Far too many tourists drive about seeking one species of animal after the other in their quest to chalk up as many as they can – even driving past elephants, zebra and kudu because of a  “we’ve seen them” attitude – with eyes peeled for the ultimate prize: the sight of a lion. We see bored faces in vehicles as the day progresses, listless looks of bafflement when a passing vehicle asks what we are looking at and we respond “birds” or even tell them what bird we might be looking at. “Birds,” one might say or simply give a nod of the head as they move on in their quest.

Watching out for birds in any game reserve adds to the enjoyment of the environment as a whole. Here are a few of the many seen on our recent trip to the Addo Elephant National Park:

A ubiquitous Common Fiscal. Note how it is holding on to the twigs to keep it steady in the stiff breeze.

A young Olive Thrush perching inquisitively on our picnic table. Notice that it is still covered with speckles.

Cape Bulbuls, such as this one abound in the rest camp.

Large flocks of Pied Starlings can be seen all over in the park.

It is always fun seeing Speckled Mousebirds fly across the road or to working their way through bushes as they look for leaves, berries or flowers to eat.

Beautiful Malachite Sunbirds show flashes of metallic green as they pass by in a flash.

Who can resist the delicate beauty of a Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk?

How fortunate it was to find a Greater Striped Swallow at rest!

One can almost be guaranteed to find a Bar-throated Apalis at the picnic site.

Lastly, for now, is a Sombre Bulbul (now called a Sombre Greenbul!).


19 thoughts on “THERE ARE BIRDS IN ADDO

  1. Brilliant photos. I completely agree re bird watching in the parks. So much is missed by those who simply look for the Big Five. Even at a Big Five sighting we pay more attention to the birds that are there. LOL


  2. Ticking the birds we see and trying to get photographs of them really is one of our “staples” when visiting any of our wild places. People sometimes have no idea how much more enriched their game reserve visit would be if they paid attention to ALL the life around them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d say these little creatures are very nice prizes, especially if I could see them up close, as in your photographs. Do you “scan the veld” with binoculars, or is that contrary to the spirit of bird watching? (I’ve never done either, but Im sure glad that persons like you share their prizes,)


    • Binoculars are useful, especially if one is in doubt about the identity of a bird. I prefer looking out for birds close to the road and within photographing distance though. I never set out to simply list how many different birds I can see, preferring to enjoy observing what they are doing and where they are found. The lists I make are mainly for comparison with previous visits – they help to gauge the seasonal variation in the birds one can expect to see in a particular area.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely variety of birds. I agree that its a shame that visitors don’t live more in the moment and adjust their perspective to appreciate large and small. Its impossible to be bored if one takes an interest in just about everything 🙂


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