A pair of Southern Boubous have been calling to each other in our garden – another sign of the approach of spring even though we are in the throes of the coldest temperatures during the whole of winter! They favour a habitat of dense cover with plenty of hiding places – our garden is ideal for that – and so it isn’t always easy to get a clear view of them. The prolonged drought has, however, led to a thinning out of the otherwise dense foliage and, I think, there might be less food freely available at present which means they come to the feeding tray more regularly than they used to.
This Southern Boubou, in the Addo Elephant National Park, emerged from the thick bush at Jack’s picnic place to keep an eye on our stand-up picnic.
It perched on this thin branch for some time, affording me the opportunity to note its long claws; the different length of its tail feathers; the shape of its bill; and its glossy black feathers. This curious Southern Boubou was not perched there to be admired, rather it was curious about the food we were eating: the second I dropped a nut it swooped down to eat it.
This is an aspect of Addo that I enjoy very much: that at the picnic place several birds have become so accustomed to visitors that even shy ones like these are prepared to come out into the open where we can admire them from close quarters.