MAGICAL AND MYSTICAL ‘MASHATU’….

INTRODUCTION There is a place, a very special place steeped in iron age history, one may even describe it as sacred, in the heart of a remote and pristine landscape of red stone outcrops and meandering river beds set deep within a sprawling bushveld environment. Its...

DIAGNOSTIC NAMES – CUT-THROAT FINCH

While ‘common’ bird names of a descriptive nature are generally of benefit in aiding identification some are downright confusing as the diagnostic feature referred to is not always readily apparent. White-backed Duck and Red-eyed Dove are two classic examples of a...

CAPE ROCKJUMPER: JEWEL IN THE CROWN!

Every so often a birder has the good fortune of encountering a family group of Cape Rockjumbers foraging for Zebra Cockroaches amongst the rocks and boulders flanking the Rooi Els track leading to Pringle Bay. Accommodating and forever entertaining these endearing...

AVIAN LEISURE’S GARDEN BIRD LIST

Over the years the species list of birds recorded in the ‘fynbos’ garden or from the viewing deck overlooking False Bay has steadily increased. The latest is the Amethyst Sunbird, an occasional visitor to the Cape Peninsula, bringing the list up to 80 species in the...

ANTARCTIC TERN – A WINTER ‘SPECIAL’

Once a readily accessible sighting at Kommetjie on the Cape Peninsula, this enigmatic and medium sized tern of the Southern Ocean, is proving to be increasingly difficult to locate along the Atlantic coast north of Cape Town due to coastal housing developments and...

WANDERING ALBATROSS

Always a treat to see and a delight to watch as it careens back and forth in effortless flight as an almost ethereal accompanying presence. For more info on pelagic birding and searches for other beautiful birds, contact Patrick or Marie-Louise...

The GOLDEN PIPIT ornithological enigma…

Some time back a golden-feathered avian delight popped out of the vagrant box to add its striking presence to the official list of bird species so far recorded in South Africa. First to the scene, following repeated reports by the resident ranger of a ‘canary yellow...

Searching for the Green-breasted Pitta in Western Uganda

There can be few ‘lifer’ related quests more debilitating and frustrating than trying to connect with a silent ‘will o’ the wisp’ somewhere in the fathomless depths of a tropical forest in the non-breeding season, where sunlight and shadow play tricks on the eye in a...