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Alex & Zvezdana Big Year 2017


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Dave Williams

Well done both of you, I concede defeat, (but that's a score of 185.5 each :rolleyes::o)

 

 

No sign of the drought ending in SA either. 

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  • xelas

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BARBADOS / 02 JANUARY 2017 Let us start the year with a black bird also ourselves: BY 001 / WI 01 Carib Grackle - Quiscalus lugubris BY 002 / WI 02 Eared Dove - Zenaida auriculata BY

Here is another improved ebc photo (a set of photos) of a Common Kingfisher - Alcedo Atthis. This one from the hide in Valle di Argenta named Martin pescatore  on 31/10/2017:    

BY266 / SCO 03 Winter Wren - Troglodytes troglodytes     BY267 / SCO 04 Common Stonechat - Saxiola rubicola       BY268 / SCO 05 Barn S

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Wait, the year is not finished yet :P! While you are waiting for final result do count how many photos were taken by Zvezda :huh:.

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Peter Connan

Sorry to pee on your battery, but I think the lesser grey Shrike is actually an immature common Fiscal?

 

Beautiful portrait of the Pin-tailed Whydah!

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The Lesser Grey Shrike is pissed-off, flushed down and substituted by:

 

 

BY 370 / SA 10

Karoo Prinia - Prinia maculosa

5a60da80783af_KarooPriniaA.JPG.095af256e8fb15cd462a146bd403967b.JPG

 

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And to move on and up and ahead one more jump:

 

 

BY 372 / SA 12

African Black Swift - Apus barbatus

5a60f7cd8ec07_AfricanBlackSwift.JPG.ab08e62a0ccaec91acc178306d87dd57.JPG

 

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Still 31st of December. From Rooisand we have moved to Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens in Betty's Bay. That is where we have hoped to add the majority of new birds for 2017. The place itself is just fabulous. Like Walter Sisulu near Jo'burg and Kirstenbosh (visited later on this trip) near Cape Town also Harold Porter has stunning gardens, well designed paths, plenty of informative tables, and views "to die for". We have been a bit unlucky as most of the day the wind was quite strong and smaller birds tend to either stay in the bushes, or fly quickly over the open spaces. Strong wind did not bothered this high-flying BOP:

 

 

BY 373 / SA 13

Steppe Buzzard - Buteo vulpinus

5a624dec1d66c_SteppeBuzzardA.JPG.ffb132412324c594eafc376cc713d47d.JPG

 

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Two similar looking birds:

 

 

BY 374 / SA 14

Cape Siskin - Crithagra totta

5a624e30e9891_CapeSiskinB.JPG.f86c8b094348954b7c616f6052b4f1d6.JPG

 

 

BY 375 / SA 15

Brimstone Canary - Serinus sulphuratus

5a624e2ed94c2_BrimstoneCanaryB.JPG.540205efae58efbc0af4097da72416c6.JPG

 

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And the trio that is easy to spot and to identify:

 

BY 376 / SA 16

Red-winged Starling - Onychognathus morio

5a624ee0ccda1_Red-wingedStarlingB.JPG.4af3ffd37b4cfbaa90647cf6f76b58e3.JPG

 

 

BY 377 / SA 17

Speckled Mousebird - Colius striatus

5a624ee1befcb_SpeckledMousebirdB.JPG.4c6624b44af5a7493304bb40d9ab9901.JPG

 

 

BY 378 / SA 18

Cape Bulbul - Pycnonotus capensis

5a624ede6c42e_CapeBulbulB.JPG.f76d967168522889e9164267058c086b.JPG

 

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We have hoped to see many sunbirds; we have seen them but mostly one specie only. So when I have found this couple on photos I was very happy:

 

BY 379 / SA 19

Malachite Sunbird - Nectarinia famosa

 

male

5a624ffda9151_MalachiteSunbirdB.thumb.JPG.f8ad1f9330eb5e9591512c6a2ce19ed8.JPG

 

female

5a624ffae9c3d_MalachiteSunbirdfemaleB.JPG.11d455210a3142d95b7396986e6326cd.JPG

 

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Another small bird that one can hear and see glimpses of it almost in every tree. I was very surprised by only got this half-decent photo of otherwise very common bird in the gardens:

 

 

BY 380 / SA 20

Cape White-eye - Zosterops virens

5a6250aa3a1d6_CapeWhite-eyeAA.JPG.507e6769222a36c2e6105103fc98ed67.JPG

 

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While White-eyes were always hiding themselves among leaves, one bird allowed both of us to get very close.

