Red-chested Flufftail

Sarothrura rufa

This male’s full red breast and the female’s darker colouration distinguish it from other flufftails.

I had looked for this secretive bird for over 2 years before finally seeing it in November 2012 at the Hadida hide in the Marievale Bird Sanctuary.

I first spotted the female just to the left of the hide and after watching her for at least 10 minutes, I saw the male fly in, run up to her and whisk her away. I was lucky enough to get a few photographs of the female but unfortunately the male was too fast for my lens.

And then in July 2013 I had the sighting of a lifetime… I decided to take a trip to Marievale Bird Sanctuary to see what the winter weather would hold. I was sitting quietly on the edge of the wetland, watching a juvenile black crake scurrying around in the reeds, when something made me look over my shoulder. My eyes could not believe what they were seeing. There in the middle of the road was a male red-chested flufftail. Not only was he in the open but he was also walking towards me… and I was holding a camera! One of my most memorable birding moments to date!


Red-chested Flufftail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 13 July 2013 Red-chested Flufftail – female / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 23 November 2012 Red-chested Flufftail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 13 July 2013 Red-chested Flufftail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 13 July 2013 Red-chested Flufftail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 13 July 2013 Red-chested Flufftail – female / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 23 November 2012 Red-chested Flufftail – female / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 23 November 2012 Red-chested Flufftail / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 13 July 2013 Red-chested Flufftail – female / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 23 November 2012 Red-chested Flufftail – female / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 23 November 2012
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