Sunday, 19 February 2017

UPCOMING OUTING: Mpenjati Nature Reserve, 26 February 2017

 
Pied Kingfisher
Sunday 26 February at 07h00 BirdLife Trogons will visit Mpenjati Nature Reserve Nature Reserve.  Bring chairs, breakfast and something to braai for lunch.  ALL WELCOME.  There is a R20pp charge for non-members of BirdLife Trogons.  Outings may be cancelled due to the weather.  Check www.birdlifetrogons.blogspot.com or phone Hazel (072 355 8837*) before setting off.
*Please note we cannot respond to text or "call me" requests.
PLEASE LET HAZEL KNOW IF YOU WILL BE ATTENDING THE OUTING.
Directions: From the R61 meet at the Mpenjati South entrance gate. There is a R30 per person entrance fee, however this is negated if you have a Rhino Card.  Set GPS to DD MM SS.S  =  S30 58 18.2  E30 16 39.3

Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Outing report: Sezela Sugar Mill, 12 February 2017



 Text: Sue Hansbury
Attendees:
Sue Salthouse, Graham Salthouse, Stanley Gengan, Asothie Gengan, Sandy Olver, Hazel Nevin, Sue Hansbury, Barrie Willis, Alastair Warman

Species: 62 

The day started off overcast, and was lovely and cool to begin with.  Alastair took us a different route than last time, and led us meandering through the sugar cane fields to Ash Dam where we wandered around looking at all the grass birds.  Eventually the clouds dispersed and the sun came out as we walked around Clear Water Dam before departing to find a cool spot in the shade for breakfast.

After breakfast we had a short stroll along the stream, the temperature was now reaching 30ยบ, and we were getting a little hot under the collar. On the way to the lunch spot we stopped at the lagoon to see what birds we could see there, but it was so over grown, it was quite a disappointment compared to last time we were there. 

It was decided to try our luck and go past Conrad’s house as he told us that he had seen a Sooty Falcon, but luck was not on our side and unfortunately we did not get a sighting of it.

Alastair had the key to the boom this time so we found a beautiful shady spot for our lunch, we parked the cars and went for a stroll around the Dam.  Things got quite exciting when we thought we saw a rare bird in the trees, but after looking through the bird books we came to the conclusion that it was most probably a Rosy Faced Lovebird (obviously an escapee).

The braai was lit, and the beers came out, so we settled ourselves down for some light hearted conversation and had a wonderful lunch at a beautiful unspoilt spot on the South Coast.

Thank you Alastair for showing us around. 

Species seen:
Barbet Black-collared
Bee-eater Little
Bishop Southern Red
Bulbul Dark-capped
Cameroptera Green-backed
Canary Yellow-fronted
Cisticola Rufous-winged
Cormorant Reed
Cormorant White-breasted
Coucal Burchell’s
Crake Black
Crane Crowned
Cuckoo Diderik
Dove Red-eyed
Drongo Square-tailed
Eagle Long-crested
Fiscal Common
Flycatcher Southern Black
Goose Egyptian
Goose Spurwinged
Grebe Little
Greenbul Sombre

Guineafowl Helmeted
Hadedah Ibis
Hamerkop
Heron Black-headed
Hornbill Crowned
Kingfisher Malachite
Kingfisher Pied
Kite Yellow-billed
Lapwing Blacksmith
Mannikin Bronze
Moorhen Common
Mousebird Speckled
Myna Common
Oriole Black-headed
Prinia Tawny-flanked
Saw-wing Black
Seedeater Streaky-headed
Spurfowl Natal
Starling Black-bellied
Starling Red-winged
Starling Violet-backed
Stonechat African

Stork Woolly-necked
Sunbird Olive
Swallow Barn
Swallow Lesser-striped
Tinkerbird Yellow-rumped
Turaco Purple-crested
Wagtail Cape
Wagtail Mountain
Warbler Lesser Swamp
Warbler Little Rush
Warbler Willow
Waxbill Common
Weaver Spectacled
Weaver Village
Weaver Yellow
White-eye Cape
Whydah Pin-tailed
Widowbird Fan-tailed
Woodpecker Golden-tailed


