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!
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...
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.
Where is your favourite place in the whole world? For the last 12 years, mine has been our holiday home in Bushwillow Estate at Vaalkop Dam, 1.5 hours from Pta/Jhb. So it is with a heavy heart that we decided to sell this magical breakaway. But we are also very excited to share this special part of Africa with you. And to give you the opportunity to experience this unique lifestyle in nature! The house is to be sold under sole or fractional ownership of 2-4 partners, fully furnished, including a barge to explore the dam!
Terns are tough - on that much we can all agree. A lot has been written on their ID in Europe and the Americas, but all from a Northern Hemisphere perspective. If a mixed flock of terns makes you want to tern tail and run, this article is for you. I discuss the Identification of Common, Roseate and Arctic Terns, as well our own special visitor from the frozen south - the Antarctic Tern. Along the way, you'll spot the odd tern of phrase - most of them not very punny. Good luck!
While birding in the Northern Cape, "in the middle of nowhere", Chris Cheetham encountered a very odd prinia. It turned out to be a hybrid between Karoo and Black-chested. Learn more about hybridization in birds, and the wonderful world of these common but characterful 8-gram cisticolids. It took almost a year before I found the time to write this up. And now it's 01:15. AY EM. I'm off to bed. Want to get up early for more birding tomorrow!