. They were too quick for me to identify but wonderful to watch the flashes of colour nonetheless!
The river just below the office where we've spotted some lovely birds already

We drove down to the offices where Grant had to sign  requisitions for his workshop foreman. On the way back to the road leading to the camp, we had to cross a low-level bridge (I posted about stopping here last week) so once again, we stopped. At the same time, the MD, Nico and his wife drove past to the office. On their way back they stopped to chat. While the men "talked shop" Sue and I walked up the bank of the river in search of the bird I had spotted there. (See below)

A Giant Kingfisher ! (female) 

The Giant Kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima) is the largest kingfisher in Africa where it is a resident breeding bird over most of the continent south of the Sahara desert other than the arid southwest. Breeding is from August to January, 3–5 eggs being laid in a riverbank tunnel.  The Giant Kingfisher is 42–48 cm long, with a large crest and finely spotted white on black upperparts. The male has a chestnut breast band and otherwise white underparts with dark flank barring, and the female has a white-spotted black breast band and chestnut belly. The call is a loud wak wak wak.This large species feeds on crabs,  fish and frogs caught in the typical kingfisher way by a dive from a perch. (Source: List of birds of Kenya)

For more on other people's weekends, click here


  1. Not exactly a romantic anniversary weekend, Jo, but at least you and Grant spent some time together and spotted some birds. Those bee-eaters in the flowering tree are wonderful.
    -- K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. Happy Anniversary to you both.

    No wonder Ginger is such a happy camper, you pamper her.

    You sure are seeing a lot of colorful birds. And that Giant Kingfisher is very cool.

  3. Wonderful day of bird watching, Jo. I love the Crimson Breasted Bee eaters and the Giant Kingfisher. It was nice of Sharda to remember your anniversary with a gift and great your husband of so many years still brings you a drink in bed. Happy Anniversary my dear. May you and Grant have many more ; -)

  4. Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend, Jo.... I love seeing all of the different birds you have there in East Africa.... Awesome!!!!!


  5. Happy anniversary!

    The river is beautiful. The birds are odd to what I see here but are so beautiful in their colors and shapes.

  6. Happy belated anniversary, Jo! I'm glad you got to do some bird-watching on Saturday. The crimson-breasted bee-eaters are glorious! I love the bright red feathers!

    Ginger looks blissfully content snuggled up in the sheets.

    I hope your days will fill up with activities with friends like Sue.

  7. The bee-eaters are particularly beautiful! And Ginger is certainly looking good, on all the love and attention...great for you, too, to have his companionship, Jo!!!

    Sounds like you enjoyed yet another lovely weekend and what a wonderful surprise to have received such a thoughtful anniversary gift :)

  8. It didn't take ginger long to make himself at home. You must be a cat magnet. he must be good company when Grant is working. The African birds are so different and colourful.

  9. Oh! Happy Late Anniversary Jo!!!!
    I Love your photos!!
    Safe week to you!!

  10. Great birdwatching day, so many different and rare to us birds. Love the soft ginger cat too. He is very happy!

  11. Congratulations to your wedding anniversary, or should I say my deepest sympathies ?
    In our couple married since 41 years and living together since 42, I have ALWAYS forgotten the day, Mr. G never ! He even celebrates it twice, once in October (civil marriage) and once in December the religious one. I really don't do it on purpose, I just don't think about it.
    Apparently I am a special case !

  12. Happy belated Anniversary, Jo! You know I just love your birdies post. The african birds are so neat looking. I am happy you got to do some birdwatching, this way I get to see them too. I enjoyed the post and the photos.


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