Befuddled Bird…

This egret looks confused. (As kids, we called them ‘tick birds’ because they are always to be found near grazing cattle.)

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I took these two pics at Borrowdale Race Course in Harare recently. Its been raining and raining, here in Zimbabwe and the gallops are flooded.

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Usually white, they all looked pretty grubby and no amount of cleaning (or hiding under his wing,) is going to help until it dries up some.

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Fish Eagle…

This fish eagle often sits in a tree directly opposite Mlibizi fishing camp, it’s nest just around the corner. One of a pair, they also feed a juvenile (brown coloured still,) and are probably laying eggs right now in their messy nest.

Our boatman threw a tiddler onto the water with a reed stuck through its gills. After following the bird carefully in its descent, I missed the shot! Luckily, the fish-eagle did too, on his first pass, and I got to record this magnificent bird change direction and swoop down directly towards me.

Wow, what power…

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Swooping down…

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This is where he had to turn in mid air!

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I was told a story about a fish eagle at Mlibizi Hotel. (Pic in the previous post.)

Rescued as a chick, the fish eagle had been brought up at the hotel, probably fed with the scraps from fisherman. Fully grown, it sat in a tree above the pool, as fish eagle are wont to do.

One day, a guy with a bald patch, jumped into the pool and began swimming across! I’m guessing from the birds perspective, his bald patch looked awfully like lunch, shimmering under water!

The fish eagle swooped down and stuck his talons into his scalp! It made quite a mess, I’m told!

 

Fishing…

On the Zambezi seems to be a social event and everyone joins in – birds, people, crocs!!!P1160757

Waste water from the fish farm enters the Zambezi here and it seems to attract fishermen of all kinds!

In this video, you can see the fish jump about when the croc moves:

Ive no idea what this bird is, but it sure can stay still for long enough. He was drying himself here after a mini dive!

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This little kingfisher sits on an abandoned boat roof.

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When Lake Kariba filled, trees were flooded and died, providing great subjects for sunset photography! Also pretty good perches for the many water birds found along the Zambezi.

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This poor bird, featured above got caught up in a fisherman’s cast…Luckily for it, hooks are valuable things and the fisherman set it free.

Fish Eagle make the most awesome call – and the swooping, majestic flights over the water. They sit for hours on trees or other vantage points over the Zambezi, waiting for prey. I was told a story by the guy who helped me capture the video below – he said he saw a juvenile fish eagle riding on its parent’s back, learning how to fish! I’d love to catch THAT on video!

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This video was taken on the Zambezi – not at Binga – a few kilometres upstream near Msuna..

Green Wood Hoopoe…

Or ihlekabafazi. Which means “women laughing!” And they do make a racket, digging about in the tree.P1160177

Ive always thought it strange that its called a GREEN wood hoopoe, when its clearly blue!  I much prefer the “red billed wood hoopoe” name, although I always think of them as ihlekabafazi.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_wood_hoopoe

Below is a short video clip of one of them foraging in the palm tree outside our kitchen window: