Monday, 16 March 2020

TROGONS OUTINGS CANCELLED

Dear Members and Friends

BirdLife Trogons Committee have made the decision to cancel all our planned outings for the time being.  This has been done to safeguard everyone's health.  We will advise everyone when we are back in business which we sincerely hope won't be too long.

Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen (Secretary)
on behalf of
Barrie Willis
Chairman

Friday, 13 March 2020

UPCOMING OUTING: River Valley Nature Reserve in Uvongo - 22 March 2020

Little Bittern


Dear Members & Friends

Sunday, 22 March 2020 at 06:30 BirdLife Trogons will visit River Valley Nature Reserve in Uvongo.  Bring chairs, breakfast and something to braai for lunch.  ALL WELCOME.  There is a R20 pp charge for non-members of BirdLife Trogons and R25 entrance charge.  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 on 072 355 8837 or visit the blog.  Please let Hazel know if you will be attending the outing.

Meet at the gate to River Valley.
Travel south from Durban on the N2 toll road. At the Port Shepstone toll head continue on highway towards Port Edward. Take the second off ramp, (Margate/Uvongo) and turn Right into Wingate Ave and cross the highway. You will pass the Margate Country Club on your right hand side. Carry on along Wingate for another 500m past Country Club and you will see our sign pointing right into Portal Ave. Drive down Portal Ave and follow signs to the gate.
GPS Co Ordinates S 30.83’436” E 30.35’880”

Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
Secretary
BirdLife Trogons BirdClub

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Outing report: Perlemoen Estate, Umzumbe - 8 March 2020



Malachite Kingfisher

Attending: Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury, Derrick & Edith Megson, Robin Eccles, Teresa Smith & Nick Dreyer, Lia Steen, Graham Wells, Kobus Wentzel, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen
Species identified: 38 (see below) 
                                                                                       Text & Photos: Hazel van Rooyen

For once, the weather was kind to us, although it did become very hot and most birds wisely stayed hidden in the coolth of the vegetation.  

First we had a pleasant walk through the lower forest area where the stream trickled and gurgled, wild foxgloves like delicate lace, edged the pathways.  After breakfast we took a longer walk up the hill where we split into two groups and one group climbed higher while the other got a bit lost, although we all came back together eventually. 
Wild Foxgloves, like lace, edged the pathways


Although the birds were difficult to find, butterflies and dragonflies were bountiful. 
Layman Butterfly

The terrain is quite challenging and we were happy to sit back and relax when braai-time came around.

Thanks to all the members who attended and to our two visitors, Graham Wells and Kobus Wentzel.  Thank you also to Bernhard Grdseloff for letting us visit his charming farm.


38 species


Barbet, Black-collared
Barbet, White-eared
Boubou, Southern
Bulbul, Black-capped
Brownbul, Terrestrial
Bushshrike, Grey-headed
Cameroptera, Green-backed
Dove, Lemon
Dove, Red-eyed
Dove, Tambourine
Drongo, Fork-tailed
Drongo, Square-tailed
Duck, African Black
Eagle, African Fish
Hoopoe, African
Hornbill, Trumpeter
Ibis, Hadedah
Kingfisher, Brown-hooded
Kingfisher, Malachite
Robin-Chat, Red-capped
Saw-wing, Black
Starling, Black-bellied
Starling, Cape (Glossy)
Sunbird, Amethyst
Sunbird, Collared
Sunbird, Greater Double-collared
Sunbird, Olive
Tinkerbird, Yellow-rumped
Tit, Southern Black
Turaco, Knysna
Turaco, Purple-crested
Waxbill, Grey
Weaver, Spectacled
Weaver, Thick-billed
White-eye, Cape
Woodhoopoe, Green
Woodpecker, Cardinal
Woodpecker, Golden-tailed

Sunday, 1 March 2020

UPCOMING OUTING: Perlemoen Farm, Umzumbe - 8 March 2020



Dear Members & Friends


Grey-headed Bushshrike

Sunday, 8 March BirdLife Trogons will visit Perlemoen Farm in Umzumbe.  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 on 072 355 8837 before setting off.  Please let Hazel know if you will be attending the outing

Directions: Travelling North on the R102 towards Durban,  pass the sign to Pumula on your left.  Turn left at Follyfields Nursery sign and travel 2 kms.  Meet at the T-junction at 06.30.

Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
Secretary
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club


Saturday, 22 February 2020

CANCELLED Trogons outing to Lake Eland 23 February 2020

Dear members and friends

Unfortunately the weather has beaten us again and we have decided to cancel tomorrow's outing to Lake Eland.  Apologies to those who were looking forward to it.

Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
Secretary
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

UPCOMING OUTING: Lake Eland - 23 February 2020




Female Violet-backed Starling
Dear Members & Friends

Sunday 23 February at 06:30 BirdLife Trogons will visit Lake Eland. Bring chairs, breakfast and something to braai for lunch.  All Welcome.  There is a R20pp charge for non-members of BirdLife Trogons and an entrance fee of R40 for pensioners.  Outings may be cancelled due to weather, check www.birdlifetrogons.blogspot.com or phone Hazel 072 355 8837 before setting off.  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.  Meet in the car park.
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

Wednesday, 29 January 2020


Dear Members & Friends
Bar-throated Apalis (photo Stan Culley)

Sunday 9 February 2020 at 06h30 BirdLife Trogons will visit Sezela Sugar Mill.  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 Sue Hansbury on  082 381 9394 before setting off.  

Please let Sue Hansbury know asap whether you will be attending 082 381 9394 or willisbury@telkomsa.net.

Directions: From the N2 take exit 93 to Pennington/Esperanza.  Meet on the left-hand side grass verge just before the right turn to Sezela.  Set GPS to DD MM SS.S = S30 23 25.9 E30 30 16.9

Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
Secretary
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Outing Report: San Lameer Estate - 26 January 2020



Participants: Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury, Pete & Anne Wright (San Lameer residents who generously guided us for the day), Danie & Bella du Toit, Lia Steen, Doug Butcher, Derrick & Edith Megson, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Mark Liptrot & Cecily Salmon (Port Natal club), Bob & Hazel van Rooyen  (16)

Species identified: 44
Photographs: Lia Steen, Doug Butcher, Hazel van Rooyen
Text: Hazel van Rooyen

Amethyst Sunbird (Hazel van Rooyen)
This is a popular venue with the Trogons club and San Lameer are always very kind in allowing us on their estate.  After a drizzle of rain the night before, Sunday morning turned out gorgeous and saw us all donning our sunhats for our first walk between the golf fairways and streams.  Dark-capped Bulbul, Cape White-eye, Brown-hooded Kingfisher and Black-bellied Starling were seen very quickly, followed by Green-backed Camaroptera and Olive Sunbirds calling in the thicker bush.  A Purple-crested Turaco posed on a tree-top, while an Amethyst Sunbird flitted about lower down. 


Purple-crested Turaco (Doug Butcher)

Olive Sunbird (Lia Steen)

We were interested in a beautiful tree looking similar to our Coastal Coral but with different blooms and Ann explained it was Livingston’s Erythrina Coral tree from Zambia.  Moving along, the golf carts were starting to come through and we didn’t want to get in their way, Green Wood-hoopoes cackled and a Black-backed Puffback clicked and whistled.

Livingston's Coral Tree (Hazel van Rooyen)

Tree blossoms (Hazel van Rooyen)

The bird hide pond was really quiet except for a pair of Green-backed Herons.  It was a tranquil spot and we stopped here and breakfasted at the picnic tables.  After that we visited the fishing pond which was also very quiet.

Strolling around looking for birds (Doug Butcher)

A few people in our group had an interest in dragon and damsel flies.  There were plenty of these and they made very colourful photos.  Lia would know their names.

