Sunday, September 8, 2013

Eurasian Curlew at Barberspan Bird Sanctuary

The season for the arrival of migrants is here and one of the first to be spotted at Barberspan Bird Sanctuary was the Eurasian Curlew; a nonbreeding Palearctic migrant. The largest wader in South Africa.  Uncommon and found along the coastal regions but rarely inland.
The bird was firstly spotted on 27th August 2013  by birders and disappeared thereafter. On the 1st September 2013 it was again spotted at  Leeuwpan, a dam adjacent to Barberspan Dam. Later during the week; it was again spotted on the 4th September 2013 by rangers in the park.
After failed attempts to spot the bird on the above stated dates; I was back again at Barberspan on the 7th September 2013 for my final attempt. This time I was lucky.

Curlew walking about in mud along the shore of the dam

Curlew running before take-off

Curlew running with flapping wings before take-off 

Curlew probing deeply in the mud with its very long decurved bill 
Blacksmith Lapwing mobbing the Curlew

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Short Clawed Lark: "Spotty" revisited

My posting on the Short Clawed Lark (Mirafra chuana) on the 15th October 2011 was on a particular individual I dubbed "Spotty". You can follow this link for that report:
I have been monitoring the bird since then and I am happy to report that it is still in the same spot.
Although, there is another pair in the area; its call is still prevalent, displaying in fluttering flight  low over grass, clapping wings and taking refuge at the top of the bushes. In Setswana (Chuana the local people and language) the bird is called Mantsiditsidi.
Lets take cognisant of the fact that the bird is near threatened.
Spotty on 25th May 2013 (calling at the top of the bush)

The unmistakable black spot underneath

 The charming acrobatic display

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dedicated to the " World Migratory Birds Day 2013"

The  World Migratory Birds Day 2013 this weekend (11th to the 12th May 2013, calls for everyone to  pay attention to the plight of migratory birds all around the world with the theme:
“Networking for migratory birds".
I would love to dedicate this post to this call with  photos of birds on the wing.
Stop-over habitats for the migratory birds are deminishing at an alarming rate due to global warming and other social aspects.

You can visit for more.

 Flight of the Blackwinged Stilts (circling a drying dam)
Lesser Flamingos on the wing to another feeding area
Egyptian Goose crashlanding on arrival   on better part of a drying dam
South African Shelduck arriving to a dry dam
White-breasted Cormorant flying low over water (breeding season)
Egyptian Goose off to another feeding area
Pied Avocet on a reconaisance

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Flamingos at Modimola Dam

Recently, I have been fascinated by the congregation of Lesser Flamingos at Modimola Dam; 12km  West of Mahikeng in the North West Province.
Both Lesser and Greater are gathering in numbers there. Here are some of the photos I took recently. An enjoyable spectacle of nature while the drought is at its peak in the area.
We hope they will be here to stay.
Location of Modimola Dam 
Walking and darting across the dam
Filtering food from surface of  water with bill upside down
From juvenile to adult hood phases all present
Taking a rest in the companion of Black-winged Stilt

Monday, April 8, 2013

Latest visitors to my garden

Familiar Chat just finished flicking its wings
While migrants were preparing to leave for the Northern Hemisphere; I had this visitor to my garden for the very first time. Oh! amazing to see how it flicks its wing every time it lands.

Hoping on my garden wall and flicking its wings
Yellow Canary starring at the sun on my sand patch

 Another new visitor as well caught on my sand patching with its beak held high as if howling at some one.
Enough of the sun and lift off

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lesser Flamingos increase two fold at Modimola Dam

After a restful holiday; I went birding on Friday, the 4th January 2013 to Modimola Dam. 
Following my last report on the Lesser Flamingos (26th October 2012), I was surprised to find the numbers increased. The last group of holiday makers around the dam did not bother them a bit.

The colourful Lesser Flamingos

Cooling off in the sweltering heat