Spring day at Kirstenbosch

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is currently exploding with colour and teeming with animal activity.

With all the flowers that are blossoming, there is a prolific amount of birds around the gardens. I had a couple of first time sightings again, which is always exciting when spending time outside.

One of these sightings occured at the start of the trip already. I saw a couple of small Swee Waxbills on the lawn. To my surprise I saw them numerous times around the garden, throughout the day.

swee-waxbill-1swee-waxbill-2

One of my goals for the day was to capture some great action around the protea and pincushion sections. I had not seen the King Protea in the garden before so I really wanted to pay a visit there. I really hoped that I might see a Sugarbird or Malachite Sunbird feeding from the King Protea. To my delight, a male Cape Sugarbird actually paid a visit and spent a brief moment on the King Protea.

cape-sugarbird-3

The Cape Sugarbirds were very active during the morning and I spent a considerable amount of time with them.

One of the more common birds that a lot of people might ignore, or find a nuisance, is the Helmeted Guineafowl. I find these birds to be highly entertaining and actually very photogenic. In my opinion they must be one of the most beautifully ugly birds around.

guineafowl-1

One of the birds that I haven’t seen for ages was the pair of Spotted Eagle Owls that nest in the gardens. I got really excited when I managed to spot these raptors. The male was napping in the tree and the female was hidden in the bushes at the nest sight.

I managed to capture a shot of the owl just peeking at me during its snooze.

spotted-eagle-owl

Every time I visit the Afromontane forest section, aka The Braille Trail, I see something truly amazing. I was really hoping that the visit this day wouldn’t disappoint. It was around lunchtime and it was starting to get pretty hot in the sun. I knew that it would be a good idea to get some shade and just relax there in the forest. After sitting quietly for a while, a noticed a flash of orange fly through the forest.

I didn’t get a clear view of what it was, but I knew it would be worth investigating. I had wishful idea of what it might be, but wasn’t too hopeful in my search. It was very shady in the forest so I had to search diligently. Eventually I saw that iconic orange body that I was so hopeful for. It was a female African Paradise Flycatcher. I had never seen one and was ecstatic when I found it.

african-paradise-flycatcher

It was a very productive day in the garden and with the wonderful spring weather that we’ve been having, I can’t wait for summer to arrive.

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