Purple Grenadiers & Puff Adder Predation

Photographed in situ [1]

A juvenile puff adder (Bitis arietans) scarfs down a rodent, rubbing its face against a rock to finish off the long tail. Again, eight or so birds were sounding off their alarm calls nearby, with some veering just a foot away from the snake to coax it away. Slate-colored Boubous (Laniarius funebris) stood by idly while a grey wren-warbler (Calamonastes simplex) investigated closely, occasionally dive bombing the adder. A mating pair of purple grenadiers (Uraeginthus ianthinogaster) seemed relatively adamant while a spotted palm thrush (Cichladusa guttata) and a two common bulbuls (Pycnonotus barbatus) watched from a meter away. Eventually a brief rainstorm passed over, and the adder was temporarily relieved of its pestering neighbors. The viper began undulating its body to push the meal further down and slithered with a moderate pace in search of a better refuge. Being a juvenile, its color was much more vibrant than in the subadult I saw yesterday. The transition from brown and white dorsal stripes to thick alternating orange bands on the lower half of the body was particularly noticeable.

All birds photographed in situ / after pursuit [1-3]

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Female (left) and male (right) purple grenadiers (Uraeginthus ianthinogaster)
Photographed after slight disturbance [2]
The valiant grey wren-warbler (Calamonastes simplex)
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Slate-colored Boubou (Laniarius funebris)
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Spotted palm thrush (Cichladusa guttata)
Common bulbuls (Pycnonotus barbatus)
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Common bulbul (Pycnonotus barbatus)
Photographed after slight disturbance [2], before removing some of the obstructing grasses

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