15 March 2024

Longclaw Hat Trick in the grasslands outside of Harare

27 November 2023 - Harare and Kampini Airstrip; Day 2

Unfortunately I couldn't join the gang who left before dark to bird Gosha Park, as I had to work. But I was up early, to enjoy the birds in the garden and before I needed to start work. There was a noisy group of Arrow-marked Babbler's foraging in the compost heap - I thought they could be a different ssp, but they are the same as we get in SA

Arrow-marked Babbler (Turdoides jardineii)

I was really hoping that the Miombo Sunbird seen briefly yesterday would visit the only flowering Aloe plant in the garden, but it was not to be. Instead, I had Scarlet-breasted Sunbird - both male and female

Female Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Chalcomitra senegalensis)

Male Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Chalcomitra senegalensis)

As well as a good few Variable Sunbird's, mostly female and immature's

Variable Sunbird (Cinnyris venustus)

I finally did managed to locate a male and he is a stunning bird

Male Variable Sunbird (Cinnyris venustus)

I had a Abdim Stork flyby

Abdim's Stork (Ciconia abdimii)

A few Willow Warbler's foraging in the one of the big trees

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)

But the highlight before breakfast on the patio was a pair of Whyte's Barbet on a tall tree in the adjacent garden

Whyte's Barbet (Stactolaema whytii)

I photographed this butterfly in the gardens that I'm yet to ID

Butterfly sp.

The gang had a great time at Gosha and got many of the species I was hoping to photograph. Late afternoon, Lionel and Ian were back at the B&B in the bus and we all headed just out of town to the grassland/wetland at Kampini Airstrip. 

Since we had missed a few species at Monovale yesterday, we had another chance for them this afternoon. We spread out and walked slowly through the grasslands and it was here we flushed what initially looked like a Pipit with its white outer tail feathers, but it had a reddish throat - I went to go and check where it had landed and got better views - Rosy-throated Longclaw it was and a lot different in flight to our Cape Longclaw's.

Rosy-throated Longclaw (Macronyx ameliae)

We spent quite some time with this individual, not knowing that we would find a good few more as we continued walking down toward the moisture parts of the grasslands - what a stunning Longclaw, but I really struggled to get front on views

Rosy-throated Longclaw (Macronyx ameliae)

Another special in these grasslands was Pale-crowned Cisticola and we managed to get relatively close to one bird

Pale-crowned Cisticola (Cisticola cinnamomeus)

We did get Cape Longclaw and as the sun was setting found the Yellow-throated Longclaw to complete the hat trick

Yellow-throated Longclaw (Macronyx croceus)

As always, I check for invertebrates whilst birding and found these two Butterflies that I still need to ID

Bronze sp.

Blue sp.

A magnificent sunset, before climbing back on the bus to head back to Malcolm's Lodge

African sunsets!

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