Dragonfly (Doug Butcher)


Dragonfly (Hazel van Rooyen)

The lagoon walk was mostly dead sticks and weeds as it was still recovering from a terrifying fire last September.  A deck provided an excellent view of the lagoon and although the water level was very low, merely large puddles, we still spotted a Pied Kingfisher, Woolly-necked Stork, Little Egret, African Fish Eagle, a few Common Greenshanks and Blacksmith Lapwing. 
Little Egret (Lia Steen)


Village Weaver (Lia Steen)

Woolly-necked Stork (Lia Steen)

Common Greenshank (Lia Steen)


Further along another deck opened up to a beautiful beach view of surf and sunshine.

Participants on the seaview deck (Hazel van Rooyen)

Arriving back at the bird hide, a Yellow-billed Duck proudly showed off her ducklings.

Yellow-billed Duck showing off her brood (Lia Steen)


The heat of the day was climbing and relaxing under a shady tree now seemed a good idea so we made our way to the picnic area by the beach where we chatted and braaied.  Thanks go to Pete & Ann Wright for showing us around.

(All photos property of photographer)
Species identified: 44


Barbet, Black-collared
Boubou, Southern
Bulbul, Dark-capped
Camaroptera, Green-backed
Coucal, Burchell’s
Dove, Red-eyed
Drongo, Fork-tailed
Duck, Yellow-billed
Eagle, African Fish
Egret, Little
Flycatcher, Southern Black
Goose, Egyptian
Goshawk, African
Greenbul, Sombre
Hadedah, Ibis
Heron, Green-backed
Kingfisher, Brown-hooded
Kingfisher, Giant
Kingfisher, Malachite
Kingfisher, Pied
Kite, Yellow-billed
Lapwing, Blacksmith

Mannikin, Bronze
Oriole, Black-headed
Prinia, Tawny-flanked
Puffback, Black-backed
Starling, Black-bellied
Starling, Red-winged
Stork, Woolly-necked
Sunbird, Amethyst
Sunbird, Collared
Sunbird, Olive
Swallow, Lesser-striped
Swift, Palm
Swift, White-rumped
Tinkerbird, Yellow-rumped
Turaco, Purple-crested
Wagtail, Cape
Wagtail, Pied
Weaver, Village
Weaver, Yellow
White-eye, Cape
Wood-hoopoe, Green
Woodpecker, Golden-tailed

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Outing report: Umnini Dam with Blessing Majoka - 12 January 2020



In attendance: Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury, Hazel Nevin, Sandy Olver, Lia Steen, Stan & Val Culley, Maxine Carter, Danie du Toit, Teresa & Nick Smith, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Blessing Majoka (Bird Guide) (13)

Species identified: 83 (see below)
Photographs: Stan Culley, Lia Steen, Hazel van Rooyen

Booted Eagle (Stan Culley)

New territory plus a bird guide - Blessing Majoka, from Ethekwini Parks Department - provided fresh incentive to our members. It was generous of him to offer to take the club around on a Sunday. Meeting up at the Shell Ultra City last Sunday, there was an air of excitement.  Even around the garage forecourt we spotted a pair of Mocking Cliff Chats.
Umbini Dam (HvR)


Mocking Cliff Chat (Lia Steen)

African Green Pigeon (HvR)

African Green Pigeon (HvR)

Blessing started us off with a drive through urban tribal villages.  We had gone only a short way when he suddenly pulled to the side of the road and pointed out a pair of African Green Pigeons, an unusual site in a semi-urban area and a bit further along, notwithstanding a double white line on the curve of the road, we all climbed out to see what had caught his attention – a European Honey Buzzard.  This was exciting for most of us as we hadn’t seen one for some years in our area.
European Honey Buzzard (Stan Culley)


On the way to the dam area, we stopped a few times, now being on safer dirt tracks, to see various species - Fan-tailed Widowbird, Crested Barbet, Burchell’s Coucal, Rattling Cisticola to name a few.
Rattling Cisticola (Lia Steen)


Burchell's Coucal (Lia Steen)

Fan-tailed Widowbird (Lia Steen)
Following the river course (HvR)

Following the course of the river we stopped at a spot where a Gorgeous Bushshrike was calling but today he wasn’t showing himself.  A Black Sparrowhawk was seen in the far distance whilst a lone Sacred Ibis flew overhead.  Looking over the dam we spotted a Little Egret and Yellow-billed Ducks and investigating the grassland next to a little quarry a pair of Pygmy Kingfishers and Little Bee-eaters were identified.



