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Dave Williams's 2018 Big(Photo)Year!


Dave Williams

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293) Peregrine Falcon I would have happily swopped my photo haul for being in the canoe until this magnificent specimen came along. Peregrine Falcon   Falco peregrinus by Dave Williams, on F

294) Ring-necked Duck. I wasn't going anywhere on Sunday but sitting in bed with laptop and coffee I read that a rarity had been spotted down at the local reserve. I had to go for it. I decided I

48) Black Heron On a visit a few years ago I found the perfect place to watch the Umbrella Bird in action from a few feet away. I got some terrific views and some great shots  but then lost the l

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Dave Williams

159)White-crowned Robin-chat

Seen in the undergrowth near our hotel but out in the open at the Senegambia. A sure place to see them.

38429835480_e8c20cf8df_b.jpgWhite-crowned Robin-chat   Cossypha albicapilla by Dave Williams, on Flickr

39529933424_46d6460114_b.jpgWhite-crowned Robin-chat   Cossypha albicapilla by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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160) White-faced Whistling Duck

The briefest of visits to the edge of the Kotu sewerage ponds where they gather daily, also in big numbers at Kartong.

39529933134_63c606dc1d_b.jpgWhite-faced Whistling Duck   Dendrocygna viduata by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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161) White-fronted Black Chat

This was our guides favourite bird on our day out to Kartong, Apparently not one seen often.

40207314882_631f0dd5f6_b.jpgWhite-fronted Black Chat. Oenanthe albifrons by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Black vs White a tough call ! Especially in sunshine.

25369414677_39b20f5f47_b.jpgWhite-fronted Black Chat. Oenanthe albifrons by Dave Williams, on Flickr

The female was easier!

40207315102_7c1742de6b_b.jpgWhite-fronted Black Chat. Oenanthe albifrons by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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162) White-throated Bee-eater

A Gambian first for me.

25369414587_a18954c62d_b.jpgWhite-throated Bee-eater  Merops albicollis by Dave Williams, on Flickr

There was just one single specimen flying around Kotu rice fields.

25369414507_1276bef076_b.jpgWhite-throated Bee-eater  Merops albicollis by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Looks a bit battered but still, photo firsts!

40207312582_c4f140d7ef_b.jpgWhite-throated Bee-eater  Merops albicollis by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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163)White-crested Helmet Shrike

Our guide called them in after they flew across the road on out way to Kartong. Unfortunately there was so much heavy duty lorry traffic they didn't hang around.

 

38429835600_8ab5051dea_b.jpgWhite-crested Helmetshrike   Prionops plumatus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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165) Wood Sandpiper

There were quite a few around various ponds in Kotu.

38430990510_2d518399a1_b.jpgWood Sandpiper Tringa glareola by Dave Williams, on Flickr

this was the green reflection pool again

38430990610_db32eb9cbe_b.jpgWood Sandpiper Tringa glareola by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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166) Wire -tailed Swallow

Not much evidence of Wire-tails yet!

25370375457_d10b474f47_b.jpgWire-tailed Swallow  Hirundo smithii. by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Just a hint on the adult flying past a juvenile.

39530893774_283b0a40bd_b.jpgWire-tailed Swallow  Hirundo smithii. by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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168) Yellow-billed Kite

Plentiful around Kotu, attracted but he daily feeding programme.

39531071914_de3fdbc94a_b.jpgYellow-billed Kite  Milvus aegyptius 21266 by Dave Williams, on Flickr

I didn't pay them that much attention though.

25370583387_c55fb1e03b_b.jpgYellow-billed Kite  Milvus aegyptius 21268 by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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169) Yellow Wagtail

Several around Kotu.

40208691192_dc19933daf_b.jpgYellow Wagtail Motacilla flava by Dave Williams, on Flickr

not the best sub species from a markings and colour point of view.

 39531182174_89c44ca31e_b.jpgYellow Wagtail Motacilla flava by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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Dave Williams

I see a lonely Hare sat up ahead, maybe I will get to him, maybe not!

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173) Yellow-crowned Gonalek

A very shy bird, often heard but views tend to be fleeting. Delighted to find this one showing really well in the Senegambia Hotel gardens.

39531419634_d480b51006_b.jpgYellow-crowned Gonolek. Laniarius barbarus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

even better to find two!

39531419374_f42b8c5e79_b.jpgYellow-crowned Gonolek. Laniarius barbarus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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Dave Williams

@xelas Well Alex, I caught you but right now I'm happy to stay put alongside you too. Could I have gone ahead? Perhaps, perhaps not. All I know is I'm knackered!

It's much more fun taking the shots than processing them and the prospect of only being 30% of the way to my target is daunting. I'm spending too much time at the computer which is OK when the weather isn't too good as it has been since I got back from the warmth of The Gambia but I'm not sure I want to spend it doing this later in the year.

We'll see!

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An excellent bird to finish your Gambia section @Dave Williams. The Helmet-shrike is a great photo I found them difficult to get close to!

 

I've really enjoyed seeing the overlap and the differences with our trip, and of course your excellent photos. Your race with @xelas is on:)

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Galana

@Dave Williams

A great finish, or a good place to pause for breath and smell the roses.

Lovely Gonalek and the Helmet -shrike is a stunner too.

Good to see the competition hotting up.

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Peter Connan

Man but you guys are really flying along! Mid-Feb and 30% to your target, and mostly magnificently photographed too!

 

I am less than half-way to your numbers, and I am sick and tired of editing already, so I can well imagine how you feel, and admire you for keeping it up.

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2 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

@xelas Well Alex, I caught you but right now I'm happy to stay put alongside you too. Could I have gone ahead? Perhaps, perhaps not. All I know is I'm knackered!

It's much more fun taking the shots than processing them and the prospect of only being 30% of the way to my target is daunting. I'm spending too much time at the computer which is OK when the weather isn't too good as it has been since I got back from the warmth of The Gambia but I'm not sure I want to spend it doing this later in the year.

We'll see!

 

I am sharing your sentiment also, about processing. However I do not work that hard on pp, about 10-15 birds per evening. Weekends more when the weather is bad. Still I have fun, both going out and photographing and being in and posting. Not only the Tortoise and the Hare, but also many others are part of this race, some as competitors and others as spectators, and I feel kind of a duty to give the competitors the proper challenge, and to give the spectators the spectacle they deserve. I hope this year we all will raise the quality bar one or two notches higher, for the benefits of all.

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Dave Williams

@xelasWhat I didn't mention Alex was that the hotel we stayed in had several pet tortoises which I walked past most days depending which entrance I used and direction I was heading. A constant reminder of the competition between us.

You are right though, it's not about us it's about every one, each to their own as to how they want to go about participating. Maybe next year I'll take a different view and just feature birds in a specific situation, maybe just my "lifers". We'll wait and see. I don't want to rush around collecting more shots just for the hell of it though. Too much time wasted on repeats.

In the meantime though, I'm now rested a little so I'll saunter on a short distance.

Tortoise 21290.jpg

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174) Yellow-wattled Lapwing

Makes a difference that early morning light but the novelty soon wore off and I preferred a leisurely breakfast with Claire.

 

39347900735_9d8e5b8ec5_b.jpgYellow-wattled Lapwing  Vanellus malabaricus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

The place to catch them was on the Golf Course.

38435044150_7c1404c151_b.jpgYellow-wattled Lapwing  Vanellus malabaricus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

If the rough is tough, take a look at the "greens"

39347901405_96bdf49b16_b.jpgYellow-wattled Lapwing  Vanellus malabaricus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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175) Yellow-billed Oxpecker

I just love these birds, don't ask me why! I was delighted to find them on our guided trip to Kartong. They were amongst a herd of cows that were in for milking.

40245703061_77d4bb6263_b.jpgYellow-billed Oxpecker   Buphagus africanus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Sometimes too much reach is a disadvantage, hand holding can make it worse too.

38435047920_1a9015f638_b.jpgYellow-billed Oxpecker   Buphagus africanus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

On the other hand sometimes it helps!

39347907655_a6eed2967d_b.jpgYellow-billed Oxpecker   Buphagus africanus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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