You see enough of the regular visitors to our garden, so I thought of spreading my wings a little to show you a sampling of some of the many other birds we see in this country. First up though is a native of Australia that turns up in odd places – the Black Swan:
The rest of the birds on show today are indigenous and the first of these is a large local resident at some lakes, dams and rivers – the Goliath Heron:
A bird that is ubiquitous all over South Africa – and which is making increasing inroads in the UK – is the Egyptian Goose:
Some time ago I proudly showed you photographs of the flamingos we were able to observe in the West Coast National Park. This flock of Greater Flamingos is flying over a dam in Gauteng:
Although I do not see them very often, the African Black Duck is fairly commonly observed along streams and rivers in this country:
Lastly, I want to show off a common resident seen all over South Africa, especially around freshwater wetlands. I think the Three-banded Plover is a particularly attractive bird:
I seldom get the opportunity to spend the time to stop and observe birds whilst driving through the Addo Elephant National Park with companions who are far more interested in animals than either birds or flowers. These are birds I managed to photograph during a day trip to that park last month. The first is a Green Woodhoopoe close to the reception. Naturally, it sauntered about in full view until I had retrieved my camera!
One can almost be guaranteed to come across a weaver or two either in or on the Spekboom hedge at Domkrag Dam. This is a Cape Weaver looking a bit disreputable since shedding its breeding finery.
A Speckled Mousebird watches me from a bush next to the road. Without its crest raised, it looks almost as though it has just woken up.
It was at Rooidam that a young Reed Cormorant flapped its wings to dry in the early morning sunlight.
Tripping lightly along the edge of the road was the surprising sight of a Three-banded Plover.
A Cape Turtle Dove inspected the gravel at Jack’s Picnic Site with a degree of success.
Of course there were many more birds seen but not photographed.
Here is an attractive wader that is always a pleasure to see, a Three-banded Plover (Charadrius tricollaris). Found in east and southern Africa, where they are common residents of freshwater wetlands, these plovers tend to be seen on the muddy edges of dams and rivers – usually close to vegetation.
Two black bands on its chest are separated by a white band and it has a white ring around its head. This handsome bird has a red beak with a black tip and a bright orange to red ring around its eyes.
As you can see in the next photograph, their legs and feet are pale pinkish-brown.