Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Phenomenal bird sighting/s

As mentioned yesterday, even though I was ill,  Grant and I went out birding on Sunday and again on Monday evening. He and I were just saying how, although we frequently see the same species of birds, recently we have seen birds doing interesting things. As if to prove a point, the next thing (two,  actually) that happened was truly amazing.

As we drove along the mining haul road, Grant spotted a large bird sitting on the gravelly bank. He pulled up quite far from the bird so as not to disturb it, I opened the door and stood on the running board. 

And focused. 

When I zoomed in on the huge black bird, I saw it was a Bateleur and it was eating something. I took many photos, the bird finished its meal and flew off.

 A Bateleur (male) enjoying his meal off the ground

Grant stopped at the spot where the feast had taken place, I got out and walked over. Grant followed me and we saw that the Bateleur had been eating a largish bird with blueish-green feathers and quite big red feet. (Yes, all that remained were the feathers and a pair of feet!) 
A pile of feathers and two red feet were all that remained of the Bateleur's meal

When we sent the photos to Jez, he replied with the explanation that the Bateleur had [probably] eaten a young African Purple Swamphen (Gallinule).
A little further along we noticed a big brown bird in a dead tree. It was flapping its wings and jumping around in the tree.  I took several photos of this. 
 A large brown bird flapping in a tree 

When we sent the photos of this bird to Jez, he came back with the explanation that this was a juvenile African Harrier Hawk which was trying to rob a nest.When I looked closer at two of my photos, I saw that this was exactly what had happened was taking place !  

 African Harrier Hawk (juvenile) with its claws in a nest-hole in the tree 

The same bird with its beak in the nest hole!
African Harrier Hawk (juvenile)

I am linking my post to Wild Bird Wednesday which is hosted by Stewart Monckton. Please pop in and visit his blog by clicking here

Here's wishing you all a wonderful week.


  1. Very interesting and fortunate that you were able to observe these bird behaviors ;-)

  2. HI Jo Well that was 2 good find and the first bird shots are brilliant.

  3. Hello Jo, both were awesome sights to see. Your timing was great to see the Bateleur eating his meal and Harrier Hawk robbing a nest. Wonderful photos. Have a great day!

  4. Wow! Either would be good. Both? Too much to hope for - and you thought I was joking about picking me up at the airport!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  5. Great birds, and my favourite is a Bateleur, superb.

  6. Intriguing photos.

  7. Very interesting. It is always fun to see birds doing what comes natural for them.

  8. Great birds sightings and pictures again. I'm in awe at the first sighting and what you found afterwards.

  9. I always enjoy the photos you share...Praying you're feeling better. God bless.

  10. Two brilliant raptor species. Great series of the Harrier Hawk in action, thanks for sharing

  11. Great outing. Always nice to see the birds in action, especially the Bateleur.


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