Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

We had a great trip to South Africa and we were able to do quite a lot of hiking and birding.  We travelled around the North Eastern part of South Africa, north of Durban and visited Cape Vidal, Mkuze Wildlife Refuge, Mtunzini, and Dzlina National Forest.  Of all the possible birds to see, I most wanted to see a Purple Crested Turaco.  Turacos of all kinds rank up there as one of my favorites and I love to see them whenever I get a chance.  According to my notes, I had so far only seen Schalow’s Turaco here in Zambia, so I was eager to see a new one.  We heard the Turaco’s calling upon our arrival in Mtunzini so I was eager to go out in search of them early the next morning.  My eight-year old son, Justin and husband beat me to the punch however and were able to point one out to me the moment I left the house that morning.  While that was a bit anti-climactic, still it was a beautiful sight.

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A few other birds that we saw included:

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African Pygmy-Kingfisher,

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Dark-backed Weaver,

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Crested GuineaFowl,

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Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird,

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and a Purple-banded Sunbird.

All of these were lifers for me. (All pictures taken by Jonathan Moeller.)  Other lifers included Olive Sunbird, Livingstone’s Turaco, Little Tern, White-fronted Plover, White-eared Barbet, Spotted Ground-Thrush, Cape Batis, Bearded Scrub-Robin, and Brown Scrub-Robin. 

For more info about our trip in general and not just the birds you can see Jonathan’s post here: http://jjmoeller.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/south-africa/

Truly another great trip enjoying more of God’s beautiful creation.

Zambian Barbet, aka Chaplin’s Barbet

I thought I would start off with my latest  trip. We went Saturday to look for the somewhat rare Zambian Barbet and found success. Leslie Reynolds of Lapwing Safaris http://www.lapwingsafaris.com/  took me and two friends on a birding day trip about an hour north of Lusaka. Leslie is always entertaining and knowledgeable and, in my opinion, at the top of the heap as a bird guide. So here is a picture of Zambia’s only endemic bird, who finally graced us with his presence around 11:30 in the morning.

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A bird nerd

Jonathan has taken to calling me a bird nerd of late, and I thought it sounded like a great blog title.  I have been thinking about starting up a seperate blog for posting about birds because I think most of my normal readers are not too interested in them. Jonathan has taken a lot of bird photos for me and I want to share some of them and some of my fun trips and various sightings.