Spotted Ground Thrush

Geokichla guttata(endangered)

This resident and partial migrant in forest understory is as beautiful as it is rare. Found in coastal forests in the Eastern Cape and forests in KwaZulu Natal, its habitat is severely threatened and hence, its conservation status is endangered. Besides the habitat in which it is found, it can be distinguished from other thrushes by its spotted breast and white wing-bars.

Being secretive and incredibly well camouflaged in its understory habitat, these striking thrushes can be difficult to locate. However, given their behaviour of flicking through leaves and twigs to find small invertebrates, your best bet is to listen carefully for these noises and then scan the forest floor.

I first recorded this species in May 2014 at Umdoni Forest on the south coast of KwaZulu Natal, where they migrate to in winter. My best experience with this species was at Dlinza Forest in Eshowe, where I spent a good twenty minutes with an adult bird feeding its hungry youngster.


Spotted Ground Thrush – adult / Dlinza Forest, Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 20 March 2014 (Edited – lens blur to background) Spotted Ground Thrush – juvenile / Dlinza Forest, Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 20 March 2014 Spotted Ground Thrush – juvenile / Dlinza Forest, Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 20 March 2014 Spotted Ground Thrush / Dlinza Forest, Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 20 March 2014 Spotted Ground Thrush – juvenile / Dlinza Forest, Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 20 March 2014 Spotted Ground Thrush – adult / Dlinza Forest, Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 20 March 2014 Spotted Ground Thrush – first sighting / Umdoni Park, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 015 May 2011 Spotted Ground Thrush – juvenile / Dlinza Forest, Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 20 March 2014
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