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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:34 pm 
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Thanks guys! Whoo hoo - another tick for me :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:56 pm 
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Location: Paarl
Some help, please. And I apologise in advance for the poor quality photos as the bird appeared very briefly in very poor light only allowing me to get off one snapshot.

It was taken late this afternoon on a grape farm in Paarl where it was hopping about in the mainly exotic dense garden. There is a dam about 40m away.The bird did not seem to be feeding, but was very restless and sat for only seconds at a time before vanishing into the undergrowth. It did not call. No distinctive body movements such as tail bobbing, just constant restless movement. It was solitary.

I always believe in having a try to ID. I guessed Karoo Prinia as it is within range and I have seen quite a few on this farm BUT this was FAR smaller than the Karoo Prinias I have seen. In fact this bird was marginally smaller than a White-eye. Also the eye is very dark (black - perhaps casued by the lighting). I then suspected juvenile Karoo Prinia but then this does not fit the Roberts description at all of "indistinct stripes and yellowish wash below". I am really stumped and it is not helped by the fact that the two photos (one an enlargement) are a bit blurred as a result of the way I had to grab the photo.

Many thanks
Pete

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:58 pm 
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Hi Pete,

I think this is an African Dusky Flycatcher.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - LBJs
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 4:12 pm 
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Location: Paarl
Thanks barcud - I reckon you are exactly right. I kicked myself when I read your ID as I had been through Roberts twice and thought I had the important features - which is why my own guess at ID was so wide off. The size should have made me look more closely elsewhere. But thanks - you really are a great help. It is the first Dusky Flycatcher I have seen in the Western Cape.

Keep well
Pete

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 Post subject: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:25 pm 
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Location: Paarl
I couldn't find a thread despite using the search funtion - sio here goes.

This afternoon in Paarl during the scorchng heat of 39 degrees at 15:00 on a wine farm near my house I sought the shade of some olive trees. I looked for strange shapes in the hope of finding a nest and saw what looked like three very large thorns - they were Flycatchers begging wide agape. I took the followinng photos (all with an 800mm lens so as not to disturb the birds. Even so I left after the female became a bit agitated and watched her feeding them from a respectable distance. What a lovely way to have spent a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Keep well
Pete
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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:28 pm 
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:clap: Lovely pics!!! :D

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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:51 pm 
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800mm lens!!!!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
LOvely pics. Thanks for sharing.


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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:07 pm 
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Location: Paarl
Hello Granjan

Please do not be impressed by the 800mm lens bit - it is bit of a misnomer. I have a Canon 30SX so the lens is EQUIVALENT of 800mm. Nevertheless I get enormous enjoyment out of the camera, but the sad fact is that I will never never get the perfect shots obtainable with the CMOS sensors of the proper DSLR. No matter- I get great enjoyment out of what I have. I used to have (back in the old days of films) and Minolta with a 300mm lens that was great to have, but I like the convenience of the compact DSLR-like camera. I may never take the perfect shot, but they are good enough for me, especially as I bought the camera more for record shots than anything else. Still, the 800mm is lovley to have even if one loses lots of light and any photo over 200 ISO becomes dodgy. All these photos were taken on ISO 200 in very difficult light conditions. As the farm is on my way home I hope to call in every day to see how the chicks are faring. The birds built a nest on exactly the same fork of the tree last year.

Cheers
Pete

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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:58 pm 
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Late this afternoon I went to have another look at the nest. The female was feeding but I had to backpedal and sit quite some distance away after she objected to my presence. I subscribe to the rule that no photo is worth disturbing the nest and its goings on. To make up for having to move away a bit a Cape Batis came and sat very close to me. I plan to go every day if I can until the birds have flown.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:18 am 
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I enjoy seeing the developments ! :thumbs_up:

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:47 pm 
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No matter what the lens Pete, the pics are lovely. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
Looking forward to watch them as they grow.


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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:41 pm 
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Location: Paarl
Had a very hurried visit to the nest today. The youngsters clearly had been well-fed and were not begging. The parents were sitting casually around preening.

I am posting this picture as an example of how cleverly nature disguises the weak. It is very difficult to spot the nest, and even more so the inhabitants as long as they sit totally still - which they did this afternoon. I could barely see movement from the three young. As a result I had to search each time when I was quite a way from the nest to get the exact spot. Interestingly, quite a few people walked by while iIwas taking photographs. None saw the nest even though it is very close to the roadway and well beaten path. I work late most days at the moment but still hope to make daily visits - one advantage of Paarl is that it is light until late.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:52 pm 
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I was at the enst just after 17:00 in cool and rainy conditions. The chicks are rather self-assured now and one watched me with interest. They really are crowding the nest now.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:38 pm 
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The camouflage is amazing!
The nest looks to be very close to the groundthough.
I love the little tufts on their heads.
Thanks for posting, Pete! :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: African Dusky Flycatcher
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Location: Paarl
Hi Granjan

The nest is not at all low- in one picture the zoom lens creates the illusion of the ground being close. I measure the nest as about 4m above ground level. I have no wish to fall this distance! I

I have to climb onto a roof and from the roof onto an old truck canopy stored on the corrugated iron roof of the shed which contains the cooling generator for the fruit packing shed. I walk very carefully on the support beams of the roof by following the roofing nails. All adds to the fun. I hide behind the canopy to avoid upsetting the parents too much and when they come to feed I very very slowly get into position for a photo - by which time feeding is often over!

Pete

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