Saturday, 16 September 2017

UPCOMING OUTING: Skyline NR & Uvongo River Conservancy


Dear Members & Friends
 
Black-backed Puff-back (photo Stan Culley)

Sunday 24 September at 7am. BIRDLIFE TROGONS will visit Skyline N.R. and Uvongo River Conservancy.  We will start at Skyline N.R. then go on to Uvongo Conservancy for another walk and lunch.  Bring chairs, breakfast & something to braai for lunch.  ALL WELCOME. There is a R20pp charge for non-members of BirdLife Trogons.  Outings may be cancelled due to weather, check www.birdlifetrogons.blogspot.com or phone Hazel before setting off. For further details telephone**  Hazel van Rooyen 072 355 8837 or visit the blog.  This is a favourite double venue of the club.  Some species seen previously are: Lemon Dove, Lesser and Scaly-throated Honeyguides, African Black Duck and Giant, Brown-hooded, Pied and Malachite Kingfishers.  African Finfoot was also seen on one occasion.
 
** Please note we cannot respond to text messages or “call me” requests.
 
PLEASE LET HAZEL KNOW IF YOU WILL BE ATTENDING THE OUTING
 
From the R620 turn inland at the robots in Uvongo. Turn immediately left then keep right into Pioneer Road. Follow this road which becomes Uvongo Drive. After crossing the R61 Skyline N.R. is well signed on the right.
 
Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
Secretary
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Outing report - Beacon Hill, Umtamvuna Nature Reserve - 10 September 2017



Birds identified: 41 species                                                           Text: Hazel van Rooyen
Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Graham & Sue Salthouse, Danie & Bella du Toit, Doug & Angie Butcher, Margaret Jones, Rob Eccles & Hanlie Kloppers, Louis & Pat Fourie, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen

Mocking Cliff Chat (HvR)

After a week of lovely sunshine and clear skies, Sunday dawned overcast but it was quite pleasant for walking and stayed dry until after our braai when it started to mizzle just as we were leaving.  The flowers were lovely as usual, with some different species flowering at their peak from our last visit, although not at their most sparkly in the misty atmosphere.  The Burchellia bubalina (Wild Pomegranate) shrubs around the picnic sight were just coming into flower.
Burchellia bulbina (HvR)
Lazy Cisticola (HvR)

Members setting out (HvR)

Through the flowers (HvR)














On arrival, Amethyst and Greater Double-collared Sunbirds were very active in the Strelitzias and a female Mocking Cliff Chat guarded her territory on the rocky outcrop.  A Lazy Cisticola was also very vocal amongst the rocks.

Berkheya speciosa (HvR)
Ox-eye Daisy (HvR)
Our first walk produced plenty of Bronze Mannikins, African Stonechats, Fan-tailed and Red-collared Widowbirds.  We also disturbed Yellow-throated Longclaws amongst the grassland.  A Burchell’s Coucal called in the distance.  At the bottom of the field half our group returned via the main path seeing Black-bellied Starling, Black-collared Barbet and Black Saw-wing. The other half took the stepping stones over the brook and up the other side, hoping we didn’t encounter a Black Mamba seen on a previous occasion.  Up here we saw quite a few Cape Canaries and after following the gorge for a while, we returned via the same route.
Eriosema umthamvunens (Brown Bonnets) (HvR)

Helichrysum & Aster (HvR)


Scilla (HvR)
(HvR)

Cape Canary (HvR)

At the picnic site everyone was keen to tell me the Gurney’s Sugarbird had been seen but had now flown off.  However, as soon as I sat down for coffee a loud yell from Stan told me it had returned and eventually I managed to get a photo.
Gurney's Sugarbird (Stan Culley)
Gurney's Sugarbird
(HvR)


After breakfast our meanderings took us down the other side of the valley and here some flowers were a little more advanced. 
Another breath-taking view (Stan Culley)

Red-collared Widowbird (Stan Culley)

Red-collared Widowbird (HvR)
More widowbirds were in evidence, perching on the odd dead stick still standing from last summer.  Spurwing Geese and Crowned Hornbills flew overhead and someone heard a Crowned Eagle
How much further! (HvR)

Oribi (HvR)






We surprised some Oribi buck in the longer grass which sprinted out of sight.  On reaching a steep path tumbling down the gorge we decided we should retrace our steps and we plodded back up the hillside.

Stan had stayed at the picnic site and seen African Green Pigeon, African Palm Swift, Lesser Honeyguide and Yellow-fronted Canary.  
African Green-Pigeon (Stan Culley)

General opinions were that the flowers were better than our previous visit, although had the sun been shining the helichrysums would have opened up.  Everyone enjoyed the morning’s birding and we finished up with a braai as usual.


Barbet, Black-collared
Bulbul, Dark-capped
Canary, Brimstone
Canary, Cape
Canary, Yellow-fronted
Chat, Mocking Cliff
Cisticola, Croaking
Cisticola, Lazy
Coucall, Burchell’s
Dove, Cape  Turtle
Dove, Red-eyed Dove
Drongo, Fork-tailed
Eagle, African Crowned
Goose, Egyptian


Goose, Spurwing
Honeyguide, Lesser
Hornbill, Crowned
Hornbill, Trumpeter 
Longclaw, Yellow-throated
Mannikin, Bronze
Neddicky
Oriole, Black-headed
Pigeon, African Green
Raven, White-necked
Saw-wing, Black
Seed-eater, Streaky-headed
Spurfowl, Natal
Starling, Black-bellied

Stonechat, African
Sugarbird, Gurney’s
Sunbird, Amethyst
Sunbird, Greater Double-collared
Sunbird, Olive
Swallow, Lesser-striped
Swift, African Palm
Waxbill, Swee
Weaver, Cape
Weaver, Spectacled
White-eye, Cape
Widowbird, Fan-tailed
Widowbird, Red-collared






Photos property of photographer



Friday, 1 September 2017

UPCOMING OUTING: Umtamvuna NR - 10 September 2017

Dear Members and Friends
Gurney's Sugarbird (photo: Stan Culley)
 
Sunday 10 September 7.00am BirdLife Trogons will visit Beacon Hill, Umtamvuna N.R. for birding and Spring flowers. There is an  entrance fee of about R30 pp.  Bring chairs, breakfast & something to braai for lunch.  ALL WELCOME.  There is a R20pp charge for non-members of BirdLife Trogons.  Outings may be cancelled due to weather, check www.birdlifetrogons.blogspot.com or phone Hazel van Rooyen before setting off.  For further details  **telephone  Hazel van Rooyen on 072 355 8837**.
** Please note we cannot respond to text messages or “call me” requests.
PLEASE LET HAZEL KNOW IF YOU WILL BE ATTENDING THE OUTING
Meet at Beacon Hill office. Take the R61 to Port Edward and turn inland at the robots up the Izingolweni road to Beacon Hill entrance gate. Set GPS to DD MM SS.S = S31 00 27.7  E30 10 48.1
Hope to see you there!
Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
Secretary
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club