Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Outing report- 18th December 2011 Simuma Conservancy

(Photo Ron Whitham)

Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Mike Fagan, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Andy Ruffle, Stefan Schoeman & family, Ron Whitham, Sue Hansbury & Barry Willis (plus grandson Cameron). (15 attendees).

Considering we have normally wrapped up our outings for the year by now, the attendance for today's outing was very good. It was nice to have the Schoeman family join us, along with Barry & Sue's grandson Cameron. The two boys thoroughly enjoyed exploring the big outdoors and kept disappearing into the bush.
Birding was pretty good, albeit quieter than we would normally find. This aside, the conservancy still lived up to it's reputation by producing an extremely special bird in the form of a European Honey Buzzard. The first sighting was rather distant, with juv Jackal Buzzard, Steppe Buzzard and African Harrier-Hawk (there seemed to be lots of yellow on the face) being thrown into the discussion pot. Stan's (C) gut reaction was that it resembled a European Honey Buzzard and the discussion deepened further. Whilst walking back for breakfast, the bird showed itself again, but this time much lower, flying along the river. This time, the lack of contrast on the upper wings could be seen clearly.
With the help of the Schoeman's hi-tec gadget, we were satisfied we had seen a Honey Buzzard by the time we had finished breakfast.
Photos, taken by Ron (below), which were later scrutinized, confirmed the ID. Stan (C) even thinks there may have been two separate birds, one of the photos showing a more rufous form.
There are many different plumage variations for the European Honey Buzzard as demonstrated by a plate from a book scanned by Stan (C). I am awaiting permission to post this on the blog.

European Honey Buzzard taken at 07h13
(Photo Ron Whitham, enhanced by Stan Culley)

European Honey Buzzard taken at 09h01
Very possibly a female bird.
Note the dark patches on the rear of the wings
(Photo Ron Whitham, enhanced by Stan Culley)

Birds recorded: Golden-breasted Bunting, Diederick Cuckoo, African Green-Pigeon, Tambourine Dove, Brown-Hooded Kingfisher, Dark-capped Bulbul, Natal Spurfowl, Southern Black Flycatcher, Hadeda Ibis, Red-winged Starling, African Firefinch, Red-eyed Dove, Village Weaver, Yellow Weaver, Chinspot Batis, Lesser Striped-Swallow, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Little Swift, Fork-tailed Drongo, Yellow-fronted Canary, Violet-backed Starling, Thick-billed Weaver, Common Waxbill, Black-collared Barbet, Black-headed Oriole, Trumpeter Hornbill, Black-bellied Starling, Southern Boubou, Burchell's Coucal, Purple-crested Turaco, Speckled Mousebird, White-bellied Sunbird, Sombre Greenbul, Knysna Turaco, Amethyst Sunbird, White-browed Scrub-Robin, Hamerkop, Crowned Hornbill, African Hoopoe, Yellow-billed Kite, European Honey Buzzard,  African Fish-Eagle, Orange-breasted Bush-shrike, Dark-backed Weaver, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Black Cuckoo, Black Saw-wing, Red-chested Cuckoo, Southern Black Tit, Egyptian Goose. (51 species)

No comments:

Post a Comment