Waterbirds

Now it’s waterbirds !  Those fresh water species we photographed while visiting 4 different “hides” (blinds in US terms) plus several other ponds, lakes and rivers.  The hides allow very close-up images of most birds although a few keep their distance.

KINGFISHERS

Giant Kingfisher

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Pied kingfisher

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Brown-hooded kingfisher

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African pygmy kingfisher-About the size of a goldfinch

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HERONS

Goliath heron-the world’s largest

 

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Gray Heron

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Black-headed heron

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Hamerkop

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Shorebirds, etc.:

Pied avocet

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Three-banded plover

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Blacksmith plover

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Spotted thick-knee

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Little grebe

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African black rail

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Lesser flamingo

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LAPWINGS

Wattled lapwing

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Senegal lapwing

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White-crowned lapwing

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DUCKS & GEESE

Egyptian goose

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Spur-winged goose

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White-faced duck

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Cape teal

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Yellow-billed duck

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GROUND BIRDS

The next group of birds will be those I call the ground birds…the ones that spend most of their time on the ground as opposed to in the trees or primarily associated with water. 

Ostrich-Obviously the biggest.  Lots of them in the south but only a few in Kruger.

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Lots of ostrich chicks.  They have communal nests so it wasn’t rare to see 20-30 chicks in a group.

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Maribou stork-A scavenger. 

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Regularly seen along the river banks and at predator kills.

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Saddle-billed stork-Pretty rare, this one was fairly tame within one of the camps.

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Yellow-billed stork-These use one foot to stir up the water and flush fish, frogs and insects out of the mud.

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Blue crane-A year-round resident in the grasslands, especially the cultivated grain fields.  Absolutely beautiful!

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African openbillStrange beak, open at the sides.  I wonder why.

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Black-bellied bustard-It is found in woodland and tall open grassland in South Africa. It prefers high rainfall and in many areas occurs only following heavy rain.

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Southern black Korhaan-Found in dry coastal fynbos and karoo scrub. 

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Helmeted  Guinea fowl-Common everywhere we went.

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Swainson’s spurfowl-Spurfowl are also known as francolin.

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Burchell’s Coucal-A predatory cuckoo; it’s call, like water dripping, is thought by the natives to signal a rainstorm, thus they call it the Rainbird.

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African hoopoeA major player in Michner’s The Source, the hoopoe was chosen as the national bird of Israel. In Leviticus (11:13–19) hoopoes were listed among the animals that are detestable and should not be eaten. 

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Red-billed oxpeckerRegularly seen picking bugs off the hides of giraffes, rhinos, large antelope.

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Yellow-throated longclaw-Looks like out meadowlark, huh?  A great example of convergant evolution (but what the long back claw is for I can’t tell you).

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Kurrichane thrush-Looks and acts much like the robin.  All over South Africa…lawns, parks, etc.

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Cape wagtail-Ubiquitous.  Much like the thrush.

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