Thursday, January 26, 2012

African Snipe(Ethiopean Snipe): great camouflage

After disappearing for some few years from the Lichtenburg Bioderversity Conservation  Centre (formerly known as the Lichtenburg Nature Reserve), the African Snipe reappeared this week once again.
At first I could not recognise them; all I could see were the Common Greenshanks, but at close scrutiny with the help of  a spotting scope I started seeing them. What an amazing camouflage.

African Snipe: well camouflaged

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Help identify this bird

Yesterday, (just before a storm) while birding at Modimola Dam; enjoying the parade of Whiskered Terns up and down the dam, Egrets and Ruffs taking on each other over a patch of dry a spot.
 I spotted  the bird in the image below in a group of Curlew Sandpipers. At first, I thought it was one of the Ruffs by just scanning at its plumage. 
On second look, the black head turned out to be  a mystery. I also thought maybe it was a juvenile of a Whiskered Tern. 
Please, help in identifying this bird. 
The black bill and the head from the side

The head from the back

The neck and the chest all white and the back plumage grey to brown

I mistakenly thought it was a Ruff by its plumage. But, then the head was that of a Tern.
Now, if it was a Tern then it must have been a juvenile one. Which Tern or what bird could this have been?
In a matter of minutes the bird was gone but I managed to take some few shots of it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Red Bishop: New year birds

My birding in the new  has been wonderful. I have had shots of birds which have been illusive in the past years.
 One of these birds is the Red Bishop. Known to be polybgamous; can keep up to seven females.

Red Bishop male in breeding plumage. Can keep up to seven females

Red Bishop displaying from perch with plumage puffed out to attract females

Red Bishop female