Leopard’s Hill

Lisa and I took a morning outing to some woodland just outside of Lusaka with Leslie Reynolds of Lapwing Safaris (http://www.lapwingsafaris.com)  and a few other fellow birders.  While putting up with the hot sun and dodging not a few ticks, we got some decent birding in including a  few new birds for my list.  Though we heard several Diderick Cuckoos, a sighting of one continues to elude me.

Some of the better sightings for the morning were a Red-backed Shrike,a displaying Pin-tailed Whydah, Black-collared Barbets, Long-billed Crombecs, a Grey-backed Cameroptera,  a Lizard Buzzard, and European Bee-Eaters.

The three “Lifers” for me were a Tree Pipit, a Familiar Chat, and a Brown-backed Honeybird. 

Jonathan didn’t go with us today so I had to take all the photos myself.  I borrowed his fancy camera for the morning.  My results were mixed- none of my “lifers” came out at all, but I did have a few half-way decent shots.  Here are the best ones. Hope you enjoy.

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Pin-tailed Whydah

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Red-backed Shrike

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Grey-backed Cameroptera

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A Beautiful Day

We have not been out of the city since we got back from South Africa about 6 weeks ago. It is hard to travel around Zambia during the rainy season due to the heavy rains and mud.  I have to admit that I get a bit stir crazy sometimes when I am stuck in the city for  a long time.  Fortunately the birding in the yard has been a bit more interesting lately.  We saw a female Eurasian Oriole a couple times and I have been hearing a Diederick Cuckoo regularly though I haven’t spotted him.  I think he is beyond my wall, though I don’t know how far.  That area is fairly boggy with a stream running through it so I haven’t ventured in to find him.  I keep hoping he will just venture a little bit into my yard so I can get a look at him, since I haven’t seen one before.

Today was an especially good day concerning birds.  It was beautiful and sunny with a slight breeze and there were lots of birds about.  The birds that I hear or see regularly in my yard are Blue Waxbills, Weavers, Bronze Mannikins, Doves, Bulbuls, a White-browed Robin-Chat and Sunbirds.  Lately I have noticed that when the Fork-tailed Drongos arrive, they usually bring a bird party with them, so I try to go out and see who is around.  It also seems like my usual birds become a bit more active and so I am more likely to see them. 

For example, today, when the bird party arrived, the Variable Sunbird, Waxbills, and the Laughing Dove came right up to my porch along with the Drongos and the Black-collared Barbet and White-eye.  At one point a Drongo flew right up next to me on the porch just 5 feet away from me.  I was also quite excited about the Barbet because he was also very close to the porch and it was the first time I had seen one in the yard, though I hear them from far away pretty often.  So all in all, it was a pretty nice day for birding from the front porch.

I wasn’t too successful with the camera but here are a couple pics from the afternoon.

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Fork-tailed Drongo

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Laughing Dove