The birding year got off to very good start for a number of local birders who managed to ‘tick’ this uncommon visitor that came ashore to moult on the west side of the Cape Peninsula at the end of January. Read the rest of this entry »
Two years ago I was introduced to the recently released Photoscope 85 T8 FL as I wandered around the photographic marquee at the British Bird Fair where a great many optic offerings within the full spectrum of binoculars and cameras available from the worlds’ leading manufactures were on display.
Following a highly successful birding and wildlife safari of multiple parts to Zimbabwe last year, we were requested by long-standing clients Kim and Sunneva Frost of Denmark, to design a tour of North India. We set about carefully crafting an itinerary embracing some of the most pristine national parks in India and a medley of other travel experiences, to encapsulate the essence of what North India has on offer in the way of unique wildlife and cultural experiences of an exciting and historical nature.
Hyperactive in the half light of dawn and dusk, this often-heard and seldom-seen enigmatic display-artist ‘trumpets’ away on whirring wings before vapourizing into surrounding foliage for the rest of the day. Patrick was lucky to get multiple views of this African Broadbill in the Golwe picnic site in Limpopo while on a personal birding trip.
In spite of the dive speed at an angle of around 35 degrees I was able to catch the feather configuration that produces the drumming noise caused by the airflow passing rapidly over the stiffened and widely spread tail feathers during aerial display late one afternoon.
Every once in a while one experiences a privileged opportunity of sharing a ‘golden’ moment of an enduring nature during the course of one’s regular guiding activities.
One such memorable occasion was when I recently guided the Robbins’ family spanning three generations of enthusiastic birders, of which Chan Robbins was by far the most experienced at age 94. This specially tailored trip by Avian Leisure was around the South Western Cape on behalf of Victor Emanuel Nature Tours earlier this month.
I guess that within all of us there are some birds we regularly encounter that move the spirit more than others when they come into focus. Both rockjumper species are perennially welcome examples as they bound about in hyper-active mode with an overt sense of curiosity that invariably leads to a close encounter for those with the patience to sit tight and wait for the engaging show to unfold to the delight of the eye…
In September 2012 Avian Leisure ran a highly successful tour from Cape Town to Namibia, show-casing the very best of Namibia. And the group of North American naturalists led by Patrick Cardwell loved it for its diversity, magnificent scenery and multitude of wildlife and nature experiences
Avian Leisure did a very successful tour from Cape Town to Namaqualand and back (August 2012) for a group of North Americans. Patrick managed to avoid most of the rainy weather and the group was treated to simply gorgeous views of spring flowers all along the way. More images later …….
Two species exist that outwardly appear to look identical but are clearly separable by habitat preference and known distribution ranges.
Aside from the pleasure of connecting with the charismatic ‘Big Five’ mammals in this vast game reserve of a great many habitat types, there is the thrill and the pleasure of visually engaging with a pack of African Wild Dogs at their denning site to look forward to.
When it comes to the regular party crowd within the Southern Africa bird mix you would be hard pressed to beat the babblers. Ever so inquisitive, easy to arouse and characteristically noisy by nature, they constitute by far my favourite bird family in the sub-region.
All three species of Rock Thrush found in South Africa are usually found obligingly perched on one or other vantage point providing an all-round view of their immediate surroundings.
One the delights associated with a pelagic trip off Cape Point in Cape Town is the opportunity to see several species of dolphin and whale as an added bonus to the overwhelming abundance of seabirds congregating within the offshore fishing grounds.
Over the years we have been approached by birders on numerous occasions for information on pelagic birding during the course of a visit to Cape Town. Net result is that we have posted the following article on ‘10000Birds’, Read the rest of this entry »
An unexpected arrival in Cape Town, in the form of a female Little Crake ( Porzana parva) triggered a wave of national media coverage and local ‘twitcher’ interest when it appeared last week on a local pond in Clovelly not far from our home in Simon’s Town. Read the rest of this entry »