A distinct advantage of travelling even a short way from one’s home environment is the opportunity to both see and photograph birds other than those which have become familiar as garden birds. Take this Pale Chanting Goshawk, for example. Even though it is endemic to much of South Africa and beyond, it is not a bird I would expect to find in our town for it prefers more arid areas. We always look out for them when travelling through two of our nearest national parks:

Another endemic raptor we are more likely to see out in the country is the Jackal Buzzard, although I have seen one in our garden on rare occasions over the years and once photographed one with an injured leg perched on a street lamp on the road below our house:

It is years since we spotted a Cape Longclaw during walks on the outskirts of town. That area is now a haven for dog-walkers as well as for herds of cattle and donkeys. So, one is more likely to see these pretty birds during travels further afield:

I don’t hear Crowned Lapwings as often as I used to when they nested on the nearby golf course or on the lawns near our home. I suspect the constant presence of various members of the Urban Herd create too much disturbance for them. Again, one is more likely to see them in our national parks:

Cape Glossy Starlings are birds I happily associate with various national parks as they too enjoy more arid areas. I sometimes catch sight of them along one of the country roads I regularly drive along and become very excited when one or two stray into our garden:

I love seeing Cape Bulbuls which have a distinctive white ring around their eyes. We live too far out if its range, although sometimes see them in the Addo Elephant National Park:


  1. Pingback: BIRDING BEYOND BORDERS – Joevic Africa

    • Over many years I have got to know most of the birds in our area by sight. The field guides are especially useful when we travel through other parts of the country to remind me of birds I haven’t seen for a long time or when we come across a bird that is new to us 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is fabulous that you know them by sight … I am learning as I go along, but we do not have as many birds as you in my area. I do not have a smart phone, so I have to search online to ID.


      • I actually have a “Field Guide to Land Birds” my parents bought when I was a kid in my desk downstairs – I just can’t reach it. I don’t use the desk and so I pushed Rubbermaid totes around it and they’re too heavy to move. One of my retirement tasks is to clear clutter. When I re-arranged things downstairs I was still working on site, not walking, or doing any birding. I should just buy another book, but that one, with its orangey-red cover has sentimental value. I look forward to retirement and learning more about birds and wildflowers. I bought a Michigan wildflower book last year.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Woha, simply mind blowing scenes Anne!

    Looks like an ideal place to explore, looking at all of these stunning sceneries.

    This brings back memories on an expedition I took part in the beautiful island nation of Sri Lanka in South Asia.

    I set out on a journey to explore the longest river of Sri Lanka; River Mahaweli with a group of kayakers paddling for 3 long days.

    And trust me when I say this, it was ‘heaven on earth” from lush greeneries to all the flora and fauna simply captivated me. Read the full story here,


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