Further down the valley we stopped for breakfast beneath some shady bushes.  In this vicinity Blessing identified an Eagle which turned out to be a Booted Eagle (a Lifer for some)!

Booted Eagle (Pale Morph) (Lia Steen)

Moving along to some settling ponds all seemed quiet but then we saw a Hamerkop and African Black Duck, Grey and Black-headed Herons, White-breasted Cormorant, Common Sandpiper, Blacksmith Lapwing and a Purple Heron, Pin-tailed Whydah, White-faced Duck and Ruff, amongst others.
African Black Duck (Lia Steen)
Black-headed Heron (HvR)

Hamerkop (HvR)

Driving back to the main road and circling around we somehow got to the other side of the dam where we parked next to Blessing’s son’s house in the process of being built.  What a fantastic outlook he has, surrounded by lush bush and a wonderful view of the dam.  Here we took a walk around the side of the water, through the riverine bush but by this time it was so hot and the birdlife had gone into hiding, only an African Firefinch, Familiar Chat, Grey Waxbill and Willow Warbler were identified with definite calls from a Garden Warbler.
Grey Waxbill (HvR)

As there wasn’t much shade around, we drove to the picnic site at the Illovo Estuary where we had a relaxing braai, adding Red-winged and Black-bellied Starlings, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Speckled Mousebird and Cape White-eye to our daily list.
Green-backed Cameroptera (Lia Steen)

Once again, many thanks to Sithembiso Blessing Majoka for his guidance and kindness and time spent in showing us around and getting us so many birds. 
The Group 


Species identified (chronological order)

Roads through the villages
Chat, Mocking Cliff
Weaver, Village
Fiscal, Southern
Dove, Cape Turtle Dove
Myna, Common
Dove, Red-eyed
Cuckoo, Dideriks
Swallow, Lesser-striped
Pigeon, African Green
Cisticola, Rattling
Bushshrike, Orange-breasted
Sunbird, Amethyst
Buzzard, European Honey
Bulbul, Dark-capped
Widowbird, Fan-tailed
Barbet, Crested
Kingfisher, Brown-hooded
Swallow, Barn
Coucal, Burchell’s
Cuckoo, Klaas’s
Camaroptera, Green-backed
Warbler, Little Rush

Dam area
Bushshrike, Gorgeous
Sparrowhawk, Black
Ibis, African Sacred
White-eye, Cape
Dove, Emerald-spotted
Widowbird, Red-collared
Barbet, Black-collared
Neddicky
Sparrow, House
Egret, Little
Ducks, Yellow-billed
Bushshrike, Grey-headed
Tchagra, Black-crowned
Turaco, Purple-crested
Sparrow, Grey-headed
Bee-eater, Little
Kingfisher, African Pygmy
Greenbul, Sombre
Canary, Yellow-fronted
Spurfowl, Natal
Goose, Spurwinged
Dove, Tambourine

Weaver, Spectacled
Prinia, Tawny-flanked
Eagle, Booted
Waxbill, Common
Weaver. Thick-billed
Waxbill, Grey
Cisticola, Red-faced
Eagle, African Fish
Kite, Yellow-billed

Settling ponds
Hamerkop
Duck, African Black
Heron, Grey
Heron, Black-headed
Jacana, African
Cormorant, White-breasted
Goose, Egyptian
Sandpiper, Common
Lapwing, Blacksmith
Plover, 3-banded
Heron, Purple
Whydah, Pin-tailed
Ruff
Swallow, White-throated
Ibis, Hadedah
Cisticola, Croaking
Duck, White-faced

Walk
Chat, Familiar
Firefinch, African
Starling, Violet-backed
Robin, White-browed Scrub-
Warbler, Garden
Warbler, Willow
Sunbird, Olive

Picnic site by Illovo River
Starling, Red-winged
Starling, Black-bellied
Tinkerbird, Yellow-rumped
Mousebird, Speckled
Warbler, Lesser Swamp
Tit, Southern Black