Kruger Raptors from January

  • gordon
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7 years 9 months ago #16395 by gordon
gordon created the topic: Kruger Raptors from January
Hi All,

I have been cleaning out photo's taken at the Beginning of January in the Kruger National Park. Here are a couple of the hundreds of Raptors seen. Photography was extremely difficult this time round due to pretty extreme weather most of the time. There were plenty of the more common bateleurs, fish eagles, kites, buzzards and the like around but the weather was just not playing along for them! For those that are doing the Kruger Weekends coming up, hopefully these will "wet" your appetites! <!-- s:spin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/spin.gif" alt=":spin:" title="Spinning" /><!-- s:spin: -->


White-backed Vulture


Lappet-faced Vulture


Amur Falcon


Eurasian Hobby


Greater Kestrel


Wahlbergs Eagle


Lesser Spotted Eagle


Tawny Eagle


Taita Falcon (Abel Erasmus Pass)

Cheers,
Gordon

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  • tachiro
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7 years 9 months ago #16426 by tachiro
tachiro replied the topic: Re: Kruger Raptors from January
Hi Gordon,
Thanks for sharing these.
I love the pic of the tawny eagle.
Incidentally it has a crop not unlike the picture of the eagle posted by nkgray - "Guinea - another lifer raptor - with a possible deformity(?)" in bird pictures.
The wahlbergs giss is odd, looks like a snake-eagle, but shows featherd legs, also the colouration of the feathers is most intriguing.
Was the greater kestrel in kruger? Because that is out of its preferred range.
Regards,
Michael

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  • Rusty Justy
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7 years 9 months ago #16442 by Rusty Justy
Rusty Justy replied the topic: Re: Kruger Raptors from January
When I first read this post, that Walhbergs looked a lot more like a Tawny Eagle to me.......So im glad im not the only one hesitant with the ID.

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  • gordon
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7 years 9 months ago #16444 by gordon
gordon replied the topic: Re: Kruger Raptors from January
Hi Michael and Rusty,

Yes, I also noticed the crop of the Tawny.

The colouring on the Wahlbergs is a bit strange however the size was way too small for a Tawny or any of the other large eagles. Out of the smaller eagles in the area all the others should show much longer tail projection. The feathered legs rule out any of the buzzards or snake eagles. Only really left with booted or wahlbergs. Going on the tail and wing length I came to Wahlbergs. (I think colouring on this particular bird might be a bit odd because the bird was soaked after some really heavy rain!!)

The Kestrel was seen in Kruger not too far from Lower Sabie in the south.

The park was crawling with raptors. I suspect they are there because of the quelea's! There must be millions and millions of queleas there at the moment!!!!

Cheers,
Gordon

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  • wildtuinman
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7 years 9 months ago #16674 by wildtuinman
wildtuinman replied the topic: Re: Kruger Raptors from January
The Tawny/Wahlberg's Eagle bird seems to have a small roundish nostril, which for me rules out Tawny Eagle with its more prominent elongated nostril.

I still think that the size of raptor's crops can be misleadingly large!

Nice photos, thanks for sharing. :D

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  • Dewi Edwards
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7 years 9 months ago #16677 by Dewi Edwards
Dewi Edwards replied the topic: Re: Kruger Raptors from January
Hi Gordon and All,

Great set of pics, wish I'd been there to see some of these birds. Hope you don't mind my questioning about the Eagle, as I must admit that when I first saw this pic I immediately thought Tawny before seeing your caption.

After looking up various references, I came back to post a reply and noticed other comments regarding this bird, so went back to the books.

As far as I'm aware, Wahlbergs do not have a yellow eye (unless someone can confirm otherwise?). The bill structure also looks wrong for this species as it appears heavy rather than fine.

I've ruled out other Eagles such as Snake Eagles (would show grey cere) and the Hawk-eagles (tail length and pattern) and by Gordons description that the bird was one of the smaller Eagles and others have mentioned the round nostril ruled out Tawny and Steppe.

This leaves only one of the Spotted Eagles of which I'm leaning towards Lesser Spotted due to the eye colour.

I'm still uneasy about this though as the bill still seems too heavy for Lesser Spotted.

Every time I go back to the photo, Tawny still springs to mind for various reasons, so barring a runt bird, Lesser Spotted it the only alternative I can come up with for the time being.

I've probably missed something glaringly obvious while looking this one up, but it's the only way I can learn if I'm on the right track or completely lost with these birds, so any feedback from others would be appreciated.

Cheers,

Dewi

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  • gordon
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7 years 9 months ago #16721 by gordon
gordon replied the topic: Re: Kruger Raptors from January
Of all the raptors seen this was the one I was NOT 100% sure of. To me the size of the bird contributed the most to the ID along with the tail / wing length. It was definitely one of the smaller eagles. The appearance of large size is probably misleading in the photograph. Another factor was the fact it was raining so much at the time and this bird was completely soaked so the plumage may not be very accurate. One side effect is that the bill probably appears way too large relative to the head. I have to admit I am enjoying reading the comments and logic from each of you and while I still think it is Walhbergs, I am willing to be persuaded... <!-- s:scratchchin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/scratchchin.gif" alt=":scratchchin:" title="Perplexed" /><!-- s:scratchchin: -->

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  • Dewi Edwards
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7 years 9 months ago #16750 by Dewi Edwards
Dewi Edwards replied the topic: Re: Kruger Raptors from January
Thanks Gordon,

I see what you mean about bill size and the bird being wet.

If we rule out the larger Eagles on size, the next logical step in my mind is....

Do Wahlberg's have yellow eyes? Can anyone confirm one way or another? I've seen no reference or photos that supports this as yet.

Anyone got any comments on this feature?

Cheers,

Dewi

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  • nkgray
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7 years 9 months ago #16804 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic: Re: Kruger Raptors from January
Gordon,

For me the Wahlbergs/Tawny is just a wet version of the following one - a Lesser Spotted. it has the characteristic rounded nostril of the Spotted Eagles. Colour is right - in fact a dead ringer for the following one. Eye colour is not a problem.

Your size issue is probably due to it being wet - wet birds generally appear smaller.

Neil

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  • tachiro
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7 years 9 months ago #16814 by tachiro
tachiro replied the topic: Re: Kruger Raptors from January
Hi all,
with regards to the greater kestrel near lower sabie.
it is generally confined to the highveld and dry west, so it being in kruger is interesting. <!-- s:scratchchin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/scratchchin.gif" alt=":scratchchin:" title="Perplexed" /><!-- s:scratchchin: -->
see the sabap2 link below for distribution:
http://sabap2.adu.org.za/species_maps.php?Spp=122

I'm thinking this may be a female lesser kestrel <!-- s:?: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_question.gif" alt=":?:" title="Question" /><!-- s:?: -->
check out:
http://www.birdwatchingtours.co.uk/gall ... trel_l.jpg

Michael

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