Monday, 24 October 2011

Outing report Umbogavango Nature Reserve 23rd October 2011

By Andy Ruffle

Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Mike Fagan, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Richard Johnstone, Cathy Lee, Sandy Olver, Andy Ruffle, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen. (11 attendees)

The arrival of summer was very evident on today's outing, with much nest building activity from the weavers going on. More summer migrants, such as Barn Swallow, Violet-backed Starling and Steppe Buzzard, were also starting to put in appearances.
The reserve was alive with birds, which is very pleasing considering the huge amount of development that has recently taken place around the area. Thankfully, it appears to have had no effect on the birdlife. On this note, however, the directions for the meeting point have now become out of date. This will be amended for the next visit, so please do take note when they are published.
Back to the birding side, it was quite amazing how the 'Bird call and song' course enhanced my experience on this outing. Very quickly I was able to pick up what sounded like a begging call in a tree close by. This was promptly confirmed when an African Dusky Flycatcher was seen feeding a fledgling. A Brimstone Canary nest was also picked up after hearing begging calls in the pine forest. Not only did I seem to be paying alot more attention to what I was hearing, but also to what I was seeing. So to Roy and Steve a very personal thank you again.
The day finished off with a very respectable bird count of 80 species recorded, which may well increase with Sandy and Richard's observations. Strangely though, we didn't see or hear any Kingfishers.

Thick-billed Weaver nest. (Photo Hazel van Rooyen)

Birds recorded: Kurrichane Thrush, Egyptian Goose, Green-backed Camaroptera, Dark-capped Bulbul, Yellow-billed Kite, White-eared Barbet, Bar-throated Apalis, Brimstone Canary, Black-bellied Starling, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Spectacled Weaver, Village Weaver, Hadeda Ibis, White-breasted Cormorant, African Darter, Southern Black Flycatcher, Red-capped Robin-chat, Little Rush-Warbler, Purple-crested Turaco, Cape White-eye, Southern Black Tit, Red-backed Mannikin, Tambourine Dove, Collared Sunbird, Crested Barbet, African Dusky Flycatcher, Klaas' Cuckoo, Black-collared Barbet, Burchell's Coucal, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Yellow-fronted Canary, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Red-eyed Dove, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Black Saw-wing, Lesser Striped-Swallow, Familiar Chat, Amethyst Sunbird, Rattling Cisticola, Violet-backed Starling, Cardinal Woodpecker, Yellow-billed Duck, Reed Cormorant, Little Grebe, Steppe Buzzard, Olive Sunbird, Yellow Weaver, Little Swift, White-rumped Swift, Fan-tailed Widow, Pink-backed Pelican, African Sacred Ibis, African Spoonbill, Cape Wagtail, Black-headed Heron, Three-banded Plover, Common Moorhen, Red-knobbed Coot, Purple Heron, Barn Swallow, Southern Red Bishop, Sombre Greenbul, Diederick's Cuckoo, Fork-tailed Drongo, Bronze Mannikin, African Palm-Swift, Speckled Mousebird, African Pied Wagtail, Thick-billed Weaver, Common Waxbill, Tawny-flanked Prinia, African Firefinch, Black-backed Puffback, Square-tailed Drongo, Lesser Honeyguide, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Common Starling, Southern Boubou. (80 species provisional)

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