Monday, 19 June 2017

UPCOMING OUTING - 25 June: Bushbuck Trail, Southbroom

Dear Members and Friends
Sunday 25 June 7.00am BIRDLIFE TROGONS will visit the Bushbuck Trail in Southbroom.
Bring chairs, breakfast & a picnic lunch. Note: NO BRAAI
ALL WELCOME. There is a R20pp charge for non-members of BirdLife Trogons.
Outings  may be cancelled due to weather, check or phone Hazel van Rooyen before setting off. For further details **telephone  Hazel van Rooyen on 072 355 8837 or visit the blog.  
** Please note we cannot respond to text messages or “call me” requests.
From the R61 turn at the robots and meet at 7.00am near the entrance to Southbroom North
Set GPS to DD MM SS.S  =  S30 54 45.9  E30 18 46.3
Hope to see you there
Hazel van Rooyen
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Outing report - Kenneth Stainbank NR, 11 June 2017

Attendees: Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Michelle Pearson
 (Text and photos: Hazel van Rooyen)
Bird count:: 37 (see end)

Kenneth Stainbank is a 230-odd hectare nature reserve next to Yellowwood Park in Durban.  It is well kept and obviously popular with local families on Sunday visits introducing their young ones to nature and the odd mountain biker.
White-eared Barbets
We set off from Uvongo in the pitch dark and by the time we arrived at Kenneth Stainbank the birds were beginning to wake up and so were we!  We were a very small band of five birders but the weather was nice and fresh, typical of a KZN winter morning and after scanning the tree canopies surrounding the carpark/picnic area for the usually numerous White-eared Barbets, we took the trail to the left, through grassland interspersed with indigenous forest, especially coral trees coming into bloom  Before we had gone far the trees became busy with birdlife – Black-bellied Starling, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, White-eared Barbet (at last), Sombre Greenbul, Purple-crested Turaco and many others. 
Southern Black Tit
Purple-crested Turaco

Some small grassbirds caught our attention, and a Zitting Cisticola posed uncharacteristically for a short while.
Zitting Cisticola
Zitting Cisticola

Moving further along a herd of impala looked out at us from a splash of bright orange wild dagga, Leonotis Leonurus. 

Leonotis Leonurus

At the pond, only a Reed Cormorant was interested in doing some fishing while some Yellow Weavers flew back and forth to the dead branches in the middle of the water.  The track passed through more tall grassland where another herd of impala showed their curiosity before sauntering off unconcerned by our presence.


A forest of stately yellowwood trees led us back to the carpark and some well-earned coffee.  Amongst the yellowwoods we spotted Terrestrial Bulbul, Dark-back Weaver and Southern Black Tit.  

Back at the picnic site Michelle spied a Red-fronted Tinkerbird flitting amongst the thorn trees.  Suitably refreshed, we took the trail down and along the river which proved rather too long and too quiet so we backtracked to the picnic area for a braai. 
Thanks birders for your good company.

Bird list (37 species)

Barbet Black-collared
Barbet White-eared
Bulbul Dark-capped
Bulbul Terestrial
Canary Yellow-fronted
Dove Red-eyed
Dove Tamborine
Fiscal Common
Flycatcher Ashy
Flycatcher Southern Black
Goose Egyptian
Greenbul Sombre
Ibis Hadedah

Kingfisher Brown-hooded
Mannikin Bronze 
Mousebird Speckled
Oriole Black-headed
Prinia Tawny-flanked
Robin-Chat Red-capped
Scrub-Robin White-browed
Spurfowl Natal
Starling Black-bellied
Starling Cape Glossy
Starling Red-winged
Sunbird Amethyst
Sunbird Collared
Sunbird Grey
Sunbird Olive
Sunbird Scarlet-chested
Tinkerbird Red-fronted
Tit Southern Black
Turaco Purple-crested
Weaver Dark-backed
Weaver Spectacled
Weaver Yellow
White-eye Cape
Woodpecker Golden-tailed

(Photos: property of photographer)

Friday, 2 June 2017

UPCOMING OUTING - 11 June : Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve, Durban

Dear Trogons & Friends

Sunday 11 June 7.00am BIRDLIFE TROGONS will visit Kenneth Stainbank NR, Durban.  Meet at the gate at 7.00am.   Bring chairs, breakfast & something to braai for lunch.  ALL WELCOME.  There is a R30pp entry fee into the reserve and R20pp charge for non-members of BirdLife Trogons.  Outings  may be cancelled due to weather, check or phone Hazel van Rooyen before setting off. For further details **telephone  Hazel van Rooyen on 072 355 8837 or visit the blog.  
** Please note we cannot respond to text messages or “call me” requests.
From N2 northbound

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 Sheppie approx 1hr 30m
Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
BirdLife Trogons


Please note all outings are on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month unless otherwise stated.  They are advertised in the South Coast Herald, South Coast Fever and The Rising Sun a few days prior to each event.  The venues and dates of outings may be changed at short notice, please check  for updated information or phone Hazel van Rooyen on 072 355 8837 for further details.

