Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday's bird pickings

Last night while sitting on the veranda step, a monkey walked up to the middle of the lawn very close to us. We noticed that she picked at something in the short grass and ate it. She had discovered a flying-ant nest. The new ants were emerging and other monkeys came closer but were not brave enough to venture onto the lawn as she did. Then I saw birds swirling and hawking overhead. They had also heard the dinner bell and were enjoying the ants that flew up into the air; swallows, bulbuls and sunbirds.
I managed to capture a few of the many birds flitting overhead and hawking for their dinner. They dive and swirl around in the air and are impossible to pinpoint!

Just beyond our stretched-out legs, we spotted a Common Bulbul (right) and a sunbird (not able to see which one) pecking at the insects in the grass

Meanwhile, above us a variety of sunbirds, bulbuls and flycatchers were having a feast. Within a short while the African Paradise-flycatcher sat on a branch just ahead of me. Until now I've not been able to get a photo of this regular visitor to my garden. Tonight though, obviously gorged,  it was having a rest.

African Paradise-flycatcher (male) in my garden last night. The female is similar but has a shorter tail and duller blue eye-ring and bill
When the African Paradise-flycatcher faces away from you while sitting in the branches of a tree, it's possible to miss it

While I snapped away at the beautiful African Paradise-flycatcher, a sunbird landed on a branch above. Sunbirds are also known for flitting about constantly and very difficult (for a novice like me) to photograph. However, it was also replete and digesting its huge meal so I managed to get a few good photos. I  identified it as the Hunter's Sunbird and my sister-in-law, Shelley Hedges from South Africa confirmed my identification. (Thanks Shelley!)  
Hunter's Sunbird, another regular visitor to my garden, resting in the thorn tree last night. This is the male. The female is brown, mottled and streaked

The beautiful Hunter's Sunbird showing off his impressive bill


  1. oooh, I love the photo of the male hunter's sunbird. so vibrant and beautiful. blessings and hugs, xx

  2. Wow Jo.... You have such gorgeous birds there... That flycatcher is awesome.. Look at that LONG tail.... Wow!!! I love the Sunbird also... What colors!!!

    What a fabulous experience you are having in Kenya.

  3. Thank you for your garden tour of lovely, colorful birds. A nice treat!

  4. Hi Jo. Looks like you are enjoying your stay there in Kenya. Your photos talked so much of how you enjoy capturing the beauty of nature.

    Have a nice day and regards to your husband.

  5. You sure do seem happy, my dear friend, and I'm so glad.
    Such beautiful birds you have there in Kenya!
    Now, how is Ginger doing? And when is Shadow coming? Hugs to both of them, and to you and Grant.
    Luv, K

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

  6. The birdlife you're being so privileged to enjoy is absolutely marvellous! I'm not a fundi with the all the names as you are, Jo - but that in no way diminishes my sheer delight at being able to watch them and how honoured I feel when they grace me with their presence. You're seeing some real beauties in Kenya!

  7. Like your header picture of Ginger. So glad she has a good home.

  8. I think I would become a bonafide birdwatcher if I lived where you do. These birds are so unusual!

  9. Hi Jo,
    What fabulous birds you have! The Hunter's Sunbird is amazing.
    ☼ Sunny

  10. I have never seen any of these gorgeous birds before. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos with the world, Jo!

    My favorite one is the African Paradise-flycatcher. I think perhaps I've seen those tailfeathers in ladies' hats before...maybe on the heads of some of the British royals and semi-royals at the Ascot Opening Day ("My Fair Lady").

  11. These birds are so beautiful ! I could never keep all these complicated names in mind. Anyway, it's the same with flowers and even animal breeds, lol !

  12. Jo, you're getting quite good at capturing the birds. Love that long tailed flycatcher and bright colored sunbird.

  13. Wow! They are beautiful birds and how lucky to be able to capture them still for a moment. Well done.

  14. Such beautiful and unusual birds, and great photos of them, too.


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