 

 

BY 381 / SA 21

African Dusky Flycatcher - Muscicapa adusta

5a62512a2d12c_AfricaDuskyFlycatcherB.JPG.abae280c964fcc58a2680c96ab4d25ae.JPG

 

 

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Last one from Harold Porter Botanical Gardens:

 

 

BY 382 / SA 22

Olive Thrush - Turdus olivaceus

5a6251a5a96f3_OliveThrushB.JPG.4b7a762ce24f66a701465770338908ba.JPG

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Peter Connan

Pity you didn't get the yellow-breatsed sunbird there.

 

But great pics of the ones you did get.

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The (another) fantastic travel year 2017, and great Big Year 2017 we have ended in lovely Hermanus. Mrs.Gemma organised her own private bird we have missed before:

 

 

BY 383 / SA 23

Hadeda Ibis - Bostrychia hagedash

5a63676a87582_HadedaIbisB.JPG.6c5b500799180f3c1ce6a2f503c5b735.JPG

 

 

Along the cliff path gulls and terns were plentiful. I hope I got this one right:

 

BY 384 / SA 24

Sabine's Gull - Xema sabini

5a63676bb50ca_SabinesGullAB.JPG.7d2fadcb6bcf9c1ffb8ee4a170e6e648.JPG

 

 

And last one of the year, courtesy of ID by John Sanders of Hermanus Bird Club:

 

BY 385 / SA 25

Cape Robin-Chat - Cossypha caffra

5a636767a94b3_CapeRobin-ChatjuvenileB.JPG.9572b79f8fe53331e430d8d3f9cc6175.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That is all from our side for Big Year 2017. Although the total number of birds were lower then on our first attempt (434 vs. 385) we have had more birding-specific outings this year. We have enjoyed being clickers a lot; while I have become more familiar with some previously unidentifiable bird species, Zvezda improved on her bird photography skills, adding her specific "look" to many of them.

 

Next year ... started the next day :D! Come over to Big Year 2018, where more and more of Safaritalkers are taking part of yet another excited and prolific Big Year! All thanks to efforst of our beloved @Game Warden. Thank you so much :wub:, joining Safaritalk literally changed our life, not only travel life . Below photo is our introduction to BY2018:

 

A family photo

5a636b2184cec_SpottedFlycatcherfamilyA.JPG.909edf0b897ba690d56b9b64aa06fa93.JPG

 

Edited by xelas
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Peter Connan

385 is still a total I can only dream of, and more than a bird a day.

 

And pretty much every single one is presented beautifully.

Congratulaions!

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Galana

I wholeheartedly agree. @xelas(and Zvezda's) skills and both ID and presentation have moved forward faster than their score but surely that is part of what this game is all about? 385 is a great score but it is not about numbers in the end. It's about having fun and some banter with other players too.

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michael-ibk

Congratulations on 385 absolutely beautiful photographs, Alex and Zvezda. It will be hard to top this quality-wise in 2018, but I'm sure you will top these numbers given your travel plans. To a fruitful birding 2018, I look forward to do some of it together.

Edited by michael-ibk
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@Peter Connan, @Galana, @michael-ibk, and all others that have followed us through the Big Year 2017, giving us support and sharing your knowledge, a Big Thank You All!.

Special thanks goes to @Dave Williams who I assume have enticed us to do more birding then we would do by ourselves. I think he might still pull a hare out of his 2017 wizard hat :ph34r: ... or a pigeon or two :unsure:??

Edited by xelas
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elefromoz

@xelas, and Mrs xelas, beautiful photography, showcasing those Birds at their best, for us to enjoy

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Game Warden

@xelas Thank you so much for your words: I realise that I will never change the world, but if Safaritalk can make a little difference then we, as a group of like minded folks have achieved something positive between us.

 

Matt

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@xelas

An excellent end to a magnificent thread. And what a superb total you both have achieved. Impressive photography throughout.

 

I think the Big Year has had a major impact on many of us!

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Dave Williams

Nice result in the end my little furry friend! Shame you didn't make it to 400.

Don't get over ambitious about 2018 though!

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On 31/01/2018 at 7:26 PM, Dave Williams said:

Don't get over ambitious about 2018 though!

 Ambition is good! And it was the turtle that has set the target for 2018 :o!

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