On 2014/06/23 Crispin Hemson – Pigeon Valley Patriarch – wrote:
Conditions in Pigeon Valley are very dry, giving great visibility into the undergrowth. We are suddenly seeing Buff-spotted Flufftails on the main track, or just next to it. Yesterday I saw two adults and a sub-adult. These are very unobtrusive birds, so do not expect rustling. I suspect that while in summer the undergrowth is dim and the main track bright, the Flufftails stay under cover. In winter the undergrowth is as bright as the area just outside it, so the pressure to stay there is less. Spotted Ground-Thrushes are also very visible, often just on the edge of the main track, digging into leaf litter that accumulates there. There are more than I originally thought – I saw them in four places up the track yesterday.
Great stuff! I went on Sunday and saw a thrush at the entrance, and then – halleluja! – a flufftail up at the fence line along King George V Avenue! A male. It ducked into low dense thicket just outside the fence.
I have heard a thousand bufftails, particularly at Hella Hella where we weekended monthly for ten years, and on the Mkombaan River in Westville where we lived fifteen years, and although I searched and stalked and lay in wait at night, and saw two dead ones – cat in Westville and flew-into-plate-glass at Hella Hella – a sighting has evaded me till now.
This was a big bogey bird for me and this was a wonderful, long-anticipated sighting!
Can a pitta be far behind?