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This enthusiastic little Speke’s weaver was just returning to his unfinished nest since a female appeared interested in it and the competition is fierce! He was one of several building nests in a tree above our safari tent in Timau, Nanyuki, Kenya, all of whom commenced their morning song around 5 a.m. prior to their day’s work. When not charging back and forth to collect materials for their nests, they would hang upside down whistling madly to attract the attention of any passing females. The girls in turn would inspect the nests and often fly off with a disdainful whistle, leaving the males all of a fluster and literally chasing each other round in circles.
My aim in this shot and others to be added was to capture the birds in flight as the arrived at or left their nests. However they move fast and I collected a lot of empty frames!

If you’d like to see a collection of other shots of these amazing little birds, click here

Mr Wikipedia has this to say on these pretty little birds: ’Speke’s Weaver (Ploceus spekei) is a familiar East African songbird. The eyes are pale and the bill is on the large side for a weaver. Unlike many weavers, it has the same plumage all year. The adult male is yellow with black throat (edged rusty), face, and bill, and variable black mottling on the back. The adult female’s upperparts are dull olive-gray with dusky brown streaks; the underparts are pale yellow, whiter on the belly and grayer on the flanks. The juvenile is similar but duller.
The song is variable; one version is transcribed as "pew…pew…tew, chinkichi-chewchew-skerinkitsitew. Calls include harsh chatter at the nest and “a sharp tseep!”
This species nests in colonies or occasionally singly. The nest, often woven in an acacia, is spherical with a short entrance tube opening sideways or downward. Many grass stems project sloppily, sometimes obscuring the shape. It nests in both the short rainy season and the middle of the long rainy season. Typical clutches comprise four eggs, which are unmarked deep blue, somewhat pointed at both ends, 24 to 26 mm long and 15 to 17 mm wide.
Speke’s Weaver is found in northern and eastern Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya (mostly the central highlands), and northeastern Tanzania. It inhabits savanna, bush, agricultural land, and towns. In parts of its range it is common, notably the densely populated area of Nairobi and environs, where it visits bird feeders.
This bird was named in honor of John Speke.’

Canon EOS 1DMkII with Canon 300mm f2.8 L IS lens ; ISO400 f3.5 1/1600

Posted 9 December 2010
Number of views at 9 May 2011: 223

Best viewed large

Living for partly in Italy, partly in Phuket and partly in other locations around the world – Hong Kong & Kenya when I can – I spend a lot of time photographing anything and everything. I particularly enjoy the challenge of capturing shots of wildlife large and small – from elephants to insects. A wider selection of my work can be seen on my website at www.dgcphoto.com.

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Comments

  • jesika
    jesikaabout 4 years ago

    Super capture
    j

  • Many thanks, Jesika!

    – David Clarke

  • Yool
    Yoolabout 4 years ago

    Superb!!
    =

  • Thanks so much, Mariola! And thanks too for the fav:))

    – David Clarke

  • Joseph Darmenia
    Joseph Darmeniaabout 4 years ago

    Well done.

  • Many thanks, Joseph!

    – David Clarke

  • Sue  Fellows
    Sue Fellowsabout 4 years ago

    Absolutely stunning capture, David…. :-))

  • Thanks very much, Sue:))

    – David Clarke

  • Komang
    Komangabout 4 years ago

    great capture

  • Many thanks, Tony!

    – David Clarke

  • Warren. A. Williams
    Warren. A. Wil...about 4 years ago

    Sweet shot

  • Thanks very much, Warren!

    – David Clarke

  • Michael  Moss
    Michael Mossabout 4 years ago

    Excellent !

  • Many thanks, Michael!

    – David Clarke

  • Sandy Stewart
    Sandy Stewartabout 4 years ago

    What a beautiful flight shot David! Great focus, dof, exposure and fast shutter speed combination for this! Love the yellow shade of the bird and how it contrasts from the soft greens of the background! : )

  • Thanks so much, Sandy, much appreciated!

    – David Clarke

  • Digitalbcon
    Digitalbconabout 4 years ago

    Wow!! What a great capture David!! …and in mid flight yet!! Awesome!!

  • Many thanks, Blair! and thanks too for the fav:))

    – David Clarke

  • Lois  Bryan
    Lois Bryanabout 4 years ago

    oh my goodness!!!! DAVID!!!!! That shot we all dream of getting!!!!!!! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!!! I’m just in AWE!!!!! What an amazing capture!!!!! And what an amazing lens!!!!!! WOOOHOOOOOOOO!!! I love this … everything about it is perfection!!!!! And YOU’RE IN KENYA???? THUD!! Oh, I am all envy, lol!!!!! Enjoy, enjoy!!!!!

  • Wow, thanks for your wonderful comments Lois! The lens is my favourite in all the world and it has the added attraction that it’s so heavy it keeps me fit lugging it around! Thanks too for the fav:))

    – David Clarke

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