I decided to join the mayhem along with Ian Gordon, Dave and Penny Rimmer.
Our plan was to first drive through Hluhluwe Game Reserve and look for another celebrity, the Striped Crake seen at Thiyeni Bird Hide. By the time we arrived at the hide we had clocked up almost 100 birds (seen and heard), our tummy worms were calling and we needed another dose of caffeine fix.
The crake didn’t make an appearance, it had not been seen for a few days so there was no surprise. We were however, treated to a number of other birds including White-backed Vultures and a Hamekop feeding.
The Malagasy Pond Heron – My First Serious Twitch
Across from us was a vehicle with some other well known twitchers including Trevor Hardaker, all staring at the dam. With that Trevor’s face lit up and he quickly signaled to us that the Malagasy Pond Heron had been found.
It didn’t take Zandri long to get us to the ‘spot’ and we connected with the heron probably all at the same time. Just picture two game vehicles pumped with adrenaline filled elation and twelve beaming faces. Cameras clicking sounding like machine guns, whispers and quite high fives were the norm.
There was even time to scour the large expanse of water for other more “normal” birds such as African Spoonbill, African Jacana, Blacksmith Lapwing and Fish Eagle and Goliath Heron.
This now famous Malagasy Pond Heron stole the show
This was my first serious twitch and I can now relate to my throngs of friends who are addicted to this hobby. Very hard for my non-birding friends to understand, but hey, it’s fun, healthy and far better than being at home.