Archive for March, 2012

Tawny Pipit, Ethiopia

Tawny Pipit, Ethiopia

On my trip to Africa last December I had a few problems identifying some of the birds I saw. This is not unusual when one is in unfamiliar territory. It even happens to me here in Australia when I visit places I may only go occasionally, or for the first time. Contrasting with that is at home where I am immediately aware of any strange bird call in our garden.

While visiting our daughter who was teaching last year in Addis Ababa, we went on a day trip north of the city to a locality known as Portuguese Bridge. Along the way we stopped at a lookout and I managed 2 quick photos of the bird shown today. I am not absolutely certain I’ve got the identification right but the closest I can come is Tawny Pipit.

It was certainly behaving like a pipit, feeding on the ground, constantly bobbing and running along the ground. The area was quite rocky and in parts bare of much grass. I’ve eliminated all of the other pipits found in the area because the throat has no streaking. The only other possibilities (I think) could be a chat or one of the larks.

If any of my readers has more knowledge of the area, or experience with these species, I’d appreciate comments and a more definite ID.

Tawny Pipit, Ethiopia

Little Corellas pay a visit

Little Corella

Little Corellas are very common around our district here in the Murraylands of South Australia. Along the River Murray and in some parks around town flocks of 200 to 500 are common. And very noisy – not to mention destructive when they start chewing on the trees in the parks. This morning I visited the Farmers’ Markets held at Sturt Reserve on the banks of the river and I saw flocks of 50 or more in a number of spots, most of the birds on the grass feeding.

Despite these large numbers in our district we rarely have then visiting our garden, even though we live only 5km from the river. I’m not sure of the reason for this. Perhaps they have access to more food along the river, perhaps there are more nesting hollows there or it could be some other factor at play.

When we do have a flock fly over like it did this week, we immediately can tell they are around due to their raucous call. It’s not something easily ignored. The flock this week was only about 60 strong but they still made quite a racket.