Button quail sound like young African wild dogs, red wing starlings sound messy!….

4th January: heard a plaintive sound last night and again early this morning, almost like a young wild dog calling whoo whoo in the distance, but have suddenly realized it is the button quail, calling from thick grass cover….
Peering out of the window I spot the young rock hyrax who lives in the rocks below our bedroom……


Chonge our male Jack Russell spots the rock hyrax as well, but restrains himself…


The red wing starlings have two vociferous youngsters in the nest above our bed…


this is heartwarming in that they so obviously trust us, despite the fact that Dzidzi, the Jack Russell, captured and killed one of their fluttering fledglings a year ago! However, I am weary of covering my head with the sheet every time they have visited the nest with offerings of chongololos, grubs and fat beetles for the overfed babies, and every time they fly away with fecal sacs in their beaks. They bring insects to the nest every 4 to 6 minutes early morning and mid afternoon, less frequently at other times. The fallout is copious and messy, falling in showers on the newaper below, and on my mosquito net over my head!…Hurry up and fledge you little blighters….

The adult starlings are cocky birds who patrol the perimeter of our house, perching on window bars to peer upwards and then launch attacks on the poor Mauritian tomb bats which roost beneath our eaves in summer time. They dislodge the unassuming bats, causing them to bullet from their safe roosts into the harsh sunshine.
The male starling received a bit of his own medicine yesterday when he was chased, screaming, by a little rufous raptor, hot on his tail as he desperately dived for the ground in front of my verandah. He escaped by a tail feather, doubling back on himself and hauling upwards impressively from his dive, and leaving the raptor behind. Smart flying.
This close call did not seem to permanently ruffle his feathers…within the hour he was harassing the tomb bats again.
I have watched these starlings acting like ox-peckers by sitting on and preening the Klipspringers on the rocks below our bush house. Have also read reports in Africa Geographic of them being seen doing the same to a female bushbuck in South Africa.
They certainly are characters, seeming to relish chatting with Clive when they perch on the impala horns in his office as he works

About wineandwilddogs

Lin Barrie The Save Valley Conservancy stretches along the upper reaches of the great Save River in the south east of Zimbabwe. The Gonarezhou National Park laps against the southern banks of the Save River and between these two nestles the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. These three celebrated wildlife areas form part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, (GLTFCA)- a unique wilderness jewel which is home to the “Big Five” (endangered Black and White rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lion, leopard) and the ”Little Six” (Klipspringer, Suni, Duiker, Steenbok, Sharpe's Grysbok and Oribi). Endangered African wild dogs, Cheetah, Brown hyena, Bat-eared foxes and a host of special birds and plants contribute to the immense variety of this ecosystem. Communities around the GLTFCA contribute to innovative partnerships with National Parks and the private sector, forming a sound base on which to manage social, economic and environmental issues. This is home to artist and writer Lin Barrie and her life partner, conservationist Clive Stockil. Expressing her hopes, fears and love for this special ecosystem with oil paints on canvas, Lin Barrie believes that the essence of a landscape, person or animal, can only truly be captured by direct observation. Lin Barrie states: “Through my art, and my writing, I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and from my extensive field sketches of wild animals, people and landscapes, I create larger works on canvas. Lin's work is in various public and private collections in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, England, Canada, Sweden and the United States of America. She is represented by galleries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Kenya and Florida, USA.
This entry was posted in Africa, African wild dogs, african wildlife, birds, conservation, dogs, food, insects, Painted Dogs, painted wolves, Uncategorized, zimbabwe and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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