Monday, October 24, 2011

Egyptian Goose in the sweltering heat

I was fascinated by this Egyptian Goose perched on a rock outcrop honking profusely. The temperature was remarkebly 39°C. A record high for this part of the world.

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Short-clawed Lark: the final frontier

Having enjoyed the flight displays and shrilling utter over the past few days in one area, I guess, this is a Short-clawed Lark spot. It is in the outskirts of Dibono Village, near the Disaneng Dam. This particular individual, identifiable with the  a black spot in the underparts; I will dub him "Spotty".
On this hot and windy day from my GPS I took the following readings:

S 25ยบ 49.223’
E 025° 22.236’
 A call from an elevated perch (just before midday) cannot be missed

The outpost for scanning his territory

Active even in the heat of the day; persistently calling

Friday, October 14, 2011

Short-clawed Lark: the search continues

In search of the bird again; I went back to the spot at Dibono Village near Disaneng Dam. After a frantic search and listening around, the bird ultimately called. It was around midday. Approaching the area where the call came from I found the bird on top of a bush calling. Seeing me it flew further down the open grass land and perched on a bush. For a moment; while I was watching, it rose up high into the air and dropped steeply on a flight display. Looking around further there was another one uttering a shrill on top of a bush. At long last the search had come to a close. A new spot for Short Clawed Larks.

Open grassland and scttered bush where the search ended

A familiar pose and a call uttered from the top of a bush

Monday, October 10, 2011

Short-clawed Lark - threatened or near threatened?

Today while birding near Disaneng Dam, just in the outskirts of the village of Dibono, I heard the call of a Short- clawed Lark. This is a spot ±80 km away from Botsalano Game Reserve; where the species is in reasonable occurence and just a mere ±40km from Mahikeng.

Short-clawed Lark - endemic to the region.

Though known to be existing only in two disjointed populations in South Africa besides the South Eastern parts of Botswana, the Short-clawed Lark (Certhilauda chuana), “chuana” bearing reference to the Tswana people, is thought to be undergoing a localized range contraction and population reduction. On the other hand its distribution may also be influenced by seasonal or eruptive movements.It is endemic to the region.
Roberts VII Bird Guide book regards it as "near threatened" while its status  in the IUCN Red List it is evaluated as "Least Concern".
Any information on this species is hereby sort from any where or any source.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Whiskered Terns move in at Modimola Dam after the first rains of the season

After the first rains of the season on Saturday night, the locally common nomads the Whiskered Terns; who normally move about according to rainfall, started moving into Modimola Dam.They were in great numbers than usual because I counted close to sixteen at the time.The Coots, Ruffs and Lapwings were not keen on letting go their territory

Whiskered Tern dipping to surface of water for food

Whiskered Tern landing

Whiskered Tern flying low