11 June               07:00       Kenneth Stainbank, Durban
25 June               07:00       Bushbuck Trail, Southbroom
9 July                  07:00      Shongweni Nature Reserve
23 July                07:00       Ingeli Forest & winter CWAC Count
13 August           07:00       Lake Eland
27 August           07:00       Umdoni Nature Reserve
10 September      07:00      Umthamvuna NR, Port Edward
24 September      07:00      Skyline NR & Uvongo River Conservancy
08 October          06:30      Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve
22 October          06:30      Culley Dam & Gaze Farm, Port Edward
12 November       06:30      Umbogavango NR, Amanzimtoti
26 November                      Christmas lunch (tentative)

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Outing Report: Oribi Gorge & Vulture Viewing Site, 28 May 2017

Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury, Graham & Sue Salthouse, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Robin Eccles, Rob McLaren (12)
Bird count:  34 (see end)
Text: Hazel van Rooyen
Cape Vulture (Photo Hazel van Rooyen)

Meeting up at the hutted camp at 06:30, the first walk was over the grassland to the edge of the gorge.  It was a coolish morning and not many birds were active as yet but a Trumpeter Hornbill called from the treetops and Red-wing Starlings flew across the gorge.  
Searching.... (Photo Hazel van Rooyen)

Eventually Tawny-flanked Prinia, Sombre Greenbul, Black-backed Puffback and Yellow-throated Longclaw showed themselves. 
Yellow-throated Longclaw (Photo Hazel van Rooyen)
Stan’s sharp eyes picked up some shapes far away and with the help of his scope identified them as a Jackal Buzzard and African Olive (Rameron) Pigeon.  The small dam was quiet except for a Common Moorhen, Black Crake and Darter.

Driving further down into the gorge we stopped for breakfast half-way and while some people stayed in the gorge searching for the elusive Knysna Woodpecker, the remainder went up to see the Cape Vulture colony which was as usual a rewarding experience and Andy Ruffle an informative host.  Although we didn’t see as many as usual, several curious ones flew over our heads and swept effortlessly across the gorge providing excellent photo opportunities, while others were too busy incubating their eggs.  

Cape Vulture on nest (Photo Hazel van Rooyen)
Cape Vulture (Photo Hazel van Rooyen)

Cape Vultures coming in to land on the cliff-face (Photo Hazel van Rooyen)

As we walked back to the hide two Oribi buck trotted off.  At the hide we noted the addition of a bird bath to encourage the smaller birds and animals.
Cape Vulture Hide (Photo Hazel van Rooyen)
Back down by the river the woodpecker seekers had been unsuccessful - although they had seen a woodpecker, they couldn’t get a convincing view so no tick.  The braai was lit and we all enjoyed a sociable meal and chat, especially as Andy joined us.

Some other birds seen Mountain Wagtail, Knysna Turaco, Yellow-breasted Apalis, African Harrier-Hawk, Green-back Cameroptera, Crowned Eagle, African Fish Eagle, Green Wood-Hoopoe, Dark-backed Weaver and Dusky Flycatcher.

African Dusky Flycatcher (Photo Hazel van Rooyen)

Apalis Yellow-breasted
Boubou Southern
Bulbul Dark-capped
Buzzard Jackal
Cameroptera Green-backed
Crake Black
Dove Red-eyed
Drongo Square-tailed
Eagle African Fish
Eagle Crowned

Fiscal Southern
Flycatcher Ashy
Flycatcher Dusky
Greenbul Sombre
Hawk African Harrier
Hornbill Trumpeter
Longclaw Yellow-throated
Moorhen Common
Oriole Black-headed
Pigeon African Olive
Prinia Tawny-flanked

Puff-back Black-backed
Raven White-necked
Starling Red-winged
Thrush Cape Rock
Turaco Knysna
Vulture Cape
Wagtail Mountain
Weaver Dark-backed
Weaver Southern Masked
Weaver Village
White-eye Cape
Wood-Hoopoe Green

(All photos property of photographer)