Saturday, 14 September 2019

UPCOMING OUTING: Beacon Hill, Umtamvuna NR - 22 September 2019



Dear Members & Friends
 
Gurney's Sugarbird
Sunday, 22 September 2019 at 7am BirdLife Trogons will visit Beacon Hill, Umtamvuna NR for birding and Spring flowers.  There is a R20 or R30pp entrance fee.  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 weather, check www.birdlifetrogons.blogspot.com.  For further details call Hazel van Rooyen on 072 355 8837.  Please let Hazel know if you will be attending the outing.

Directions: Meet at Beacon Hill office.  Take the N2 (old 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!
Hazel van Rooyen
Secretary
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club


Sunday, 8 September 2019

Outing Report: Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve, 8 September 2019



Attendance: Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury, Doug Butcher, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Johan & Karin Burger, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen

Species identified:   34                                         Text: Hazel van Rooyen
                                                                              Photos: Doug Butcher, Hazel van Rooyen

Narina Trogon (photo: H van Rooyen)

Gosh, we are having a lot of wind this year!  And Sunday was no exception with a blustery breeze blowing strongly on our arrival.  However, some brave birds were out and about and a count of 34 was acceptable for such a windy day.  Gathering at our meeting spot by the main road, we watched a Red-capped Robin-Chat carrying large beak-fulls of nesting material to its nest.

Proceeding up the dirt road to the reserve, our usual stopping area was a hive of activity with logs being loaded onto tractors so we made our way directly to the gate.  An early cuckoo flew across our path but it was not identifiable.  After paying our entrance fees we paused in the parking area to look for avian activity.  And what did Sue spot – our namesake – a beautiful female Narina Trogon.  

What a special sight!  It didn’t like to stay still but flew amongst the branches, still bare from their winter shedding which fortunately enabled some reasonable sightings.  Two Dark-backed Weavers were easily spotted in branches overhanging the hut and Green-backed Camaropteras called from the thicker bush.  A Black-headed Oriole called melodiously along with Olive Sunbirds and Yellow-fronted Canaries.

Helicrysum (photo: H van Rooyen)
We continued into the reserve and up to the view site from where two Yellow-throated Longclaws took flight.  
Diascia (photo: H van Rooyen)

There were quite a few wild flowers out but not as many as on our previous visit two years ago, although we were a bit later then.  


Barrie looking for the Short-tailed Pipit (photo: H van Rooyen)

We had a good walk around and Barrie went quite far to see if he could flush the Short-tailed Pipit but to no avail.  We were looking forward to our breakfast at this point so we had some nourishment and eventually drove further into the reserve, on the way disturbing an African Hoopoe. 


Looking for waterfowl (photo: H van Rooyen)


Stopping at the dam to look for waterfowl nothing materialised so we proceeded to the other dam with the same outcome.  We had an enjoyable walk around the dam spotting African Stonechat and Tawny-flanked Prinia. 


African Stonechat (photo: Doug Butcher)







Fan-tailed Widowbird (photo: H van Rooyen)





















A small seed-eater had us all flumoxed but on our return our expert Stan Culley confirmed the photo as being that of a non-breeding Fan-tailed Widowbird, the blue bill identifying it as a male. 







We then drove up to the picnic site and took the Mthakathi Trail which goes down a hill, crosses two rocky streams, through coastal forest and up onto a grassy plain.  Still no Short-tailed Pipit but we did have African Pipit, Knysna Turaco, Burchell’s Coucal, Sombre Bulbul, Black Saw-wing and White-rumped Swift. 

At this point we headed back and sank into our chairs to be rewarded with a delicious braai.


Braai-time (photo: Doug Butcher)

The people (photo: Doug Butcher)



Thanks to all who attended.




























All photos property of photographer

Species identified: 34


Barbet, Black-collared
Boubou, Southern
Bulbu, Sombre
Camaroptera, Green-backed
Canary, Cape
Canary, Yellow-fronted
Coucal, Burchell’s
Dove, Red-eyed
Dove, Tambourine
Drongo, Fork-tailed
Flycatcher, Southern Black
Goose, Egyptian
Hoopoe, African
Ibis, Hadedah
Kite, Yellow-billed
Longclaw, Yellow-throated
Oriole, Black-headed

Pipit, African
Prinia, Tawny-flanked
Robin-Chat, Red-capped
Saw-wing, Black
Starling, Black-bellied
Starling, Glossy
Stonechat, African
Stork, Woolly-necked
Sunbird, Amethyst
Sunbird, Greater Double-collared
Sunbird, Olive
Swift, Palm
Swift, White-rumped
Trogon, Narina
Turaco, Knysna
Weaver, Dark-backed
White-eye, Cape



Saturday, 31 August 2019

UPCOMING OUTING: Vernon Crookes NR, 8 September 2019


Dear Members & Friends
 
Crowned Hornbill
Sunday 8 September 2019 at 6.30am BirdLife Trogons Bird Club will visit Vernon Crookes N.R.  There is a R30pp entrance fee which is negated with Rhino/Wild cards.  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 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  or visit the blog.   

