return of the African Paradise Flycatcher






















The usual gathering of sunbirds, bulbuls, doves, weaverbirds, kingfishers and parrots were out entertaining  on a brilliant Thursday afternoon.  A staccato black and white pattern flutters across the garden, disappearing into a thicket at the end of the drive.  I thought maybe the Pin-tailed Whydah was back, a little chickadee-like bird dragging an oversize ribbon of black tail too long to manage.  But no, this had a long white tail, and slightly larger.  Not knowing what was perched in our garden, I went out for a closer look and was surprised to see the African Paradise flycatcher pass me by on its way to another tree in the garden.  With an unusual flight pattern, more like a gallup through the air, it flutters and swoops across the garden, its long tail flowing behind in a blur of white.  An energetic little bird, it rarely pauses long enough for a picture before it is off again to another bush on a search for insects.

And now today, as I write my little story, it comes back to visit, perhaps to remind me of its beauty, poking among the vines of passion fruit, hovering in a flash of black and white.  It sits long enough for me to make another picture before traipsing off through the treetops.

2 responses to “return of the African Paradise Flycatcher”

  1. Dancing elephants and flitting flycatchers, tricky subjects and great to see them. Thanks

  2. I remember visiting the Bronx Zoo with a colleague from WCS in 2002 and seeing this bird in the Congo Basin display area. Despite not yet really being “into” birds at that stage, I vividly remember the blue eye-ring and that ribbon-like tail and wishing that I lived somewhere exotic enough to host magical creatures like these. And now here we are.

    I am really enjoying catching up with your blog entries today. Thanks so much for making these beautiful images and reflections available to all of us!

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