Rufousnaped Lark

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Week 50 - Pongola Nature Reserve (Golden Pipit Twitch)

Well I did it! I never thought I had it in me to travel 1300km for 13.5hrs to see just one special bird, but what a bird!! This Golden Pipit has to be the most beautiful bird I have seen to date, it is simply stunnning!

Kevin Ravno of Natural World and I left Pretoria at 02h45 and travelled the 650km via Standerton, Vryheid and Louwsburg to arrive in Pongola at about 09h40. The weather was good with only a few clouds about. When we arrived on site a small group of twitchers had already gathered and they quickly put us onto the bird which was flitting between a few favoured perches. The sun was already quite high however and he was staying in the shade most of the time. After about 2hrs on site I managed the following pictures:-

Unfortunately the Pipit was not allowing a close approach and my 400mm lens was a bit short to capture the birds behaviour fully. For some really great shots of his display behaviour and to get a truly great impression of this bird see the photos taken by Johann and Lizet Grobbelaar.

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