Variously described in the literature, ‘as a shy and secretive denizen of dense tangles of forest growth and thick impenetrable bracken and bramble patches     along meandering streams’, this diminutive non-descript dull coloured warbler is one of SA’s most sought after endemics…

Knysna Warbler, by Patrick Cardwell

Knysna Warbler, skulker of note

Once regarded as ‘regular’ in suitable habitat along the eastern slopes of the Cape Peninsula, this highly vocal spring and early summer songster, with its distinctive ‘twit,twit,twit,twit’ and bubbling trill ending in a rapidly descending finish, is now in retreat and regarded as ‘threatened’ due to a number of factors of which habitat loss in recent time is but one.

As such this diminutive chocolate brown warbler has become an infrequent sighting, but with time and patience in suitable habitat good views can be obtained in the gloom of the forest undergrowth, as this mouse-like warbler creeps  about quietly in the leaf-litter and low scrub, with only its dark eye as a clearly discernable ‘diagnostic feature’ of note !

Knysna Warbler, Western Cape

another view …

For more info on our birding day trips out of Cape Town and longer birding tours in South Africa, contact Patrick or Marie-Louise on or browse through our website Avian Leisure


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