Olive Thrush (Turdus olivaceus)
One of the most common members of the thrush family (Turdidae). It occurs in east African highlands from Eritrea and Ethiopia in north to the Cape of Good Hope in south.
The female builds a cup nest, typically 2 to 9 m above the ground in a tree or hedge. The 1–3 (usually 2) eggs are incubated solely by the female for 14–15 days to hatching, and the chicks fledge in another 16 days.
The Karoo Thrush (Turdus smithi) is said to be a sub-specie of this bird and I have posted on it before (to see post CLICK HERE), and now that is enough of the scientific stuff…
This bird has the most beautiful singing voice and I’m going to try and add a YouTube recording… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTYjKzykq6g sorry you’ll have to click on the link, but please do, it is beautiful…
And you must remember my singing Ground scraper Thrush, that pair of singers.?? (to see post CLICK HERE)
Now for my photos of the Olive Thrush…..
Malachite Kingfisher (Alcedo cristata)
I cannot tell you how long I’ve tried to get a photo of this bird, but at 5 inches, tail to beak tip, you got to be lucky to get close enough.
I got a photo once which was the best I’ve ever got before yesterday, and this wasn’t even in focus… a classic for the “Worst Bird Photography Ever.”
This is a species common to reeds and aquatic vegetation near slow moving water or ponds. The flight of the bird is rapid, the short rounded wings whirring until they appear a mere blur. It usually flies low over water.
The bird has a regular stand from which it fishes. These are usually low over the water. It sits upright, its tail pointed downwards. It drops suddenly with a splash and usually returns at once with a struggling captive. No wonder it’s called a “KING fisher”..
The nest is a tunnel in a sandy bank, usually over water. Both work together to excavate. the burrow inclines upward before the nesting chamber is reached. There is no nest, but 3-6 round white eggs are placed on a litter of fish bones and disgorged pellets.
The call of this kingfisher is a short shrill “seek.” The breeding song is a chuckling “li-cha-cha-chui-chui.” and in case you’re not sure, the Bulldog’s bark after this capture is “Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”
Now drum roll please….. druuuuuum, druuuuuum, Bulldogs capture… (Applause… Applause… Applause)…
I came across these photos I took a while back to illustrate the camouflage of the Kudu. These where fairly close but yet can so easily disappear within the bush they are eating from…
Look how he blends in with the tarmac… and car for that matter… (now that got you calling me an idiot..)
And here he is in the bush.. (he was really close…)
And this Mother and Youngster kept disappearing in the bush they were feeding on..
If it wasn’t for their ears you’d have trouble seeing them…
Below there is the Mother in the back ground… can you see her.??
African Rail (Rallus caerulescens)
Now this is not a bird I see everyday, in fact this is the first time I’ve been able to take a photo of one. So I count myself lucky this time…
Its breeding habitat is marshes and reed beds across eastern and southern Africa from Ethiopia to South Africa. The African Rail nests in a dry location in marsh vegetation, both sexes building the cup nest. African Rails are secretive in the breeding season, but are easier to see than many other rail species, especially in the morning. They are noisy birds, with a trilled whistled treee-tee-tee-tee-tee call.
These birds probe with their bill in mud or shallow water, also picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects, crabs and other small aquatic animals.
Karoo Thrush (Turdus smithi)
This medium sized bird has a length of about 24 cm. The Karoo thrush is considered a subspecies of Olive Thrush (Turdus olivaceus) and is even known to hybridise with it.
It differs from the Olive Thrush by its longer, entirely orange bill, its longer wings, and its greyer flanks. It occurs in South Africa (Little Namaqualand, Karoo and Northern Cape).
The female builds a cup nest, between 2 to 9 m above the ground. The 1–3 (usually 2) eggs are incubated solely by the female for 14–15 days to hatching, and the chicks fledge in another 16 days.
The male’s song is a mix of fluted, whistled and trilled phrases, and now a few photos….