Birdwatching Paradise

Birds, Birds, Birds iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Anthem of St Lucia village would most definitely be the Trumpeter Hornbill whizzing around the trees throughout the village, loud wailing especially late afternoons.


Medium size, distinctly black-and-white hornbill occurs in thickets, dense woodland and coastal forest. Moving around are surprisingly inconspicuous while eating large fruit in forest trees, flight with noisy wing beats, sound of far carrying baby crying sound wailing, 'whaaaaaa waa waa' messagel.


Trumpeter Hornbill - Bycanistes bucinator - Greeting at the end of the day, sends shivers down the spine knowing you are in the bushland area, the call of the Trumpeter Hornbill


Tree set back deep into the bush, photography not the best at distance of around 50 meters, with both these first two birds enjoying perching here.

High off the ground one could not see evidence of a hole used for nest, female will be sealed into a nesting site with help of male bird using mud and faeces to seal the entrance except for a small slit he will feed her through during incubation of 2-3 chick eggs.

In the same large tree....

Southern red-billed hornbill - Tockus rufirostris - kuk kuk kuk ... which ends in a crescendo of double notes, kuk-we kuk-we the raucous sound of the bush adding to the cacophony of sounds emitted from bush.


Zazu in the Lion King movie brought this busy bird to your screen, perhaps you remember the chatty character.


Building nest holes in trees to raise young also popular with this bird. Southern Red-billed Hornbill call

Water ponds East Bank iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

African Wattled Lapwing - Vanellus senegallus - diurnal birds, usually seen singly, in pairs or small groups. Sighted in flooded grassland along the roadside, much rain has left more open spaces available for wildlife, a joy for us to see.


Dabchick (Little Grebe) - Tachybaptus ruficollis Fairly common small diving bird enjoying reeds and vegetation, bobbing around enjoying the morning.



Pied Kingfisher - Ceryle rudis - Distributed across Africa and Asia, black and white plumage with crest here sharing the tree with the African Darter - Anhinga rufa, sunning together waiting preparing for their next dive.


Pied Kingfisher black and white with bushy crest, all dark bill an excellent hovering fisherman we will go into more depth with photography further down the line.


African Darter sitting enjoying a preening with quiet freshwater everywhere they have greater selection as to where they perch.



Dark-capped bulbul - Pycnonotus tricolor conspicuously sits above my head back home to serenade the sun going down, same bird as seen in our garden at home and around twenty-five countries. Call at days end Dark-capped bulbul call


"A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush", travel to destinations knowing what one has is most cases, over shadows looking to/for something else where wildlife is abundant, paying your way to get there worthwhile expenditure.

Rich diversity in bird life around our land is simply amazing, learning to know who is talking above your head.

This trip rewarded us richly in an abundance of birds with many posts to follow over the following weeks.


All photography is my own. Any queries or requests please drop a comment below or make contact with me, have a wonderful day! Photography without tripod, go with the flow wherever life takes you. NB: Amateur photographer and bird watcher, keep smiling!

Calls of birds both downloaded from - identification

Thought for Today: "When a bird builds its nest it uses the feathers of other birds." - South African Proverb

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by @barbara-orenya


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