I need some tips... where can one expect to find pygmy's? I know to look for malachites near water (usually extremely small blue specks on the far side of the river/dam/pool), but where do pygmy's like to be? Also near water, or sommer
anywhere in the bush like "brown-hoodeds"?
I've read (somewhere) that pygmy kingfishers have a very distinctive call that sometimes makes finding them easier, ... does anyone have a sound clip that can be posted here?
You're right, Pygmy Kingfishers are not as closely associated with bodies of water as Malachite Kingfishers are. That's often a first hint. If you see a Malachite Kingfisher in the woodland, it's probably not a Malachite Kingfisher
But I guess that doesn't really help you. You're not interested in learning how to identify a Pygmy Kingfisher but rather in finding one. They tend to like moist and well developed woodlands, especially if there is a clearing with some grass. They're not densely populated which, combined with the fact that they're rather unobtrusive, is probably the reason they're not seen as often.
The Mpumalanga and Limpopo lowveld seems to be generally good for them as well as Zululand. Places like Pafuri, Mapungubwe, Ndumo, Mkuze, Hazyview, Nelspruit, Witrivier etc. would be good areas to keep an eye open.
I wouldn't say the call is immensely useful in helping to locate them. I can almost not believe that I'm saying that as I am a very strong believer in using your ears as much as your binoculars when you bird. Truthfully, I can only think of a couple of times when the call of a Pygmy Kingfisher alerted me to it's presence. It's a fairly soft "tseep tseep" kind of call which is easily drowned out by the plenitude of other sounds that are typically heard in the dense forested or wooded habitats where you find Pygmy Kingfishers.
It certainly is worth familiarising yourself with the call but don't be surprised if you end up seeing your first Pygmy Kingfisher before hearing it. Here are two recordings of the bird:http://macaulaylibrary.org/search?taxon ... rank_id=67
Hope that helps.