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Zvezda & Alex 4th time: Just birdin'


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After solving The Pipit Trilemma (stay tuned for the sequel aptly named The Pipit Dilemma !), identifying this bully was an easy task.

Not so much getting a good photo in gloomy afternoon (and with wrong settings :wacko:).

 

 

Ljubljansko Barje

27-jan-2019

 

BY 054 / SI 032

Willow Tit - Poecile montanus

1616798766_WillowTitB.JPG.dbaca8d86300a73aa40a2c358d53594b.JPG

 

Edited by xelas
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Galana

Hmmm! I wonder what @michael-ibkhas to say about this one.

Odd that you suggest a name 'bully' for it with Barje meaning marsh.

I would suggest Marsh, Palustris, for the following reasons:-

Small bib, more likely location in damp deciduous woods with dead trees, dominant species and the dark shoulder. There is a hint of a paler secondary panel but I don't think that is conclusive as fresh moulted birds can have this.

Willow prefers coniferous woods and higher up hence the name montanus.

Just saying!

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Yep, although this one looks different to the Marsh Tit I have already posted, and to the Marsh Tits that come regularly to feed from the station, you are most probably right. So, lets wait for Michael's to decide, he is familiar with Willows in his neck of the wood :)

 

 

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Willow Tit or Marsh Tit - very beautiful. They are very difficult to identify:)

Here is a link from the  British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)

https://www.bto.org/about-birds/bird-id/telling-apart-marsh-and-willow-tits

 

It concludes that with the call it is straightforward; without the call it is very difficult! (but does give some clues)

It does say that a white patch on the upper beak is indicative of Marsh Tit (but I think the absence of this is not a guarantee it is a WIllow Tit!)

I have just posted a Marsh Tit (from a site which only has Marsh Tits) and this does have the white "spot" on the upper beak

 

Edit: I think you have different sub-species from us and I don't know how much difference that makes!

Edited by TonyQ
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michael-ibk

Not sure either, like Tony says the only definite way for me to tell them apart is by call and any individuum in higher elevations (from about 1,400 m) will always be a Willow Tit. This bird does appear pretty chunky with a very strong neck but that could just be the posture. The bib is pretty clear-cut with this one, the flanks are pretty whitish and the black on the back does not extend too far down which points towards Marsh. But all these features can be highly variable in my experience, just look at the huge black bib on the Marsh Tit Tony just posted. The amount of white on the bill is dependent on the photo angle I think and therefore not too reliable, Willows do have white edges. Habitat is the biggest clue this would not be a Willow but especially in Winter they can pop up in unusual areas for them. Here´s one of my (definite) Willows from last year to compare. All that said, my conclusion is - I don´t know, a case of as you please Alex.:)

 

Oberbergtal_10_Weidenmeise.JPG

 

Edited by michael-ibk
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Thank you both, @TonyQ and @michael-ibk. When thinking of this specific bird, I remember the odd shape that makes me grab the camera. The Marsh Tit(s) are regular visitors, yet this one looked distinctively different. I can not help you (or myself) with a call. But what stirked me was that while Marsh Tit usually (or always) arrives alone, and have a way how to approach the feeder etc, this time there were two, and one has been chasing the other around (never saw this before, even if they arrive more then one). One bird flew away, the photographed one stayed for a while.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
xelas

Birding in KwaZulu Natal was done over 18 days covering several locations:

 

Mkhuze Game Reserve

iSmangaliso Wetland Park

Hluhluwe/Imfolozi National Park

Royal Natal Park

Kempton Park

Zibulo

 

All those habitats were different to each other; some birds were seen almost at each location while others were found only once.

 

This time around, I will post birds as they appear in theRoberts Bird Guide. I have bought this book as it was recommended by our bird guide in St.Lucia, and must say is better then the Sasol one.

 

As soon the attachment option will be back, I am ready to go!

Edited by xelas
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Tdgraves

@xelas I have the Roberts app to supplement my sasol book and the combination works well. Glad you had a good trip!

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Game Warden
3 hours ago, xelas said:

Roberts Bird Guide

 

Quick review if possible?

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Galana

Looks like we are under starters orders. Can't wait to see what you found in Kwa Zulu.

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Dave Williams
12 hours ago, Tdgraves said:

@xelas I have the Roberts app to supplement my sasol book and the combination works well. Glad you had a good trip!

 

I went down the same road, the Roberts app appears to be superior from the Sasol one although it's a bit more expensive. I would go for electronic over paper every time if they are available. Not least because this one has bird song as well, something a book can't give you. The other thing I really like but haven't had the opportunity to try is that it narrows the options for what you have might see depending on your location. Very clever until something behaves out of the normal. 

