Rufousnaped Lark

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Week 10 - Rietvlei Nature Reserve

I've been a bit slow with my blog lately, just because I haven't got a round toit. Maybe I should add this to my next gift list!!

I snuck off early one morning for a couple of hours at Rietvlei Nature Reserve just to get out. Tommy met me at the gates and we set with cameras and bins in hand for some birding action.

At first it was a bit quiet as the air was a bit nippy and the birds obviously slept in. At one point on the track the Cisticolas were calling everywhere...Zitting, Cloud and a Wing-snapping (Ayres) represented the aerial cisticolas and a Levaillants called from the grass.

Cloud Cisticola (confirmed)
   One of my favourite things about Rietvlei is the abundance of lbj's and this day didn't disappoint by turning up another dodgy looking immature pipit which showed some lovely colours and patterns. The outer tail feathers appeared buffy and the lower mandible was pinkish but I still need to confirm the id. I will update the post later when I know more!

Juvenile African Pipit (confirmed)
Another member of the wagtail/pipit family which are extremely common at Rietvlei are the Cape Longclaws which have a mewing call which sounds like a cat.

Cape Longclaw
  The Greater-striped Swallow chicks have fledged and were found around the reserve begging for their parents to feed them. These two were sitting on the road and would not move out of the way until they were fed so we had to wait and we took a few pics in the interim. Check the feet (looks like mine when I stand on the cold tiles) and the way the membrane over the mothers eye closes to protect it from an eager beak!

Down the hatch!

The final highlight of the day was a flock of White-fronted bee-eaters who didn't mind having us take their photo from close range. A jealous Ovambo Sparrowhawk decided that he wasn't going to allow this however and scattered them in all directions (I was too slow to get a photo of him however).

White-fronted Bee-eaters (4)

And thats it, another mornings birding over and a good list of 32 species before work. We heard several Quialfinch again but getting a photo is hard work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amazing pics!
Thanks from Maurice