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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Hamerkop and White-faced ducklings.

While walking along the dam wall of the pond just below the cottage, this Hamerkop, Afrikaans for Hammerhead, flew up from the edge of the water not 50 meters from me. If I had been more alert I might have got a clearer photo. It flew down the valley and perched on the top of a willow tree about 400 meters away.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Hamerkop, (Scopus umbreta). These quite large birds, live near fresh water and wetlands, where they feed on frogs, tadpoles and small fish. On the back of the head is a backward facing crest, which gives the bird it's name. In the "Roberts Bird Guide", they are placed with herons and bitterns.

Two White-faced ducklings with their mother. I suspect that these two could be from the clutch of eggs that I photographed about two weeks ago. This clutch contained 12 eggs, but I think the attrition rate for ducklings is high. There are some very big bass in this dam and a duckling would make a nice snack.

White-faced ducks nest with 12 eggs.


Jo said...

Cute ducklings and mother duck! I saw your post on Sharky and wondered if you had an earlier post on how he came to be part of the school? I hope you can visit my blog tomorrow: you will love one of the photos, I'm sure. Blessings, Jo

Shoreman said...

2 out of 12 is a bad attrition rate. They are really cute, though.


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Phillip, I am here from Jo's blog, and enjoying reading yours. IF you want a 'taste' of Tennessee, check out my blog sometime.

I was a former teacher before going into Christian Education. I am now retired and loving it!!!!! ha

Great pictures of the Hamerkop and the Ducks/Ducklings.