The first bird we spotted in the bush beyond the mine (which was devoid of nature on our way in - we think it was too hot) was the delightful little d'Arnard's Barbet. It sits quite still and you're able to take photos of it to your heart's content!
Once we reached the dam, we encountered a great deal more birds, all water birds. In the distance I could see a small flock of Pink-backed Pelicans. They looked pink in the late afternoon light. Then I spotted a lone pelican floating nearby. I managed to get several photos of it, and when I downloaded them onto the computer, I noticed an orange knob on the tip of its grey-pink bill. I referred to my little field book, Birds of East Africa and viola! There it was, the Pink-backed Pelican is smaller than the Great White Pelican (also seen in our area) and has an orange nail at the tip of its bill.
A small flock of Pink-backed Pelican with White-faced Whistling Ducks in the foreground (and two Yellow-billed Stork in the background!)
Although it was feeding (we saw it spear fish on two occasions) and moving quite fast, I managed several photos of this regal looking bird
Here the orange nail at the tip of its bill is clearly noticeable
Although I cut the tail end of the bird off in the photo, I felt I should show it close-up
As we watched the birds in the water, something must have disturbed the White-faced Whistling Duck on the far side of the dam. They whistled wildly and then in unison, rose up into the air. Although it was a beautiful sight, I don't ever manage to photograph birds in flight. However, with a couple of clicks, I managed to get a reasonable photo of the ducks in the air as they flew over us.
White-faced Whistling Ducks in flight
Focusing on the water again, I captured a few Red-knobbed Coot
We finally climbed into the vehicle again and headed home. Around the next corner, a coucal flew across the road in front of us. As Grant stopped the car, the White-browed Coucal landed on a small sandbank on the edge of the road. I've never seen a coucal on the ground; I normally have to try and focus on this busy bird through branches. This day I was able to get clear photos.
It was also interesting to me to see the coucal walking and not hopping as it does from branch to branch
Eventually it flew up into a small tree and with one last pose, it flew off into the bush
As we drove onto the airstrip, we started peeling our eyes for kestrels. We hadn't seen any for many months as these birds are migrants. Sure enough, on a power-line pole we spotted a Grey Kestrel. It was having a recently-caught meal so the photos are none-too-clear but at least I've seen my first kestrel this summer!
A Grey Kestrel enjoying its afternoon meal
A morsel visible in the Grey Kestrel's bill
We were thrilled that our first birding trip on the mine yielded such good results. For today's post I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday which you can access by clicking here