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) 

Friday, 17 June 2011

RARE SIGHTING- Greater Flamingo

If anybody in Trogons saw a sub-adult Greater Flamingo flying south to north along the coastline this morning they were not mistaken. Jake de Villiers (2500 lifetime species, 14 lifers in Malawi earlier this year, and 8 years as a geologist in the Chrissiesmeer area where he studied the Flamingos) sighted the bird at 07h30 this morning flying parallel to the beach at Southbroom.

I hope somebody else saw it.

Vic Neilson

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Lesser Honeyguide

Indicator minor

Andy's Garden 11/06/2011
Subspecies- minor
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Longline fisheries continue to drive albatross declines

Photo credit
Graham Robertson/
Australian Antarctic Division

A new global estimate of the impact of longline fisheries on seabirds reveals that, despite efforts to reduce seabird deaths, upwards of 300,000 birds are still being killed every year.
The study by scientists from BirdLife International and the RSPB is published in the journal Endangered Species Research. It is a powerful reminder of how far we still need to go to ensure ecologically responsible fishing.
Since the 1980s, scientists have linked global declines of albatrosses and other seabirds with ‘incidental catch’ in longline fisheries. Adult and juvenile birds become snared on hooks attached to the lines, which can be over a hundred kilometres long, and are dragged underwater to a premature death.


Source: Birdlife International

Bird Checklists available to download

The following checklists are compiled from various sources and are available for download by clicking on the link.
You will need Excel Viewer which can be downloaded free here.
The lists are maintained and updated by Birdlife Trogons Bird Club.
Please email any corrections or additions to:

CWAC count records Harding Dam (Last updated March 2013)

KZN List and Rarities (Last updated March 2009)
KZN Rarities reporting form (Word Doc)

SASOL Birds of Southern Africa Checklist (PDF doc) 

Local birding spots 
Bird ringing open sessions bird list (Coming soon)
Ellingham Estates, Park Rynie (Last updated 25th March 2013)
Empisini Nature Reserve bird list (Last updated 27th March 2006)
Lake Eland Game Reserve bird list (Last updated 14th April 2012)
Mpenjati Nature Reserve bird list (Last updated 24th March 2006)
Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve (and flats) bird & animal list (Last updated 24th April 2012)
Simuma Conservancy (NPC-Oribi) Tree List
Skyline Nature Reserve bird list (Last updated 18th June 2012)
Tala Private Game Reserve bird list (2012 edition)
Umbambazi Nature Reserve (Last updated 5th August 2012)
Umdoni Park, Pennington bird list (Last updated 25th March 2006)
Umzimkulu Valley bird list (Last updated 10th June 2012)
Umzumbe floodplain bird list (Last updated 7th April 2013)
Uvongo (Ivungu) River Conservancy bird list (Last updated 25th June 2012)

National birding spots
Ndumo Game Reserve (last updated  16th August 2008)
Wakkerstroom area (Last updated 5th August 2012)

Cape Parrot Count official reports

The following official Cape Parrot Big Birding Day reports can be downloaded by clicking the links below.

11th annual count 2008
12th annual count 2009
13th annual count 2010
14th annual count 2011
15th annual count 2012

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Monday, 6 June 2011

Outing report- Bushbuck Trail, 5th June 2011

(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Attendees:- Liz Blomeyer, Doug & Angie Butcher, Bob & Moira Clark, Stan & Val Culley, Clive Edmundson, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Margaret Jones, Eric Kok, Cathy Lee, Jeanette & Herbie Osborne, Hazel Parry, Andy Ruffle, Geoff & Ann Skelton, Irma Smook, Ron & Elaine Whitham.(22 attendees)

Another extremely good turnout for this popular venue (thanks guys). If we keep this up, we intend to split the group into smaller parties, which should allow better viewing opportunities. Birding at this time of year is particularly difficult with the birds not very vocal. Despite this we still managed a pretty good list of 49 species. However, the Green Malkoha and Spotted Ground-thrush eluded us this time. Highlights of the day were seeing Liz and Clive again, and some nice views of this years Southbroom Crowned Eagle juvenile which has now ventured off the nest.

Birds recorded:- Dark-capped Bulbul, Egyptian Goose, Red-eyed Dove, Olive Sunbird, Fork-tailed Drongo, Square-tailed Drongo, Sombre Greenbul, Southern Boubou, Trumpeter Hornbill, Black-headed Oriole, Collared Sunbird, Knysna Turaco, Black-collared Barbet,  Green-backed Camaroptera, Hadeda Ibis, Terrestrial Brownbul, Spectacled Weaver, African Dusky Flycatcher, Thick-billed Weaver, Cape White-eye, Lemon Dove, Black-bellied Starling, African Harrier-Hawk, Crowned Hornbill, Bar-throated Apalis, Speckled Mousebird, Yellow-fronted Canary, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Dark-backed Weaver, Cardinal Woodpecker, Grey Sunbird, Natal Spurfowl, Purple-crested Turaco, Red-backed Mannikin, Bronze Mannikin, Cape Batis, Black-backed Puffback, Village Weaver, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Little Swift, African Crowned Eagle, African Palm-Swift, African Paradise-Flycatcher, White-bellied Sunbird, Tawny-flanked Prinia, African Fish-Eagle, Red-winged Starling, Black Saw-wing, Chinspot Batis. (49 species).

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Committee update

At the last committee meeting Mike Fagan stepped down as Outings Co-ordinator and now becomes the clubs Bird-ringing Co-ordinator.

Eric Kok has now taken over as Outings Co-ordinator.

When a male can't stand it anymore !..................

This amusing photo of a pair of House Sparrows is doing the 'email rounds' and was sent in by Cheryl van Groeningen

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Collared Sunbird

Hedydipna collaris

Andy's garden 07/06/2011
Subspecies- zuluensis
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Red-backed Mannikin

Spermestes bicolor
Adult-Stan's garden June 2011
Subspecies- nigriceps
(Photo Stan Culley)

Rather bedraggled on a chilly winters morning
Adult- Andy's Garden 09/06/2011
Subspecies- nigriceps
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Juvenile- Andy's Garden 09/06/2011
Subspecies- nigriceps
(Photo Andy Ruffle)