This past weekend was very restful with good birding on Sunday and a surprise sighting at the end.
Once again, not long after travelling along the new route we discovered a few weeks ago, we came across a Red-and-yellow Barbet on a termite mound. These birds favour termite mounds which they often use as nests. They're omnivores and feed on seeds, fruit and invertebrates.
Red-and-yellow Barbet peering into the termite mound
As I turned from photographing the above bird, I noticed another barbet on a branch about a meter above me!
While Grant and I watched this bird, it opened its mouth on two occasions but not to call. We're not sure what it was doing.
Yawning? Unblocking its ears?
Two friendly gentlemen passed our vehicle
A little boy passed with his mother. I gave him a couple of suckers/lollies
Meanwhile I spotted a bird, almost disguised, in the bole of a tree across the ravine. It was a little brown bird (my favourite sightings) and it was too far away for me to get a clear image, but I continued to click away. Grant joined me on the bank and checked the bird with the binoculars. Because it was so camouflaged against the trunk, we thought it was a d'Arnaud's Barbet. When I dowloaded the photos at home, I saw that I had been photographing a bird which we hear regularly around the camp (at night) but have never seen.
A Pearl-spotted Owlet - cleverly camouflaged against the tree trunk - a lifer both of us
We drove back towards the mine and turned off the to dam. Along the road we spotted a Superb Starling and its young. My first!
Superb Starling adult flies off milliseconds before the immature takes off
We drove towards the dam where I photographed Pied Kingfishers, a Great White Egret and small flock of Yellow-billed Storks. For those who have followed this blog recently, you may remember when I spoke to the school children about a stork which had been struck by an arrow. You can read about this here. Yesterday while I panned across the dam for more photos, I spotted two birds on the far bank. Grant checked with the binoculars and there was THE stork that had been shot!
The Yellow-billed stork with an arrow through its neck is alive and, by the looks of it, doing quite well. It strides along with purpose...
(we could see it eating)
It's two weeks since Sue photographed this stork and seemingly doing quite well with the arrow still in its neck. It also flew off across the dam while I watched. I continue to pray for this bird - humans hurt it but will humans be able to assist it? Nevertheless, it was good to see it again!
A blessed week to everyone.