Sunday, 17 April 2011

Outing Report- 17th April 2011 Hulley's Farm

The early bird catches the sausage

Text and photos by Andy Ruffle

Attendees:- Doug & Angie Butcher, Stan & Val Culley, Mike Fagan, Ray Furniss, Margaret Jones, Cathy Lee, John Marchant, Vic & Kay Neilson, Sandra Olver, Hazel Parry, Andy Ruffle, Irma Smook, Ron & Elaine Whitham, Margie & Pete Williamson.

Birdlife Trogons members stepped up to the plate and came out in force for this weekend's birding and breakfast at Folly Fields Nursery. The excursion to Hulley's Farm, however, was unfortunately rained off.

Early arrivals persevered with a short, but rather damp, walk around the nursery grounds to build up an appetite. Black-bellied Starlings were out in force, a sure sign of winter coming as they begin to assemble into flocks. Forest musicians (Dark-backed Weaver) could be heard cheerily playing their violins, whilst the treeeee-trooooing of a Red-capped Robin-chat provided a nice accompaniment. Fork-tailed Drongo, Southern Black Flycatcher, African Dusky Flycatcher and Chinspot Batis were all seen taking advantage of the insects lured out by the rain. Wild Banana (Strelitzia nicolai) flowers attracted Amethyst and Olive Sunbirds.

With the birding becoming more challenging, the smell of frying bacon and the prospect of a hot beverage proved just too much. Hastily we made our way through to the coffee shop where we joined up with those members who had chosen to arrive later.

The Folly Fields' staff did a sterling job of feeding the ravenous crowd and a huge thanks go to them for opening up especially for us. A big thank you also to those members who, despite the appalling weather, still travelled long distances to attend the gathering.

With the rain persisting, it was decided to abandon plans to move on to Hulley's Farm.

Birds recorded:- Red-capped Robin-chat, African Paradise-flycatcher, Egyptian Goose, Black-bellied Starling, Fork-tailed Drongo, Dark-backed Weaver, Red-eyed Dove, Black-collared Barbet, Spectacled Weaver, Southern Black Flycatcher, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Thick-billed Weaver, Cape Wagtail, Yellow-fronted canary, Hadeda Ibis, Amethyst Sunbird, Olive Sunbird, Purple-crested Turaco, Chinspot Batis, Tambourine Dove, African Dusky Flycatcher, Laughing Dove, Collared Sunbird, Black-headed Oriole, White-bellied Sunbird, Bronze Mannikin, Red-backed Mannikin, Cape White-eye. (28 species)

From left to right-
Elaine Whitham, Ray Furniss, Mike Fagan & Ron Whitham

From left to right-
Hazel Parry, Margaret Jones, Doug and Angie Butcher

From left to right-
Cathy Lee, Val Culley, Stan Culley and John Marchant

From left to right-
Vic and Kay Neilson, Irma Smook and Sandra Olver

Margie and Pete Williamson

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