Monday, 20 June 2011

Outing report- Mpenjati NR 19th June 2011

By Andy Ruffle
Juvenile Greater Flamingo. Mpenjati, 19 June 2011
(Photo Stan Culley)
Attendees:- Liz Blomeyer, Doug & Angie Butcher, Stan & Val Culley, Stanley Gengan, Andy Ruffle, Irma Smook, Ron & Elaine Whitham and Barbara. (11 attendees).

Well what a beautiful morning greeted us after the cloud and strong winds of the previous day, with not a cloud in the sky and calm as can be, albeit a little chilly first thing.
The day started off on a good note when I flushed a Fiery-necked Nightjar whilst we were assembling at the main gate.
As a change to the usual routine we headed for the main offices first, where we parked up and walked the open roads. This proved to be a fruitful move, with us being able to see more birds than had we walked the coastal forest.
Red-eyed Doves were a plenty amongst the palms as were Tawny-flanked Prinias in the grasslands. A lone Burchell's Coucal swooped across the marshy area near the reedbeds, with a flash of russet from it's wings.
Our next stop was the car park by the river mouth for breakfast. To our great pleasure, there standing quite happily on the sand bar, was a Greater Flamingo juvenile. This is very possibly the same bird reported by Vic Neilson a few days earlier, although the park ranger did say that they have been seeing up to five birds at any one time. Stan Culley was able to get the above photo before the bird was frightened off by walkers on the beach. Unfortunately, we didn't see the bird after this.
With breakfast over, we drove to the north bank. No sooner were we there, Liz spotted a Half-collared Kingfisher perched on the opposite bank of the river. All present had stunning views through Stan's scope as the bird obligingly sat in the sun until, ofcourse, Stan wanted to take a photo.
Although our walk along the beach didn't reveal any new species, we were able to observe various stages of breeding plumage of the many White-fronted Plovers scurrying around on the sand. Hopefully we'll be able to post some photos shortly.
All in all an extremely rewarding mornings birding.

Birds recorded:- Fiery-necked Nightjar, Olive Sunbird, Red-eyed Dove, Dark-capped Bulbul, Black-collared Barbet, Thick-billed Weaver, Spectacled Weaver, Yellow-fronted Canary, Natal Spurfowl, Amethyst Sunbird, Burchell's Coucal, Fork-tailed Drongo, Southern Black Flycatcher, Black-headed Oriole, Helmeted Guineafowl, Chinspot Batis, Speckled Mousebird, White-breasted Cormorant, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Sombre Greenbul, Bronze Mannikin, African Palm-swift, Village Weaver, Pied Wagtail, Swift Tern, Blacksmith Lapwing, Little Egret, Greater Flamingo, Pied Kingfisher, Reed Cormorant, Brown Scrub-robin, White-fronted Plover, African Dusky Flycatcher, Common Waxbill, Kelp Gull, Water Thick-knee, Egyptian Goose, Half-collared Kingfisher, Giant Kingfisher, African Green-pigeon, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Hamerkop, Black Saw-wing Swallow, African Fish-eagle, Cape White-eye, Red-capped Robin-chat, Ashy Flycatcher, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Jackal Buzzard, Little Swift, Collared Sunbird.(52 species) 

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