Malawi, September-October 2008

Page 11: Babblers to White-eyes

All dates between 22nd and 30th relate to September, all dates from 1st to 10th relate to October.

 

Arrow-marked Babbler Turdoides jardineii [14]

At Liwonde 2 23rd and 2 25th; 10 Vwaza Marsh 4th.

 

Southern Black Tit Melaniparus niger [7]

At Liwonde 1 23rd, 3 24th and 1 25th; 2 Vwaza Marsh 4th.

Southern Black Tit, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08 Southern Black Tit, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08

Southern Black Tit, Liwonde, 24th September

 

Rufous-bellied Tit Melaniparus rufiventris [3]

At Dzalanyama 2 1st and 1 2nd. At least the last of these showed much duller underparts than was expected of Rufous-bellied Tit so was perhaps an intergrade with the sometimes lumped Cinnamon-breasted Tit M (r) pallidiventris which occurs to the east of the Rift.

Rufous-bellied Tit, Dzalanyama, 2-Oct-08 Rufous-bellied Tit, Dzalanyama, 2-Oct-08

Rufous-bellied Tit, Dzalanyama, 2nd October

 

Miombo Tit (Miombo Grey Tit) Melaniparus griseiventris [2]

2 Dzalanyama 1st.

 

Spotted Creeper Salpornis spilonotus [1]

1 Dzalanyama 1st was all too brief, but no mistaking it despite the brevity and near-silhouetted views.

 

Anchieta's Sunbird (Red-and-blue Sunbird) Anthreptes anchietae [3]

Up to 2 Dzalanyama 1st-2nd and 1 in Miombo woodland on the way out of Nyika 7th. No photos or illustrations I've seen of this species do this species justice (especially mine) - in life it has to be the most brilliant bird in the world!

Anchieta's Sunbird, Dzalanyama, 2-Oct-08 Anchieta's Sunbird, Dzalanyama, 2-Oct-08
Anchieta's Sunbird, Dzalanyama, 1-Oct-08 Anchieta's Sunbird, Dzalanyama, 1-Oct-08

Anchieta's Sunbirds, Dzalanyama, 1st-2nd October

 

Anchieta's Sunbird, Nyika, 7-Oct-08 Anchieta's Sunbird, Nyika, 7-Oct-08

Anchieta's Sunbird, Nyika, 7th October

 

Western Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes longuemarei [3]

Up to 3 Dzalanyama 1st-2nd. I saw my first Western Violet-backed Sunbirds almost simultaneously with my first Violet-backed Starlings - it was amazing how similar the males of these completely unrelated species were to each other!

Miombo Double-collared Sunbird, Dzalanyama, 1-Oct-08  

Western Violet-backed Sunbird, Dzalanyama, 1st October

 

Collared Sunbird Hedydipna collaris (or Anthreptes collaris) [8]

Up to 2 Zomba Forest Lodge 26th-27th and up to 6 Ruo Gorge (Mulanje) 28th-29th.

 

Olive Sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea (or Nectarinia olivacea) [17]

Up to 4 Zomba Forest Lodge 26th-27th, 1 Zomba town 27th, 10 Ruo Gorge (Mulanje) 29th and 2 Mua Mission 9th. Although the Clements list among others splits Eastern and Western Olive Sunbirds as different species, the argument for retaining them as a single species appears to be strong. For those who follow the split, these are Eastern Olive Sunbirds.

Eastern Olive Sunbird, Mua, 9-Oct-08 Eastern Olive Sunbird, Mua, 9-Oct-08
Eastern Olive Sunbird, Mua, 9-Oct-08 Eastern Olive Sunbird, Mua, 9-Oct-08
Eastern Olive Sunbird, Mua, 9-Oct-08 Eastern Olive Sunbird, Mua, 9-Oct-08

(Eastern) Olive Sunbird, Mua Mission, 9th October

 

Eastern Olive Sunbird, Zomba, 27-Sep-08  

(Eastern) Olive Sunbird, Zomba, 27th September - thanks to Rasmus for confirming the ID

 

Amethyst Sunbird (Black Sunbird) Chalcomitra amethystina (or Nectarinia amethystina) [7]

2 Liwonde 23rd and at Dzalanyama 3 1st and 2 2nd-3rd.

Amethyst Sunbird, Dzalanyama, 3-Oct-08 Amethyst Sunbird, Dzalanyama, 3-Oct-08
Amethyst Sunbird, Dzalanyama, 2-Oct-08  

Amethyst Sunbirds, Dzalanyama, 2nd-3rd October

 

Scarlet-chested Sunbird Chalcomitra senegalensis (or Nectarinia senegalensis) [11]

Another very attractive Sunbird: up to 4 Liwonde 24th-25th, 3 Vwaza Marsh 4th, 2 attending a nest with at least 2 nestlings outside the restaurant at Mua Mission 9th and up to 2 Cool Runnings (Senga Bay) 9th-10th.

Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08 Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Vwaza Marsh, 4-Oct-08

Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Liwonde, 24th September

 

Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Vwaza Marsh, 4th October

 

Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Mua, 9-Oct-08 Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Senga Bay, 10-Oct-08

Scarlet-chested Sunbird nest and nestling, Mua Mission, 9th October

 

Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Senga Bay, 10th October

 

Malachite Sunbird (Yellow-tufted Malachite Sunbird) Nectarinia famosa [3]

A pair at Chelinda (Nyika Plateau) 5th and 1 (perhaps one of the same) in the same area on 6th. The bronzy appearance of the male and the fact that it doesn't resemble any illustration or photo of Malachite Sunbird that I've found so far initially led me to think these were Bronze Sunbirds; however the shallow curvature of the bill and clearly green underparts seem to rule this option out. I'm not 100% certain that Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird is adequately ruled out but I would expect the green underparts to be darker on that species. A stunning bird anyway! In addition to these, a dark, long-tailed sunbird seen in flight on the way up to Nyika on 4th was either this species, Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird or perhaps Bronze Sunbird.

