Monday, 10 October 2011

Outing report- Rodney Miles Farm 9th October 2011

(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Mike Fagan, Eric Kok, Cathy Lee, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Andy Ruffle (8 attendees).

With the temperature very pleasant on arrival at the meeting point for Rodney Miles Farm, the birds were already bouncing around the veld. There were plenty of widows flying around, with the Red-collared males being particularly amusing in their intermediate breeding plumage. Two males dropped onto the road infront of us and proceeded to strut around, pushing out their chests at each other as if to say 'look my collar is bigger than yours'.
The road leading to the farm was also busy with bird activity, forcing us to stop and check it out. Lucky we did. Eric pointed out a faint booming amongst the trees. Lo and behold, a Buff-spotted Flufftail was calling. By the time we had reached Rodney's place, we had already recorded some 47 birds.
The onset of summer was confirmed not only by the soaring temperature, but also by the sounds of Red-chested, Diederick's and Klaas's Cuckoos.
Both Yellow-throated Woodland-Warbler and Southern Tchagra were briefly seen on the forest walk, whilst Grey-Crowned Cranes and good numbers of waterfowl were seen on the full dam.
Thanks go to the Miles' for hosting a very rewarding days birding, with 84 species recorded.
While in the area, Mike, Eric and Andy decided to check the Blue Swallow site at Weza. A very welcome and unexpected sight was a Secretary Bird walking through the field. I'm pleased to say it wasn't long before we saw our first male Blue Swallow, followed shortly afterwards by a female.

Birds recorded: Greater Striped Swallow, African Stonechat, Common Waxbill, Cape Canary, Red-eyed Dove, Spur-winged Goose, Little Rush-Warbler, Fan-tailed Widow, Neddicky, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Red-collared Widow, Fork-tailed Drongo, Dark-capped Bulbul, Cape Weaver, Hadeda Ibis, Yellow-billed Duck, Cape Grassbird, Southern Boubou, Burchell's Coucal, Natal Spurfowl, African Snipe, Cape Robin-chat, African Oilve-Pigeon, Yellow-fronted Canary, Lesser Striped-Swallow, White-throated Swallow, Cape Wagtail, Red-chested Cuckoo, Sombre Greenbul, Red-throated Wryneck, Forest Canary, Swee Waxbill, Black-headed Heron, Black-headed Oriole, African Dusky Flycatcher, Levaillant's Cisticola, Olive Thrush, Southern Black Tit, Amethyst Sunbird, Green-backed Camaroptera, Streaky-headed Canary, Cape White-eye, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Grey Heron, Common Moorhen, Red-knobbed Coot, Cape Turtle-dove, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Common Fiscal, Cattle Egret, Spectacled Weaver, Cape Sparrow, House Sparrow, White-rumped Swift, Speckled Pigeon, Speckled Mousebird, Orange-breasted Bush-shrike, Southern Tchagra, Barratt's Warbler, Cape Batis, Bar-throated Apalis, Black-backed Puffback, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Yellow-throated Woodland-Warbler, Diederick's Cuckoo, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Plain-backed Pipit, Egyptian Goose, Cape Longclaw, Blacksmith Lapwing, Southern Grey-Crowned Crane, Long-crested Eagle, Klaas's Cuckoo, Red-billed Teal, Little Grebe, African Fish-Eagle, Pied Crow, Jackal Buzzard, Wahlberg's Eagle, Cape Vulture, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Thick-billed Weaver, Lesser Honeyguide. (84 species)
Weza additions: Secretary Bird, Cape Crow, African Harrier-Hawk, Blue Swallow, Yellow-billed Kite (5 species)

Total for the day was an impressive 89 species

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