Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Birds, birds and more birds

Due to work commitments and visiting managers, Grant and I didn't get out birding last weekend. This wasn't a problem though because over the past month I have taken so many photos that I've not posted about them all yet!

So although I had a lonely Sunday morning at home, I managed to sort through my files and choose a several photos to write about. 

The first bird I photographed a week ago, was a raptor. As usual the lighting and upward distance was challenging and although I took quite a number of photos, this was the only one worth posting. Once downloaded, Grant and I thought it might be an immature Bateleur. We weren't at all sure, so we sent it off to Jez for identification. He came back with a definite and positive ID.
Brown Snake-Eagle

Just around the next corner, I spotted a bird high up in a tree and Grant stopped for me to take photos.

Black-shouldered Kite

At the dam, we naturally saw many different waterbirds which I've posted about. However, while we sat in the vehicle we suddenly noticed a small flock of doves pecking in the clay near us.  As I panned in on them, I noticed an African Jacana also feeding in the same manner. As I've always only photographed this bird wading knee-deep in the water, I was thrilled to get photos of its feet exposed. In Afrikaans this bird is known as a Langtoon = Long toe. These photos below show how long the African Jacana's toes actually are!
African Jacana with its ultra long toes

Although the left food is blurred in movement, you can see the length of the African Jacana's toes. These are used for lily-hopping.

As we entered the security gate into town, I spotted a bird on the overhead power lines. 
 Striped Kingfisher

Back at home, I crept out into my back garden after I'd put out bird seed. (the cats were asleep in the house)  Although the Grey-headed Sparrows and Red-eyed Doves flew up into the branches above, a pretty little seed eater remained and continued to peck at the seeds.

Blue-capped Cordon-bleu
He was totally unfazed by my proximity so I managed quite a number of photos

A bird which makes the first call in the morning (as early as 4.30am) and the last to call at night, is the Spotted Palm Thrush.  It has the most beautifully melodious song and a variety of strident calls. It is also known as a great mimic!

Spotted Morning-Thrush ...

...perched on my garden fence

Then from the comfort of my office chair I regularly get a close-up of the Marico sunbirds (only one pair) who come to our nectar feeders. If I move slowly and there isn't a reflection on the glass, I normally get a photo. Last week however, I managed my best photo this year. Take a look and let me know what you think of my piece de resistance.
Marico Sunbird (Male) at our nectar feeder

I'm linking my post today to Wild Bird Wednesday which is hosted by Stewart in Australia. Do click on the link here

I hope you're all having a wonderful week.


  1. No wonder their knees bend backwards with those long toes.
    You really captured the brilliant sunbird colors.

  2. Beautiful birds! I love the raptors and the sunbird.

  3. Wow, Jo! These are all awesome birds and great captures! I love the pretty colors on the Blue-capped Cordon Bleu and the Sunbird and Jacana are cool. I would love to see them all. Have a happy day!

  4. It seems you have a lot of strange looking (to me) birds around !

  5. HI Jo, these birds are beautifull. I especially love the blue-capped Cordon Bleu.
    Blessings :)

  6. Great photos hard to go past the Sunbird

  7. Nice photos! Your birds are just slightly different than the ones we have in Zambia. It is nice to see the different varieties, like the spotted palm-thrush, and the blue-capped cordonbleu. Thanks for sharing.


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