On our first morning in the Maasai Mara, I was on the look-out for LBJ's. I spotted one on a rock facing away from me. As Grant stopped the vehicle, the bird turned around...
A drab-looking LBJ on a rock in the Maasai Mara turned out to be...
...a Rosy-breasted (Pink-throated) Longclaw male
This long-legged, pipit - like bird has characteristic long hind claws. (noticeable in the single photo at top) The upperparts are brown with black streaking and the underparts are salmon-pink with a broad black band across the chest. The pink throat explains why it used to be called by that name. The female is duller and lacks the black band. The call is a plaintive and melodious: Cheet-eet-eet-eet-err.
The next day while game viewing in the reserve, we spooted another beautiful longclaw; this time the Yellow-throated Longclaw.
A Yellow-throated Longclaw spotted the next day in the Mara
The Yellow-throated Longclaw is a large yellow-breasted longclaw with heavily streaked upperparts and black streaking below the black breast band. It's found in grasslands and whistles a series of "phoooooeet" frequently from the top of a small tree. The one above was perched in a small tree and I had to contend with too much light in my images.
The third bird I'm posting about today is one that has often featured on my blog. However, this one was sitting so still and I managed to get a series of photos before it flew off. I captured that too!
The Lilac-breasted Roller is a common species occurring in almost all national parks and reserves. The lilac throat and breat, and elongated outer tail feathers are distinctive. This bird perches on open branches, large termite mounds and even on power and telephone lines, swooping down on its prey and clearly showing its brilliant blue wings. The Lilac-breasted Roller is the national bird of Kenya.
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