European and African kites and lizards

2 February 2012.

As I wrote, we arrived at the building of the Gambian Birdwatchers Association.

Birds of prey flying around. Are they black kites, or yellow-billed kites? That is not an easy question, as both species look similar. Both have yellow bills. Completely yellow in yellow-billed kites; yellow with a black end in black kites; but one cannot always see that.

However, we saw a kite flying with a twig in its bill. Unmistakably, that bird was saying: “I am a yellow-billed kite, an all-year African resident. I am building my nest here. Unlike black kites, who will migrate back to Europe in spring.”

On the wall, and on trees, lizards. They are rainbow agamas.

Rainbow agama

On a tree, two green wood-hoopoes.

Back to Kotu sewage farm. Two wood sandpipers on a stone in the polluted water.

On a wire, an Abyssianian roller.

Abyssianian roller near Kotu, 2 February 2012

A lizzard buzzard.

A yellow-crowned gonolek.

In a pond, four hamerkops. One climbs on the back of another bird.

Hamerkop on top of other hamerkop

Black-winged stilts. Spur-winged plovers. Grey heron. Striated heron.

Greenshank. Green sandpiper.

African jacana.

Two painted snipes.

A black heron does it famous umbrella trick with its wings to catch fish.

Black heron

A little egret standing in the water, and a squacco heron on a tree.

Cattle egrets.

Over fifty white-faced whistling ducks.

Behind them, a long-tailed cormorant.

A commun bulbul singing on a tree.

Yesterday’s Abyssinian roller still sits on the corrugated iron roof. It dives, catches a mouse, and swallows it.

Abyssinian roller, Kotu, 2 February

Panuccio, M., Agostini, N., Mellone, U., & Bogliani, G. (2013). Circannual variation in movement patterns of the Black Kite (Milvus migrans migrans): a review. Ethology Ecology & Evolution, DOI:10.1080/03949370.2013.812147
PDF in

  • Black Kite (

6 thoughts on “European and African kites and lizards

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