This is short series of posts on bird-watching in Cumberland Nature Reserve. I will divide the reserve up into areas and share some tips and information on what to look out for in each area. Cumberland Nature Reserve is home to over 280 species of bird and in my opinion is one of the top birding sites in Pietermaritzburg. The Reserve is over 500 hectares in size and comprises of a number of different habitats ranging from Moist Savanna to Valley Thickets. A large part of the Reserves boundary is created by the Umgeni River and the Rietspruit Stream cuts through the reserve exiting into the Umgeni in the East. Cumberland is also home to over 30 species of mammal, including Giraffe, Impala, Oribi, Zebra and Kudu. Two waterfalls, a vast network of trails and jaw-dropping scenery add to the Reserves appeal. Some of the specials of the reserve include: Olive, Orange-breasted, Grey-headed and Gorgeous Bush-shrike, Green Twinspot, White-starred Robin, Mocking Cliff-chat, Olive and Bearded Woodpecker, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, African Finfoot, Palmnut Vulture, Secretarybird, Peregrine and Lanner Falcon, Crowned and Martial Eagle, Cape Batis, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Shelley’s Francolin, Cape Longclaw, Narina Trogon, Cape Grassbird, Knysna Turaco, Red-throated Wryneck, Golden-breasted and Cape Bunting, Striped Pipit, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Swee Waxbill, African Wood-Owl, Red-billed Oxpecker, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Greater Honeyguide and Grey-crowned Crane. The diversity of habitats on the Reserve really makes it a fantastic birding location and I look forward to sharing some of my knowledge of the area with fellow birders throughout this series. Up next... Part 2 - The dam and associated wetland.