Fork-tailed Drongo

One Perfect Moment

We watched, enthralled, as this scene unfolded – beautiful soft late afternoon light, a mildly irritated Lessser Spotted Eagle on a dead tree on the skyline being mobbed by several very vocal, agitated Fork-tailed Drongos. The drongos were unrelenting with their 4-to-5 note harsh chastisement, the eagle hissing and bill snapping – although not too perturbed by the harassment.

Bees hum busily in the background, a Tropical Boubou calls, zebra bray loudly, Burchell’s Coucal gives its soft bubbling call several times, a Lilac-breasted Roller enters the fray along with a Tree Squirrel. The roller gives the most stunning display – flying high and swooping down and tilting its wings and calling harshly in an effort to dislodge the eagle, the drongo continued on – occasionally mimicking the start of a Pearl-spotted Owlet call. Arrow-marked Babblers join the onslaught becoming very insistent and baboons grunt as settle for the evening, not interested in the ruckus going on around them. It was such a wonderful scene where the soundscape and the visual combined for the perfect moment.

It was definitely one of the highlights of our early December stay in the Pafuri region of northern Kruger National Park.

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