Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Longclaws and rollers

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!
Lilac-breasted Roller

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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  1. It's hard to imagine the lilac-breasted roller being considered common. No matter how many times you post photos of it, Jo, I am always amazed by its wonderful colours.
    Those two longclaws you captured (your new camera is great!) are beautiful, too, especially as you thought the first one was a Little Brown Job. LOL
    Luv, K

  2. Love seeing the birds you captured. The Longclaws are gorgeous and of course, I love the Roller too... Beautiful!!!

  3. The longclaws appear to inflate their throats. I saw many colorful rollers at Kruger.

  4. Hello Jo, your birds are beautiful. The longclaws are gorgeous with their colors , especially the yellow one. And the Lilac Breasted Roller is my favorite, a gorgeous and colorful bird. I would love to see them all. Great pic's, thanks for sharing. I hope you have a great day!

  5. Gorgeous photos, Jo! The colors are wonderful!

  6. It could be that it is because I am forced to do it all of the time, but I quite like the Yellow Longclaw images in the tree very much~

  7. Your bird photos are getting better and better. They are very pretty birds. How dare you call him a LBJ he says just look at me I'm very handsome.

  8. Such stunning birds you have there Jo.

  9. Hi Jo your images are wonderful and all of your local birds are so beautiful to see..
    I hope you have a lovely 2012 xx

  10. YoU see the most beautiful birds. Such an interesting life.

  11. Beautiful photos of the birds, Jo. That last bird is particularly lovely.

  12. Magnificent birds Jo. I am pleased to know the national bird of Kenya! Well captured too.
    Cheers to you!

  13. Amazing birdlife you found in the Mara and an astonishing trip that you had Jo.
    Don't think I have not been around, I have just been a bit too despondent to comment as I savour your trip day by day. Being a care-giver, my time for reading has also been rather curtailed lately.

    Hugs . . . Arija


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