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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:51 am 
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As I have so gently been reminded, the holiday is over so lets get cracking :)

Things this holiday season has been pretty damp to say the least with birding opportunities being few and far between :cry:

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As you can see it was pretty dreary but at least I got a few photos so lets go. All of the pics were shot in the lower south coast of natal.

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In box cleaned and waiting for your reply have a go

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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:56 am 
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Our last quiz did not hold big surprises and some folk even managed to get the id of the bird in the pic illustrating the gloomy weather :D

The birds were as following:
Brown hooded kingfisher
Yellow weaver
White-fronted plover
Cape white-eye
White faced duck :redface: thanks JJ :)
Dark-backed weaver
Wooly-necked stork

Also read more about the:

1. Brown hooded kingfisher Here
2. Yellow weaver Here
3.White-fronted plover Here
4. Cape white-eye Here
5. White faced duck Here
6. Dark-backed weaver Here
7. Wooly-necked stork Here

This week there might be a bit of a surprise but the photos are all pretty clear so with the high standards you folks have I doubt that there will be difficulty

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Two for the price of one :twisted:

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Have fun :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:21 pm 
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Hi All

While we are waiting for Sparks . Identify the birds in this pic

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Also read more about the:

1. Marabou stork Here
2. Black stork Here
3. Yellow billed stork Here
4. Woolly necked stork Here
5. Hamerkop Here

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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:47 am 
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Next lot, nothing to confuse just pretty pictures of colourful birdies, maybe one LBJ :big_eyes:

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Enjoy :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:40 am 
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Like I said nothing really hectic, the lbj did cause a bit of a stir and a few folks needed a second look.

The answers were:
1. Giant Kingfisher
2. White-crested helmet-shrike
3. Eastern form of Sabota lark :twisted: On this one the bill is slightly more petite but the lighter lower mandible remains. They feed on insects and seed about 40% and 60% seed and interestingly does not drink water. Nests are grass and rootlet cups with dome grass roofs in the base of tufts of grass or stones.
4. Green-winged Pytilia
5. Three banded plover
6. Red-billed oxpecker

The oxpecker in the photo just shows the yellow skin around the eye and this was a clear indication that it was a red billed. Yellow billed oxpeckers while a lot scarcer normally stick to larger game and are usually found on giraffe buffalo and rhino and has the habit of roosting on their hosts.

Feeding habits also differ with the red billed having scissor like bills and pecking at wounds and loose skin flakes in addition to insects and parasites the yellow billed has pincer like bill action and would mainly feed on ticks and parasites.

Also read more about the:

1. Giant Kingfisher Here
2. White-crested helmet-shrike Here
3. Sabota lark Here
4. Green-winged Pytilia Here
5. Three-banded plover Here
6. Red-billed oxpecker Here

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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:33 am 
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The new lot might seem as if I am in a bad mood :twisted: I am not :D It is not always possible to get up close and personal with these feathered critters and one has to make a call on just a fleeting glimpse or a long distance affair and this is where other little details play a major role. Last lot we even had the warthog identified correctly :twisted: so have a go. All the birds were photographed in the lower part of Kruger.

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And we have a bonus photo for the adventurous folks, taken in Johannesburg :twisted:

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Almost like the lotto 6 + a bonus :lol:

Enjoy

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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:45 am 
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Re 5.

Okay how to distinguish the masked weavers...

If it has got blue eyes, then it is the Lesser masked-weaver.

If it has got red eyes, then it is either the Village weaver or the Masked weaver (Southern masked weaver).

Then you look at the mask - Village weaver's masked does not extend above the bill.

All of them nest communally, mostly near water, but not always. Often in trees. :evil: No help there.

I zoomed in on the bottom-most bird. I think I managed to see the eye colour and extent of the mask, so I guessed.

Will let you know if I'm right or not. (Of course, I've seen mixed colonies in the KNP, I hope this is not one of those, because I couldn't see anything close to distinguishing features on the other birds :lol: )


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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:24 pm 
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Dabchick wrote:
Re 5.

Okay how to distinguish the masked weavers...

If it has got blue eyes, then it is the Lesser masked-weaver.

If it has got red eyes, then it is either the Village weaver or the Masked weaver (Southern masked weaver).

Then you look at the mask - Village weaver's masked does not extend above the bill.

All of them nest communally, mostly near water, but not always. Often in trees. :evil: No help there.
I zoomed in on the bottom-most bird. I think I managed to see the eye colour and extent of the mask, so I guessed.

Will let you know if I'm right or not. (Of course, I've seen mixed colonies in the KNP, I hope this is not one of those, because I couldn't see anything close to distinguishing features on the other birds :lol: )


Southern masked does not nest so close to each other in fact they can be quite touchy if another male would dare to get that close without a formal introduction :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:35 am 
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With cricket 2011 a thing of the past lets get back to business :twisted:

The birdies created quite a stir and did exactly what I had planned, they forced the folks to look at other ways to get to the right id. A bit of a nasty one but I am sure all of us learned quite a lot and by that I include myself :whistle:

On the thick billed weaver in the first pic there are a few dead giveaways, the two white patches above the bill is one of them and the nest is almost a dead certainty. These birds have the finest nesting strands and with that big bill one does not expect this fine work, being in the reeds is another clue and combined with the heavy bill it should lead one to the correct answer.

The green backed heron was not such a clear cut one the eye is just visible and once again the nest has some influence but not as clear as the previous one and one needed to look way closer at the bird's back and colour.

The arrow marked babbler was not too difficult and thrown in the mix as an example of what can be expected in the field where one often has a brief glimpse of the bird to make the id and the same goes for the little cuckoo.

