Birds of South Africa, the North West Province

On a trip to South Africa in 2008, one of our stops included several days at a wonderful safari lodge in the North West. Needless to say, the abundant animal life had my camera (including a 300mm lens) at my side and I constantly snapped anything that moved…no matter how big…or how small.

Elephant at Madikwe National Park

Elephant at Madikwe Game Reserve

Armored Ground Crickets

Armored Ground Crickets

I live in Florida, where birds are a common part of the landscape. I discovered this province quite similar in flora and the number of unique birds. I’m not a bird expert (they are simply fun to watch), but took photos of many I saw and then attempted to properly identify them. While I have a book of Bushveld birds and a list of birds our guide rattled off during our trips in the bush, the task has left a few photos without proper identification. It didn’t help that I went through my notes at the end of the day with a Springbok (drink made with layers of kahlua, peppermint liquor, and Amarula cream) or a sweet Jerepico aperitif (loved it, but can’t find it in the US). If you recognize a bird, or find one I’ve mislabeled, please let me know.

The Lilac-breasted Roller.

The Lilac-breasted Roller. Small, but pretty. The colors are so perfect on this bird, it almost doesn’t look real.

Not wishing to have the pretty ones take center stage a Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill moved into the picture.

Not wishing to have the pretty ones take center stage a Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill moved into the picture.

The vulture. Big, ugly, and a necessary scavenger. I can’t tell from its position and this photo what type. African White-backed or maybe Hooded Vulture?

The vulture. Big, ugly, and a necessary scavenger. I can’t tell from its position and this photo what type. African White-backed or maybe Hooded Vulture?

The long wispy tail of this Shaft-tailed Whydah is rather unique.

The long wispy tail of this Shaft-tailed Whydah is rather unique.

A Pale Chanting Goshawk. Note the orange beak and legs.

A Pale Chanting Goshawk. Note the orange beak and legs.

Starlings are found around the world, but this one certainly had a beautiful blue. Burchell’s Starling.

Starlings are found around the world, but this one certainly had a beautiful blue. Burchell’s Starling.

Helmeted Guinefowl. Love the blue and red head.

Helmeted Guinefowl. Love the blue and red head.

Birds of a feather flock together. Helmeted Guinefowl.

Birds of a feather flock together. Helmeted Guinefowl.

Kori Bustard. Not the best photo, but it shows their rather “prehistoric” head and body shape.

Kori Bustard. Not the best photo, but it shows their rather “prehistoric” head and body shape.

Bee-eater. Tiny, beautiful, and hard to see as it blended in perfectly.

Bee-eater. Tiny, beautiful, and hard to see as it blended in perfectly.

These were some nests I encountered.

This one I believe belonged to a Weaver of some type.

This one I believe belonged to a Weaver of some type.

These two photos show a remarkable collection of giant nests from a bird I can’t identify. Someday I’ll have to contact the lodge where we stayed and ask, as they have it posted in their website gallery from a bunch of photos I left behind after our visit.

Nest2

The head is not clearly seen in this photo (or another taken at the same time), but it appears almost completely black (unlike ospreys). Its body size is that of a large bird like an eagle.

A larger angle showing the entire tree and multiple nests.

A larger angle showing the entire tree and multiple nests. The bird’s head is also twisted forward while preening and again appears all black.

I think hubby found my photo taking a bit amusing and snapped this photo with his pocket-sized digital.

Sandy at Madikwe National Park. A kid in a photo candy store.

Sandy at Madikwe National Park. A kid in a photo candy store.

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Sandy is starting in January 2013 a monthly drawing taken from those who comment on her blogs. Comment and your name will go into a drawing for a free ebook of Repossessed by Sandy Parks or one of author Julie Moffett’s Lexi series. You’ll have a month after names are pulled to check back and see if you are a winner. Good luck and  hope to hear from you.

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One Response to Birds of South Africa, the North West Province

  1. Pat Clay says:

    Amazing birds. Thank you for sharing.

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