Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cuckoo and more rain

On Thursday I posted about a bird, the Red-chested Cuckoo, we'd heard calling on Monday evening: "It will rain" That night it began to rain. It's been raining steadily ever since.  The Red-chested Cuckoo has been calling in the camp ever since as well. If you'll recall, I didn't post a photo of this bird as I've never been able to capture it. However, on Thursday, I heard it call from the thorn tree in my garden. I went outdoors armed with binoculars and camera. It took me about ten minutes and a lot of stumbling around under the tree, to finally spot this rather non-descript bird. When I did, I took one photo after the other, just to make sure...

Red-chested Cuckoo in my garden this week
I sent a few photos to my sister-in-law, Shelley in South Africa as this is the first time I've managed to photograph the Red-chested Cuckoo. She replied that the bird is ringed. And sure enough, when I zoomed in on the photo, I spotted the ring on its leg. She teaches me so much about birding, wildlife and flora for which I'm very grateful

The Red-chested Cuckoo is a common cuckoo and found in a variety of habitats, from gardens and woodlands to forests and bush. From here it renders its well-known persistent call as "It will rain" which becomes a feature during the rainy season. The Red-chested cuckoo parasites the Cape Robin-chat and a variety of thrushes.

At midday on Friday, the sun appeared briefly for the first time since the beginning of the week. It continued to drizzle as can be seen by the raindrops on my camera lens

Late yesterday afternoon I looked out of my bedroom window and saw my first rainbow in East Africa

For those readers who're interested in fly fishing or just to read about this pursuit in the beautiful outdoors of South Africa, do visit a blog just started by someone I have known for 58 years. This man lives alone in a little house just outside Estcourt, about 40km from John and Debbie's home in the Drakensberg. He loves children, fly fishing, animals and the simple life. How do I know this person so well and long? Well, he's my older brother, Phillip and I'm thrilled that he's decided to start blogging. Do visit his blog here if you get a chance.

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend


  1. It was worth all the tromping to get these images and the cuckoo has been right about the rain. Plus the gift of the rainbow.

    Off to check out Phillip's new blog.

  2. Lovely photos, I love nature too. Thanks for sharing

  3. Beautiful photos of this bird Jo. So your efforts were certainly not in vain. I think the bird is quite pretty, especially with all those lines running through it's feathers. The rainbow photo is awesome too. Is that a bird you happened to capture right in the middle of the rainbow? I'll be sure to check out your brother's blog. Though I'm not a fisherwoman, I do like to read blogs of interesting people throughout the world.

  4. These pictures are beautiful, Jo!!! I'm so envious as we've still not had any rain at all for weeks and weeks on end!

  5. Hi Jo --
    I'm so happy to get online today as we have had a lot of trouble with the internet since we came aboard Viking Pride. However, there's not as much difficulty here in Hoorn as there was in Amsterdam.
    If I'm not commenting as often as usual, you will know why.
    Right now, however, I'm going to visit your brother's blog and follow it.
    Your cuckoo pictures are super. What does it say when there's not going to be rain???
    All best to you and Grant and your East African cat. What is happening with my little pal Shadow?
    Luv, K

  6. As you know, I am not a bird specialist, but I love the song of the cuckoo ! that's so funny !
    It rained the whole day yesterday, but today the sun shines ! only it's still cold 5° this morning ! pheww !

  7. Hi, Jo! I am so happy that you were able to catch the cuckoo in your yard and to get some photos. It is a pretty bird with the red chest. Love the rainbow shot, and what a beautiful treat to see after the rain.

  8. Jo, so glad you searched and stumbled because that first photo is absolutely stunning! I love the tail feathers and just 'wow'! Good for you Ms. Slueth!

  9. Those are beautiful red feathers on the red-chested cuckoo's chest...Congrats on the capture! And lucky (blessed) you--for capturing that lovely delicate rainbow!

    (((Hugs))) from Pat

    Sorry I've been negligent in keeping up daily with your blog!


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo