THIS past week Amanzimtoti Bird Park has been a hive of activity for KZN birders after local birder Ansie Coetser discovered a Mangrove Kingfisher in the park.Speaking of the discovery, Coetser said: “I must admit that I didn’t know that it was the Mangrove Kingfisher at the time I took the pictures as I would never, in my wildest dreams, expect to find it at our little gem. I thought it was the Brown-headed Kingfisher and it was only when I downloaded the pictures that I saw to my biggest surprise and delight that it was, in fact, the Mangrove Kingfisher.”The Mangrove Kingfisher is a beautiful uncommon bird that is a highly sought spot for many birders. Birders from all over the province arrived at the park to see the bird as this led to the discovery of another uncommon bird that is even more sought after, the White-Backed Night Heron. This difficult to spot bird was first spotted by Mark Hardiuin, which led to an e-mail being sent out nationwide on the Rare Birds Network. This occurrence has once again highlighted the importance of the Bird Park in our area. Over the years this little eco pocket has often been resident to some very special birds. This local spot is one of the best placed in the Durban area to see the Spotted Ground Thrush during the winter months. If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of what life often throws at you, the Bird Park might be the perfect spot to recharge for a few hours. Sapphire Coast Tourism, in conjunction with Birdlasser, are hosting the Sapphire Coast Birding Challenge, in which all participants stand the chance of winning bird books from Bargain Books, including the latest edition of the Roberts Bird Guide. To register go to birdlasser.com.Sapphire Coast Tourism and the South Coast Sun are also hosting a monthly bird photography competition with a monthly prize of R1 000. The theme for the month of March is “Wet and Wild”, with many great spots along the Sapphire Coast route to snap some water birds, including the Bird Park. This Saturday morning they will do a walk around the Amanzimtoti Bird Park from 7 am until 9 am at no cost. For further information contact Adam on 061 485 3625. — Supplied.