Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Spring 2014 birding

As promised earlier this week, I'm posting about the birds we saw on our outings over the weekend.

Although I've posted many photos of the Black-headed Heron, I felt I'd like to share this image with you:
A Black-headed Heron in an iconic heron-like pose! 

Just below where this Heron was poised, I spotted my first Dabchick of the season. It was gliding along the water surface, constantly pruning which meant many photos before I managed a decent image and reflection! 

Dabchick (Little Grebe)  

Nearby on a seemingly precarious perch, was a Yellow-billed Stork. Its pink-tinged wings show that it's a breeding adult
And although the next bird is supposedly found all over African South of the Sahara, here in Northern Tanzania we don't often come across this very clean-looking bird.
Black-shouldered Kite

While riding along the bush road, I looked through Grant's window and spotted - what I first thought was - a mousebird. We'd already passed the spot when I asked Grant to stop and reverse. He took a look and announced that we were seeing a woodpecker. This is always exciting to us, as woodpeckers in the African bush are nothing as accommodating and tame as those I see on American blogs. Another thing, the times I've photographed a woodpecker it was always pecking wood. Therefore it would be moving rapidly around a tree trunk and of course its head would be going nineteen to the dozen. This makes it very difficult to photograph. Here was a woodpecker that wasn't pecking wood; in fact it was quietly eating something on a tree with large thorny pods.  

We also don't have a definite id on this woodpecker yet, so not sure which one this is. 

Little Bee-eater

Last week we also noticed quite large flocks of pelicans flying in formation over New Alhamasi dam. I tried my sport function and managed a couple of images which I could download for posting!

One of the pelicans in the rather large flock flying above us 

Riding along the dam wall, we saw a variety of waders and waterbirds, some of which I already posted last week. Grant stopped so that I could focus on two Black-winged stilts. When I downloaded the photos I saw that I'd captured an adult and a juvenile.

Black-winged Stilt, juvenile in front and adult behind

The Black-winged Stilt is a black-and-white wader with very long red legs and a very thin pointed black bill. The juvenile has a greyish nape, grey-pink legs and brownish wings with pale trailing edge. 
 While photographing the stilts I noticed that the pelicans had landed on a small island on the other side of the dam.  A small group of White-faced Whistling Duck appeared in my photo as well! 

Just below the dam wall, we saw a young Yellow-billed Stork resting on the sandbank. I enjoyed this bird's picture so much that I've used it as my Facebook cover photo.
Yellow-billed Stork (Juvenile) 

I'm linking my post to Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart Monckton. Do click here to visit his amazing blog. 

Here's wishing you all a wonderful mid-week!



  1. Oh, I love all of your birds, Jo!! Most of these I've never seen and they are so colorful and beautiful! Terrific captures of them all!! Thank you so much for sharing these! Hope your week is going well!!

  2. The dabchick is a cute bird! I also really liked the photo of the kite!

  3. As always I am just amazed at the variety

  4. Wonderful pictures!

    The down from the Eiders is collected from the nests, some, but not all is removed, and the female just plucks some more to replace it - and them grows some more! Done properly, its sustainable.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  5. You have captured some wonderful bird photos here I am impressed with them all. Such a variety of them.

  6. That is a fabulous collection of birds/ Love the stork with its coloured mask.

  7. Wonderful bird images, none of which I get to see, unless it's in blogs like yours. Lucky me!
    Great stuff!:)

  8. just awesome birds and great photos of them. i'm loving the differences in the birds you see in africa!

  9. they are all just wonderful.. the kite is adorable and i love the woodpecker and the bee eater. awesome shots

  10. always... Be safe out there sister! God bless.

  11. Fantastic photos! Love several of them...the black headed heron, the black shouldered kite, and the little bee-eater.

  12. And I hardly see a crow or a magpie here, lol ! Impossible to bird watch here not even in a wood !

  13. So many wonderful and interesting birds. The yellow billed stork caught my attention because I haven't seen one before.

  14. Such a variety of beautiful birds. That stork is pretty cool.

  15. Amazing bird shots--and beautiful birds. Thanks for sharing your part of the world with us.

  16. All I can say is....AMAZING!!!! Nice work! These are all new to me. What gorgeous looking birds. Glad you had success!


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