the first day half the group got up really early at around 4.30 am to head out for the dawn chorus and watch Muzi do a point count bird survey over an area of the reserve. Very tired we set off into the bush all squeezed in the back of the truck and racing down the dirt paths. It was very peaceful listening to all the birds, and spotting so many colourful ones! The area we walked in was different from where we were the previous day by the river, where vegetation was more dense. This area was more open and grassy, with more opportunity of spotting flying birds. The scene definitely felt more Lion King like. The birds we saw included the African paradise flycatcher (which I though was one of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen), dark crested bulbuls, scarlet chest sunbird, yellow fronted canary, red faced mouse bird and a woodpecker. In addition to this we could hear the snoring wilder beast in the more denser bush, spotted water buck, monkeys in the far distance and a tortoise. The scaring on my face was pretty bad that day, but I did still dare to take one selfie with my fancy binoculars I was lended.
Most of the time the birds we saw though were still a resonable distance away from us, and it was hard to get a proper look! On another day though our organizer Iain set up a bird net to capture some of the birds in the nearby area to have a closer look! The net was checked every half an hour and taken down, looked over for a little health check (e.g. blow on their belly to see how fat and well fed they are) and then handed over to a few lucky students who got to hold them! I got to hold the yellow fronted canary (Serinus mozambicus), Steph got to hold a Black capped bulbul, and Bryony got to hold the stunning little bee eater (Merops pusillus) which was actually her first ever bird she had held before (pretty amazing first bird!).