Monday, 5 December 2011

Outing report- 4th December 2011 End of year function Umdoni Park

Enjoying the Impithi Beach Kiosk hospitality
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Attendees: Liz Blomeyer, Doug & Angie Butcher, Lennart Eriksson, Mike Fagan, Ray Furniss, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Evelyn Heunis, John Howe, Margaret Jones, Cathy Lee, Stan & Val Culley, Sandy Olver, Herbie & Jeanette Osborne, Hazel Parry, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Paul & Margaret Rose, Andy Ruffle, Irma Smook, Ron & Elaine Whitham.

(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Birdlife Trogons Bird Club end of year function took place on Sunday 4th December, commencing with a bird walk through the enchanting forests of Umdoni Park in Pennington.
 Always a popular outing with Trogon's members and always offering rewarding 'birdies', one must however be on the look out for the occasional stray missile in the form of a golf ball, hurtling down a fairway. Thankfully, there are no avians named 'Fore'.
 Those who braved the early start, were rewarded with wonderful views of the pair of resident Crowned Eagles from the 'Otter View' site, which appears to be having a viewing deck constructed. Otherwise, it has to be said, the birds were rather scarce. Angie's meticulous scanning of the trees for a Narina Trogon regrettably proved fruitless, as did attempts to locate Green Malkoha's by other members of the group. Maybe next time Angie will be lucky.
However, all was definitely not lost. Lennart's explanation of the differences between a Dark-backed Weaver and Spectacled Weaver nest, resulted in a 100% success rate of the identification of any nests subsequently encountered. Well done all.
Stan Culley had a rather successful morning, despite being confined to the Enviro Camp due to a dodgy insect bite. He was able to capture some nice photos of the birds visiting the water feature, as you can see below.
With the birding complete, all headed off to the Mpithi Kiosk for our festive lunch and to meet up with those members who chose not to do the early walk..
Operated by Pennington Conservancy and manned by volunteers, the kiosk staff (along with Elaine) had laid on little extra touches to the table decorations to make it a truly festive occasion. As usual, the service and food was excellent and it is very satisfying to know that all profits go to conservation.
It was so nice to see our new members enjoying the occasion alongside well established members such as Ray Furniss.
A big thank you goes to the kiosk and it's volunteers and a huge thanks to Elaine whose wonderful organising skills ensured that this day was a very special occasion. 

Today's lesson, Weaver nest identification.
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Terrestrial Brownbul at the Enviro Centre
(Photo Stan Culley)

Brown Scrub-Robin at the Enviro Centre
(Photo Stan Culley)

Birds recorded: Hamerkop, Square-tailed Drongo, Olive Sunbird, Red-capped Robin-chat, Knysna Turaco, Brown Scrub-Robin, Dark-capped Bulbul, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, African Goshawk, Dark-backed Weaver, Black-headed Oriole, Cape Glossy Starling, Tambourine Dove, Hadeda Ibis, Terrestrial Brownbul, Green-backed Camaroptera, Egyptian Goose, African Paradise- Flycatcher, Southern Boubou, Black-backed Puffback, Red-eyed Dove, Black-bellied Starling, Spectacled Weaver, Amethyst Sunbird, Lesser Striped-Swallow, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Yellow-fronted Canary, Southern Black Tit, Yellow-billed Kite, Sombre Greenbul, Little Swift, Cape White-eye, Lesser Honeyguide, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Crowned Hornbill, Spurwing Goose, Reed Cormorant, African Crowned Eagle, Olive Thrush, Collared Sunbird, Olive Woodpecker, Cape Batis, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Golden tailed Woodpecker, White-bellied Sunbird, Chinspot Batis. (46 species)

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