THE FOREST HIDE

The fever tree forests surrounding the Hlambanyathi dam is home to a large variety of forest dwelling bird species, far more often heard than seen.  Our latest hide was placed within the thick habitat on the forest floor, with an ambiance unlike any other hide as hundreds of bird calls echo through the forest whilst hide occupants sit in wait for birds to arrive in front of the hide.  A variety of insect eating bird species visit the hide, and are attracted by grubs obtained from Zimanga Main Lodge’s recycling project.  These grubs are used to quickly dispose of organic waste at the lodge, composting the waste five times faster than usual methods, and in return offer us highly nutritious grubs as well as rich compost to feed our vegetable gardens.

The action at the forest hide is not as hectic as as some other hides, but for good reason. Most forest species are shy and quickly disappear from view at the slightest hint of disturbance, hence good photographs of the species are hard to come by.  Since first tests were conducted the forest hide already provided us with some of our best images yet of birds that can be really difficult to photograph due to their shy nature and the thick habitat they prefer.

The perch distance is 5m from the hide which is equipped with 4 chairs, tripods and gimbals, with the high quality one-way glass installed as per all our other hides to effectively conceal occupants.

PLEASE NOTE that the hide is within a dark forest, hence lenses with good light gathering ability and cameras that can perform optimally with high ISO’s under low light conditions are a necessity for photography.

We found the 300mm f/2.8 lens ideal for the forest hide

 

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Black-headed oriole, a rare and beautiful visitor

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The red-capped robin-chat mimics other birdsongs perfectly and is frequently seen at the hide

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A brown-hooded kingfisher with its own prey item