But before I post about our outing/s and the lifer, I would like to post my bloom for the day. This is in solidarity with my blogger friend, Lori, from Western New York State, against the harsh winter they've had to endure!
Here in East Africa, Tanzania, we've had an incredibly wet season this year and by the time I'd get outside to photograph the flowers on the shrubs, they've been decimated by the force of the water! However, at the club on Saturday night, I managed to find flowers in a sheltered place, so here goes...
Leaving the mine road on Saturday, we never saw anything spectacular until we stopped at the explosives magazine to view the sunbirds which are always prolific there.
Beautiful Sunbird (Female)
Leaving the explosives magazine, I spotted a cuckoo on a shrub right next to the road. I called for Grant to stop (and reverse, as we'd already gone some way) which caused the bird to fly off. Grant had fortunately followed its flight, so could point it out to me so I could snap it. It was a cuckoo I have posted here before but once I downloaded it, we realized that it was the female of the species.
Diderick Cuckoo (Female)
Just before leaving the road proper and entering the bush road, we stopped for me to photograph a bird which is very obliging towards photographers.
And along the bush road, we stopped again for another bird which also obliges the photographer by sitting quietly for ages while you click away.
The Woodland Kingfisher's call is also iconic to my garden in Mwadui. While I'm writing this post on Tuesday night, I can hear it calling from a nearby tree just beyond my office window - a loud piercing: "chip cherrrrr" descending.
Back in the bush on Saturday, as we looked up from these sightings, we saw a large black and white raptor on the top of a tree in the middle distance. I took several photos and once we'd downloaded these, we had to ask Jez for his valued input. It was a new bird for us, therefore a lifer!
African Hawk-Eagle - a lifer
After this exciting sighting, we rounded the corner and immediately looked up to where we normally find hornbills. And we weren't disappointed! Although the hornbills were ones we'd seen before, after spotting and photographing the African Grey Hornbill, just afterwards we spotted and yes, photographed a pair of Von Der Decken's Hornbills. A few weeks ago, we managed to get very indistinct photos of these birds but this time, they posed while I took enough photos to satisfy us!
African Grey Hornbill
Von Der Decken's Hornbill
Von Der Decken's Hornbill (Female)
Von Der Decken's Hornbill (Pair)
And then, riding along the quieter part of the bush road, Grant suddenly stopped and pointed a pair of birds walking along in front of our vehicle. He stopped, I opened the door and while standing on the running board, with my camera resting on the roof, I snapped away happily.
Once we'd downloaded the photos onto my computer, and checked in our bird book, we identified these birds as Black-faced Sandgrouse - another lifer for us!
Although we'd already identified these Sandgrouse, Grant sent a couple of photos to Jez . He replied greatly excited that these were indeed Black-faced Sandgrouse and as the Dar Es Salaam Birding fraternity were thrilled about our sightings, could we please send them co-ordinates and dates.
Black-faced Sandgrouse (Female)
The Black-faced Sandgrouse is endemic to North East Africa. The male has a distinctive face pattern, black-and-white breast bands, and a black belly with a pale vent. The female has a plain face and a distinctive broad white breast band. Although my photo of the male doesn't show his pale vent, it is possible to see the white breast band on the female.
Driving home along the haul road, Grant stopped again when he spotted a bird huddled on the ground below his window. I took several photos and as the only inkling we had was that it was a type of martin, we sent it off to Jez for identification. He returned with: Brown-throated (Plain) Martin. Another lifer for us!
Brown-throated (Plain) Martin - a lifer
Although I'd said earlier this week that we saw one lifer, once I started posting about our sightings, I realized we saw several: three in total.
As I have posted about only one of the birding days here, I have decided to do a second post under tomorrow's date.
I am linking this post to Wild Bird Wednesday which is hosted by Stewart Monckton whose blog you can access by clicking here
I hope you're all having a really great week.