Friday, June 22, 2018

Little Big Year hits 750!!

Now that we are here in Scotland, I have managed to break the 750 barrier for the year, and now stands at 753 for the year. The 750th bird was the semi-rare Slavonian Grebe at Loch Kinellan. I travelled by myself, leaving Jeanne and |Gordon to explore Alness, the birth place of Gordons father. Just in case you were wondering, #751 was the Sedge Warbler, #752 is the Red Kite, and #753 was the beautiful Reed Bunting.

All of next week we will be going past Loch Ness, and taking a quick look for "Nessy", the off to Loch Lomond for a "Highland Games" and then north thru the north highlands to travel the acclaimed and appropriately named, North Coast 500. We are going to try to fit in a quick trip over to the isle of Skye, if the timing and the weather all work out. Stay tuned, and lets see how many more I can find!!

Here is that Slovian Grebe!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A couple of great surprises

Sitting on the back deck, right at day light a few days ago, got me a huge surprise, but then a second one came along as well. When I first spotted the Chin-spot Battis, I was excited for the new bird and a decent photo. Looking thru the binoculars, a small bit of flash caught my eye. A banded Bird, and just not a banded bird, but an African banded bird. Less than an hour later, this Ashy Flycatcher flew in, sporting a little bling as well. TWO BANDS in one day. I am not sure if I have ever done that.
Here is that Chin-spot Battis, If you look closely at the leg on the left you will see the band. Sorry about the grainy photo, it was taken before the sun had come up

Here is the Ashy Flycatcher, and the band on the same leg.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Three Banded Plover

This time of year, there are not many species of shorebirds in the park. The one that has been a round every so often has been the three-ringed Plover.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

I see red.....

When it comes to red birds, there have been a few that have become my favorite. The Red-billed Firefinch, The Common Waxbill, and the Jameson’s Firefinch are all red colored birds, pretty much ground feeders, and just beautiful.
Here is the Red-billed Firefinch
The Common Waxbill
And the Jameson's Firefinch


Monday, June 18, 2018

Tiny little owls!

Being mostly nocturnal, getting to see owls in the day time takes a lot of searching the thick tree limbs that they roosting, and a whole lot of luck. Jeanne spotted this very small Pearl-spotted Owlet while we had stopped to look at a huge Kudo bull. This bird is about 10 inches tall, so it was a huge find for us. The interesting thing about this little owl, is that it appears to have eyes on the back of its head. There are two black spots right on the back of its head where the eyes would go.
Here is the front

And here is the view from the back


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Magpie Shrike

When I started studying the local birds prior to arriving here in South Africa, it just seemed like there were a lot of birds with very long tails. That is very exciting stuff, as that makes for some incredible photos. Unfortunately, most of that species all lose that long beautiful tail after the breeding season. There are a few exceptions to that, with the Green Wood Hoopoe, the Scimitarbird, and this bird, the Magpie Shrike. Residents of the open grassy areas, they alight on the top of small dead trees, stumps and open branches, in order to hunt from there for flying or crawling bugs.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Blue Waxbill

There just have not been that many birds with any real blue on them, but these Blue Waxbills seem to be quite common. I have seen them in the park as well as around the house.