:lol: The one that caused the biggest stir was the lesser masked weaver :twisted: Not much to id by just looking at the bird in the photo but if all details are combined there could only be one.
The yellow and black colour and nest type narrows it down to 3
Southern masked, lesser masked and spotted backed weaver, all3 overlap in distribution in the area so that is not much help Southern masked do nest in close proximity to each other but not as close as in the photo and in fact they are pretty grumpy if another male dares to get too close, that eliminates the southern. Spotted backed also nest in groups but once again not as close as the birds in the photo though they are generally not as bad tempered as southern masked The eye color is not visible in the photo but if you look carefully you can see the shape of the black mask that will point to lesser masked and with the slightly longer tunnel to the entrance it would be possible to correctly id the bird.
The top nest is that of the buffalo weaver that makes a communal nest like the sociable weavers and the nest that the lessers are building on is probably that of a hamerkop, nests can tell a tale of their own :twisted:

I did not expect the bonus bird to be identified but I was wrong, in the end most folks got this one right and I base my conclusion on the fact that I saw the parents feeding it, it was the black headed oriole,........... or could it have been a cuckoo :whistle:

Thanks for your participation :thumbs_up:

Also read more about the:

1. Thick billed weaver Here
2. Green backed heron Here
3. Arrow marked babbler Here
4. Diderick Cuckoo Here
5. Lesser masked weaver Here
6. Egyptian Goose Here
7. Black headed oriole Here

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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:13 am 
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This time a bit of a more gentle mix and there might just be a candidate for Micetta's thread :twisted:
All birds were photographed in the lower part of Kruger

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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:26 am 
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Ok ducklings...here goes. Thought we'd try some waterbirds...should be easy enough. :wink:

1. Taken at Bird Haven near Vereeniging
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2. Taken in the Pilanesberg
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3. Taken in Sandton
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4. Taken at Johannesburg Botanical Garden
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5. Taken at Lake Panic, Kruger
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6. Taken in Richards Bay, KZN
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7. Taken at Johannesburg Botanical Gardens
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8. Taken in the Pilanesberg
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PM me your answers! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:47 am 
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The answers to my last session. I can not add more to the mix, I hope you all get the finer details as explained to us

Johan van Rensburg wrote:
#1 - Kurrichane thrush
#2 - Brown snake-eagle
#3 - Pied kingfisher
#4 - White-crowned lapwing
#5 - Nice challenge... I'd say this is a young white-backed vulture... wbv as opposed to Cape because:
1. In Cape the grey/blue facial skin would only be seen on an adult as the youngsters tend to have red / pink facial skin. Following that deduction the colour pattern of the feathers on the back of the an ADULT CV would be much lighter with significant shade differences between secondary flight feathers and the greater wing coverts, which would also be sporting a terminal row of dark spots.
2. The tail feathers do not extend past the primaries as much as it would if this had been a CV.
3. I don't heed eye colour much as the angle of view and light conditions must be 100% right to use that (honey-coloured eye) feature. Again it will only be seen on an adult CV and "we" have already discounted the adult CV based on feather pattern.
#6 - Young bateleur
#7 - African green pigeon

Thanks for the challenge...

Helps a bit when I get withdrawal symptoms... Didn't get to do any birding this past weekend!

JvR


Thanks JVR :thumbs_up:

Also read more about the:

#1 - Kurrichane thrush Here
#2 - Brown snake-eagle Here
#3 - Pied kingfisher Here
#4 - White-crowned lapwing Here
#5 - young white-backed vulture Here
#6 - Young bateleur Here
#7 - African green pigeon Here

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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:05 am 
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The answers to my challenge...although everyone got full marks so you all know what they are!!! :wink:

1. Cape Teal
2. Little Grebe/Dabchick
3. African Black Duck
4. Cattle Egret
5. Green-backed Heron
6. Swift Tern
7. Red-knobbed Coot
8. Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Well done everyone!! :thumbs_up: Should I do another one, or does someone else have some pics?

Also read more about the:

1. Cape Teal Here
2. Little Grebe/Dabchick Here
3. African Black Duck Here
4. Cattle Egret Here
5. Green-backed Heron Here
6. Swift Tern Here
7. Red-knobbed Coot Here
8. Brown-hooded Kingfisher Here

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SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:33 am 
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Micetta :thumbs_up:

This one will hopefully be a bit harder than the last one (just a little bit). :wink:

1. Taken in the Pilanesberg
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2. Taken at the Cradle of Humankind
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3. Taken in Johannesburg
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4. Taken at Rietvlei
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5. Taken in the Pilanesberg
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6. Taken in the Northern Drakensberg
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7. Taken at Rietvlei
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8. Taken in Johannesburg
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Have fun & PM me your answers!! :thumbs_up:

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SAY NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN KRUGER


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 Post subject: Re: Birding school for ducklings.
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:16 am 
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OK..I see some of you are struggling with No. 1. :wink:

Johan van Rensburg got it right first try. This is how he worked it out (I'm only giving you some of his thoughts for now.) :twisted:

"Well, #1 is going to be tough as cisticolas normally are a challenge in the field. To have to ID the bird from a picture with crucial features obscured... hmmmm... <rubs hands, drools>

Lets think what it is NOT... It's NOT a short-tailed cisticola. They would all have a streaked head or plain back. It's not a Lazy cisticola, 'cause that would also be a plain-backed bird. I don't know if croaking can be disqualified on distribution (marginal), but it goes out based on the relatively average size of this bird's bill (croakers have LARGE bills!) and lack of streaked crown. It's NOT Levaillant's because the bill colour is too light and the feathers on the back not black enough. Same goes for Wailing, plus Wailing has a dainty dark bill."


Does this help? :whistle:

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