The biggest disappointment though is that I can't view the app on a big screen laptop, I only have it on a phone.

 

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Peter Connan

@Dave Williams i understand there is a version for the computer as well, and if I understand correctly it doesn't cost extra?

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xelas

I only have a book. In comparison to Sasol, the bird images are a bit larger, more detailed. Then there are comparisons for several species. It is larger then Sasol, not really a field guide, but as I never use one in the field, it does not matter. As I have bought it after returning from South Africa, I have not bought also the app. I will, when next time travelling to that country.

 

Looks like I will have to use the external links to continue the Big Year. Too impatient to wait ...

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xelas

BY 055 / SA 001

Helmeted Guineafowl - Numida meleagris

 

1878635585_HelmetedGuineafowlA.JPG.aff4e0b0b7482032062caee526ce5221.JPG

 

iMfolozi Park, 9-Feb-2019

Edited by xelas
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xelas

 

BY 056 / SA 002

Crested Guineafowl - Guttera pucherani

 

 

592408528_CrestedGuineafowlB.JPG.4d39f6e8374566bb35d4e102c73e7268.JPG

 

Mkhuze Game Reserve, 3-Feb-2019

Edited by xelas
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xelas

 

BY 057 / SA 003

Crested Francolin - Dendroperdix sephaena

 

959813697_CrestedFrancolinfemB.JPG.6b1aad2a7aa435be305b06a8a4655dc0.JPG

female

 

iMfolozi Park, 10-Feb-2019

Edited by xelas
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xelas

BY 058 / SA 004

Swainson's Spurfowl - Pternistis swainsonii

 

1380355877_SwainsonsSpurfowlB.JPG.c94b53d8ea009630f2e9d938ecc2dfd3.JPG

 

Royal Natal NP, 12-Feb-2019

Edited by xelas
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xelas

BY 059 / SA 005

Red-winged Francolin - Scleroptila levaillantii

 

1283515891_Red-wingedFrancolinA.JPG.9694d59f787631fc5d00a67390bf728b.JPG

 

Royal Natal NP, 15-Feb-2019

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xelas

Looks like I am back to BY !! Luckily I have found my Flickr account, and Dave's words about BBC code.

 

As this time the exif will not be presented, all birds photos in KZN were taken with Nikon combo D7200 + 200-500 f/5.6, mostly at 500 mm. Our settings are:

M(anual) & AutoISO, AF-C, back-button AF, RAW 12-bit. Photos are processed in Capture NX-D.  

Edited by xelas
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xelas

BY 060 / SA 006

White-faced Whistling Duck - Dendrocygna viduata

 

2046808355_White-facedWhistlingDuckAA.JPG.486a3d4cc367a80c3c84430ec3ca495a.JPG

 

977943488_White-facedWhistlingDuckB.JPG.acfe3a144ef0160133a592c7bd759e2a.JPG

 

Zibulo, 17-Feb-2019

Edited by xelas
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xelas

BY 061 / SA 007

African Pygmy Goose - Nettapus auritus

 

1733103081_AfricanPygmyGooseA.JPG.38f4e17cb37b96076e192491daaa45eb.JPG

 

Mkhuze Game Reserve, 5-Feb-2019

Edited by xelas
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xelas

BY 062 / SA 008

Spur-winged Goose - Plectopterus gambensis

 

1792106187_Spur-wingedGooseB.JPG.e7dc03ca8fffb9c68727bc1374277b13.JPG

 

93998515_Spur-wingedGooseAA.JPG.ef30a5048284586f1d8e318f6e27d872.JPG

 

Mkhuze Game Reserve, 5-Feb-2019

Edited by xelas
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xelas

BY 039 (duplicate) / SA 009

Egyptian Goose - Alopochen aegyptiaca

 

2073413154_EgyptianGooseDA.JPG.73f13ac82a93e0e9d8ab7e2f986f472a.JPG

 

Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden, 16-Feb-2019

 

 

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xelas

As our birding skills are evolving over the years, also the approach to Big Year is changing. This year I have decided to add also those birds that have been already posted. The reason for this is to show all the different birds found and photographed in South Africa/KwaZulu Natal. Those birds, as the Egyptian Goose posted above, will be noted with their original ("first appearance") BY # and "duplicate". Hope you do not mind seeing those duplicates.

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xelas

BY 063 / SA 010

Yellow-billed Duck - Anas undulata

 

1454552699_Yellow-billedDuckAAA.JPG.3170c025f17e00ac17f39040c03ba069.JPG

 

Royal Natal NP, 14-Feb-2019

Edited by xelas
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