About the Author

Nick Sims

Alumni Field Guide

Nick was a ranger at Londolozi from 2018 - 2022. He always had a love for nature. Growing up in Johannesburg, the annual family trip to the bush (particularly the Kruger Lowveld region of South Africa) became an escape from city life. When ...

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18 Comments

on A Big Birding Year

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Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

I love all your birds and I love watching birds and taking photos of them. Though I am not a “real” birder (i.e. only interested in birds – leopards are still my absolute favorites), I like “collecting” birds, i.e. taking photos of them or just observing and seeing them. I always try to see as many as possible and note them down when I am on a safari.

Karen Hart
Senior Digital Ranger

Well said. I originally got back into photography after the DSLRs became readily available to attempt to capture images of bald eagles in flight for a painting I wanted to do. That decision led to photography becoming the overriding passion in my life, especially birds and wildlife, which led to my decision to book my first safari in 2018. I have returned each year to your amazing country for both the wildlife and the birds. My experience at Londolozi last year was phenomenal in both regards – thousands of photos of wildlife and beautiful birds. Loved the images shared above and saw many of these during my last visit. Keep on birding – it’s good for the soul.

Nick Sims
Alumni Field Guide

How true, birding really is good for the soul!

Chelsea Allard
Digital Tracker

Such a fun challenge to inspire new adventures! I tend to have a hard time slowing down enough to be patient and really watch for birds, even though I love them and always enjoy birding. By having a goal and checking them off a list, that motivates me by tricking me into thinking I’m being productive. At least it helped a couple weeks ago during the USA’s annual Great Backyard Birding Weekend. Keep it up!

Ian Hall
Master Tracker

Lovely photos and well done to Garrett – it’s Alex’s bee eater photo I would have on my wall.
A good bird photo is many times harder than a good photo of an elephant

Nick Sims
Alumni Field Guide

It is a great photo of Alex’s

Marcia Parker
Digital Tracker

Congratulations to Garrett! Beautiful photos including that amazing African paradise flycatcher.
In the past whether on a walk, hike or kayak I usually had a bird book and always a camera. What I couldn’t ID in the moment would be done later looking @ the photos. These days it’s primarily walking my dogs who have become very patient with the “wait” command as I snap a bird pic!

William Paynter
Digital Tracker

Congratulations to Garrett! Birding is such a wonderful experience, seeing and cataloging birds, so rewarding. Thanks for sharing Nick.

Victoria Auchincloss
Master Tracker

What. Fabulous idea! I have often seen birds at Londolozi but usually we don’t have time to stop and learn a bit. Why could we not have one safari be a bird safari ? It would be great and we would learn even more about the inhabitants of the bush! Victoria

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

What is the name of the violet- crested bird? Rollers are incredible also the flycatcher. My favourite because of its behaviour it’s ostrich, and, although common, guinea fowls. But they are all beautiful and interesting animals!

Nick Sims
Alumni Field Guide

Could the bird that you’re thinking of be the Purple Crested Turaco?

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Thank you for giving it a name, it’s an amazingly beautiful bird!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

A hearty congratulations to Garrett for his first prize in identifying 432 birds in 2021! I might get lucky with 10, but that being said, I’m aiming for 25 sightings on my next trip. I loved everyone’s photos, especially the weaver at his nest.

Paul Canales
Master Tracker

What a brilliant idea for a competition Nick and team! Love the stories and all of the images of the various birds the team spied!

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Nick you have taken beautiful foto’s and I love watching birds. Their colours differ and each one is unique in their own right. What a great idea you Rangers have, to see and mark down all the birds you have seen.

Doug Hammerich
Digital Tracker

I am not a birder per se, but ever since I was given a bird stamp book as a child I have always enjoyed seeing and even photographing interesting birds. Your photo of the purple roller is delightful.

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

Wonderful photos Nick of all your most prized finds. 💕Recall the Paradise fly catchers from my childhood that used to nest on our property and the stunning shot of the Lilac breathed roller and Carmen bee eater. Have to say I don’t recall ever seeing a Grey headed Bush Shrike. Well done to Garrett. I’m sure 2022 might be a bumper year for you all after the tremendous rains as it seems even Europe has been blessed with some unusual sightings this year. Thanks for sharing…just love birds 💗

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Nick, What a great contest! We remember one of our friends who was traveling with us challenged himself to see 100 bird species along the way in Africa, but mostly at Londolozi. When he got to number 99, he put his camera and log book down… He said “I guess I’ll just have to come back again to find the last one!”

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