Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Bee-eaters, a Tinkerbird and a Fish-eagle

On Sunday, as the weather cleared up, Grant and I went out birding. We were surprised (and not a little disappointed) that there were so few birds about. 

As we left the airstrip and approached the explosives magazine, Grant pointed to many bee-eaters perched on the power lines. They were a lot bigger than the Little Bee-eater (sic!) that we see here regularly. He stopped, I focused and snapped away.
Don't these two look so "together"?
Madagascan (Olive) Bee-eater

As we make our way back to the slimes dam wall, Grant always slows down when approaching a certain thorn tree. Last year I posted about a Tinkerbird we'd watched flying in and out of the hole in the trunk. During the year, however, the hole is quiet and abandoned. Sunday was no exception as the vehicle idled past the tree

Then, as we watched, a small beak and one eye appeared, the bird flew out and away. Although we stayed for quite some time, the bird didn't return.
Red-fronted Tinkerbird

As soon as our Christmas is over on Thursday, Grant and I will, no doubt, take a ride into the bush. We 're bound to see the Tinkerbird again.

Greatly satisfied at having see at least two "new-for-the-season" birds, we drove up onto the dam wall. Grant mentioned that we'd not seen any raptors for ages. Driving along the road towards the old sorthouse, Grant stopped and pointed at a Grey-headed Kingfisher. I focused but before I pressed the shutter, it flew onto the ground and pecked up something it had seen there. It landed on a stone pillar a little way off.

Meanwhile, in the background of my picture.  I'd seen a very large bird fly in and sit on the concrete wall surrounding the sewage dam. I zoomed in and clicked. And clicked. And again! It was quite a far way off so I'm not all that happy with the photos. But Grant was thrilled by my sighting. 
Sub-adult African Fish Eagle 
African Fish-eagle and African Pied Wagtail

So we had quite an interesting birding outing after all. 

Wishing all birders and their loved ones a Merry Christmas. 

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday, which you can visit here


  1. that bee eater is just adorable and i would like one to eat the ones in our tree.

  2. HI Jo great shots of the birds. I have heard or saw a Tinkerbird before. Have a great Christmas day tomorrow.

  3. Awesome outing, Jo! I love the cute bee-eaters and the Tinkerbird is cool. Great sighting of the Fish Eagle and Wagtail. Wonderful series of photos. Happy Birding!


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