Saturday 5 February 2011

North of Juba

This morning I spent four hours birding along 15 kms of the road north from Juba. Much of the land is flooded in the rains, but now it's parched. Despite this, birds are plentiful.

Landscape 15kms north of Juba - nests are of White-browed Sparrow-Weavers Plocepasser mahali

White-browed Sparrow-Weavers

Among the first birds seen are Grey-backed Fiscals Lanius excubitoroides and Rueppell's Long-tailed Starlings Lamprotornis purpuropterus.

Rueppell's Long-tailed Starling with Grey-backed Fiscals

There are a few flooded borrow pits, which attract hordes of small birds such as weavers ploceus sp., Black-rumped Waxbills Estrilda troglodytes and Red-billed Firefinches Lagonosticta senegala.

Black-rumped Waxbills

The weavers are not in breeding plumage, but seem to include Northern and Lesser Masked P. taeniopterus and P. intermedius, as well as Black-headed and/or Vitelline Masked P. cucullatus and P. velatus.

A confusion of weavers

There are lots of doves, including Namaqua Doves Oena capensis, as well as Vinaceous Doves Streptopelia vinacea.

Vinaceous Dove

On one of the flooded pits were a flock of African Wattled Lapwings Vanellus senegallus, Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus and African Open-billed Storks Anastomus lamelligerus.

Sacred Ibis with African Open-billed Storks

African Wattled Lapwing

I'll finish this post with a few raptors. First a pair of Wahlberg's Eagles Aquila wahlbergi, including a stunning pale phase bird.

Pale phase Wahlberg's Eagle

The other bird of the pair

Next some blurry vultures (sorry, they were miles up)....

White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis

Rueppell's Griffon Vulture Gyps rueppellii

And last, a Black-chested Snake-Eagle Circaetus pectoralis.

Black-chested Snake-Eagle

1 comment:

  1. Great post, great photos and very interesting, especially the pale-phase Wahlberg's Eagle, those non-breeding weavers can be a right headache!. Andy.