PLEASE LET HAZEL KNOW IF YOU WILL BE ATTENDING THE OUTING

Directions: Turn inland from the N2 at Park Rynie/Umzinto onto the R612. After 12 km turn right at the signpost for the reserve and meet here.

Set GPS to DD MM SS.S  =  S30 18 48.1  E30 37 18.9

Hope to see you there!

Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
Secretary
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Outing report: Skyline NR & Uvongo River Conservancy


Attending: Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury, Louis & Pat Fourie, Danie & Bella du Toit, Alastair Warman, Lourens, Nicola & Ashley Teyt, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen (12)

Species: 34                                                                        Text & photos: Hazel van Rooyen



Malachite Kingfisher


A small (but dedicated) group arrived at Skyline NR on this last official Sunday of winter.  It was a beautiful morning accompanied by gentle wafts of warm breezes, a hint that spring was around the corner.  We were delighted to welcome a young couple with their 8 year old daughter who is working towards her Birding Badge at Scouts.  They were excited to discover how many facets of bird watching there are and what a new world it opened up.

Scadoxus (Paint Brush)



The first part of the trail through the reserve had suffered a bad burn in recent weeks but this didn’t deter the birds.  Black-headed Oriole, White-eared Barbet, Dusky Flycatcher, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Black-backed Puffback were identified amongst others and Olive Sunbirds were abundant.  Everyone enjoyed having a good walk through the forest and across the grassland admiring the red hot pokers in a dampish area.  The small dam was almost dry but that will change with the first rains.  Along the path we noticed lots of long yellow caterpillars falling out of a tree. Here and there scadoxus bulbs were confirmation that spring was on its way.

After breakfast we drove across the river to the Uvongo River Conservancy and had another lovely walk along the river and through the bush. Only a couple of small streams were trickling through, forming ponds here and there from which Malachite Kingfisher, Spurwing Geese and Pied Wagtails were still managing to glean a living.  

Pied Wagtail (Non-breeding adult)





A Scaly-throated Honeyguide called distinctly in the riverine bush and a family of Brown Scrub Robins scratching amongst dead leaves took sudden flight, chasing each other through the scrubby undergrowth.
Brown Scrub -Robin 








Arriving back at the vehicles we made ourselves comfortable and were welcomed by the Shaft Club who invited us to join them for their monthly ‘braai by the river’.


Thanks to all who attended.









Skyline:
Drongo, Fork-tailed
Oriole, Black-headed
Bulbul, Dark-capped
Dove, Red-eyed
Sunbird, Olive
Barbet, White-eared
Starling, Black-bellied
Flycatcher, Southern Black
Mannikin, Bronze
Tinkerbird, Yellow-rumped
Flycatcher, Dusky
Woodpecker, Golden-tailed
Puffback, Black-backed
Wood-hoopoe, Green
Weaver, Dark-backed
Weaver, Spectacled
Weaver,Yellow
Hamerkop
Kite, Yellow-billed
Saw-wing, Black
River
Honey-guide, Scaly-throated
Wagtail, Cape,
Darter, African
Goose, Spurwing
Wagtail, Pied
Boubou, Southern, 
Greenbul, Sombre
Barbet, Black-collared
Robin, Brown Scrub-
Camaroptera, Green-backed
Kingfisher, Malachite
Hornbill, Crowned
Barbet, Crested
Turaco, Purple
Ibis, Hadedah



Saturday, 17 August 2019

UPCOMING OUTING: Skyline Nature Reserve & Uvongo Conservancy



Dear Members & Friends



Sunday 25 August at 7am, BirdLife Trogons will visit Skyline Nature Reserve and Uvongo Conservancy.  Bring chairs, breakfast and something to braai for lunch.  All welcome.  There is a R20 charge for non-members of BirdLife Trogons.  Outings may be cancelled due to weather, check www.birdlifetrogons.blogspot.com or phone Hazel van Rooyen on 072 355 8837 before setting off.  Please let Hazel know if you will be attending the outing.

