Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mission Accomplished

BINGO! I feel as if I've hit the jackpot, because as I had hoped, I "witnessed" the emergance of a little Masked weaver chick from its nest. This photo was taken only seconds after shakily at first, it eventually flopped onto a branch. Finally my patience & vigilance paid off. I also had an answer to all my questions [SEE: last 4 entries on this blog, starting on Wednesday].

Now what? Now that "my mission" was accomplished, I remembered watching these 2 Bokmakieries (= Bush shrikes) "flirting" last month when lately & from the corner of my eye (whilst still concentrating on the weavers' going-ons), I regularly saw 2 bokmakieries "disappearing" in a bush nearby. So I decided to "investigate" this matter.

Sure enough a bokmakierie appeared with a Praying mantis in its beak - Bingo! Food for youngsters. But where was the nest? The bird seemed to disappear into a lowish bush at our fence - instead of a tree (= higher up).

Moments later & this time with a worm in its beak, the bokmakierie was back again. Note to myself: these birds don't only feed insects and/or seeds to their young. Roberts also "informs" me that both male & female bokmakieries feed their young (& not only the female as e.g. Masked weavers).

Once I thought the "coast was clear" - I certainly didn't want to frighten the bokmakierie parents - I gingerly moved closer to the "said" bush.

It didn't take me long to locate the nest & as I had suspected (because of the food "supply"), I saw 2 small chicks inside. So yes, I now have a new "project" to concentrate on - since the little weaver has left its nest & I probably won't see it again/recognise it if it did return. Guess instead, I'll "keep a diary" now of how these 2 little bokmakierie chicks' "progress".

Talking about "hitting" the jackpot - I feel like that every time I "record" (= photograph) a bird as yet not part of the over 400 bird species I've already managed to photograph. It happened during the last tour & was this Halfcollared kingfisher.

I also snapped this Cattle egret with its "breeding" plumage . . .

. . . and on a previous tour, this Doublecollared sunbird . . .

. . . as well as this Speckled mousebird - check out the 2 "heads" at the bottom of the photo, as if "hidden" in a "basket". These are birds I've photographed before, but seldom so well!

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