• The Broadbills Are Here!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on November 13, 2012 by Gavin in Birding in Hluhluwe, Day Trips, Hiking Trails, On Safari, Our spectacular nature.

    This morning (13th November 2012) I decided to take our new reservations manager, Nicole Shaw,  on a little walk along our Red Duiker Trail from Hluhluwe River Lodge in an attempt to see if I could finally find her a Narina Trogan that I promised her and find myself an African Broadbill (Smithornis capensis) for the first time in my life. I decided on this trail as I almost always have success with calling-in the shy Narina Trogan, specifically at this time of year, and I have heard the elusive African Broadbill flapping out it’s bizarre “mate-attracting” display. The night before I was joking with my assistant guide, Craig Clowes, that I will manage to get my first African Broadbill display on video, knowing that that wish was highly over-optimistic as I was still yet to even see one of these spectacular birds. Luck would have it, as I was busy trying to call in a Narina Trogan I decided to play a sound recording of the African Broadbill’s display and within seconds we had a male Broadbill displaying not even meters away from us deep in the thicket. I do feel playing sound recordings to draw birds out can be a little unethical but I was determined to view him out in the open. After playing the recording just one last time this character of a bird, being as territorial as they are, came racing out to see who the intruder was, almost flying straight into my head. I was speechless. He landed on a branch in the open leaving me with only about 30 meters worth of stalking to do before getting a clear shot of his display. The African Broadbill is usually a very shy bird that prefers to stay well out of sight so my approach had to be clinical. I managed to get a clear shot of the African Broadbill’s strange display… Check it out!

    African Broadbill Display

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