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Old Tuesday 6th September 2011, 02:35   #1
njlarsen
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Greater Kruger ZA, set 2

Hi all, some more birds from the general Kruger area in South Africa.

1 One was right outside Phalaborwa, with Marabou Stork and which Vultures; am I overlooking something or are there only Hooded? (I had other ideas when I looked at them, but I was coming off of 16 hours of traveling at the time ...)
2 Is this the Southern black Flycatcher?
3 What is the bird at the left? and I assume the weaver at the back is unrecognizable ...
4 I had other ideas when I saw it, could only see this side of the bird, but is it Tawny Eagle?
5 Immature Martial Eagle? It was really too far away.

I have more photos of each if needed, but not necessarily of that many other angles.

thanks
Niels
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Old Tuesday 6th September 2011, 09:48   #2
MacNara
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Hi Neils:

Lucky you to have been where you've just been! I'm not an expert, but am trying to bring back what knowledge I gained in my three trips to Africa over the last three years. All my comments subject to the opinions of people who really know.

1. All the vultures that can be seen clearly look like Hooded, but there is one bird at the back which looks different and larger. Unfortunately, the head of this bird can't be seen in this photo. Maybe it's a White-backed or a Lappet-faced?
2.Looks good to me for SBF.
3.The bird at the front is surely Cape Weaver female with a long bill like that. Although the pose might make one assume that the bird at the back is a juvenile of the same species, the stripe down the middle of the head makes me think it's a Purple Indigobird (Widowfinch) Female (more likely in Zambia, it seems [Edit: through tiredness and inattention, I had ZA down as Zambia; it's South Africa, of course, so ignore this point about location]), or Dusky Indigobird (Widowfinch) female, or non-breeding male, or juvenile of one of these. Purple would have red legs, Dusky, white, so if you have another photo which shows the legs, you can make a better estimate.
4.Yes, Tawny Eagle. Nice photo. The gape gives no chance of Steppe Eagle.
5. Yes, this looks right to me, but I've not seen the bird.
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Old Tuesday 6th September 2011, 12:30   #3
Valéry Schollaert
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- First photo: I just see Hooded Vultures (and Marabout)
- Last photo: Martial juvenile indeed!

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Old Tuesday 6th September 2011, 13:06   #4
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Thank you both! In image 3, the bird at the back was smaller than the greenish bird that Mac thinks is Cape Weaver.

Niels
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Old Tuesday 6th September 2011, 13:17   #5
Valéry Schollaert
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Sorry I didn't open that photo.

Female Pin-tailed Whydah, the parasite of the third species on the photo: Blue Waxbill (Southern Cordonbleu).

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Old Tuesday 6th September 2011, 15:49   #6
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I agree with the IDs given so far. The back bird in pic 3 is a female-plumaged Vidua and i am afraid you can't go beyond genus.
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Old Wednesday 7th September 2011, 01:31   #7
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Thank you all!
I saw (and think I have photos of) bunches of the Vidua sp, and I fully suspected that "undeterminate" would be the answer for most of them. When I get there, I will probably upload a few more examples.

Niels
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Old Wednesday 7th September 2011, 02:07   #8
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I don't know why I forgot to mention Pin-tailed Whydah: given the presence of the parasitised species, this is the most likely, I think, as Valéry says.

If you have a clear shot of a vidia species female or eclipse, where you can see both the bill and the legs as well as the plumage, then you are in with a good shot of identification. Obviously supporting evidence like a breeding male nearby is helpful. But if you only have one of the bill or legs, then it's more tricky.

(PS: As you will have noticed from one post, I took ZA as 'Zambia', even though I know it's the South Africa code, and I know Kruger is there. It was late, and also I had your other post from Victoria Falls in mind, which was where Zambia came from, as my wife and I had been considering this last year and trying to decide whether the Zambia or Zimbabwe side of the falls is better (went to Namibia in the end). I've taken the liberty of adding a note to my earlier post. And I changed your name, too. Profound apologies.)
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Old Wednesday 7th September 2011, 02:30   #9
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Hi Mac,
thanks and no offense taken (heck, even my own mom gets my name wrong sometimes ).

The Zimbabwe side was really good for the view of the falls, and given that I were with non-birders, there was a definitely limit to how much else we saw around there.

It will be a few days before I get to the other shots with Vidua sp etc, I believe. I have a total of more than 3000 photos to get through from this trip

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Old Wednesday 7th September 2011, 03:08   #10
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Yes, we were thinking of going to the Zimbabwe side and then Huangwe National Park for a day or so. But we have Japanese holidays - actually, we do rather better than most Japanese, having arranged a schedule of eight to ten days two or three times a year. But they tend to be at peak periods, so somewhere slightly away from huge sites like Victoria Falls is often better.

I read somewhere that the Chinese are going to build 'for Botswana' a major road along the river west from Victoria Falls, which would negatively affect elephant migration, as well as a lot of other things. But it would help Botswana export minerals, and would also allow them to boost tourist numbers (while destroying the places the tourists come to see). So we were hoping to get there before it's all gone completely Disney. Maybe in a year or two.

Namibia is great: fine for birds and animals, and lovely generally. We were lucky last end-April to early-May that there was record rainfall. The scudding clouds and the intermittent rain meant that the colours of the dunes, deserts and green hills (depending on area) was continually changing - very beautiful. And all the dry rivers had water, a thing most visitors don't get to see.

Our guide said that if you were mainly interested in birds, and not dunes and desert, then a summer (northern winter) trip along the coast through Etosha and as much of the Caprivi Strip (Okavango River) as you have time for would be wonderful. We're thinking of this for the yearend this year or next.
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Old Wednesday 7th September 2011, 14:15   #11
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Mac,
thanks for the elaboration. It definitely feels like a part of the world we would like to return to later -- problem is we are much closer to South America and there are still many great places there we have not visited.

Niels
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