This blog post is for those bird nerds – me being one of them!
If any of you are keen birders, you will know that if you see a Green Coucal it is most probably a lifer and the chances of you seeing one again in your lifetime are very slim. A lifer in birding terms is a bird that a person has successfully sighted and identified for the first time in their life. My Green Coucal lifer experience had a humorous twist to it and inspired me to write this post.
On one of my most recent trips to Southern Mozambique, a friend and I decided to spend our Saturday birding. We decided to go off-the-beaten-track, north of Ponta Mamoli, towards the Maputo Elephant Reserve. We reached an area where we could no longer drive any further due to the thick coastal forest. We parked the vehicle and proceeded with our birding journey on foot along an unfrequented path. Our walk led us to the edge of Lake Piti. Lake Piti is a large inland lake that lies parallel to the ocean. Our attention was shifted towards a Bird Party. Bird parties are the ideal find for avid birders as they provide concentrated viewing of varied species. With only 1 pair of binoculars, I instinctively hogged them, leaving my friend binocularless. What an amazing find! The bird party consisted of:
No sooner had I seen the Green Coucal when I felt my friend nudge me on the shoulder and point up to another bird – I took my focus off the Green Coucal and refocused my binoculars on the newly found bird only to discover it was a squirrel! After much disappointment, I refocused the binocs to Green Coucal to realize it was no longer there!!
What is the moral of this story? If you are a serious birder ensure that you always have your own set of binoculars on you and check that all parties partaking in the birding are wearing their spectacles!
Below is a birding list of Southern Mozambique that I have gathered over the last 16 years – I might have left a few birds out, but this is most of them:
African Green Pigeon
African Pied Wagtail
Great White Egret
Grey Go-Away Bird
Purple Crested Turaco
Southern Black Flycatcher
Southern Carmine Bee-Eater
White Bellied Sunbird
White Breasted Cormorant
I yet have to spot the Green Twinspot and the Pink-Throated Twinspot!
Southern Mozambique is truly a Twitchers paradise. The variation in biomes is what attracts so many various bird species. You will find coastal forest, open grasslands, bushveld savanna, and then also all the coastal seabirds. I would personally suggest you find accommodation in Ponta Mamoli area as this is very central to the Elephant Reserve as well as all the other various biomes, and tick off a comprehensive list of birds. For accommodation in Ponta Mamoli contact GoBundu, we have 56 houses on the beach that you can choose from - make it a Beach and Birding Holiday! Alternatively, you can check availability and book your accommodation online: www.gobundu.com