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Mfuwe's Year.


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Hope so too.


Now for the Weavers I started earlier before I had a rush of common sense and went birding.




Baglafechts  Weaver. Troy, Nairobi, These are male of Reichenowi race. There are five races and can be tricky.



454. This is Stuhmanni (male but little sexual dimorphism) from Uganda, Rwanda. Seen at Kayonza, Rwanda.




455. African Golden Weaver..Umani Springs, Kibwezi, Kenya.


456. Grosbeak Weaver. Umani Springs, Kibwezi, Kenya.


457. Village, Spot-backed or Black-headed Weaver. Ithumba Camp, Tsavo East, Kenya.



458. Vitelline Masked Weaver. Ithumba Camp, Tsavo East, Kenya.




459. Black-necked Weaver. (f) Tsavo East, Kenya.




460. Speckle-fronted Weaver. Tarangire NP. Tanzania.




461. Rufous-tailed Weaver. Tarangire, Tanzania.




462. Northern Brown-throated Weaver. Entebbe, Uganda.




463.  Vieilot's Black Weaver. Entebbe, Uganda.




464. Orange Weaver. Botanical Gardens, Entebbe, Uganda.



465. White-browed Sparrow-Weaver, Ithumba Camp, Tsavo East, Kenya.




466. White-headed Buffalo-Weaver. Ithumba Camp, Tsavo East, Kenya.



467. Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver. Ithumba Camp, Tsavo East, Kenya.




468.  Grey-capped Social Weaver.  Ruaha National Park, Tanzania


Nearly there. Woodpeckers tomorrow.








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Finally we come to the end of the East African Trip. I hope my different way of grouping the photos did not confuse anyone and helped prevent inadvertent duplications and miscounts.




469. Nubian.  Ithumba Camp. Tsavo East, Kenya.



470.  Green-backed (sometime Little Spotted) Woodpecker. Lake Chala, Tanzania.




471. Grey Woodpecker.  Tarangire NP. Tanzania.





472.  Bearded Woodpecker. Tandala Camp, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania.






473. Elliott's Woodpecker. Ruhija, Bwindi Forest, Uganda.


Back home now. If anyone would like further details of this trip just ask. For my taste there was a tad too much driving which got in the way of birding sometimes or slowed us down when we did not let it. Total species count was 420 so quite a few 'got away from the camera' so I need to work harder if there is a next time but I can only take so much staring into green canopies per day/hour.


Now to try and boost the 'local' list.

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A wonderful selection from your East African trip- even if we didn't see all 420!

lovely photos  and beautiful birds. The incredible 500 is no far away....

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It looks like East Africa is the place to go, the proper bird heaven. Collecting 500 different birds hopefully will not be "a bird too far". You're #1 this year although I've heard Michael is back from Zam+Zim with a couple of new ones :o.

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Be afraid. Be very afraid. :ph34r:;)

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11 hours ago, xelas said:

It looks like East Africa is the place to go, the proper bird heaven.

It is indeed. Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda all have a species list of >1000 and when you consider that little Uganda has no coastline to boost numbers you realise how rich she is. The signs are good that I will be back again  next year.

But lets get 2017 done with first. @michael-ibk?

Thanks for the kind comments everyone

12 hours ago, TonyQ said:

The incredible 500 is no far away..

Very true. Let's see if i can get there.

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A bright sunny morning with settled forecast sent me south looking for some decent photos. Failed!

As did the sun.

Nevertheless there was some wheat in the chaff.


First a repeat so no score:-



#136. Common Eider. We had the female way back but males were in eclipse. They look much smarter now. Derbyhaven. IOM.






474. Brent Goose. (Light-bellied race) All the way from Greenland just to help nudge me towards 500. How kind. I hope they send for their neighbours!!)  Langness. IOM.


Edited by Galana
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So I took a long Weekend away to keep the numbers moving and to 'improve' on some of the EBC's of past posts.

By chance several of my new ones seemed to match @xelas in Italy which I thought might get me branded as a 'Stalker'!  Later. Now for the refreshers:-


In earlier at #87 and not really bad enough to be EBC but I could not resist this:-


Wigtown Harbour Wetland.


Then the male Goosander at #135 could always be improved on so:-


Whitesands Caul, in the middle of Dumfries town.


and a really 'generous' EBC #172. became "fully legal" with:-



Wigtown Harbour Wetland.


So now to some counters:-




475. Long-tailed Tit.  Caerlaverock Woodlands. I did my best but just as I had them a 'very nice man and his dog' came to ask me what I was doing!!!

No such excuse with the next one.





476. The bugger flew just as I clicked.

Red Kite. Airds Farmhouse. My lodging for 4 nights.





477. Greater Scaup. River Nith estuary. Glencaple.




478. Golden Eye. Castle Douglas. Or should it be 007? Not many birds share their names with James Bond.




479. Tree Sparrow. Mersehead RSPB reserve. (With House Sparrow in front!! <_<)




480. Willow Tit. Ken-Dee RSPB reserve.


Now to an unusual double:-



481. OK. My first day I scored this and was very pleased but I went back again.



She was still around two days later. Lucky me.

