Apalis ruddi (near-endemic)
This beautiful apalis can be separated from its bar-throated cousin by its dark eye, thin, white supercilium and green tail (without any white outer feathers). It is considered a “special” in southern Africa, where it is a near-endemic species and found in low lying thornveld and sand forest thickets.
We first recorded this apalis in September 2010 while visiting Ndumo Game Reserve for the first time. We were starting our early morning walk around Shokwe Pan (with Joseph Gumede) when we got decent sightings of this exciting bird. Bonamanzi Game Reserve (near Hluhluwe) is also a very reliable spot for this species, where it can be found within walking distance from the Lalapanzi chalets.