Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mid-September birding

As I mentioned in the post before this, I am wildly distracted tonight (Tuesday). We're all waiting for our pup, Princess to have her pups. The time is right and the signs are all there. So here's hoping that by the time this post is aired on Wednesday, I have good news about Princess! 

So, while I want to join this meme and post about the birds we saw this weekend, I don't know how many I will post about before I go off to bed, in anticipation of a probable broken night! 

On our bird outing this weekend, as we left the mine road and entered the bush, Grant and I both saw a flash of iridescent blue. We both called out kingfisher! (are we corny or what?) A little way along and he stopped the car near the bush where the kingfisher had landed. I focused and photographed! 
 Grey-headed Kingfisher

Notwithstanding its name, the Grey-headed Kingfisher is non-aquatic and can be found in woodlands and savanna. It eats mainly grasshoppers and lizards. It normally sits quite still for long periods giving crazy photographers great photo opportunities!

As we approached the dam near the explosives magazine, Grant remarked that there was hardly any water here at the moment. I was just quipping that no self-respecting bird would hang around this dead place, when Grant pointed to another flash of color in a low branch over a small pool of water.
 Malachite Kingfisher

The Malachite Kingfisher is a small, aquatic kingfisher with a diagnostic turquoise and black barred crown, extending down to the eye. This bird does eat water creatures; it's rather more difficult to photograph as it often darts down into the water to catch its prey or merely to have a drink!  

A ride along the bank of New Alhamasi Dam yielded many waterbirds which I hope to post about as soon as - well, as soon as...

One bird which also always sits quite still on a branch over the water, is the Pied Kingfisher. 
 Pied Kingfisher 

Although Grant and I normally race each other trying say which gender we're looking at in this particular Kingfisher, this time we were rather challenged. The bird was sitting at such an angle that I couldn't see it's diagnostic breast band. The male has a double breast band, while the female and juvenile have a single, incomplete breast band. I thought this bird above may be a female . 

I'm linking my post today to Wild Bird Wednesday which is kindly hosted by Stewart Monkton. You can visit his amazing blog here

I hope you're all having a wonderful week so far.  



  1. The kingfishers have dazzling colors and patterns! Thanks for sharing your photos! I am amazed by all the bright colors you see in Africa.

  2. Oh Wowee! Three different species of Kingfisher in one outing, all very beautiful finds.I would have been elated to have located just one!:) Very nice photos.

  3. Wow! Super pictures of all these Kingfishers. Great little birds.

  4. Jo, I love your Kingfishers. They are one of my favorite birds The one I see here are camera shy around me. Great sightings and photos.

  5. I'm so jealous!!! What wonderful, beautiful kingfishers!!!

  6. I was admiring the brilliant colors of the first 2 kingfishers and thinking i will write the 2nd is my favorite, then i saw that black and white and he is stunning to me... they are so beautiful

  7. such gorgeous ones! hoping there's news on pups, soon!

  8. Very pretty bird. I have never been able to capture it so well.

  9. They're all beautiful birds! Congrats on the pups. I'm glad everything went well.

  10. No way!!!!! You lucky lucky person! These are all really great kingfishers! I've only ever seen the Gray-headed during my time in Cape Verde. STUNNERS!!! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Such gorgeous birds ! Great pictures !

  12. Such gorgeous birds ! Great pictures !

  13. Kingfishers are just the most splendid birds!

    Great pictures.

    Glad the delivery went well!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne


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