What an amazing response to Winter birds - thank you all.
Back to Africa today.
Black Crakes are delightful but rather odd little chaps. They are thrush sized birds that like areas with plenty of thick surface vegetation near to reeds and in Zimbabwe have adapted to the thick mats of exotic Hyacinth. They are very busy and visible when they have young to feed and in the early dawn light can be found running about on thick vegetation looking for water spiders to feed their young.
Their agitated movement is very amusing to watch and their flight curious - they really battle to take off (V2) but once they get going are quite elegant flying very close to the water (V1) with wingtips producing a slight ripple on the surface occasionally. They rarely fly more than fifty yards or so during the day but must fly further at night ( like many slow flying birds) to avoid aerial predators.
Where they occur in close proximity to humans they become quite tame if regularly fed.
These shots were taken of wild birds at Lake Chivero in Zimbabwe very early in the morning.
Hope you like them. A