South African Shelduck… something I didn’t know.

South African Shelduck or Cape Shelduck, (Tadorna cana)

When researching yesterdays post about the Common Shelduck, I wasn’t aware that we had our own.. this I have to have a photo of somewhere… and blow me down I do, taken in the Kalahari where I found the other…

Not being very good on ducks ID, seeing as half is normally under water… this one did jump out at me… not the best and I only have two which i will share with you..

Here first a bit of info thanks to Wikipedia…

This is a 64 cm long bird which breeds in southern Africa, mainly in Namibia and South Africa. In the southern winter, many birds move north-east from the breeding range to favoured moulting grounds, where sizable concentrations occur.

This species is mainly associated with lakes and rivers in fairly open country, breeding in disused mammal holes, usually those of the Aardvark.

Adult South African Shelduck have ruddy bodies and wings strikingly marked with black, white and green. The male has a grey head, and the female has a white face and black crown, nape and neck sides.

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Common Shelduck.. What’s it doing here?

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

I took a while to identify this duck, but then I’m not too good in this area, and surprise when I did it is widespread and common in Eurasia. Now that is fairly far from the tip of Africa. But I do like the Photos, and it was photographed here so I’m going to share them….

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And then he, like most birds, gives me the finger….

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African Sacred Ibis.

African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus)

An adult individual is 68 cm long with all-white body plumage apart from dark plumes on the rump. The bald head and neck, thick curved bill and legs are black. The white wings show a black rear border in flight. Actually quite an ugly bird.

This bird is usually silent, but occasionally makes some croaking noises, unlike its vocal relative, the Hadeda Ibis, which is very vocal specially when surprised, its call is often equated to what a person would scream if they were afraid of heights. Maybe it is afraid of heights.

It feeds on various fish, frogs, small mammals, reptiles and smaller birds as well as insects. It also probes the soil with its long bill for invertebrates such as earthworms.

Now for a fascinating fact; The African Sacred Ibis has been introduced into France, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, and the United States (S. Florida).

The introduced and rapidly growing populations in southern Europe are seen as a potential problem, since these large predators can devastate breeding colonies of species such as terns. The adaptable Ibises supplement their diet by feeding at rubbish tips, which helps them to survive the winter in these temperate regions.

Here are a few photos…..

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The Lilac-breasted Roller.. a painted bird.

Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus)

I have posted on this bird before and to see that post CLICK HERE.

During the breeding season, the male will fly to great heights, and descend in swoops and dives, uttering harsh inconsistent cries to it’s normal. I wonder if that is where the name Roller comes from… and a little more research uncovers the following … “Rollers get their name from their impressive courtship flight, a fast, shallow dive from considerable elevation with a rolling or fast rocking motion, accompanied by loud raucous calls.” well I was right then…

This species is the national bird of Botswana and Kenya. (Now I didn’t know that, just shows what a bit of research can uncover)

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Spotted Thick-knee.. not a sickness I have…

Spotted Thick-knee (Burhinus capensis)

Oh this bird just amuses me, not because of it’s nature but because of it’s name… I have posted on this bird before and to see that post CLICK HERE.

The poor birds name sounds like a strange sickness that you must beware of when walking in the forest… I found these two sitting quietly observing what I was up to…


Does he not look unhappy about the name he has been given ?? Sounds like a schoolboy nickname for some un-sporty type…


And her sitting on eggs too… or hiding her thick knees… not sure which…