17 June 2024

Our local Celeb continues to entertain

20 January 2024 - Kyalami Estates

During my morning walks I confirmed that the bird was still present all this week, but today together with Richard Crawshaw and Rob Cliff we decided to try later in the afternoon.

We met down in the park and heard the bird calling quite some distance away from its roost site. We agreed that to get back to its roost site it needed to cross the causeway below the dam. As there was no water in the spillway, Rob and I positioned ourselves under the bridge where it became a waiting game.

The Flufftail continued calling, but when it stopped calling, we knew it was moving. Each time it called it was getting closer to us. Suddenly it was there in the undergrowth within touching distance. The light was fading fast, so ISO's had to be pushed. It watched us for some time, whilst deciding where it was going to cross, which gave a few photo opportunities

Male Buff-spotted Flufftail (Sarothrura elegans)

Once it had decided where to cross, it came out into the open briefly where I got what I consider to be my best image of our Mega

and then sprinted across the causeway almost at our feet and back into the bush, before slowly making its way back to its roost site. 

This is when we worked out, that the best place to see it daily was just after sunset, when it dashed across the open section of grass, back to its overnight roost.

This then provided an opportunity for many other Estate, local and visiting birders to come and see it over the next few weeks in a controlled and managed setting.

Our Celeb stayed for almost 6-weeks since first being discovered and was probably one of the most twitched Flufftail's in a long time. In the end it probably moved on, as it failed to find a female and the breeding season window had passed. But long will it live in mine and many others memories.

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