Malachite Sunbird, Nyika, 5-Oct-08 Malachite Sunbird, Nyika, 5-Oct-08
Malachite Sunbird, Nyika, 5-Oct-08 Malachite Sunbird, Nyika, 5-Oct-08

Malachite Sunbirds, Chelinda (Nyika Plateau), 5th October

 

Miombo Double-collared Sunbird (Miombo Sunbird) Cinnyris manoensis (or Nectarinia manoensis) [6+]

6 Dzalanyama 1st-2nd, 1 probable Nyika (in Miombo woodland) 7th.

Miombo Double-collared Sunbird, Dzalanyama, 2-Oct-08 Miombo Double-collared Sunbird, Dzalanyama, 1-Oct-08

Miombo Double-collared Sunbirds, Dzalanyama, 1st-2nd October

 

Ludwig's Double-collared Sunbird (Montane Double-collared Sunbird) Cinnyris ludovicensis (or Nectarinia ludovicensis) [7]

At Nyika 4 Chowo Forest and 3 Chelinda 6th and 6 probables 7th. This species is sometimes treated as a race of Greater Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris afra.

Ludwig's Double-collared Sunbird, Nyika, 6-Oct-08 Ludwig's Double-collared Sunbird, Nyika, 6-Oct-08
Ludwig's Double-collared Sunbird, Nyika, 6-Oct-08 Ludwig's Double-collared Sunbird, Nyika, 6-Oct-08

Ludwig's Double-collared Sunbirds, Chowo Forest (Nyika), 6th October

 

Ludwig's Double-collared Sunbird, Nyika, 6-Oct-08 Ludwig's Double-collared Sunbird, Nyika, 6-Oct-08
Ludwig's Double-collared Sunbird, Nyika, 6-Oct-08  

Ludwig's Double-collared Sunbirds, Chelinda (Nyika Plateau), 6th October

 

Forest Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris fuelleborni (or Nectarinia fuelleborni) [4]

3 Zomba Forest Lodge 27th. This species is sometimes treated as a race of Eastern Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris mediocris.

Forest Double-collared Sunbird, Zomba Plateau, 27-Sep-08 Forest Double-collared Sunbird, Zomba Plateau, 27-Sep-08

Forest Double-collared Sunbird, Zomba Forest Lodge, 27th September

 

Purple-banded Sunbird Cinnyris bifasciatus (or Nectarinia bifasciatus) [6]

6 around Makuzi Lodge 8th.

Purple-banded Sunbird, Makuzi, 8-Oct-08 Purple-banded Sunbird, Makuzi, 8-Oct-08
Purple-banded Sunbird, Makuzi, 8-Oct-08 Purple-banded Sunbird, Makuzi, 8-Oct-08

Purple-banded Sunbirds, Makuzi Lodge, 8th October

 

White-bellied Sunbird (White-breasted Sunbird) Cinnyris talatala (or Nectarinia talatala) [4]

At Liwonde 1 23rd and up to 2 24th-25th; also 1 Makuzi Lodge 8th.

White-bellied Sunbird, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08 White-bellied Sunbird, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08

White-bellied Sunbird, Liwonde, 24th September

 

White-bellied Sunbird, Makuzi, 8-Oct-08 White-bellied Sunbird, Makuzi, 8-Oct-08

White-bellied Sunbird, Makuzi Lodge, 8th October

 

Variable Sunbird (Yellow-bellied Sunbird) Cinnyris venustus (or Nectarinia venustus) [13]

4+ Lilongwe 22nd, up to 3 Liwonde 24th-25th, 2 Satemwa Guest House (Thyolo) 29th, at least 2 Dzalanyama 1st-2nd and 2 Nyika 7th.

Variable Sunbird, Lilongwe, 22-Sep-08 Variable Sunbird, Lilongwe, 22-Sep-08
Variable Sunbird, Lilongwe, 22-Sep-08 Variable Sunbird, Lilongwe, 22-Sep-08

Variable Sunbirds, Lilongwe, 22nd September

 

Variable Sunbird, Nyika, 7-Oct-08 Variable Sunbird, Liwonde, 24-Sep-08

Variable Sunbird, Nyika, 7th October

 

Variable Sunbird, Liwonde, 24th September

 

Copper Sunbird (Coppery Sunbird) Cinnyris cupreus (or Nectarinia cupreus) [2]

Up to 2 Satemwa Guest House (Thyolo) 29th-30th.

Copper Sunbird, Thyolo, 29-Sep-08 Copper Sunbird, Thyolo, 29-Sep-08

Copper Sunbird, Satemwa Guest House (Thyolo), 29th September

 

African Yellow White-eye Zosterops senegalensis [18]

1 Lilongwe 22nd, 4+ near Zomba Forest Lodge 27th, 4 Ku Chawe (Zomba Plateau) 27th; 1 Lujeri Guest House (Mulanje) 28th, 3 Dzalanyama 1st, up to 3 Chelinda (Nyika) 5th-6th and 2 Zovo-Chipolo Forest (Nyika) 7th.

African Yellow White-eye, Nyika, 5-Oct-08 African Yellow White-eye, Nyika, 6-Oct-08

African Yellow White-eyes, Chelinda (Nyika Plateau), 5th-6th October

 

 

Click here for page 12

or

cllck here to return to the Malawi trip index