A hard working male
So we had to go down to Stellenbosch for the second wedding in a month and this time around we stayed overnight on a farm in the Wagenmakers (wainright) Valley, near Wellington, in the Boland area of the Western Cape.
A sandy track at the end of a winding road brought us to Val du Charron (wheelright) a most lovely wine and olive farm with a splendid guesthouse.
Late afternoon I took my D800 and Sigma 150-600mm for a exploratory stroll through the vineyards. It was here where I encountered a male Pin-tailed Whydah, hard at work impressing the ladies - and I mean hard at work. Out of breeding season he can easily be overlooked as just another LBJ (little brown jobbie) but in his breeding finery he is unmistakable - small red beak, pure white rump with black back and wings and then off course the long, long black tail.
Not a bird that any female will easily overlook, but his looks are clearly not enough to do the trick. I first heard him singing his high pitched jerky song and then - wow - I saw him dance in the air - up and down he floats effortlessly almost like a carousel horse. He sails in the wind almost like a Seahorse in a current, up and down in an arc around the female, who watches him with interest - and this goes on and on - my arms ached trying to hold the 4Kg camera lens combination focused on this tiny 15g bird, but despite having to drag his 9 to 10 inch long tail around he hovers up and down for minutes on end - (Roberts says it can last up to 5 minutes!)
Enjoy the pics…