Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More Winter Birding in and around Mwadui

Well, since last Wednesday when I posted on this meme, we've enjoyed several bird sightings. One has to wonder if the dry and dusty conditions really do prohibit  prevent good sightings! 

As we left the mining area and entered the bush proper, we stopped to photograph this little bird.
Grey-capped Social Weaver
Around the next corner, we stopped to photograph the ever-obliging d'Arnaud's Barbet

While I focused on the barbet above, we could hear the call of the  most elusive Slate-colored Bou-bou. I turned around, spotted the bird in a bush behind me and managed to capture this bird quite clearly at last. 

 Slate-colored Bou-bou

Recently Wessel showed me another feature on my camera. It would enable me to take photos of fast - moving objects; in my case: of birds in flight. I noticed a raptor soaring above us and swung my camera up to capture it. Although it's not very close (I'll master that part yet!) and I can't identify the bird, I was thrilled to be able to get this shot.

Raptor in flight: an image I captured using a function on my camera which I didn't know I had! 

Driving along towards New Alhamasi Dam which has been so full since the summer rains, that we've not been there for a while, Grant spotted a Coucal hopping across the road. These birds have a flopping, waddling gait on the ground and when moving in and around bushes and trees above. It's also surprising to see a coucal, as I always equate this bird with heralding the rain. (and it's dry season now in Northern Tanzania) 

White-browed Coucal

Still riding along the road next to the dam, we spotted a Grey-headed Kingfisher. As always, this bird always sits still while I get good photos! 

Grey-headed Kingfisher

On our right, we watched a pair of Long-tailed Cormorant sunning themselves on a dry tree in a body of water
Just below them was a third cormorant in an iconic stance drying its wings

Grant drove up onto the dam wall and turned the vehicle around. We drove along with New Alhamasi dam on my left. Soon I was calling for Grant to stop so that I could capture the many birds sitting on dry branches in the dam or forages on the water's edge.

African Pied Wagtail
Little Egret with its diagnostic yellow feet
Malachite Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher
Yellow-billed Stork (I believe the pink-tinged wing coverts mean it's a breeding adult, but that's still to be confirmed)

Then it was time to wend our way back to town. As we left the dam area, we both spotted what, at first looked like a pigeon;  but it landed in tree nearby, and looked like it was eating fruit or greenery on it. Grant stopped the car, I got out and crept towards the tree. I managed one decent photo before the bird  flew away. 

Red-necked Falcon

Along the slimes dam wall, we stopped to watch another another bird which always affords great photo opportunities.  

 I'm linking this post to Wild Bird Wednesday which you can visit by clicking here
I hope you're all having a wonderful week full of birding and whatever else you enjoy.


  1. your kingfishers are awesome! what great variety! love all the birds you share.

  2. Wow Jo, your post is filled with wonderful birds. The kingfishers are awesome and the Barbet and the Falcon are more of my favorites. Great post for WBW. Have a happy day!

  3. What a wonderful variety of birds and so beautiful too!

  4. You never cease to amaze me with your collections of bird photos.

  5. HI Jo
    What a wonderful selection of birds you saw on your outing with Grant. I do my best recognise some of your birds in anticipation on going to Malawai very soon. I am afraid I am failing miserably!! I need you with me as my daughter has NO interest in birds!!

  6. Beautiful birds, Jo. I always love seeing the Kingfishers --with that gorgeous blue on them...

    Some birds have the craziest names, don't they? I laughed about the one named Wagtail!!!! Funny.


  7. Hi Jo! I've got my coffee in hand and love that I stopped in to see you have captured such a wonderful collection of birds. The bright blues on the Kingfishers are so beautiful. Have a great day!

  8. You do have such great birds and so many!! Thanks for sharing the feathery fun, Jo!! Hope your week is going well!!

  9. all of your birds are amazing. i love that social weaver and the grey head kingfisher. the stork is so much prettier than ours are here

  10. Some very nice bird sightings!

  11. So many beautiful birds! Love the kingfishers colors.

  12. I can't believe how many birds on one drive! and, so diverse a collection too..... amazing...


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