A change in season

Sabi Sand | October 2020

The bushveld has once again erupted and transformed from a dull grey colour to an electric green! We’ve received over a hundred millimetres of rain in the past month, resulting in noticeable changes around every corner. Many species of wildflowers have sprung up, trees have pushed out their new foliage and fruits are beginning to grow. The Sand River is flowing with a bit more vigour, attracting plenty of birds, large mammalian species and a safari along this meandering perennial paradise, is bound to produce something of interest!

After exploring the North a few days ago, I made my way back to the crossing and stopped to listen to a bird calling on the northern bank. At first, I thought it was a brown-hooded kingfisher but the bird’s song was slightly off tune! I played the call off my Robert’s Bird App to see if I would get a reaction from the bird that I still couldn’t see, but was still calling in the upper canopy of a Cape ash tree.

Eventually I clicked that it was in fact a grey-headed kingfisher, an intra-African migrant that often arrives this time of year, and is more frequent after there has been good rain! The kingfisher flew across the river a few times before landing above me, still calling frantically, in the hope of attracting a mate. I then had the opportunity of snapping a few photographs and left the bird to advertise himself all day.