Wigtown Harbour Wetland.


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Now to shadow my friend @xelas

His Whitefronted Geese 'albifrons' do occur but come down from Arctic Russia whereas

'flavirostris' come to me from Greenland.




482. "Greenland" White-fronted Goose. Ken Dee RSPB reserve.


@xelas only found one Barnacle Goose. Where I went there must have been 20,000.


A small part of the wintering population from Svaalbaard. Nith Merse, Glencaple.

We did get closer too.



483. Barnacle Goose. Mersehead RSPB reserve.



484. Water Rail. Wigtown Harbour Wetlands.



485. Pintail. There were hundreds but I only got decently close to one. Mersehead RSPB.

Home again with a list of missed targets still to do..

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Beautiful kingfisher and a very successful return to th UK . 500 is getting very close indeed!


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6 hours ago, TonyQ said:

500 is getting very close indeed

True. The missed targets from this trip would almost have clinched it.


I can thoroughly recommend Galloway and the Solway coastline for a winter trip. 60 years since I went up there in winter and the new reserves have truly transformed wildfowl numbers. And they are highly visible. Those Barnacle were not from a hide but from a public road as were the Greenland Whitefronts, the Scaup, Golden Eye and Red Kite! Other birds seen but not counted were Great White and Little Egrets, Whooper Swans, Greylags and Pink feet. I actually released a GS Woodpecker that had got trapped in a Squirrel trap.  Good in summer too for Redstarts and Flycatchers etc.,

My B&B has nesting Kites and Buzzards and Barn Owls.

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So you know what they say.

With today's weather keeping me in I had occasion to revisit my birds from East Africa as I had not backed them all up and I found these two previous discards:-



486. Marsh Sandpiper. Tarangire. Previously discarded as a Greenshank.



487. I KNEW I had seen African Mourning Doves and was kicking myself for not getting a shot.

Will this do? Ithumba Camp. Kenya.


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3 hours ago, Tdgraves said:

EBC as they say..

Extreme EBC with the Mourning Dove. If it had blinked I would have 'lost' it.

The Ayes have it as they say.

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Another missed East African. One could almost be glad of the recent poor weather.

I thought I had posted it from Namibia but I cannot see it.



488. African Open-billed Stork. Silale Swamp, Tarangire NP.



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Not only @xelas is scraping the barrel. Lovely sun this last two days tempted me out to nudge my score on towards #500. Some old friend's and a near miss for 489 is all I got for my efforts.

However here is an 'improvement' on #110 in winter plumage from the EBC posted in summer.




#110  Golden Plover  Point of Ayre. Isle of Man.


Edited by Galana
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Another sunny day with light snow on the tops so I went off to Peel to find Black Guillimots, that breed there in summer, in the hope that some may have lingered. The sea was so rough it would have hidden an elephant so we adjourned to lunch where I had duckling. It had no feathers on so I could not ID it but it tasted delicious.

Then, on the way home, replete but empty handed, I put my bins on the opposite bank of the River Nebb and there was #489 being very shy.




489. Grey Wagtail. River Neb. Peel. Isle of Man.

#500 inches ever closer.

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Dave Williams

Dizzy heights indeed, a superb collection.

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Since Wednesday's near miss on a target bird I have persisted when the weather permitted a couple of hours out.

Still looking for a Common Kestrel and whilst one was sighted I failed miserably to get closer. Ah well.

The quest continued today and whilst waiting in the forest I took the opportunity to "refresh"  #57 & #59.


#57. Goldfinch. Ballakesh Plantation. IOM.  and:-



#59. Dunnock. Ballakesh Plantation. IOM

Note they are feeding on conifers where I hoped to finds today's target at last.

But first I got a bonus bird that has dropped by on the cold north winds.




490. Common Redpoll. Ballakesh. IOM. An uncommon winter visitor.


and then my luck and patience paid off. Less than 10 to go for #500:-

Britain's smallest bird surrendered at last.


491. Goldcrest.Ballakesh Plantation.IOM

I was prepared to resort to EBC for this lovely mite as they are very agile but one did sit still for a nano second and I nailed it.


Now for that bloomin Kestrel.


Edited by Galana
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That Goldcrest is shy but lovely, @Galana! Can I exchange a couple of Goldcrests for one Redpoll ^_^?!

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2 hours ago, xelas said:

Can I exchange a couple of Goldcrests for one Redpoll ^_^?!

How would you like them wrapped?

All year in alpine pines. They should be around you shortly. Look for Goldfinches and they will not be far off.

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Well done!

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Well done with the Goldcrest - a lovely little bird, and very tricky to photograph. I am jealous of your Redpoll! 

500 appears to be creeping up......

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4 hours ago, TonyQ said:

500 appears to be creeping up......


500 is a done deal. But 600?'!!

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