Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A variety of birds

Once again this weekend, Grant and I drove out to the mine for a spot of birding. He actually wanted me to a waterbird's nest with an egg in it. However, on the way to the dam, we stopped several times for me to photograph birds. As always, I snapped Kingfishers, Rollers and Bee-eaters along the first part of the drive. 

Around the corner from here, I spotted a jewel of a bird with several drab little birds flitting around the bush where he was perched. The Black Bishop male is a bright and beautiful little bird. He is the largest red bishop and in breeding plumage is easily identified by the black (not red) rump, narrow breast band and orange-red mantle. The extent of orange on its back is diagnostic in Northern Tanzania where we live as it is in Kenya.
The gloriously colored Southern Red Bishop Male

While we watched the bishop flew down into a puddle where he was joined by a Golden-backed Weaver male, a female weaver and a Pin-tailed Whydah. We spent a good few minutes here while I tried to get a decent photo of the pool-party! 
 A cheery swimming party of birds: a Golden-backed Weaver, Southern Red Bishop and a female weaver extreme right

A not-very-clear photo of the Pin-tailed Whydah swimming in the puddle with the weavers and Black Bishops

We eventually dragged ourselves away from this scene and drove to the dam to see the Dabchick's nest.
The Dabchick's nest in the middle of the dam with one egg in it. The Dabchick was nowhere to be seen!

A closer look!

After waiting in vain for the Dabchick to make her appearance, we eventually decided to move on; Grant said he'd drive back that way to see if she'd returned.  (He sees her sitting on the nest often, but then again he passes that dam half-a-dozen times a day! )  We spent another forty minutes spotting and photographing birds (which I will post about later) and then doubled back to the dam. As the vehicle nosed its way around the bend and the dam came into sight, I saw the Dabchick on the nest frantically busy. Then she jumped into the water and disappeared from sight. We stopped and I focused on the nest. The egg had been covered by weed and grass! 
 The Dabchick's nest with the egg concealed! 

I'm linking my post today to Wild Bird Wednesday here.

I hope you're all having a great week.  



  1. Glad you got to see the Dabchick sitting on her egg.... My favorite today is the Black Bishop... Gorgeous bird. Love those colors. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I often wish that I knew more about birds and that I had a better camera for bird pictures.

  3. Jo, I love your colorful birds. The Weaver and the Black Bishop are wonderful sightings. Great shot of them bathing! What a place for a nest, I hope it safe there. Great post!

  4. Hi Jo! Tanzania is turning out more birds than I imagined possible. You (with Grant's help, of course) are making sure we know that beautiful birds actually exist in Mwadui. At first I thought I was seeing a croc's head in the water after the mama bird's frenzied activity and was quite relieved to find that it was not.

  5. I too am waiting and dreaming of a bigger and better zoom lens for my camera.

    These are all just marvelous. I am happy for you that you saw her on the nest.

    I love just seeing the nest and the egg!

    Great shots and a super job! I hope you're having a great week!

  6. The pics are awesome! So unnoticed by others yet there you were, catching a glimpse of neat blessings thrown in your way. Thank you sister for the "holler" the other time. God bless and protect you wherever you go.

  7. Interesting birds you have.

  8. Such Beautiful birds Jo!


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