Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Two weeks ago while Debbie and I were enjoying a cuppa in the garden, she suddenly clutched my arm and pointed to my large pond. A Hamerkop had landed on the rocks and was doing a recce around the water's edge.
This 500g/1lb bird stands about 57cm/24inches high is very difficult to photograph. I'm not sure whether it's shy or whether my dogs (especially Eddy who loves to chase birds) have frightened it in the past. Debbie grabbed my camera and managed to get a few photos before it took off in flight.
If you enlarge the first photograph, you will see where it gets its name from. The Hamerkop (which means "Hammerhead" in Afrikaans) has a distinct backward projecting crest. It's diet consists of frogs, tadpoles, aquatic insects and small fish. It would get the first three in my pond but that day it did not stay for dinner.

Click here to see amazing images of other worlds.
Photo credits: Debbie Hedges


  1. HI Jo, The Hamerkop does look like a Hammerhead a little. I have never seen one before. Thanks for getting the pictures.

    Have a good day tomorrow.

  2. Marvelous post, Jo, and terrific photos of a bird I not that familiar with and had never seen before either.

    Have a lovely week!

  3. Reminds me of a mate of mine, same name (Hammerhead), but my mate couldn't fly. He was a good breakaway, though. hahahaha

    Glad to hear all's well, again, Jo.


  4. Hi Jo great captured!

  5. What a beautiful bird! I never heard of a Hamerkop before! Do you get more bird visitors during your winter than in summer? And how is the little blue parakeet doing?

  6. Beautiful taken and bird.
    Luiz Ramos

  7. Jo: Thanks so much to you and Deb for doing a great job of capturing this unusual bird.

  8. That's a great capture! Never seen one of these before.

  9. Beautiful captures, like my blue heron I think he is just man-shy.

  10. What an interesting bird, I have never seen such !

  11. What an awesome looking bird. Sure glad Debbie got these captures. And that the bird didn't get any of you fish this time.

  12. a good day jo.
    great capture of the hamerkop...lovely looking bird.
    have a wonderful evening.

  13. I love the moments when you can get a photo than you usually can't get. very interesting bird.

  14. How interesting! I've learned something new.
    Sunny :)

  15. That's an amazing bird! Great photos as usual.

  16. Hi Betsy;) yes, it's head and crest does look like a hammer doesn't it? thanks for visiting.

    Hi Sylvia;) I'm glad this was a good post for you. Enjoy your week.

    LOL Bob;) it's SO good to have you here again. Thanks, I'm also pleased that my blog followers are up and runnning again.

    Thanks Regina;)

    Hi Ishtar;) I remember seeing Hamerkops soaring above us on a birdwatching trip in the bush in West Africa. Don't know if it's localised to Guinea alone though. You know, your question is an interesting one. I had lots of birds in the summer but have MANY more this winter. Debbie thinks the birds all know my garden still has natural food (in the garden plants) and of course, there is water. Oh dear. We've had two mornings of minus -3 and 4 degrees and the gardeners and I have not seen the parakeet this week. I'm praying she flew to my friend's garden. If she appears, the gardeners will call me and I'll photograph her. Thanks for visiting. (((Hugs)))) Jo

    Welcome Ruiz; thanks for your comment.

    Thanks Tom, it is always a pleasure to post on your meme. Thanks for visiting today.

    Hi LadyFi;) I'm glad you have seen a different bird in my post. Thanks for visiting.

    Hi Arija;) yes, this lad is always very shy. This is not the first time he's visited my pond (he's been here often in the past two years) But this was the first time we managed to capture him so well. Thanks for visiting.

    Hi Gattina;) thanks for visiting. I loved your blog today. Thanks

    Hi Gaelyn;) thanks, I'm also pleased Debbie managed to get these photos especially now when I realise this is a truly African bird - obviously not seen anywhere else. Thanks for visiting.

    Thanks, itsnotjustapicture: good to see you again;>)

    Hi Louise, yes photography is making use of opportunities. And now we can blog about it... Thanks for popping in.

    Hi Sunny;) welcome to my blog. I'm glad I found your blog. I LOVE it.

    Thanks Dedene;) good to see you again...

    Hi Rajessh;) thanks and thanks for visiting my blog.

  17. wow he's big!!
    and he blends in so nicely

    really lucky captures, they came out great

  18. What a marvelous bit of serendipity! Thanks for introducing this interesting bird with us. I've shared a bit of My World today at Sacred Ruminations.
    Hugs and blessings,


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo