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Dave Williams's 2018 Big(Photo)Year!


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Dave Williams

64) Chiffchaff

We get these in our garden from late April onwards, the Chiffchaff not the Acacia tree! They were very common near our hotel seeming to favour that tree species.

25294980227_ccc2fb6d68_b.jpgChiffchaff   Phylloscopus collybita by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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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

65) Common Bulbul

So common everywhere I almost forgot to photograph one!

40166950821_6f2a1e48fe_b.jpgCommon Bulbul   Pycnonotus barbatus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Very plain compared to ones seen elsewhere so here's a fluffy one to be a bit different!

40166950591_df4f3c2bf9_b.jpgCommon Bulbul   Pycnonotus barbatus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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66) Common Sandpiper

Over wintering in TG before heading north to breed. Very numerous, one of the most common waders and seen everywhere. This one was at Kotu Bridge.

40166954561_4f529084fa_b.jpgCommon Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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67) Dark Chanting Goshawk.

This one was inland on my guided tour and distant and the shot is purely for my BY. Why it's a DNG and not a P(ale) CG I don't know.

25294993427_8d96e841a2_b.jpgDark chanting Goshawk  Melierax metabates by Dave Williams, on Flickr

This one was a juvenile I think.

25294992527_8d636c2d67_b.jpgDark chanting Goshawk  Melierax metabates by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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68) Double-spurred Francolin.

Another BY special seen about 100m away. I love these types of bird but they are very difficult to photograph as they tend to hide then fly in to deep cover and disappear before you have a chance to get a shot.

This one was off the main road on the way to Kartong.

25294992237_4f725bb200_b.jpgDouble-spurred Francolin   Pternistis bicalcaratus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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69) European Roller

Rollers are very common and come in several species but this was the only European one I have ever seen in TG. Found on Tanji beach.

I was quite pleased with the image

28386957469_46854221ee_b.jpgEuropean Roller  Coracias garrulus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

so decided I'd cheat a little and do some tidying up!

40134539872_d261ecd17a_b.jpgEuropean Roller  Coracias garrulus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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70) Fine-spotted Woodpecker.

You have to get lucky with Woodpeckers unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time waiting!

The male caught at the top pf the tree.

39268590365_cba94b52f2_b.jpgFine-spotted Woodpecker  Campethera punctuligera by Dave Williams, on Flickr

The female with a dark front crown didn't let me get very close unfortunately as the pose was perfect! Both seen around Kotu.

39268591605_06d523ef6d_b.jpgFine-spotted Woodpecker  Campethera punctuligera by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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Galana
2 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

Why it's a DNG and not a P(ale) CG I don't know.

Cos the "experts" say not. I agree with you FWIW. I have seen dark Pales and pale Darks but what do we know?

Lovely Woodpecker and Rollers.

Has your 'Booted' Eagle got his landing lights switched off?;)

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Dave Williams
25 minutes ago, Galana said:

 

Has your 'Booted' Eagle got his landing lights switched off?;)

 

@Galana Of course he has, he's just taken off!

 

Must admit never checked the book and now I have I'm baffled. 

Answers on a postcard to...........

Edited by Dave Williams
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Peter Connan

Those two rollers are truly beautiful and well photographed too!

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Dave Williams

71) Fork-tailed Drongo

Common everywhere it's a bird that deserves more attention photographically, by me anyway.

 40169970301_5c26382dfb_b.jpgFork-tailed Drongo  Dicrurus adsimilis by Dave Williams, on Flickr

If you choose your spot I'm sure you can get some great action shots.

25298341777_f59107553f_b.jpgFork-tailed Drongo  Dicrurus adsimilis by Dave Williams, on Flickr

I didn't try  and just got lucky with these when it was swooping down from a palm tree.

25298341287_02b1de6bbb_b.jpgFork-tailed Drongo  Dicrurus adsimilis by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Too busy looking for more species!!!

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72) Giant Kingfisher

My very first morning, my very first shots! I knew where the Giant kingfisher had a favoured perch from my last visit 18 months previously so I should have been better prepared. I walked to the wrong spot and half the head was obscured which was a shame as it went in to display mode.

25298358127_7d693a6c10_b.jpgGiant Kingfisher. Megaceryle maxima by Dave Williams, on Flickr

When I got in to position the moment was gone!

25298355987_24c39eaeba_b.jpgGiant Kingfisher. Megaceryle maxima by Dave Williams, on Flickr

and I didn't catch t on the same perch again until our very last morning when the light was brighter too.

39271287705_1c35def263_b.jpgGiant Kingfisher. Megaceryle maxima by Dave Williams, on Flickr

The pair spent their time either in the trees around this location or the wires near Kotu Bridge where I have often seen them dive but never catch anything.

40169973121_06ba723049_b.jpgGiant Kingfisher. Megaceryle maxima by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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73)Golden-tailed Woodpecker

This is an uncommon species but one was regularly seen in our hotel garden, or so I was led to believe anyway. I saw it the once and if I'm honest was sceptical that's what it was!

40170287811_94ba4a060e_b.jpgGolden-tailed Woodpecker   Campethera abingoni by Dave Williams, on Flickr

In fairness a Fine-spotted wouldn't have those spots but the illustration in my guide book suggests there should be even bigger markings.

Unfortunately no shots of a golden tail but the local bird guides confirmed that is what I had captured in camera.

40170287771_6bcec30f77_b.jpgGolden-tailed Woodpecker   Campethera abingoni by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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A great selection- particularly the woodpeckers. I'm impressed with the Spurfowl- we saw a couple but very briefly as they launched from the undergrowth. A beautiful European Roller (I will have to go back and check my Abyssinians!)

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Dave Williams
1 minute ago, TonyQ said:

A great selection- particularly the woodpeckers. I'm impressed with the Spurfowl- we saw a couple but very briefly as they launched from the undergrowth. A beautiful European Roller (I will have to go back and check my Abyssinians!)

 

Indeed you will @TonyQ!

I pointed it out to a couple of birders who dismissed me with "it's Abyssinian" until I smugly replied "look at the tail!". You don't get treated seriously if you only have a camera and no 'bins or scope!

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Dave Williams

74) :o   E.B.C.

Well the main attraction on our boat trip at Kartong was supposedly the Goliath Heron, but look though we did it was not to be found. Still we'd had great views of the Fish Eagle and I wasn't too disappointed.

We were sat having some lunch when our guide suddenly shouted "There!"

 

39459962414_7e11cd10ab_b.jpgGoliath Heron  Ardea goliath by Dave Williams, on Flickr

 

Flying way down the river and heading out of sight , sure enough, a Goliath Heron.

28390586319_d608a135ce_b.jpgGoliath Heron  Ardea goliath by Dave Williams, on Flickr

 

I'm so embarrassed,( but not enough to discount it!) that I'll add a shot from my last trip at Kartong in 2015

26618247442_8fcf32412f_b.jpgGoliath Heron   Kartong,Gambia 2015 by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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75) Great White Pelican

Another dodgy shot but not in the same league as the Goliath, again from our boat trip although I also saw one fly over the hotel while lying on my sunbed.

39459964944_e8f73c6b7f_b.jpgGreat Egret  Ardea alba by Dave Williams, on Flickr

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76) Great Egret

Interesting the latin name translates to White Heron and many people call it the Great White Egret for which I get reprimanded by my birding pal Mike.

I got some great views on my first morning

28390600749_2ee97a42bc_b.jpgGreat Egret  Ardea alba by Dave Williams, on Flickr

It caught a small fish!

39459969694_64c2ffcfea_b.jpgGreat Egret  Ardea alba by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Getting the whites exposed is easier before the sun comes up too which it did during my little session.

28390599929_1707d48ddb_b.jpgGreat Egret  Ardea alba by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Interestingly @Peter Connan has mentioned in his BY the use of lures which I was unaware of too. This one taken on another occasion.

39272407245_c8bd7a0807_b.jpgGreat Egret  Ardea alba by Dave Williams, on Flickr

 

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77) Green Sandpiper

I haven't seen too many Green Sandpipers but those I have have been in breeding plumage. At first I ignored this one as just another Common Sandpiper until I realised it was bigger and that white shoulder patch was missing too.

39459972544_b9db89f2b2_b.jpgGreen Sandpiper  Tringa ochropus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

I may well be mistaken and this isn't one in non breeding plumage so by all means shout if that's the case!

39459972624_f4752c8a7f_b.jpgGreen Sandpiper  Tringa ochropus by Dave Williams, on Flickr

At least the water is green anyway! It's foraging beneath the mangroves, hence the reflections.

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2 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

I'm so embarrassed,

 

Me too ... not even a like for you, Dave :P. But as I cannot give you 2 likes for Great Egret, here I go liking your ebc Heron (who knows if that will be useful later in the year :D??

Edited by xelas
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Galana
4 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

Answers on a postcard to...........

I too am fairly baffled (except I don't think it is a Booted, landing lights or not.)

I an through all eagles including some fairly way out ones but few have the dark head and breast.

FWIW I would go for Martial with the only ? being the smaller than  usual belly spots.

But you may be pleased to know all your other doubts look fine. Again the Golden tail could do with a few more stripes up front.

Oh Dai bach. That Goliath. I am reet proud of you.:wub:

Double like from me!!

Edited by Galana
Correcting text.
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Dave Williams

@Galana Just had a look at the notes on of the others on our trip took and I think the guide called it a Short-toed Eagle. Definitely wasn't Martial, it was too small.

40120794112_284b98dd3f_b.jpgBooted Eagle    Aquila pennata by Dave Williams, on Flickr

Edited by Dave Williams
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Galana
35 minutes ago, Dave Williams said:

I think the guide called it a Short-toed Eagle.

I think the guide may well be right. Def not Booted as the underwing coverts are reversed, dark where should be light and v.v. and it would have yellow wheels and landing lights.

How do you feel about (f) of either Short-toed or Beaudoini coming into adult plumage?

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@Galana I did consider Beaudouin's but I'm going to stick with the guide's Short-toed Snake Eagle. I'll change it on Flickr .

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