Friday, October 26, 2012

Take me to the River

I went down to the river, but it was the opposite of a blues song!  :-)  This giant kingfisher got things off to a spectacular start.  Also, the river cruise was like the best drinks stop ever - the bar and snacks set up the whole time!  Wheeeeeeeee! If we are able to visit Phinda again, we might take a picnic lunch and spend all day on the river cruise.  How awesome would that be????  :-)
Giant Kingfisher
The weaver bonanza started right away.  I love them!
Chestnut Weaver

 But it wasn't all weavers.  A sunbird!  We saw these a bunch of times, and none of the pictures are really any good.  Oh well - next time.
Mystery Sunbird
 Check out this crazy cuckoo!
Diederik Cuckoo

Diederik Cuckoo 
 Most of the weavers were males building nests, although I think some of them were females.  I mean, because I just couldn't find any males that look like this in the field guide.  Gorgeous!

Mystery Weaver

African Golden Weaver

Mystery Weaver
 Another non-weaver, this darter didn't mind a few pictures.  There were several other herons there, and some jacana, but the darter was the best poser.
African Darter

Spotted-backed Weaver or Village Weaver
 Osprey!  I saw this once and it flew off before Sam got a good look, and he tried to convince me it was the cuckoo.  Ummmm, no.  We saw it again though, and I was totally vindicated.  And then Sam revealed why he doubted - they haven't seen an osprey here for about 10 years!
 Well hello hadeda!
Hadeda Ibis

Southern Masked Weaver
 We only saw a green heron flying away, but we saw plenty of evidence that they nest here.
Green Heron Eggs
Weavers!  Weavers!  Weavers!
Weaver Nests
And a croc hanging around just under the weaver nests.  You know, no particular reason.......

Lesser Masked Weaver
 They were busy at work.
Lesser Masked Weaver
African Golden Weaver
On the way back to the dock the malachite kingfisher gave us quite a nice view.  Terrible pictures due to the terrible light, but a great view!
Malachite Kingfisher
We really got spoiled for sunsets.
Our good-bye bird (for the river cruise anyway) was a heron in bowling pin configuration.  And that's about it for our Africa trip.  Tomorrow morning it's up way early and off to the airport!  It was a fantastic time.
Purple Heron

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