From R620 turn inland at the robots in Uvongo.  Turn immediately left, than keep right into Pioneer Road.  Follow this road which becomes Uvongo Drive.  After crossing the R61, Skyline is well signed on the right.  Meet there at 7am.  We will have a walk through Skyline first, followed by breakfast, then drive to Uvongo River conservancy for another walk and braai.

Hope to see you there.
Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
Secretary
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club

Friday, 9 August 2019

OUTING CANCELLED - Kenneth Stainbank NR, 11 August 2019

Dear Members and Friends

Please note that the advertised outing to Kenneth Stainbank NR this Sunday, 11 August has been cancelled due to there being too few people attending.  Our apologies if you were thinking of making last minute arrangements.

Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
Secretary
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club

Friday, 2 August 2019

UPCOMING OUTING: Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve

Black-headed Oriole (photo: Stan Culley)

Dear Members & Friends
  
Sunday 11 August at 7.00am BirdLife Trogons will visit Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve.  Bring chairs, breakfast and something to braai for lunch.  All welcome.  There is a R20pp charge for non-members of BirdLife Trogons.  There is also an entry fee of R20 per person into the reserve.  Outings may be cancelled due to weather, check www.birdlifetrogons.blogspot.com or phone Hazel on 072 355 8837 BEFORE setting off.  Please let Hazel know if you will be attending the outing.

Directions: N2 North bound
1. Take exit 149 for R102/Prospecton Road toward Isipingo/Amanzimtoti/Old Durban International Airport
    Travel 350m
2. Turn left onto Prospecton Rd/R102
    Travel 240m
3. Turn right onto R102
    Travel 6.8km
4. Turn left onto Kenyon Howden Rd
    Go through 2 roundabouts
    Travel 2.8km
5. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Kingfisher Ave
    Travel 170m
6. Turn right to stay on Kingfisher Ave
    Travel 650m
7. Turn left onto Coedmore Ave
    Travel 230m
    Destination will be on the right

GPS Co-Ords are  29°54'48.91"S  30°56'31.68"E
Journey time from Port Shepstone approx 1hr 30m

Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
Secretary
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club


Sunday, 28 July 2019

Outing report: Lake Eland Game Reserve - 28 July 2019



Attending: Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Alastair Warman, Lia & Martin Steen, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen

Species identified: 88                                                                      Text: Hazel van Rooyen
                                                                                  *Photos: Hazel van Rooyen, Lia Steen


African Stonechat, Jackal Buzzard and Black-winged Kite (new name for the Black-Shouldered Kite) were already up and about on our journey across Oribi Flats to Lake Eland last Sunday morning.  The game reserve looked tempting but the amount of birds in the car park were amazing - Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Lanner Falcon, Cape Rock Thrush and Rock Martin to name just a few.  The morning had a nip in the air but by lunchtime we were looking for shade, just your average Gorgeous winter’s day on the KZN Coast.
Red-winged Starling (photo HvR)

Dark-capped Bulbuls (photo HvR)
Cape Rock-Thrush (photo HvR)
Rufous-naped Lark (photo Lia Steen)
Cape White-eye (photo HvR)

On entering the game reserve, a herd of dainty Blesbok crossed our path, in fact the whole way around the park Giraffe, Zebra, Blou Wildebeest, Impala and Eland of course, were plentiful and looked so healthy.  But we were after smaller fry.  Cape Longclaws and African Pipits foraged on the dirt road in front of us, always keeping a few flutters ahead. 

African Pipit (photo HvR)

Cape Longclaw (photo HvR)
Burchell's Coucal (photo HvR)


A fat and fluffy Burchell’s Coucal sat comfortably in the branches of a tree at the edge of Maryland Dam while a lonely Red-knobbed Coot swam at the edge and an African Darter sat in a bush drying off its wings.
Little Sparrowhawk (photo Lia Steen)
 Choosing the loop past the Natal Fig Tree this Little Sparrowhawk was spotted.  
Cape Canaries (photo Lia Steen)
 

Continuing through the grassland we made a short stop at a cluster of small trees, where a pair of Southern Boubous were duetting loudly.  Meanwhile a White-necked Raven, Lesser Kestrel and Black Saw-wing flew overhead.
Ashy Flycatcher (photo Lia Steen)

Brown-hooded Kingfisher (photo HvR)

Proceeding down to the picnic site a Brown-hooded Kingfisher was hunting from a dead tree trunk.  We tucked into our breakfast and were about to move on but the birdlife was so active we lost track of time – African Hoopoe, Dusky and Ashy Flycatchers, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Sombre Greenbul, White-browed Scrub Robin, Terrestrial Brownbul, Dark-backed Weaver plus a flock of trumpeting Trumpeter Hornbills. 
From the island




Eventually moving on, the lake was placid and calm and no waterbirds were spotted so we had a walk to the island and soon drove back to the picnic site to braai.  On the way we stopped at the Umzimkulwana River where we must have disturbed a pair of African Black Ducks as they flew off.  A pretty glade beside the river was quite productive with Lesser Honeyguide, Village Weaver, Yellow Weaver and Cardinal Woodpecker.  Cape Vultures flew across too.

