Southern Boubou

Southern Bou Bou (Laniarius ferrugineus)
Laniarius_ferrugineus Southern Boubou Public Domain photo from Roberts Birds of South Africa

I haven’t been able to get into the garden much these past few weeks, except for a few moments here and there with my dog or when watering my plants, but I finally got a photo of a bird that has been hiding in the bushes or one of the macadamia trees in front of my yard for quite a while.

Every time I saw it, I either did not have time to wait for a good photo or did not have my camera with me. It finally landed on one of my water bowls I put out for the birds and I could get a blurry photo from a distance.

Nothing beautiful about the picture but the bird is at least identifiable – a Southern Bou Bou (Laniarius ferrugineus) Suidelike waterfiskaal in Afrikaans. A type of bushshrike:

“They were formerly classed with the true shrikes in the family Laniidae, but are now considered sufficiently distinctive to be separated from that group as the family Malaconotidae.

This is an African group of species which are found in scrub or open woodland. They are similar in habits to shrikes, hunting insects and other small prey from a perch on a bush. Although similar in build to the shrikes, these tend to be either colourful species or largely black; some species are quite secretive.”

Wikipedia

I’ve been wondering which bird it was that made the raspy sound!

Interestingly enough I had an intruder in my garden this week and as my dog was barking, it was also rasping/clucking along.

You can hear what I believe is known as it’s alarm call here:

While it’s normal call is quite beautiful:

You can read more about these little birds here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_boubou 

New butterfly and better photo of the Red-Veined Dropwing butterfly

I finally took some time to offload and process the few photos I took the past week. I was able to take a not too shabby shot (well, for me anyway!) of the Common Leopard butterfly that visits my Afrikaner flowers (marigolds).

Common leopard butterfly on marigold
Common leopard (Phalanta phalantha)butterfly on marigold

I was also happy to see that one of the photos I took of the Red-Veined Dropwing is clearer than the others I took over the past two months or so. I love the combination of colours and the textures in this photo and might attempt a surface pattern design based on it, if I have a little time on my hands.

Red veined dropwing
Red-veined dropwing (Trithemis arteriosa)

Nice day out

Nice day out yesterday with my aunt at Hartleys, a local pub/restaurant on a farm just outside Rustenburg. We shared a lovely chicken and sweet chilli pizza and had some yummy Amarula liqueur on ice.

What I think of as Hartleys tea room - they usually serve beverages and gorgeous eats on their market days.
I call this Hartleys’ tea room, no idea what they call it – they usually serve beverages and gorgeous eats here on their market days.

Afterwards we strolled around and down the tree lined lane to go walk the labyrinth next to the small church, which always brings a little calm to my soul.

The owners planted masses of the loveliest zinnia flowers and the butterflies were swarming around them. I managed a few photos of some of the butterflies although many of them got away. Most critters don’t tend to sit still for more than a few seconds at a time so I really admire photographers that take those incredible insect photos, it’s not easy!

Yellow pansy (Junonia hierta cebrene)
Citrus swallowtail or Christmas butterfly (Papilio demodocus)
Male Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma). Adult males are blue while adult females are bright green.
Male Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma). Adult males are blue while adult females are bright green.
Red Zinnia

I haven’t been able to identify these yet …

      

They had the most beautiful roses, really glowing in the midday sun.

  

 

Little survivor

I found what I believe is a Pantala flavescens – globe skimmer/globe wanderer in my pool this morning, still wiggling around. Fished it out, let it dry off, but its wings were stuck and it couldn’t pry it loose on its own, so I helped it along with a tiny piece of stick and a bit of patience.

Patted some water on the top and bottom of the folded wing to help it flatten out. It sat around on my finger for another hour or so until it had regained it’s strength enough to make a test flight. First flight almost saw it land in the pool again, but after another hour or so it was strong enough to fly away!

