This morning we had breakfast at 7:00am like civilised people before heading off to the bird in the Karkloof region, finding quite a few nice birds, but not before doing a spot of sight-seeing at Howick Falls. (Sight-seeing, who am I kidding? We were looking for Peregrine Falcon on the cliffs and there happened to be a waterfall too.)
After lunch we continued on to Marutswa Forest, where we were targeting an endangered endemic, Cape Parrot. They are difficult birds to find, with the best chance of getting them as they come in to roost. We heard parrots. We even saw parrots, tiny silhouettes in the distance above the tree line. It was a tick for the list, and the view we expected, but not the view we wanted. We decided to hike through the forest to see if we could get closer. The track was narrow and not often used, and we even encountered a couple of cows that had wandered up from the village. We could still hear the parrots, but after a kilometre of trekking and the fact that the sun was getting low, we turned around and headed back out. We did glimpse two more, flying past much closer, but still silhouetted. Back out of the forest we turned to look back at the trees one last time, the sun setting behind us, and parrots still calling from down in the valley. We'd given it our best shot. Then suddenly a parrot flew over us and landed perfectly in a dead tree right in front of us! This would be close to the sighting of the trip for me, actually having a chance to see the colour on a Cape Parrot, I never thought we'd get so close. Magic!