Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Waders and waterbirds

As promised, here is a post about the birds we saw over the weekend. it's not long; I'll do another post later on.  Amanda sent me a CHAT to say that she and Andre have caught and caged four of the five stray/feral cats who feed in their garden.  I've phoned Dr Mawaluko who'll be here at 8.30am;  by nine we should be on our way to anesthetizing the first feline patient.

Meanwhile here are a few of the waterbirds which are gracing the New Alhamasi dam at the moment. Although I've seen the following [two] birds before, and managed to ID the first one as a Common Greenshank, the second one was so  similar as to confuse me!  They're  Grant sent my photos off to Jez for clarification and he came back with positive id's: a Common Greenshank and a Marsh Sandpiper. 

Common Greenshank

The Common Greenshank is a large wader with greenish legs.  It's larger than the Marsh Sandpiper with a heavier, upturned bill with a grey-green base.

Marsh Sandpiper

The Marsh Sandpiper is a medium-sized grey wader. It's smaller and more slender than the Common Greenshank with a thinner, straight black bill. The legs are also proportionately longer.

A little further along I wanted to photograph a small flock of cattle egrets roosting in a tree in the water. As I zoomed in I saw a movement on the screen and focused on that instead. When I downloaded the photo, I saw I'd captured a Black Heron (egret). It was scratching away at mites and I noticed that at the end of its black legs, it had orange-yellow toes. 
 The black bird scratching its ear with orange-yellow toes, is a Black Heron (Egret) The cattle egret in the foreground is going into breeding plumage; normally its pure white

Until I've completed my task of assisting Dr Mawaluko in theater today, I wish you all a very happy and healthy Wednesday.

I'm linking my bird post to Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart. You can access this blog by clicking here


  1. Beautiful birds and terrific captures for the day, Jo!! I'll be holding good thought for you and the kitties and Dr. Mawaluko!! Hope all goes well!!

  2. I've seen many cattle egrets, but I don't remember any with breeding plumage. So pretty.
    The black heron is interesting, and the wading birds are lovely.
    Fabulous that four of the five cats have been caught. Wouldn't it be great if the last one is caught and they can all be "fixed"? Good luck with the operations tomorrow.
    Luv, K

  3. I think it is a huge job to neuter the feral cats. Good luck with it all. I look forward to hearing about it later. Thanks for sharing the birding pics. Hugs. xx

  4. That black egret is very different with it's bright feet. Good luck with the kitties.

  5. HI Jo All the best for your job with the doctor today. This was a lovely post of water birds

  6. A great series of very interesting birds. I have never seen a Black Heron either. We get Greenshanks and Marsh Sandpipers migrating here for the summer and they are never easy to ID unless they are standing close together!

  7. I can understand why some of these birds challenge your IDing skills - wader can be a nightmare!

    Nice pictures!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  8. Some quality shore birds here, the marsh sandpiper would cause a stir if it showed up on the UK shores....

  9. Beautiful birds, Jo! The Black Egret is cool with its colorful feet. Have a happy day!


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