Yesterday, I went to participate in a bird-ringing exercise at a friend’s house – her gardens are a mecca for all sorts of visiting birds from abroad, and it always throws up some great sightings.

Leading the ringing, were experts Klaus and Lizanne, who have ringed birds for many years and fed hundreds of pages of data to the University of Cape Town. They have visited Luangwa on many occasions so it was gratifying to recapture some of the birds we had caught before and see their progress. Some had gained wait, some had lost it, but most were in all their finery ready for the breeding season.

Here are a few shots of birds ‘in the hand’ – it’s actually a lot harder to identify unusual birds when they are not sitting on bushes!

Here’s a (grumpy) Thick-billed Weaver, a bit of a treat for us as we don’t see it very often.

And a dull-coloured European Marsh Warbler (separated from European Reed Warbler only by measuring culmen, bill width and tarsus thickness).

And a beautiful male Red-throated Twinspot, one of nature’s finest creations.