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2 Hours at a bird hide-revisited 29-1-2013
Nahoon Nature Reserve-East London,S.A.
Nahoon Estuary Nature reserve in summer provides a welcome escape from the hot days of over 30 degrees centigrade that we are experiencing. Patience is an important skill because if you just sit and wait most of the birds will come to the inviting water source available in the bird bath. If seed has been put out then many of the seed eaters will also arrive as if someone has rung a dinner bell.
Today there was no seed but patience was rewarded as one bird after the other arrived either to drink or to wash their feathers. The Cape White-eye is a certain visitor and after arriving in the bush next to the water feature they soon hop into the water for a drink.
The Bronze Manikins arrive soon after hoping for some bird seed but when they realize the feeders are empty they decide to go for a drink anyway. The Olive Thrush comes hopping through the underbrush and perches on the edge of the bird bath where it drinks deeply from the cool water.
Then as I am searching through my bird guide for a recently seen bird I look up and am thrilled to see a colorful and beautiful Knysna Turaco landing on the bath. He is wary and looks around, but does not seem to see me where I am seated on a small wooden stool only about 5 meters away. He drinks long from the flowing water and then as I click away he sees me and flies of in a flash of green, blue and red. The Knysna Turaco is often heard in the forest, sometimes seen in the trees as he feeds, but seldom seen in the open and so close. What a wonderful surprise!
An Olive Sunbird arrives for a drink and a Bar-throated Apalis gleans in the bush next to the hide. At this stage my count of bird species runs to 19, not a bad count for a relatively short visit.
To complete my visit two of the large ground bird species arrive to look for seed but also decide to have a drink. Firstly the Cape Guinea Fowl arrive in a noisy group and then the screeching call of the Red-necked Spurwing announces the arrival of a pair of these common visitors.
Last week I saw a Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher visiting the bird bath and could not get a good photo. I need a photo for my growing collection of South African birds, but today he stays away, and so I will have to come back soon.