DWARF BITTERN at Borakalalo

  • nkgray
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10 years 3 months ago #6216 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: DWARF BITTERN at Borakalalo
Just back from a day trip to Borakalalo. The day got off to a great start as I managed to get my first and only photo (not that great I must admit) of a Red-chested Cuckoo, but then tailed off into mediocrity as the day wore on. Not an eremomela, finch, waxbill or canary seen all day, not even a Common(!!!) Fiscal. No kingfishers. Waders at a minimum due to the dam being at max capacity, although there seemed to be a Greenshank convention going on. I don't think I've ever seen as many in one place at the same time. One bright spot was a flight of Greater Flamingo over the dam, as I have never seen them at Borakalalo before.

As I was about to write the day off as a dead loss I called in at the Gadinonyane hides west of Moretele Camp. Water levels here and at Sefudi Dam are the highest I ever remember seeing them. At Gadinonyane the hides and walkways out to them are over inundated grassland. Approaching from the west I first went to the western hide where all that was to be seen were a single Little Grebe, some Southern Masked Weavers and overhead Barn Swallow and Eurasian Bee-Eater. Moving on to the eastern hide, which I had vowed was my last stop for the day, I was treated to a Green-backed Heron sitting in the branches of a tree overhanging the water some 30m away and I had to squint through a bush to see it. Having determined with the binos that my heron was in fact a DWARF BITTERN I got just one photo- see PHOTO forum (manual focus as well!) before the bird disappeared. The photo shows the uniform dark slate grey back, reddish eye, bluish lores and orbital skin, yellowish back to the legs, pinkish leading edge to the wings and just a hint of the vertically streaked black and white front which I had seen very clearly with the binos.

So a lifer to end an otherwise unspectacular day at Bora!

Neil Gray

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  • Hanno Pretorius
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10 years 1 month ago #6535 by Hanno Pretorius
Hanno Pretorius replied the topic: Dwarf Bittern
Hi Neil.

Checked out your webspace. Really great!

I too, saw a Dwarf Bittern for the first time this summer, whilst on a birding course in the Maluleke-Pafuri region of Kruger, a few weeks ago. A magnificent bird.

Intending to do a day trip to Bora later this week...fingers crossed.


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