Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Winter birding in and around Mwadui continued

Although we didn't go out as many times as normal over the past weekend, we were pleasantly surprised at the variety of birds we came across on the one outing we made. 

The first bird we came across high up on a branch above us, was the strikingly beautiful Fork-tailed Drongo. It also sits quite still while you, the crazy birder/photographer captures it on camera!

Fork-tailed Drongo

Just around the corner, Grant looked up and at the top of a dead tree, was a Black-shouldered Kite. Although this bird is common in the area where we live in South Africa (and of which I don't have photos - can you believe it!), we don't often see it here in the bush around the mine. It is also a beautiful bird which makes a superb photo subject. So I got out and stood on the running board, leaned my camera on top of the car roof and snapped the bird several times. 
Black-shouldered Kite against the beautiful African sky
 Don't you agree that this is a beautiful bird?
It posed in so many positions so that I was spoiled for choice when uploading these photos! 

After the exciting sighting of the Black-shouldered Kite, we made our way to the dam which delivered quite a number of birds.
Open-billed Stork 
Pink-backed Pelican (Juvenile)
Pink-backed Pelican
African Jacana 
Black Crake (these water birds move so swiftly across the lily pads, that it's almost impossible to get a good photo of them!) 

Then it was time to wend our way home. We meandered along the slimes dam wall, where we often always see Herons, Ibis, Eagles and the ubiquitous Augur Buzzard. And sure enough, there in a tree way along in the bush, on our left was the Augur Buzzard... 
This time, the Buzzard didn't turn around for me to get my normal good photos of it!  

And to the right of the vehicle, this time quite close to the road...
... Black-chested Snake-eagle

Approaching the boom gate, on the wire above the mine road was a Lilac-breasted Roller. While we lived in Kenya in 2011, we saw these birds regularly. We also had the privilege of seeing the Purple Roller. However, here in Mwadui, I have only ever come across the Lilac-breasted Roller; but seeing this striking bird is good enough for me! How about you?

Lilac-breasted Roller

On Monday morning, after I had hung the washing on the line, with all three cats playing around at my feet  - this is the only time they're allowed outdoors;  when mum is outside with them! - I heard a sunbird chip-chip-chipping in the trees above. It's winter here in EA now and I don't see many sunbirds. When I looked closely, I spotted an almost all-black sunbird;  while he was cavorting on the branches, the female arrived to join him. I dashed indoors to fetch my camera and although the female wasn't around any longer, I managed several shots of this beautiful little male.

Hunter's Sunbird
I'm not sure why the bird was facing upwards, but all the photos I've seen in the bird books, the bird has exactly this same stance! 

The Hunter's Sunbird male is all-black with a metallic-green cap and green moustachial streaks. The throat is all-black bordering on a scarlet chest, which often causes confusion between this bird and the Scarlet-chested Sunbird. In certain lights (such as in my photo above), the violet rump and violet patches on the wings, are visible.The female (which I missed photographing) is brown, mottled and streaked below; immature is similar to female. 

After this exciting weekend of birding which extended onto Monday, I would like to link this post to Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart Monckton and whose blog you can access by clicking here.  

I hope all ya-birders out there are also spotting many birds. I love visiting your blogs and sure appreciate you visiting mine.

Have a great week!


  1. some great new birds for me here Jo; the only ones I did know were the Drongo and the B.S. Kite. I do love to get out country and see those kites too; I think they're super raptors. Lovely post.

  2. I What a wonderful series of birds shots yo managed to get when out birding. That little Sunbird at the end of the post is so special.

  3. Well I'm not a birder but I love seeing all the different birds that you spot. The Kite has lovely red eyes and in the last shot of him he has his head on back to front.

  4. JO, what a wonderful variety of birds. The Kite shots are awesome! And I love the Pelicans, Snake-eagle and the pretty Jacana.. And the Roller is one of my favorites.. Gorgeous birds and great shots.. Enjoy your day!

  5. The black shouldered kite really is a stunner

  6. i just love what you share! beautiful kite, indeed!

  7. So many beautiful birds and they are all new to me! The Fork-tailed Drongo and Lilac-breasted Roller are my favorites. :)

  8. Awww! The Black-Shouldered Kite is my absolute favorite!
    Gorgeous bird!

  9. And yet another great selection of birds.

  10. Wow. Quite a collection here. I like the Lilac Breasted guy... pretty colours....

  11. Good good good GREAT! birds! You are so lucky! How incredible! I'm going to have to add this place as a "must see!" Thanks for sharing and congrats!

  12. Great collection of birds -- what a fantastic trip!

  13. So many gorgeous birds here that I have never seen. All beautiful in their own unique way. Deb

  14. Hi Jo, I always enjoy seeing your special birds of Africa. Love the Sunbird. Such gorgeous colors.

    Have a great day/weekend. Hope you enjoy(ed) my Steam Locomotive blog post today... I'm so passionate about trains since my Dad worked for the railroad.

  15. This Black-shouldered Kite is really cute ! It has almost the same face as Rosie !


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