Likweti Lodge has a very confiding pair of Mocking Cliff-Chats (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris) that have taken up residence.
As the name implies, these birds normally have their home on cliffs, often nesting in caves. Man has assisted here as the pair assume that the lodge buildings are cliffs and they perch on walls and the rooftop. No doubt they will breed under the eaves.
Mocking Cliff-Chats are striking birds, particularly the male that is pitch black on the head, back, upper wings and tail with a white shoulder patch and rufous under parts. They sing a lot as well, often in duet with rich and beautiful liquid notes. Obviously they are happy with their chosen home.
This particular pair have habituated with human activity around the lodge and are very confiding. When I was strolling on the lawn looking for birds to add to my list, they were right at my feet, showing no fear whatsoever. They are certainly special.
Text by Peter Lawson.