This female Chloropicus namaquuswas 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.
Yeah, I’m feeling a wee bit sentimental. We’ve left our home of three years in Bratislava, said good-bye to many a good friend (who we hope to meet again in the future), and also said bye to our favourite twitching places along the river Morava / March. And because spring had already mightily started to spring, we had some lovely sightings in the floodplain near Devinska Nova Ves like a yawning stork, circling white-tailed eagle or a hare:
We also went to the WWF nature reserve -just over the border in Austria- in Marchegg, to see more storks and other birds:
I was particularly happy to have seen the breeding herons again. On top of that, I had never knowingly seen gadwalls before, so that was a rather welcome sight too.
Of course, there was some non-avian activity. The frogs and toads were mating, and snakes were around to hunt the mating amphibians.
Yep, it’s sad to leave such places, but there’s also the fact that we take some wonderful memories with us. Plus, there’s the chance to explore something new.
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) fromArdeola bacchus (Chinese pond heron) outside the breeding season. Their non-breeding ranges overlap, so take your pick.