Monday, 23 May 2011

Outing report- 22nd May 2011 Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve

From left to right back- Elaine Whitham, Doug Butcher,
Cathy Lee, Val Culley, Ron Whitham, Mike Fagan, Stan Culley.
Front left to right- Stanley Gengan, Andy Ruffle, Margaret Jones,
Angie Butcher, Irma Smook and Asothie Gengan.
(Photo Doug Butcher)

Attendees:- Doug & Angie Butcher, Stan & Val Culley, Mike Fagan, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Margaret Jones, Cathy Lee, Andy Ruffle, Irma Smook, Ron & Elaine Whitham.

It was with great pleasure that we welcomed two new members to the club today, Stanley and Asothie (pronounced Asodie) Gengan from the Umzinto area.
Our usual routine was slightly changed, with us driving down into the valley first to try to catch the forest birds before the heat of the day set in. With the sunlight only just peaking over the edge of the gorge and tantalizingly bathing the upper cliffs, we took a leisurely walk along the road from the picnic site to give ourselves better light conditions. African Dusky Flycatchers darted from their perches to hawk insects and Collared Sunbirds could be seen at particularly close quarters as they sipped nectar from the flowering Dicliptera clinopodia, seemingly unawares of our presence.
A White-starred Robin made a brief, but welcome appearance.

(Photo Ron Whitham)

A short walk along the Hoopoe Falls trail, after breakfast, added Grey Cuckooshrike, Blue-mantled Crested-flycatcher and Terrestrial Brownbul to our list, amongst others.
Returning to the Hutted Camp, we headed off along the Baboon Trail in search of three Southern Ground Hornbill which we heard had been sighted earlier in the day. Unfortunately, they were nowhere to be seen, despite scouring all possible locations. A recent controlled burn on the trail meant any chances of LBJ's was dashed. We were, however, rewarded with a very good sighting of a Cape Rock-thrush, which Stan (Culley) was able to photograph after much patience on his part.
Our braai in the campsite area concluded another glorious winter's day in Africa.

Species recorded- Common Myna, White-necked Raven, Red-eyed Dove, Red-winged Starling, African Dusky Flycatcher, Collared Sunbird, Green Wood-Hoopoe, Sombre Greenbul, Red-capped Robin-chat, Olive Thrush, Dark-capped Bulbul, White-starred Robin, Bar-throated Apalis, Tambourine Dove, Southern Boubou, Trumpeter Hornbill, Black-headed Oriole, Cape White-eye, Egyptian Goose, African Harrier-hawk, African Olive-Pigeon, Jackal Buzzard, Dark-backed Weaver, Terrestrial Brownbul, Black-backed Puffback, Grey Cuckooshrike, Fork-tailed Drongo, Southern Black Tit, Square-tailed Drongo, Crowned Hornbill, Blue-mantled Crested-flycatcher, Rock Martin, Cape Turtle-dove, African Fish-eagle, Cape Rock-thrush, Cape Glossy Starling, Pied Crow, African Black Swift, Greater Double-collared Sunbird. (39 species)

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