For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Monday, April 11, 2011

I had a stunning day!!

There are some birds which one never sees but always hears and they are impossible to get pictures of. Yesterday, while taking a coffee break, I went outside to sit on the porch. Although we are going into winter, there are still plenty of birds coming to visit my birdbath so it is pleasant to sit and watch them. To my absolute astonishment and surprise, for the first time I was able to see these three birds and take pictures of them. Okay, they are not brilliant pics as the birds to not stay still in one place long enough. But I DID get pics and see them so I am very chuffed with myself. :) Not only that, but there were TWO DIFFERENT CUCKOO’S!!!!!! WOW!! What a privilege!! The first is the Diederik Cuckoo which is identified by its red eye and eyebrow stripe. It also has black and white blotches on the wing.
It is a migrant from tropical Africa and feeds mostly on caterpillars which are plentiful right now.

During breeding season it normally uses Weaver nests to play host to its eggs of which it lays one per season. This last picture is of an immature bird with a fat, juicy caterpillar in its mouth.

The second is Klaas’s Cuckoo which has only a small white stripe from the brown eye, backwards. It also has spots instead of bars on its chest.
It breeds in the northern part of South Africa and is a migrant in more southern parts. In size, it is much smaller than the Diederik Cuckoo and because of its shyness, is never seen.

The third was a female Cardinal Woodpecker which does not have the red stripe on the head like the male. I have always been envious of the lovely pictures I see posted of these great birds but never even get a glimpse of them here although they are very common birds and you hear hem calling all the time.
They excavate a hole in tree trunks and feed mostly on beetle larvae but will eat any insects. It lays 2-5 eggs and incubation is about 12 days.

No comments: