Sunday, January 30, 2011

Abdim Stocks pass Mafikeng

Today at midday, 30th January 2011, the first group of about fifty Abdim Stocks pitched up 25km West of  Mafikeng on their usual annual migratory path. This is contrary to the usual late November or early December arrival and passing the town. Their annual path is through the villages of Masutlhe and Modimola from across neighbouring Botswana. They are two months late this season. The question is;

  • Are they on their way to the North or South?
If they are on their way to the North it means they are now migrating back. The question is;
  • Why did they avoid their usual annual path on their way South?
If they are only on their way South now, it means they are late or it is just another late group.
This are the questions I would like to answer in the next few days or weeks. I will keep you posted.

Click the image to enlarge it

Just landed and looking around

Just landed

Moving around in groups. A juvenile and an adult

Friday, January 28, 2011

Amur Falcons roost in Mafikeng

Male and Female Amur Falcons that roost at the Mafikeng CBD on a telephone line

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lesser Kestrels roost in Mafikeng

Lesser Kestrel on a telephone line. They are found in great numbers during the day. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kestrel Count Day

Today (22nd February 2011) is the official Kestrel Count Day in South Africa and volunteers are all out counting Kestrels from  their roost trees. The following pictures were taken today just before and as they left for the day from their roost tree. This roost tree is in Hatchard Street in Mafikeng CBD. I arrived at the tree with members of the Mafikeng Bird Club at 05h00 to witness the lift off. The roost has Lesser Kestrels in the majority,the Red Footed Falcons following the latter in numbers and the Amur Falcons in the minority.The first group arrived at the roost tree on the 13th November 2010 and they were Lesser Kestrels and later on bigger groups started arriving from their wintering grounds in Europe and Asia.  Click on the following link for more information

Click to enlarge the image
The large group lift-off at 05h30

The first group lift-off at 05h16

At 05h10 before lift-off -just some twittering in the tree

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Water ponds all over for birding

After the recent heavy rains, water has collected in ponds all over and birds are gathering in great numbers. You do not have to travel far for a shot of some of these beautiful feathered friends.  Below are some of the photos I took in some of the ponds in and around Mafikeng.( alongside some roads)

Please click on the image to enlarge it.
Little Egret - looking around
Grey Heron a bit confused

Blackwinged Stilt - water in abundance

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Swallow-Tailed Bee-eater Juvenile

Today while chasing the Great Scimiterbill at Disaneng Dam, I came across this Swallow Tailed Bee-eater juvenile. Athough it was overcast and drizzling I managed to get a shot of it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dusky Lark at Disaneng Dam

On the 9th January 2011 close to the village of Dibono I spotted this Dusky Lark

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Caspian Tern at Modimola Dam

An uncommon summer visitor

Suddenly it was a pair

Monday, January 3, 2011

Blue Cheeked Bee-eater

A summer visitor at one particular spot at Disaneng Dam.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Great White Pelican at Modimola Dam

A surprise spotting of a Great White Pelican at Modimola Dam. Strange enough the dam has plenty og Pink Backed Pelicans. A spotting of a Great White one was a surprise.