Monday, August 1, 2011

Surprise weekend end July 2011

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

Aha! Gotcha!

As I turned from photographing the above bird, I noticed another barbet on a branch about a meter above me!

d'Arnaud's Barbet

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...

 ...and feeds

(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.


  1. Hi Jo, Thanks for a great blog... I needed to see these birds.. They are gorgeous...

    Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog. Losing a great friend is very hard..We're going to the funeral tomorrow.

  2. Just amazing about that injured stork, Jo. The arrow seems to have missed everything vital.
    Congratulations on the owl, and all your other bird photos. A good day indeed.

    — Kay, Alberta, Canada

  3. I love the bird pictues - and the pictures of Kenyans who passed by where you were. It's great to be there vicariously through your blog and help you pass out the lollies too! I'm glad also to read that the stork that had been shot was doing so well. I'm sure you will keep us informed about any changes with that particular stork.

  4. That's quiet a tour for bird lovers (Arthur) My stay in Eastbourne is finished I am off to Oxford now !

  5. Great pictures of African bird life, I do miss the African birds, we get so few that migrate here. Diane

  6. More great birding. I am happily surprised to see the shot crane getting along OK.

  7. Great birds with interesting colours. They often oen their mouth to cool down their bodies. I feel so sorry for the stalk.

  8. Fantastic captures of birds, as always, Jo! You are a wonderful photographer.

    People seem to be very friendly there in Kenya.

  9. This is nice blog love to visit your blog hope to visit again.This is gorgeous post.


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