Saturday, September 6, 2014

Spring 2014 birding

As promised, I'm back with a comprehensive post about the birds and small wildlife we spotted on our first weekend back in Mwadui. We also went out on Wednesday night and spotted an African Civet Cat (not photographed) and a rabbit or hare - also not photographed, but we can "tick" it! LOL! 

Grant and I hadn't been out birding since the last week of July so we had a contest to see who would spot the first bird. Guess who did? Ha!
 The first bird we saw was the colorful Greyheaded Kingfisher - I spotted it! 

Just a little way along the road, and Grant pointed to the top of a dead tree. I focused my camera and picked up a pair of African Grey Hornbill! 
 African Grey Hornbill (Pair)
 This was one of the pair that I posted in yesterday's Skywatch Friday post

Then we heard a familiar call...
 ...the ubiquitous D'Arnaud's Barbet

And while I snapped away at the barbet, I saw a bird fly into the thicket. I focused on the spot where it had landed and was thrilled to pick up the normally effusive Slate-colored Bou-bou! 
 Slate-colored Bou-bou 

Still driving through the thick part of the bush, we saw a flash of silver and reddy-orange across our path.

As we approached the small body of water where we'd viewed birds during the dry season, Grant stopped so that I could photograph the many herons. They were sitting perched in all manner of heron-like stances on branches and atop trees in the dam. One heron perched precariously on a single branch jutting out from the bank near the vehicle, caught my eye. Such acrobatics (and done with such ease) just needed to be recorded! 

 Black-headed Heron 

As the bushveld opened up, Grant and I both saw a flock of mousebirds fly into a treetop near the road. He stopped, I got out and stood on the running board. With my camera resting on the car roof, I was thrilled to get photos of this beautiful bird, endemic to West and Central Africa and the whole of East Africa! 
 The Blue-naped Mousebird...

 ...gave me many opportunities... capture its diagnostic blue nape!

As we drove off from this exciting sighting of the Blue-naped Mousebirds, we saw a flash of blue across our vehicle's path. The bird landed in a nearby bush and Grant stopped for me to photograph it. 

Little Bee-eater

I'm going to do this post in two parts. So for now I'm linking with Saturday Critters with Eileen which you can visit by clicking here

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  


  1. Wow! Those are some pretty neat exotic-looking birds!

  2. your birds are such a delight! even your heron is exotic! :)

  3. Jo, what an awesome series of birds. Great sightings and photos. It is hard to pick a favorite they are all so wonderful..Birds I would only see in the zoo here. Congrats on your sightings.. Thank you for sharing your post with my critter party. Have a happy weekend!

  4. Some are really looking funny ! I don't see them over here !

  5. Wow! The Greyheaded Kingfisher, and the Blue-naped Mousebird are spectacular birds, but then, they all are! I don't see anything like these birds where I live.

  6. You obtained some beautiful closeup photos!

  7. that mousebird is sooo cute.

  8. Such an amazing variety of beautiful birds! They are all so exotic and wonderful! You hit the jackpot!

  9. Wow! Some great birds in there. Really like the Bee Eater and the Kingfisher though.

  10. Great sightings all and a few I even recognize. But the Kingfishers are my favorite. Well maybe next to the Bee eaters.

  11. Wonderful birds. I love the bee-eater.

  12. Love all the birds in this post.


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