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Birdlife wonder at Umngazi

With incredibly rich estuarine and mangrove environments found on the Wild Coast, Umngazi is home to an impressive array of birdlife. A walk at Umngazi proves to be a treat for the ears and the eyes, as you amble through magnificent ferns and trees in an indigenous forest that houses some of the most exquisite, but elusive forest birds.

High on the list of few and far between seen birds, as well as the most beautiful, is the Spotted Ground Thrush. The Spotted Ground Thrush is known as a lifer in the birding circles of South Africa. In birding terms, a lifer is a South African species of bird that birders consider significant enough to make special trips, in order to catch a rare and memorable sighting. They are known as lifers because you will most likely only see this bird once in a lifetime.

Words from our very own Anton Pearson, who managed to capture an amazing image of this beautiful bird: “Umngazi has the privelage of giving a home to one of our feathered friends seldom seen or heard. The endangered Spotted Ground Thrush calls the open understorey of our Umngazi dune forest home and it requires real patience and perseverance to spot this bird so desired by many for their Eastern Cape and Southern African bird check lists.”

More about the Spotted Ground Thrush:
This resident and partial migrant in forest understory is as beautiful as it is rare. Found in coastal forests in the Eastern Cape and forests in KwaZulu Natal, its habitat is severely threatened and hence, its conservation status is endangered. Besides the habitat in which it is found, it can be distinguished from other thrushes by its spotted breast and white wing-bars.

Being secretive and incredibly well camouflaged in its understory habitat, these striking thrushes can be difficult to locate. However, given their behaviour of flicking through leaves and twigs to find small invertebrates, your best bet is to listen carefully for these noises and then scan the forest floor.

For a full list of the stunning variety of birdlife found at Umngazi, visit http://www.umngazi.co.za/Umngazi_River_Bungalows_Bird_List.pdf

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