Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Winter Birding in Mwadui

As I mentioned on Monday, we've been spotting an Augur Buzzard so often that we even refer to it as "our" buzzard! The first time I saw it though, was during our first week back in Mwadui. We were driving along the road and I noticed a large bird on a lower branch of a tree. Normally we see these raptors on top of trees, mostly dead trees. They're also too far away in the middle-to-far distance and I struggle to get clear photos. This time we stopped the vehicle below the branch and the bird sat quietly while I clicked away. We sent the photos to Jez for his identification and he returned with Augur Buzzard!
Our first sighting of the Augur Buzzard which we see regularly now on our trips
How awesome to be able to photograph this regal raptor so closely


We've been watching a pair of Bateleur since 2012. This winter we were blessed to see the male soaring above us in the sky. (Impossible to get photos; believe me, I tried!) 

We've not seen the female for a couple of months; then a week ago we spotted an unusually colored Bateleur. I took several photos and sent them off to Jez. He told us this was a Bateleur Sub-adult. Many raptors, Bateleurs being one of them, take up to seven years to reach maturity and their full colors!
Bateleur Sub-adult 

Around the corner, above a body of water, I photographed a duck in a tree. It always tickles me to see a web-footed bird perched on a branch!
Comb (knob-billed) duck (Juvenile) 

The Comb (knob-billed) duck is a large duck with speckled head and blue-black and white plumage. The male has a rounded knob on its bill which is pronounced during breeding season. Female is smaller with no knob and paler patch on lower back. Juvenile is duller with pale specking on breast, belly and flanks. Just below the duck in the tree, another duck swam in the pond. It was too far to see whether it was a female or again, a juvenile.
Comb (knob-billed) Duck 

Just further along from this pond is another expanse of water. We'd seen a family of White-faced Whistling Duck there on several occasions, but as we stopped for me to take photos, the parents would steer the ducklings into the reeds and out of sight. This particular day when I'd photographed the above Comb Duck, we managed to sneak up on the other duck family. I managed to procure some beautiful photos! 

A pair of White-faced Whistling Duck and eight ducklings! 
 The parents lead their youngsters away from the edge where danger lurks!
(to be continued) 
I'm linking my post to Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart Monckton. You can visit his amazing blog by clicking here

I hope you're all having a wonderful week!


  1. HI Jo That was a wonderful opportunity to see and shot a Buzzard so close at hand and I loved the duckling. So cute.

  2. Hello,Jo! What an awesome sighting of the Bateleur. The sub-adult is cool looking.. And the duck family is so cute. Great series.. Have a happy day!

  3. How amazing! You'll know you are an animal lover when you name your buzzard!
    We have names for our regular visitors!
    Fred groundhog, Bambi deer, pregnant Faline, Butch raccoon, etc.!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

  4. Fabulous birds! So interesting!

  5. Amazing...

    Thanks for sharing this link at the Bird D'Pot this week...

    Now, I'm off to view the other two pages you shared.

    By the way, the NEW linking party is EVERY Saturday at Noon [Texas Time USA]

    There will be a new party for linking on the 28th

  6. ...again, excellent Jo.
    Those white faced whistling ducks is a new breed for me.

    Hope to see you again soon...maybe this coming Saturday?


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