BIRDING IN SOUTH AFRICA

Here is an opportunity that has caught our eye. South African-born birder Rob Mountain is taking a tour to his homeland between August 23 and September 6, 2005.

Kentucky-based Mountain has enlisted the expertise of local Zulu, David Nkosi, a registered ornithology guide, and a man who has been a birder since before he even knew such a word existed. He studied the local birdlife as a necessity for hunting - in itself a necessity - as he accompanied his father on livestock watch in the wilds.

It really sounds fascinating. Take this link for more more information

http://www.ntabatours.com/birding-tour.htm

Rob Mountain talks of his youthful days on the highveldt:

I would be woken in the mornings by the call of Africa's most majestic eagle, the African Fish Eagle.  While eating breakfast, I would hear the unmistakable call of the Crested Barbet going off like an alarm clock that had no snooze button.  On a typical day, I would see flocks of Helmeted Guineafowl running in the open grasslands, and Yellow-Throated Longclaws perched precariously on large anthills.  Then there was the Fiscal Shrike - commonly called the "Jackie Hanger".  This name was derived from the fact that these birds impale their prey on anything with a sharp point to it.  Black-shouldered Kites, Forked-tailed Drongos, just to mention a few of the wonderful endemic South African birds that we would see during the daylight hours.  As the sun would set, the Red-Chested Cuckoo would utter a loud often-repeated "weet-wee-weeoo", referred to by the Afrikaans speakers as saying "Piet my vrou".  At night, we would have the Fiery-necked Nightjar break the silence with its plaintive, descending,  six-syllabled "Good Lord deliiiiiiers us" call.

Can you identify the fifty rarest birds of the world?

And which ones are African?
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