An unusual bird sighting

Kruger National Park | June 2020

During the lockdown and while we have not had guests we have been doing walking training with some of our guides in order to get them more logged walking hours and potentially dangerous game encounters, which they need in order to attain higher walking qualifications. One morning while we were crossing a large open area in the concession known as the Central Depression, we noticed a small brown and white bird sitting on top of a thorn bush. I immediately realized that this was not a bird that I had seen in the concession before. Upon looking at it through binoculars we realized that it was a marico flycatcher. I know this bird well from the western side of the country where I have previously seen it regularly in thornveld areas. According to the book – Robert’s Bird Guide Kruger National Park and adjacent lowveld – the marico flycatcher is a “very uncommon near-endemic vagrant to the park, present during the dry winter months”. What an exciting find! The rest of the walk was quite amazing as we managed to trail and track down a pride of lions, as described by Solomon in his Bush Story.