The arrival of Phylloscopus collybita is always a sure sign that spring is in the air, even if the weather in Germany has been chilly for the last few days. I have to thank The Unknown Birder on the birdforum.net for helping me with the identification. Little brown birds are lovely, but not easy for a beginner-birder like me. On the bright side, I can ID this bird by its song.
This female Chloropicus namaquus was feeding on some kind of insect in Hlane National Park, a few years ago. The species is also called Thripias namaquus or Dendropicos namaquus – taxonomy can be a minefield.
Bostrychia hagedash is sometimes also called Hadada Ibis. It has a very distinct haaa-call – hence the name. This one was strolling on a lawn in the Helderberg Reserve near Cape Town.
We are entering the murky waters of Khao Lak in Thailand and the even murkier ones of heron taxonomy. This is a member of the Ardeola species, but apparently it is almost impossible to distuguish Ardeola speciosa (Javan pond heron) from Ardeola bacchus (Chinese pond heron) outside the breeding season. Their non-breeding ranges overlap, so take your pick.
This group of Aythya fuligula was a bit of a surprise find, as this pool was quite shallow. Tufties like to feed diving.
What’s in a name? In German, this species is called ‘Reiherente’ which means ‘heron duck’. Someone must have had one beer too many.
Here we have a Halcyon albiventris. We found him/her perched on a tree in Kruger Park. There are lots of different species around the world, many of which are forest species and under threat from humans. However, this particular species is still classified in the group Least Concern.
This Chroicocephalus ridibundus was not nailed to the wooden post in the lagoon of Venice, rest assured. Fun fact: in German and Latin, the species is called ‘laughin gull’. And it’s got its black head only during the breeding season.