Yesterday morning, while attempting to clear a plot with Mulching Matilda, my trusty bush cutter, I noticed a most attractive creature perching on the prefab wall. It critically scrutinized the mowing procedure, and every so often pounced as small lizards and grasshoppers were chased from the brush. I first mistook it for an outsized shrike, but later made a positive identification with the help of my old Robert’s: Burchell’s Coucal (Gewone Vleiloerie). It was such a treat seeing this gem up close.


We’re situated about 5km away from a bird sanctuary and we spend most evenings and weekend late afternoons watching the varieties in our garden, having a lot of trees in our garden, they tend to come perch.

We’ve become quite partial to some of the breeds, and we out of necessity had to find a bird sanctuary that take chicks as we rescue one at least almost on a weekly basis. Our first rescue from a couple months away was a common “muisvoel”, who had the very identifiable “punk” hearstyle, adorable to say the least and it actually bonded with us within hours.

We do, however, throw the weaver bird with rocks, he’s been an abysmal failure this season in attracting a female to his attempts to create the perfect nest and now he’s just stripping the tree in search of a perfect branch.

I just love those vleiloeries. They are rather rare where I live because there aren’t many established garden here and they like dense undergrowth. Keep an ear out for its call: “doo-doo-doo-doo-doo” descending and then ascending again, a bit like water from a bottle.

Oh wait, there’s a recording at Roberts:

And thanks for the link to Roberts online version too. Looks like a great resource!

Hmm, weird: I notice now that it is very much a pay site, but apparently pages work if you link directly to them…

Great sighting as they tend to be fairly reclusive. I have mixed feelings on them as they eat the young of other birds out of the nest! I have had these birds in my garden over the years sometimes never seeing them but hearing the call, other years they show themselves. Might be a matter of food availability in the different years or us not looking out at the right time!

It appears to be one of their “demo birds”… so maybe that’s why it was accessable through Google. ???

Certainly the first one I’ve ever seen …you are lucky to have them in your garden! 8)

I can see how that can easily happen … :slight_smile:


i have those on my property too. grey louries, crested barbets, some manner of kingfisher (suicidal bastard, had to rescue him form the cats twice allready), spotted eagle owls, barn owls, and a crapload of other.
the landlord feeds them, and you must hear how the grey louries complain when he takes too long to put food out in the morning.
and i saw this wierd critter at the frog pond monday morning. and my first thought was, ‘oh cool, i have a kiwi in my garden’ then i was like ‘oh no, wait…’.
still havent been able to identify it…