 














Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Trogons Outing Report: Culley Dam & Gaze Farm, 22 January 2017



Attendees: Stan & Val Culley (hosts),  Doug & Angie Butcher, Clive & Margie Cowan,  Robin Eccles & Hanli Kloppers, Mr & Pat Fourie, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Margaret Jones, Eric Kok, B McDonald, Vaughan & Jenny Merryk, Hazel Nevin, Irma Smook, Joey van Niekerk, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Alastair Warman, Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury (25)
Species recorded:52

Culley Dam proved its popularity yet again with an excellent turn-out of 25 people.

On arrival, half our number couldn’t wait to get down to the dam, whilst the more energetic tackled the hike up the hill, to be rewarded by the magnificent view of the Umthamvuna Estuary with the sparkling sea as a back-drop.  Some birds seen on the way up were Crowned Hornbill, Green Wood-hoopoe, Black Saw-wing and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird.

At the dam Stan was showing everyone the additional wetland he had created over the last few months and the excellent new hide he had built, facing the original one.  
 
Stan's new hide (photo Hazel van Rooyen)
Yellow-billed and White-faced Ducks graced the dams which were now swollen with the recent rains.  Thick-billed Weavers busied themselves building their neat nests in between two bull-rushes and Village Weavers flitted amongst the long grass.
 
Yellow-billed Ducks (photo Hazel van Rooyen)
In the meantime the hill walkers were examining the dam on the hill-top which revealed Grey and Black-headed Herons, Yellow-billed Ducks and an African Jacana which was treading elegantly over the lily-pads foraging for insects.  Returning down the mountain-side Yellow-throated Longclaw, Southern Black Flycatcher and Black-backed Puffback were spotted.


Black-headed Heron (photo hazel van Rooyen)

Arriving at Culley Dam a Malachite Kingfisher flashed back and forth across the water – a turquoise and orange jewel catching the eye.  A Purple Heron drifted gracefully in and a Little Bittern lifted up out of the reeds, only to disappear back down as if it had never been there.  And all was once again peaceful.

Except of course, back at the house where we enjoyed a sociable braai.  On the veranda we were accompanied by Mrs Amethyst Sunbird who was incubating her eggs in the nest built on the chain of the light fitting.
Amethyst Sunbird (photo Hazel Nevin)
 
Many thanks to Stan & Val for a good day enjoyed by all.

Bird Count:52


Bittern Little
Bulbul Dark-capped
Buzzard Steppe (Common)
Cameroptera Green-backed
Canary Yellow-fronted
Cormorant Reed
Dove Red-eyed
Dove Tambourine
Drongo Fork-tailed
Duck White-faced
Duck Yellow-billed
Fiscal Common
Flycatcher Southern Black
Goose Egyptian
Goose Spurwinged
Greenbul Sombre
Guineafowl Helmeted
Heron Black-headed
Heron Grey
Heron Purple
Hornbill Crowned
Ibis Hadedah
Jacana African
Kingfisher Malachite
Kingfisher Giant
Kite Yellow-billed

Longclaw Yellow-throated
Mannikin Bronze
Mousebird Speckled
Oriole Black-headed
Puffback Black-backed
Saw-wing Black
Sparrow Grey-headed
Spurfowl Natal
Starling Black-bellied
Starling Red-wing
Stork Woolly-necked
Sunbird Amethyst
Sunbird Olive
Swallow Barn
Swallow Lesser Striped
Swallow White-throated
Swift White-rumped
Tinkerbird Yellow-rumped
Wagtail Cape
Weaver Thick-billed
Weaver Village
Weaver Yellow
Widowbird Fantailed
White-eye Cape
Whydah Pin-tailed
Wood-Hoopoe Green


All photos property of photographer