Of all the owl species found in Southern Africa the enigmatic and highly localised Pel’s Fishing Owl is unquestionably the most desirable and challenging of all to locate.

Juvenile Pel's Fishing Owl

Juvenile Pel’s Fishing Owl seen a few weeks ago

A shy and retiring species associated with large well foliaged riparian trees alongside slow flowing tropical rivers most commonly encountered by spot light after dark perched up on a riverside stump overlooking a quiet backwater – often partially obscured by foliage….

That’s why this late afternoon encounter with a precocious adolescent honing its fishing skills in the company of its parents while we were on a Toro Yaka Lodge game drive along the Olifants River north of Hoedspruit was so ‘extra’ special for those of us fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the engaging scene  – while sipping sundowners at leisure on the opposite river bank…

A popular Scotch whisky commercial with the sign off line of ‘Give the man a Bell’s!’ could well have been replaced without loss of benefit or delight with ‘Give the man a Pel’s !’ to mark the memorable occasion…

Pel's Fishing Owl

Pel’s Fishing Owl

For more info on our birding tours as quests for specific birds or general birding in Cape Town and further afield in South Africa and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, contact Patrick or Marie-Louise on info@avianleisure.com or browse our website www.avianleisure.com