Conservation & environment

Beach Birding

18 August 2015

Along the beach at Greystoke one can always find a few feathery friends. One simply must look a little bit closer at the bushes and some true gems will start to shine.

The sunbirds found all over Africa with their iridescence are one of my favourite bird species to photograph, they come in a multitude of colours and can always be found getting nectar from some of the wild flowers which allows for a quick snap before they move on.

The Common Sandpiper is a regular visitor to the beach and can often be seen running along the shoreline of the lake, but you must be quick to snap a photograph as they dont hang around for long.

The Red-capped Robin-chat has long been a personal favourite, but always skulking in the shadows makes them a tough subject. These very shy birds are one of the best songsters in the bush and one will often here them imitating other species, so if you fancy whistling this bird will often come in for an inspection and try out your tune.

One pretty little bird you can always hear tinkering away along Greystoke's beach is this Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird. Very territorial birds that can easily be tempted into a good viewing by imitating their call.

We just can't get enough of these Pygmy Kingfishers, such striking colours, they make your day that much better here at Greystoke when you manage to spot one, there are two races in East Africa, this is the race more commonly found in southern Africa, that blueish tinge above its white neck spot is the differing factor.

This is a juvenile Klaas's Cuckoo a naughty bird because in this plumage it's quite difficult to distinguish between the juvenile African Emerald Cuckoo. But in the end that white patch behind its eye tells us this. They can also be classified as naughty birds as with all Cuckoos they rely on other birds to incubate their eggs and bring up their young, this Klaas's Cuckoo specifically using the Collared Sunbird as it's brood parasite.

Of course there is one bird that is a lot easier to find than all the above ones, he is always around, posing for anyone that wants, even a macro shot if you can avoid his bill.

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