10 October 2009

Into the Wilderness...(South Africa): September 30, 2009

Next stop on this absorbing tour of South Africa's top birding spots and prime game reserves was the touristy town of Wilderness. While most go there for the cool forests and scenic coastline, we were there for a good set of birds. As soon as we arrived at our quaint, faintly English, guesthouse we were met by the seriously friendly and accommodating proprietors, Sue and Phil, and also a hearty set of birds checking out their feeders. For our few days on site we enjoyed fresh muffins and hearty breakfasts while birds buzzed in and out from their feeders, while we feasted on a variety of wonderful home-baked goods nearby. Top among the veranda birds were a number of tame Knysna Touracos (see photos), a vision in lime green, that suddenly turns scarlet in flight due to huge flashes of crimson in their wings. Other notable visitors were Chorister Robin (see photo), Forest Canary, Southern Boubou, a rowdy rabble of scavenging Fork-tailed Drongos with a passion for cheese, Terrestrial Brownbul, Cape Robin-Chat, Red-necked Spurfowl (see photo), Sombre Bulbul, Red-eyed Dove, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Swee Waxbill (see photo), and I am sure a few I have forgotten along the way. Quite a performance. One thing I cannot fathom though, the place is called Wilderness, although it could not be nearer civilisation. mean there was always a hearty game pie on the menu wherevere we chose to dine!

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