It’s Monday 3rd November 2008 and don’t forgot your binoculars!

It’s Monday 3rd November 2008 and don’t forgot your binoculars!

Usually this time of year we start waxing lyrical about babies, migratory birds and the emergence of bright green buds (just because we love it so!) … however we are going to break from the trend and talk about the seasonal change at Pumulani. As this is our first year in operation we are all eagerly observing how the different seasons affect the surroundings. We’ve discovered what a perfect spot Pumulani is for the October warmth – with a pool just below the restaurant to cool down in and plenty of opportunities to get wet in the lake. Mark has been having a wonderful time watching the change in birds – and the Pumulani bird list keeps on growing. Here are his top tips:

Wakeboarding in  front of PumulaniEnjoying sunset from the pool

The birding at Pumulani has gone from ‘good’ to ‘very good’ as we move into that time of year when migrants are arriving from cooler climates or higher altitudes and breeding plumages are being displayed by colourful males. The rocky hills covered in semi-deciduous woodland drop steeply to the lake shoreline where vegetation is greener and fruiting fig trees attract small flocks of green pigeon and noisy trumpeter hornbills.

Trumpeter hornbill (c) Andrew HardacrePel's fishing owl

Pels fishing owl is a bird guaranteed to increase the pulse rate of anybody with an interest in birds from casual observer to fanatical ‘twitcher’. One of Africa’s most charismatic birds, this fish-eating phantom is highly sought after and there are few places that offer reliable sightings.Several sightings at Pumulani have confirmed their presence and the most recent, during the day, of a pair being harassed by vervet monkeys suggests a possible nesting site. The large evergreen trees along the lakeshore close to Pumulani are ideal daytime roosts for Pels.

Fish  eagleYellow-billed kite

Shy Hildebrandts spurfowl are reliably seen at this time of year as grass cover is sparse, making them easier to spot on the dry, rocky slopes. A resident pair of Verreaux’s (black) eagle, western banded snake-eagle, African hawk-eagle and African fish eagle are some of the larger raptors commonly spotted. Another much sought after raptor – the bat hawk is occasionally seen hunting over the beach in the evening, snatching their prey on the wing.

Red throated twin spotsNightjar - but not a  freckled one!

A walk in the hills may turn up specials such as brown-backed honeybird, striped pipit, broad-billed roller, Livingstone’s flycatcher, red-throated twinspot and freckled nightjars, camouflaged against grey granite boulders.

Birding does not have to be a strenuous activity and bohms bee-eater, grey-tit flycatcher, black-throated wattle-eye, bearded scrub-robin, terrestrial brownbul, collared palm-thrush and brown-headed parrots can all be seen in the vicinity of the lodge and beach. Boat cruises around quiet reed-beds are excellent for malachite and giant kingfisher, green-backed, squacco and black heron and flocks of white-faced duck, whistling softly as they descend to their evening roosts.

Admiring the birdlife from your private deckFinding exciting birds on a  walk

The Pumulani bird list continues to grow with new species being added weekly and is expected to be in excess of 300 species after a full season of recording: reason enough to bring your binoculars!

Thanks Mark … hope everyone has a fantastic week




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