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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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:

Birdlife, Robins Camp…

The bird-life around Robins Camp was very good although I didn’t manage to photograph most of them. Usually I stalk birds, crawling in the grass, but with lions and buffalo wandering about freely I had to stalk them from the car! BirdlifeWe used to get these (below) when we lived on the Insiza river, another early morning wake up call I miss desperately.Birdlife Robin's CampThis hornbill plain refused to cooperate. He sat on that branch with his back to us for ages! P1100638Another bird we both saw and heard on the Insiza – sounds like a bouncing ball! They seem to be such poor flyers – a coucal doesn’t land, it crash-lands!Birdlife Robin's CampI cant identify this raptor:Birdlife Robin's CampHe had his eye on this crowd of birds. We waited around for ages to see if he would swoop down on them, but he didn’t oblige!Birdlife Robin's Camp I snapped this pic (below) in between photographing ellies! Those brilliant colours sure distract me! Birdlife Robin's CampThis bird was watching the main road in from Sinamatella:Birdlife Robin's CampI think this one, (below) is the same bird, but with a nest.Birdlife Robin's CampI took this pic at crocodile pools in the Robins Camp part of the Hwange National Park. Its amazing how they happily move about with HUGE crocs sunning themselves nearbyBirdlife Robin's CampWe saw a fair number of vultures in the park, which is a good sign. These were eating the carcass of a dead baby hippo. Excuse the photo, I couldnt get close, I was worried a lion maybe lurking in the bushes! Its amazing how camouflage a lion is. We noticed an elephant flapping its ears and walking sort of funny – zoomed in with the lens and oops – a lion, just lying in the grass! Birdlife Robin's CampWe saw a fair number of guinea-fowl at Robin’s, but not as many as at RHA mine. They are not easy to photograph, they dont keep still and are always moving away from me – nothing worse than the butt end of a bird! Birdlife Robin's CampAnd last, one of my favourite birds, the hoopoe.  I have better pics, taken in my garden, where I can stalk them to my hearts content, but I wanted to post the pics I got in Hwange National Park! Birdlife Robin's Camp

Bee-eater…

P1070431-001It was cold on the banks of the Zambezi, but I wanted photos of the dawn above the Victoria Falls. This little guy was cold too! So were his brothers and sisters! Bee-eaterSince I don’t have the greatest zoom on my camera, I snuck up – snapping pics at every step…he wasn’t fooled…Bee-eater

Then he worked me out…”Photographer…no sweat!”

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Arrow Marked Babblers…

I’ve really struggled to get a decent shot of one of these birds until today…

Arrow Marked BabblersWhen two of them just hopped over to the dog’s bowl and began pecking at lumps of sadza…

When I think of the hours I have stalked these birds! They are usually heard first, but hard to get a shot at. Elusive, they hop about in the shrubbery and then, when I have missed any number of shots, fly rapidly away to cackle from a tree, just out of camera range.

Arrow Marked BabblersLoosely translated, their name is “women’s laughter…” in the local language and they do sound like a great gaggle of women having fun!

Arrow Marked BabblersIm not sure if they were making their nest…Im told its a communal one….but who cares…I hid in the kitchen doorway, with only my lens poking through until someone walked passed…this final one as they flew away:

Arrow Marked Babblers