Tag Archives: Common Gonolek

Beautiful Sunbird on a flower in Ghana

ElfennektarvogelA male Beautiful Sunbird (Cinnyris pulchellus) balances busily and without misstep on a bare stem of a Aloe, which lead to some, small yellowish flowers with red borders. There, the photographer has a chance to shoot the bird, which is aptly called its English name. The male of the Beautiful Sunbird places the rather long, slightly bent black beak against the calyx of the flower and sucks the nectar for a short while. Then the Beautiful Sunbird is already on the way to the next flowering.

I had become attentive to the Beautiful Sunbird when I decided to explore the motel area in the Mole National Park in northern Ghana. Along the simple bungalows I ran to the end and discovered a very bird-rich place. A sewage pipe appeared in the middle of dense scrub with many trails to the surface and had created a small pool. You do not want to know which corners of the motel are drained this sewage pipe. Already from a distance, the smells were anything but attractive. But the combination of water and scrub attracted the birds magically. The scrub provided reasonably well protected Continue reading Beautiful Sunbird on a flower in Ghana

Standard-winged Nightjar in Guinea savanna woodlands in Mole NP

FahnennachtschwalbeAs dusk falls, the purring cries of the African Scops Owl (Otus senegalensis) sound softly from the savannah. Darkness breaks in. We want to end the day with one of the most incredible birds of the savannah. A male Standard-winged Nightjar (Caprimulgus longipennis) in full display dress is supposed to make his courtship flights over its territory on a terrain with barren stones in the middle of the densely vegetated savannah. Males and females of this species gather at these display arenas (the so-called leks) immediately after dusk in open places in the savannah. The males meet on the ground as well as in the air. They sometimes run towards each other in abrupt movements, but also move in a circle 1-8 m above the ground and sometimes swooping low over another bird on the ground. In contrast male displays to female are given by flying around the female giving faint clicking calls. As a result, the female Standard-winged Nightjar land nearby or fly with trembling wingbeats around the males while calling as well.

The Standard-winged Nightjar is named – of course – after their standards. Here you should be aware that “standard” means something like a flag. The male Standard-winged Nightjar has extremely elongated, second innermost primarie feathers, which are webbed at tips only, forming “standards” or flags. – They are what prompted the species name: longipennis (long feather). However, what has been said before also means that these flags are not tail feathers of the male. But the Standard-winged Nightjar is certainly Continue reading Standard-winged Nightjar in Guinea savanna woodlands in Mole NP