African Pygmy Kingfisher

Ispidina picta

Ever since I first saw this tiny kingfisher in my old Sinclair’s bird book, it has intrigued me. I love that it is the smallest of our kingfishers (12 -13cm in length), that it has this beautiful pink wash to its cheeks, and that it (unlike most other kingfishers) rarely eats fish with its main meal being insects.
It took me until 2012, however, before I first laid eyes on one (in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya), and since then I have been looking to find a breeding pair to spend time with, and hopefully walk away with a few decent photographs.

Well, this past weekend (28 November 2014) was my time in the sun. Eileen and I attended a good friends wedding at Zingela Safari & River Company near Collenza, KwaZulu Natal. If it wasn’t for the wedding this is one of those places that we may never have heard about, let alone visited. It is situated in the middle of nowhere (literally) and requires a 4×4 and a good sense of humour (if you have an 11 week old kid) to get to.
Besides the wedding being great fun and a special day to be part of, I was also super excited to find that two adult pygmy kingfishers had made the area around our chalet their home. It was super fun watching them whizz around our accommodation looking for lunch. And after some patient waiting and watching I finally got one of them to pose for me.


African Pygmy Kingfisher / Zingela Safari & River Company (near-Weenen), KZN / 30 November 2014 African Pygmy Kingfisher / Zingela Safari & River Company (near-Weenen), KZN / 30 November 2014 Pygmy Kingfisher / Dzanlanyama Forest, Malawi / 30 October 2016 African Pygmy Kingfisher / Zingela Safari & River Company (near-Weenen), KZN / 30 November 2014 African Pygmy Kingfisher / Zingela Safari & River Company (near-Weenen), KZN / 30 November 2014 African Pygmy Kingfisher / Zingela Safari & River Company (near-Weenen), KZN / 30 November 2014 African Pygmy Kingfisher / Zingela Safari & River Company (near-Weenen), KZN / 30 November 2014 African Pygmy Kingfisher / Tsavo West National Park, Kenya African Pygmy Kingfisher / Zingela Safari & River Company (near-Weenen), KZN / 30 November 2014 African Pygmy Kingfisher / Zingela Safari & River Company (near-Weenen), KZN / 30 November 2014
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