Author Archives: Duncan Butchart

About Duncan Butchart

Duncan Butchart is interested in all aspects of the natural world, with a particular fascination for birds and their ecological relationships.

Woodpeckers that don’t Peck Wood

Anyone who has spent time walking through mountain fynbos in the south-western Cape will know that birds, of any kind, are few and far between. Its actually quite startling just how few birds – or other vertebrates – inhabit what … Continue reading

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Painted Snipe

For more years than I care to remember, the Painted Snipe was my number one ‘bogey bird’ – no matter where I travelled, I never happened upon one of these unusual wetland dwellers. True, it is a shy skulker, but … Continue reading

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Garden Birds . . . a new book.

For those of us who find birds compelling, fascinating, worth chasing, or taking a photograph of, the first contact we have is invariably with a common bird seen outside the kitchen window. In my case, I have vivid recollections of … Continue reading

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It’s Happened … a Gull Moment!

When I set up this blog a few years ago, I thought I’d be smart and come up with a cute wordplay for the title, thinking that I might even produce a book with this name (using the better material) … Continue reading

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The Sounds of silens, Sigelus silens.

  There are very few birds to be seen around our new home in the Hermanus suburb of Westcliff. Gangs of inquisitive Common Starlings inspect the gutters, a pair of Southern Fiscal use the wi-fi dish as a perch and … Continue reading

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Ribbon-tailed Beauty

  On the edge a mango orchard, alongside the paddock of a domestic water buffalo, hawked this male Asian Paradise-Flycatcher. The ripening fruit and ruminating bovine enticed a profusion of flies – sheer bliss for this ribbon-tailed beauty. Bordering Gir … Continue reading

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India’s Avian Glitterball

It is mid March in Gujurat. The dry, teak woodlands are coated with dust and papery, plate-sized leaves have formed a brittle carpet on the floor of the Gir forest. With midday temperatures peaking in the high thirties, trees are rapidly shedding … Continue reading

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