Pantala flavescens/globe skimmer/globe wanderer/wandering glider
Pantala flavescens/globe skimmer/globe wanderer/wandering glider
Pantala flavescens/globe skimmer/globe wanderer/wandering glider with stuck wing
Pantala flavescens/globe skimmer/globe wanderer/wandering glider with stuck wing

Two new dragonflies today

My wildlife pool is already giving me endless joy! Two new dragonflies today and I found a shed dragonfly skin on the underside of a leaf. Thanks to friend Paul for telling me what to look for. You can see Paul’s beautiful photography by clicking here.

Also saw some ladybugs on a blade of grass doing what ladybugs sometimes do 🙂

Lunate ladybirds Cheilomenes lunata
Lunate ladybirds Cheilomenes lunata
Violet dropwing Trithemis annulata
Violet dropwing Trithemis annulata
Pretty sure this is a male Red-veined Dropwing (Trithemis arteriosa)
Pretty sure this is a male Red-veined Dropwing (Trithemis arteriosa)
Shed dragonfly nymph skin
Shed dragonfly nymph skin
When I went back I realised there were nymph skins everywhere. Beautiful but a little macabre seeing them everywhere with those bulging eyes!
When I went back I realised there were nymph skins everywhere. Beautiful but a little macabre seeing them everywhere with those bulging eyes!

Birds, birds and some sadness

Loads of different birds today, although my reflexes need to be much faster than they are to be able to catch all of them! A better lens would do wonders as well. 11 AM seem to be the magical hour for birdwatching in my yard. One new bird at my current house – the Southern Masked Weaver. I have photographed it at my previous house though.

Saw a dead pigeon and another one close by, which was unable to fly. It followed me and I went to sit with it to see whether I could see what was going on. After a while it actually crept up to me and sat next to me. I phoned the wildlife rehab centre in Rustenburg but in the drive to them the pigeon died. I’m worried as there is an outbreak of some kind of illness in pigeons in other areas and it can spread to other birds.

I'm not sure what this is. They were very buddy buddy with the Southern Blue Waxbills
I’m not sure what this is. They were very buddy buddy with the Southern Blue Waxbills
Malachite kingfisher
Malachite kingfisher
Southern Masked weaver
Southern Masked weaver
Sadly this pigeon passed away while we were trying to get it to a wildlife rehab.
Sadly this pigeon passed away while we were trying to get it to a wildlife rehab.
Southern Blue Waxbill
Southern Blue Waxbill
Crested Barbet at my birdbatch
Crested Barbet at my birdbatch
Crested Barbet at my birdbatch
Crested Barbet at my birdbatch

Swamp Bluet

Found a new damselfly this morning. I think this is a Swamp Bluet (Africallagma glaucum) on a piece of floating palm bark. One of the most common species in South Africa.

Swamp Bluet
Swamp Bluet

Burnt potatoes

This afternoon I put my lunch on the stove and I took a stroll through the garden with my dog. I found a new damselfly and bird and got so excited trying to photograph them I burnt my potatoes!

Masai Sprite Pseudagrion massaicum
Masai Sprite Pseudagrion massaicum
Crested Barbet
Crested Barbet
Look at those polka dot tail feathers! Crested Barbet
Look at those polka dot tail feathers! Crested Barbet
Crested Barbet
Crested Barbet

Brown hooded kingfisher

Its been raining cats and dogs for more than a week, including floods in the region. So the little bit of a break in the weather this morning was very welcome and this visitor even more welcome – a brown hooded kingfisher this time.

Brown hooded kingfisher
Brown hooded kingfisher
Brown hooded kingfisher
Brown hooded kingfisher

A few photos of the past couple of days

A few photos of the past couple of days. Some taken in manual, others on automatic mode.

Guavadilla flower
Guavadilla flower
Orange-Winged (Kirby's) Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi)
Orange-Winged (Kirby’s) Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi)
Plain Tiger or African Monarch (Danaus Chrysippus)
Plain Tiger or African Monarch (Danaus Chrysippus)
Dark capped (black eyed) bulbul
Dark capped (black eyed) bulbul
Cape White Eye at my birdbath
Cape White Eye on Fig Tree
Cape White Eye on Fig Tree
Juvenile something?
Juvenile something?
Karoo Thrush
Karoo Thrush
Kurrichane Thrush
Kurrichane Thrush