My birding friend, Mpho Phiri, from South Africa recently visited the Kgaligadi region of north-west South Africa, about 500 kms west of his home base of Mafeking. One of the birds he got some excellently-captured photos of was the Spotted Thick-knee. The Afrikaans people call this bird the Dikkop. The Batswana people call them Tswang-Tswang (keep away), while the Basutho people cal them Kgoho-ya-dira (enemy). All of these peoples think of these nocturnal birds in terms of the 'enemy' or 'bad omen'. Being nocturnal, Thick-knees are heard at night and Mpho Phiri states in his blog that everything associated with the night in Africa is a bad omen.
The big heads and thick knees of the Spotted Thick-knee are main characteristics of a bird that is otherwise a very striking and attractive-looking bird. These great photos by Mpho certainly capture the Thick-knee's distinctive markings and colour highlights. To view Mpho's blog, google Mafeking Birding Blog.
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