Enjoying some braaivleis


At the picnic site we made ourselves comfortable beneath a thorn tree and enjoyed some braaivleis.  Lake Eland have improved their facilities for day visitors down at the lake by creating individual shaded braai areas right next to the lake – ideal for fisher families with a side view of the zipline junkies coming in to land.

Thanks to all who turned up.

 88 Species identified
Apalis, Bar-throated
Barbet, Black-collared
Boubou, Southern
Brownbul, Terrestrial
Bulbul, Dark-capped
Bunting, Golden-breasted
Bush-Shrike, Grey-headed
Bush-Shrike, Orange-breasted
Buzzard, Jackal
Camaroptera, Green-backed
Canary, Cape
Canary, Yellow-fronted
Chat, Familiar
Cisticola, Lazy
Cisticola, Wing-snapping
Coot, Red-knobbed
Cormorant, Reed
Coucal, Burchell’s
Crow, Pied
Darter, African
Dove, Cape Turtle
Dove, Emerald-spotted Wood
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Red-eyed
Drongo, Fork-tailed
Duck, African Black
Falcon, Lanner
Fiscal, Southern
Flycatcher, Ashy
Flycatcher, African Dusky
Flycatcher, Fiscal
Flycatcher, Southern Black
Goose, Egyptian
Goose, Spur-winged
Grassbird, Cape
Greenbul, Sombre
Honeyguide, Greater
Hoopoe, African
Hornbill, Trumpeter
Kestrel, Lesser
Kingfisher, Brown-hooded
Kite, Black-winged
Lapwing, Blacksmith
Lark, Rufous-naped
Longclaw, Cape
Mannikin, Bronze
Martin, Rock
Moorhen, Common
Mousebird, Speckled
Neddicky
Oriole, Black-headed
Pigeon, Speckled
Pipit, African
Pipit, Plain-backed
Prinia, Tawny-flanked
Raven, White-necked
Robin-Chat, Red-capped
Saw-wing, Black
Scrub-Robin, White-browed
Seed-eater, Streaky-headed
Sparrowhawk, Little
Starling, Black-bellied
Starling, Cape Glossy
Starling, Red-winged
Stonechat, African
Sunbird, Amethyst
Sunbird, Greater Double-collared
Sunbird, Olive
Swallow, White-throated
Tchagra, Black-crowned
Thrush, Cape Rock
Tinkerbird, Yellow-rumped
Tit, Southern Black
Turaco, Knysna
Vulture, Cape
Wagtail, Cape
Wagtail, African Pied
Warbler, Little Rush
Weaver, Cape
Weaver, Dark-backed
Weaver, Spectacled
Weaver, Thick-billed
Weaver, Village
Weaver, Yellow
White-eye, Cape
Woodpecker, Cardinal
Woodpecker, Golden-tailed
Wryneck, Red-throated


* All photos property of photographer

Friday, 19 July 2019

UPCOMING OUTING: Lake Eland - 28 July 2019


Long-crested Eagle (photo: Stan Culley)


Dear Members & Friends

Sunday, 28 July 2019 at 7am BIRDLIFE TROGONS will visit Lake Eland Game Reserve.  Bring chairs, breakfast, and something to braai for lunch.  All welcome.  There is a R20pp charge for non-members of BirdLife Trogons and also R40pp for pensioners and R60 for adults entrance charge into Lake Eland.  Outings may be cancelled due to weather, check www.birdlifetrogons.blogspot.com or phone Hazel van Rooyen on 072 355 8837
. 
Please let Hazel know if you will be attending the outing.

Directions: From Port Shepstone take N2 to Harding. Just before Murchison Hospital turn right into road signposted Oribi Flats East.  Proceed down the hill passed NPC factory, then the road climbs up to Oribi Flats. Keep straight on to Lake Eland which is well signed.  Set GPS to DD MM SS.S  =  S30 41 35.7   E30 10 42.8

See you there!
Hazel van Rooyen
Secretary
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club