After leaving Nyanga, we traveled through some wonderful scenery and excellent Miombo woodland en route to our farm stay outside Marondera. This gave us an opportunity to see Bronzy, and many other sunbirds, as well as Gurney’s Sugarbird and some typical Miombo residents. A patch of flat-crowned Acacias proved particularly rich in bird species, however, photography was very difficult.
We arrived at the farm outside Marondera and were greeted by our charming hostess, Jen. The magnificent home is situated in a huge garden with acres of lawn leading down to a lake, which had many water birds. The gardens abounded with sunbirds, waxbills, weavers and lapwings. Right nearby is the Gosho Park, a preserved piece of Miombo woodland where we spent many hours amongst the boulders and Masasa trees, chasing elusive, but rewarding, bird parties. A Wood Pipit was a lifer for me, and we saw many Miombo Tits, Bee-eaters, Puffbacks, Bush Shrikes and even some Black-eared Seedeaters.
We also visited a nearby wetland, where we walked in muddy water looking for flufftails, etc. We managed to put up all three varieties of longclaw, including what was a lifer for most of us, the Rosy-throated Longclaw. Also seen were Yellow-mantled Widowbirds, Pale-crowned Cisticola, African Snipe and the high point of the day for me, a Marsh Owl, which I nearly stepped on and which gave me a huge fright when it suddenly took flight!
Our accommodation was superb and Jen made sure that we never went hungry. Birding breakfasts can be very late, but she never complained!
To be continued….