04/21/08

South Africa (ZA)   A morning at the Pivot Fields  -  Categories: Photographs  -  @ 08:57:37 am

Week 16, 19 April 2008 - Pivot Fields

Today was a casual day out with my son together with Andrew Shaw, Graham and Nick Whitehead and I noticed big difference in the numbers of some migrant species from the previous week. Images by Mike Pope


In a small depression with water, many species congregated at various times of the morning. The number of Barn Swallows have increased dramatically and many were taking advantage of the shallow pool for an in-flight dip.

Barn Swallow

Collared Pratincole numbers had also increased from the previous week and they too enjoyed the shallow pool

Collared Pratincole

Waders feeding in the shallow pool included Ruff, Curlew and Common Sandpiper, Snipe and fair numbers of Little Stint, coming into breeding plumage

Little Stint

Wood Sandpipers were more solitary

Wood Sandpiper

A lone Temmincks Stint appeared more weary than the other birds and favoured feeding on its own

Temmincks Stint

The number of Harriers had also increased and were represented by two species (as far as I could tell) in various plumages. Im not sure if this is a Pallid/ or Montague Harrier

Pallid/Montague Harrier

A male Marsh Harrier which swooped low over the ponds and flushing many of the waders

Marsh Harrier

Kestrel numbers were down from last week, but this Kestrel was fairly obliging and was also hawking quite unperturbed around the hay bales were our son's were playing

Kestrel

Kestrel

In terms of passerines, there appears to have been an explosion of Ortolan Buntings at the pivot fields

Ortolan Buntings

A female Redstart, seen here with a rather large insect

Redstart

Isabelline Shrikes still outnumber the other shrike species, like Masked and Red backed which were seen today

Isabelline Shrike

European bee-eaters have now replaced the Blue cheeked bee-eaters which appear to have continued their journey north

European bee-eater

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