09 April 2024

Garden birding in Harare

04 December 2023 - Malcolm's Lodge Harare to OR Tambo; Day 8

I had already packed the night before, so was up early to enjoy coffee in the garden and some last birding in Harare. I was hoping that the male Miombo Sunbird might visit the Aloe which still had flowers, but it was only Scarlet-chested

Female Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Chalcomitra senegalensis)

And a young Variable Sunbird that dropped in

Variable Sunbird (Cinnyris venustus)

I did see a Yellow White-eye

Southern Yellow White-eye (Zosterops anderssoni)

And managed to catch the White-browed Robin-Chat on the garden fence before it disappeared back into cover

White-browed Robin-Chat (Cossypha heuglini)

Even in Harare, there are a lot of Pied Crows, an intelligent species that I'm starting to dislike

Pied Crow (Corvus albus)

I was looking to see if the Whyte's Barbet were perched in the big dead tree in the adjacent property when I saw a dark fast flying raptor coming toward me - knock me down, it was the Bat Hawk that Richard and I tried to find at it's nest site yesterday afternoon - what a bird to end off what has been a fantastic return to Zimbabwe! Those yellow eyes!

Bat Hawk (Macheiramphus alcinus)

I then had to hustle to eat my breakfast with Billy and Gayleen before being collected by our taxi for the drive back and then flight back home to Jozi together with Richard and Shirley. Although our Airlink flight departed late, we arrived on time to the hustle and bustle of Gauteng with many fantastic memories of birding with like-minded and new friends.

I recorded 201 species for the trip that included 5 lifers (Africa Pitta, Pennant-winged Nightjar, Three-banded Courser, Orange-winged Pytilia and Livingstone's Flycatcher) and many images of species I hadn't recorded previously on my DSLR when I last visited Zim. Of course with any trip, there are still expected birds that you dip on and these included Western Banded Snake Eagle, Dickinson's Kestrel, Racket-tailed Roller Zambezi Indigobird, Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah (these were still in non-breeding plumage), the brevirostris Hadeda Ibis (only me) and the Thick-billed Cuckoo that we put a lot of effort into - so of course, there is always a reason to return!

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