Thursday, 1 December 2016
Sunday 11 December 2016 @ 06:00 BirdLife Trogons will visit Umzumbe Flood Plain where Andrew & Ivan Pickles will be bird ringing. Bring cameras, chairs, and breakfast (note: no braai afterwards).
ALL WELCOME. There is a R20pp charge for non-members of Birdlife Trogons.
Please let Andrew know on 082 338 3302 if you will be attending the outing.
Outings may be cancelled due to weather. Phone Andrew Pickles before setting off. For further details & directions telephone* Andrew or visit the blog www.birdlifetrogons.blogspot.com. ** Please note we cannot respond to text messages or “call me” requests.
Directions: From Port Shepstone take R102 coast road. After crossing the Umzumbe River bridge turn left down the track to the floodplain.
Set GPS to DD MM SS.S = S30 36 18.5 E30 33 11.03
Hazel van Rooyen
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club
Sunday, 13 November 2016
Attendees: Doug & Angie Butcher, Stan & Val Culley, Eric Kok, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Michelle Pearson, Graham & Sue Salthouse, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen,
and Dave Bishop
and Dave Bishop
Species recorded 83: Izotsha Creek 54; Uvongo River 29 (+ 7 repeats)
Text: Hazel van Rooyen
After a wet week country-wide (sadly with floods in Gauteng after the pro-longed drought) we decided to take a chance and ventured out to Izotsha Creek Wetland – some with their wellington boots! However, although there were some puddles around, it was amazingly dry considering the amount of rain that had fallen recently.
After some indecision about parking, we started by inspecting the grassland area. Here we found Tawny-flanked Prinia, Red-wing Starling and Speckled Mousebird. Activity amongst the reed-beds proved to be Thick-billed Weaver, Southern Red Bishop and Fan-tailed Widowbird whilst aerial manoevres were being performed by Little Swift, White-rumped Swift, Barn and Lesser-striped Swallow. In the treetops Village and Yellow Weavers frolicked along with a Black-collared Barbet. Along the path between the houses and the swampy woodland of wild cotton trees Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds foraged and Green-backed Cameropteras bleated plaintively in the hidden shadows, expecting our movement to stir up insects.
|Fan-tailed Widowbird - Breeding male (photo: Michelle Pearson)|
|Back: Common Greenshank; L-R: Swift Tern, Sandwich Tern (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)|
|Trogons Bird Club (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)|
|Swift Tern (photo: Doug Butcher)|
|Sandwich Tern (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)|
|White-breasted Cormorants (photo: Michelle Pearson)|
|White-breasted Cormorant "I've got your back"(photo: Hazel van Rooyen)|
Following the edge of the river down to the beach, White-breasted Cormorants and Swift Terns were casually watching where the river flowed into the sea, hoping for a juicy fish. The river was too wide for us to cross but we watched the terns and cormorants for quite a while. Stan spotted Sandwich Terns amongst the Swift Terns and a small flock of Sanderlings scampered up and down the rocks perfectly in tune with the wavelets flushing in nourishment for them. A Common Greenshank stood on a rock close to the breaking waves whilst a Pied Kingfisher hovered and dived, hovered and dived close by and a single African Black Oystercatcher flew across. A Ruddy Turnstone showed itself briefly and a Three-banded Plover searched for food on the dry shore in typical run-stop-search mode. Just as we turned to leave, a flock of Blacksmith Lapwings landed, tinking noisily - as is their way.
|Three-banded Plover (photo: Doug Butcher)|
Time for breakfast had arrived and while we nourished ourselves we observed a Yellow-billed Kite, Lanner Falcon and a small flock of Woolly-necked Storks, after which we embarked on a walk through long grasses around a tributary of the river, thinking we could get to the shore of the main river but the reeds became too high so we back-tracked. On the way we saw Yellow-billed Duck, Purple Heron, and Lesser Swamp Warbler.
As braaiing would have been awkward with the grass so long we decided to move to Uvongo River and this proved to be a good decision. On arriving we took our time looking around the picnic area where the birds were very busy. Purple-crested Turacos were bouncing around in the tree-tops, flashing their red wings and calling to each other. Black-backed Puffback, Lemon Dove, Red-backed and Bronze Mannikins were easily seen. One group took a walk through the nature reserve and added Sombre Greenbull, Burchell's Coucal, White-belied Sunbird and Mountain Wagtail to the list.
|Thick-billed Weaver (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)|
The remainder sat on the bank overlooking the river and let the birds come to them – African Hoopoe, Paradise Flycatcher, Thick-billed Weaver, Southern Black Flycatcher. A Giant Kingfisher flew down the river, just above the water. The walkers returned and everyone relaxed with a braai. Green Woodhoopoes “serenaded” us with their cackles and chatterings. Also vocal were Lesser and Scaly-throated Honeyguides and an Olive Thrush was evident by its dartings and rustlings. To finish off a great day a Crowned Eagle made a fly-past up the river. Ooh!
Thankyou to Eric for leading us round Izotsha, to Stan for the scope and Stan and Stanley for the braai.
(All photos property of photographer)
Reedy breakfast area
Bishop Southern Red
Oystercatcher African Black
Warbler Lesser Swamp
Flycatcher Southern Black