Saturday, 15 February 2020

Cranes migrating North.

I went for a walk today and the sky was alive with the sound of cranes calling.  Most photos were far away and not the best, but it is so worth the sight one sees in the sky
Common Crane (Grus grus)...

They were milling around a lot as there were several small groups, I suspect they were waiting for all to get together before moving on again.




and a little closer and in formation.


I also saw a starling, very far away and up quite high 
Common starling (Sturnus vulgaris),

and a few wood pigeons in flight
Common wood pigeon (Columba palumbus)

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Sunday, 9 February 2020

Some more of the photos from our November trip to South Africa.

Southern yellow-billed hornbill (Tockus leucomelas) ...

Yellow-billed hornbills feed mainly on the ground, where they forage for seeds, small insects, spiders and scorpions.

White-backed Vulture. (Gyps africanus).

Burchell's starling (Lamprotornis australis) or Burchell's glossy-starling. Sadly this was taken in the shade so you cannot see the true gloss.

Cape glossy starling (Lamprotornis nitens).

Crested francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena)...

As above.

South African ostrich (Struthio camelus australis) male.

Southern white-crowned shrike (Eurocephalus anguitimens)...

As above.

Saddle-billed stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis)...

As above.

Egyptian geese (Alopochen aegyptiaca) .

I think this is a yellow-billed kite (Milvus aegyptius).



and

Saturday, 1 February 2020

A few of the January birds seen here in the Garden in the Charente.

I will return to going through the South African bird photos very soon, but I have not felt brilliant this week and have got far behind - again!  Feeling better now thanks to a prescription so will try to catch up ASAP.

European goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis). The only one I have seen this year and the only photo I managed to get.

Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus).  The other morning there was not a bird in sight.  Looking closely I found the culprit, a sparrowhawk hiding in the fruit trees!!

Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus).

House sparrow (Passer domesticus) female...

As above ...

and a male.

Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). We have discovered that they like hazelnuts.  We have masses from our tree so we have been busy breaking and bagging them for the little guys.

Queuing waiting to get to the nuts...

as above...

As above...

Turning its back on me.

House sparrow (Passer domesticus) in silhouette.




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Sunday, 26 January 2020

Still in the North-East of South Africa.

Southern yellow-billed hornbill (Tockus leucomelas).

Bateleur Eagle (Terathopius ecaudatus), a young eagle still with brown feathers.

Southern Blue Waxbill (Uraeginthus angolensis).

As above.

Wood sandpiper (Tringa glareola).  Birds wintering in S Africa originate from Eastern Europe.

The purple-crested turaco (Tauraco porphyreolophus), very beautiful with crimson flight feathers...

Also very difficult to photograph, they are masters at hiding in the trees.

I  brightened this photo quite a lot to try and bring the colours out.  Look closely and you can see a tinge of red flight feather in the wing behind the branch.

Dark-capped bulbul or Common bulbul (Pycnonotus tricolor).

Saddle-billed stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis).

Black-collared barbet (Lybius torquatus).


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Monday, 20 January 2020

Moving to the North-Eastern part of South Africa and a few different birds.

Bateleur eagle (Terathopius ecaudatus) adult....

Bateleur youngster.
The immature bateleur eagle's feathers are a uniform dark brown. Around the third year, this plumage starts to turn into adult colours of black, white and grey. It can take an immature bateleur up to 8 years to shed all their brown plumage and turn in to full adults

As above.

Martial eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus). The largest eagle in Africa, it weighs in at almost  6.5 Kg (14 lbs) and has a wingspan of about 6 feet 4 inches. It is 32 inches long.

As above.

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Morning wing-spread behaviour is a means of absorbing solar energy and passively raising their temperature to proper daytime levels...

As above...

As above.

Grey lourie (Corythaixoides concolor), also known as go-away bird, It is a very vocal bird with a nasal call “g'wa-ay, g'wa-ay” call, thus its name.

Giant kingfisher (Megaceryle maxima). It is the largest kingfisher in Africa.

Woolly-necked stork or whitenecked stork (Ciconia episcopus).

Helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris).



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