Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring has sprung

It's spring here in East Africa and the birds have either already built a nest and looking for a mate. Or they've found a mate and together are building their nest.

The male Black-headed Weaver (Village Weaver) displays above the nest he built.  The nest is just to the left, not visible in photo.  He is flicks his wings to try and attract a female to view his nest, perhaps approve and agree to breed with him

Another male Black-headed Weaver displaying while hanging on his newly built nest

Lesser Striped Swallows are plentiful in the valley. Now that it's rained and there is lots of mud around, they are busy building nests in the eaves of our homes. One pair, which is building on my front porch, keeps flying into the lounge and office by mistake. Here one of the birds rests on the pelmet above my desk

 Lesser Striped Swallow building its nest of mud above my front door. Isn't that an amazing balancing act? I took this photo through the netting on the pantry window

Riding down to the village centre to the fruit and vegetable market yesterday, I spotted starlings flying across the road with nesting material in their beaks. Crossing the low-level bridge to the office, I saw a Hamerkop, a largish water bird with a hammer-shaped head, pick up sticks and fly up the river.

When I returned to the camp, I saw a pair of Greater Blue-eared Starling land on my lawn, pick up dry grass and fly off again. They did this quite a few times during the morning. They flew  over my bottom boundary fence and into a large tree beyond my garden

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  1. Hi Jo, I love seeing all of your birds.. They are so different from ours.

    We do have swallows --and they love old barns. They also loved the ceiling of the outdoor pavilion at one of our parks in the Smokies. They would build their nests all over that pavilion ceiling. The park had to get rid of them there since nobody could sit under them without getting 'pooped' on... ha ha


  2. How is that swallow balancing, wing or tail? Lots of bird activity here too.

  3. I LOVE swallows! We only had them build at our house once or twice, many years ago :(

    We don't get weavers in our garden...I wish we would, as we have both a willow tree and pond (however, they probably think the pond is far too tiny!)

    You're so clever, having skipped out on the SA winter this year and being able to enjoy TWO spring seasons back to back! Why hadn't I thought of that :)

  4. You always have the best bird photos. You must be very patient.
    Isn't it strange that part of Africa is going into spring and another part is moving into Fall?
    Hope all is well with you.

  5. Beautiful birds Jo! Love your photos!

  6. Hi Jo-Anne,

    At your end of Africa spring is arriving, down here there is an autumn chill in the morning. My mulberry tree is starting to loose its leaves.
    Weavers just love those palm trees.


  7. Great captures of all these birds, Jo! When Jerry and I were at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in January, they had weaver birds and a giant concrete model of a weaver bird's nest, which I climbed into and then Jerry took my picture.

    That was funny to read about the Lesser Striped Swallows who mistakenly fly into your lounge and office sometimes! I assume that means that there aren't screens on the windows.


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