One cannot do any serious bird watching while in the company of those for whom animals are the most interesting. Here then is a sample of the birds I saw in passing whilst in the Mountain Zebra National Park. This Streaky-headed Seedeater (Crithagra gularis) was perched in a tree outside the communal kitchen in the rest camp. There were many of them all over the park:

Apart from seeds, they eat fruit, flowers, buds, nectar and insects. A similar diet is followed by the White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (Plocepasser mahali). The rest camp is awash with these birds and their untidy grass nests are evident everywhere in the park:

Having heard its melodious calls for two mornings in a row without seeing one, I felt privileged when this Cape Robin-Chat (Cossypha caffra) posed for me on a low branch outside the administration building. These birds eat insects, fruit and small vertebrates.

It is less easy to identify birds while driving. Could this be a Sabota Lark (Calendulauda sabota) posing on a termite mound?

There is no mistaking the Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris). These iconic birds grace any landscape as flocks of them pick their way through the veld looking for bulbs, roots, seeds and invertebrates.

This Ant-eating Chat (Myrmecocichla formicivora) was easy to identify too.

Given how little water there is at the moment, it was a bonus coming across a Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) looking for insects, worms, tadpoles, or even small fish at the edge of a dam.

Lastly, this Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) showed no interest in posing for a photograph – he clearly had better things to do!

NOTE: Please click on a photograph if you wish to view a larger image.

13 thoughts on “A FEW BIRDS IN PASSING

  1. Wow! I know, I often say that, but I don’t have anything more brilliant to offer about these creatures that impress me as amazingly varied and mysterious, and almost every one completely foreign to me — so I guess that makes me notice them even more than “new” birds of North America that I see.

    You call the guinea fowl iconic, but he is nothing so familiar to me, and he is truly striking in color and pattern. I especially love the elegant brown ant-eating chat 🙂


    • The Helmeted Guineafowl occurs all over South Africa is is iconic in the sense that it is beloved by most and is frequently depicted in art works, on tea towels, tourist souvenirs, on ceramics and so on.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You managed to click these in spite! Wonderful. The Helmeted Guineafowl has a real fancy outfit 🙂 And the Common Ostrich does seem to have other immediate concerns! 🙂 Nice collection of birds, Anne.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.