Friday, 23 November 2012

African bee-eaters & kingfishers

It was fun to see European Bee-eaters in Botswana. I wonder where they were from. Possibly not from Europe as there is a resident population of this species breeding in Southern Africa and it is much more likely that they were 'local' birds. BWP suggests that birds that breed in south-west Europe migrate only as far as West Africa south to Ghana but whether there have been any ringing recoveries to confirm that isn't easy to find out! Six species of bee-eaters were recorded during the tour of which I managed to photograph four: Little, Blue-cheeked, Southern Carmine and White-fronted.

The number of bee-eater species seen on the tour was impressive but they were out-numbered by kingfishers. Eight species were recorded of which I photographed just three: Giant, Malachite and Brown-hooded. The last of these (photographed in Namibia) is the odd one out of the three as it is, like several African kingfishers, a largely woodland bird whereas both Giant and Malachite are mainly fish eaters. 

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