Thanks for entering, I hope you all had as much fun doing the challenge as I had setting it. Top honours go to Ladybirder with 9/10. She really is a star at this!! The average score was 6/10.
#1 Long Billed Crombec
In the field this bird had me going for a while, as the colours (dull dark chocolate wash) were not obvious for this species, the behaviour, a bit odd (it was nesting) as opposed to mixed bird parties, and the habitat (fynbos 2km from the sea near Bettys bay) as opposed to acacia woodland. In the end after a lot of photo’s the short tail and shape had me convinced, and the rest of the pieces fell into place. I was feeling a bit mean when I chose a picture that hides the long bill and short tail
#2 Karoo Prinia
Another picture that does not fit the typical habitat/ background. Also from Betty’s Bay, taken in a heavily wooded garden.
#3 Malachite Sunbird
Another odd one, most guessed Amathyst sunbird, based on the black spots on the chest. However, the throat of Amathyst sunbird is black, and more importantly, the spots are black on a pale background. In this case if you look carefully, the spots are created from the ruffled effects which shows the dark underfeathers through the pale foreground.
#4 Kitlitz Plover Juvenile
#5 Plain Backed Pipit Most got this one. The coastal flora (if your are into that) is of the coastal salt marshlands. Only two species of pipit habit these kinds of environs, African and plain backed. The diagnostics for the plain backed are the plain mantle and yellow lower mandible colouring.
#6 African Pipit Typical African pipit showing strong contrasting facial features (for a pipit).
#7 Little Stint and Common Ringed Plover – no problems here. The ring necked plover makes a nice size marker for the little sint.
#8 Malachite sunbird - I put the same bird in twice, the first one was photographed in Bettys bay, this paler one came from the Karoo near Gariep dam. Always nice to see how much variation there can be based on location.
#9 Quiz Question:
c) Great Spotted Cuckoo – is a brood parasite of Crows and Starlings. Mynahs being part of the starling family are a likely target. This form of brood parasitism was first reported in 2005, and is published in Roberts VII and on Biodiversity Explorer. (Isn’t google great). What sparked the interest was that a week ago, I saw it with my own eyes, a pair of common mynahs feeding a great spotted cuckoo chick at Bakhlate gate at Pilangsberg National Park. I was more excited than if I had seen a Leopard kill. One of the rangers shared the sighting and remarked, “at last, a use for them!!”