Perhaps the most endearing ‘gem’ in the localised bird mix resident in the low-lying top corner of the Kruger National Park is the Black-throated Wattle-eye which favours riverine habitat along the Luvuvhu River and in particular the mixed woodland in the vicinity of the well-known Pafuri picnic site.
Its presence is frequently detected by the repetitive and less than harmonious ‘rasping’ contact call emanating from deep within a tangle of creepers or streambank vegetation or patches of lowland evergreen forest.
Sexes differ in underpart colouration with the male sporting a narrow breastband separating the white throat and underparts.
The female, after which the species is named, has an all-black throat and upper breast contrasting markedly with the dark greenish black back common to both sexes. Most notable is the distinctive ruby red ‘wattle’ above the eye as the defining identification feature.
Like the rest of the medium-sized flycatcher and smaller batises, wattle-eyes are constantly on the move, flitting about actively in search of insects, usually in closely bonded pairs, or foraging in the company of mixed-species feeding flocks.
A delightful ‘duo’ and a great sighting if fortune favours the interlude opportunity during your visit to Northern Kruger.
For more info on birding in South Africa, contact Patrick on firstname.lastname@example.org