Watch the birdy.



Taken about an hour ago circling high above our property.

These are pretty awful shots,  but trust me, from my perspective, three sightings in 17 years and one photo opportunity – I’ll take it!

My pals over at the SA Birders club on Facebook have decided it is a Juvenile African Harrier Hawk, and I am not going to argue!


16 thoughts on “Watch the birdy.

  1. Sticking my neck out arguing with locals but it looks more buzzard-like to me with the fan-shaped tail – a Steppe Buzzard maybe? Harriers, I’m thinking, have longer, narrowish tails, usually with distinct bands, also yellow legs. But whatever it is, it’s wonderful to have it gliding over your place.


    1. Well, the bloke on Facebook did say it was a Juvenile- it is definitely not an adult Harrier Hawk for sure – and it does look sort of like a young one. Then again, based on a quick squizz I’d say your guess is as good if not better, as any. However …. this came up.

      The steppe buzzard migrates over long distances. It breeds from eastern Europe to Siberia. Some migrate to India during winter, whereas many migrate to East and southern Africa. It arrives in southern Africa in September, where it will stay until March, and a few as late as early April

      As we are almost in August I am inclined to be on the proverbial fence with it being a Buzzard. Even so, you could well be be right. Maybe this bird decided to winter in Jo’burg? Stranger things have happened I’ll wager.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d be thrilled with a genuine action capture(s) like those.

    New Zealand boasts ‘wild life’ but compared to the UK (or almost anywhere) is a damned desert. If you want wild life you have to get kitted up and go out into semi-virgin bush—where you’d be advised to wear dayglo orange all ove, and carry a blaring transistor radio (kiwi sportsmen hunting tend to shoot movement and then wander over to see what they’d potted).

    Hell, I’m thrilled that we get whiteyes on the lawn. Neighbourhood cats were homing in so I balanced a wheel-less wheelbarrow on a wee trestle as a bird table such that any cat jumping up/in would get a nasty surprise but no effect on birds (too light). Came home one day and it had been toppled, so the system obviously works …

    Liked by 2 people

  3. my biggest coup (and belated surprise) was a bald eagle, several years ago. I had just stepped out onto the porch, looked up, and there was a lovely big hawk–just managed to get one good photo of it before it glided out of view.
    Years later I was looking at the photo, admiring the way the sun highlighted the white feathers on its head. Oh, wait…

    There’s a bald eagle refuge a few miles west of here, and I never connected that with this. Blew it up a bit and sure enough my white headed hawk was a damn bald eagle.

    I can appreciate how you must feel, right time, right spot…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yep. It’s like the God of Birds has blessed us, and easy to forget that in other places these amazing creatures are in the ‘well, yeah, so?” category while we go around hopping on one foot, we get so excited about it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s like the God of Birds has blessed us

          Ah, yes:

          As I was walking beneath a tree
          A bird sent his blessings to me
          And as I wiped it from my eye
          I thanked the lord that cows don’t fly.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. And I never hang clothes out to dry during blueberry season or the week the mulberries fruit. No indeed. One too many blessings there…

            Liked by 2 people

  4. I have been totally foxed by a juvenile African Harrier Hawks before. In fact I find most juvenile raptors are challenging to identify so I would go with the advice of those with most practice. Also these birds adapt relatively well to suburban environments. Lovely to see whatever it’s I’D.

    Liked by 1 person

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