How many new species have been added to our Southern African list in the last few decades? The first time I counted up my lifelist as a young kid, it was 73 species...out of a possible 919 on the list. Today our Southern African list is on 978 species. In the 36 years I've been crawling/walking/running around in search of birds (and the publication of Roberts V) 100 species have been added. Here they are!
So, the book is here: Faansie's Bird Book: A fully fledged field guide for kids. I am so excited to share this with kids of all ages (even those who pay a mortgage). I would really love to hear what you think. Why don't you send me a voicenote on Whatsapp? Okay, back to the bubble wrap for me...
How well do you know your bird calls? These are some fairly easy ones - I am certain you hear some of these every day. Give it a shot. If you are unsure, hover the mouse over the clue box. Then check out the answer. Good luck!
This looks like a really amazing weekend! Photography tutorials in the field, pre-dawn listening for bird calls, guided flower hikes and a whole lot more - all in the stunning mountain fynbos landscape around Citrusdal. From 5-7 October.
Oh man, I am so excited to announce my latest project... the first ever fully fledged field guide for birds. In a way I made this book especially for my own two boys, as a way to help them connect with birds and nature in general. But I'm sure they wouldn't mind if your kids read it too. Here's a little sneak peek video...
In this battle there was a clear winner. Spotted Harlequin Snakes, Homoroselaps lacteus, are mildly venomous, and though their venom does not pose any potentially fatal consequences, a bite may well provide you with some nice gory images. Hopefully some of the effects I documented here can contribute to our knowledge on this species. Perhaps not for sensitive viewers.
Birding has its own, dedicated language. Twitching. Lifer. String. Dip. Tick. The same goes for herping - the study of frogs and reptiles. However, compared to the typical birder, herpers are a decidedly freakish bunch (and I say that as a herper myself). I called in the help of some of the country's top herpers to come up with this illustrated dictionary of herping lingo. I hope they didn't make this stuff up.
Due to continued requests, I have now made my book, CHAMBERLAIN'S WADERS, available in a digital edition as well. As birders, our love for books is only exceeded by our love for birds. But carrying all your literature around in the field can be back-breaking. May I suggest that you get the eBook versions instead (or preferably, in addition)? No forms, no waiting, instant download. But fret not, there are still a couple of thousand copies in my garage if you prefer the good ol' printed version. LBJs books are dwindling though...
Weg / Go! magazine is South Africa's number one travel and outdoor mag, choc-a-bloc full of places, people, gear, reviews and recipes. In addition, from the March 2018 issue (on sale now), you'll also find a few words by yours truly. A column on our most fascinating birds, presented in the form of stories and personal memories, interwoven with facts about the biology of birds. The first tells the story of a juvenile Greater Honeyguide that somehow ended up on my Grandpa's shoulder.
The last week of August was probably the single greatest twitching saga in SA birding history, with the discovery of two firsts for the country at the same site! The only problem was, one of these, a nondescript warbler merrily swinging its tail about, defied identification. Read the whole story here, and learn a little something about ID of Upcher's Warbler.