Monday, 6 February 2012

Outing report- 6th February 2012 Stott Farm, Umtentweni

Text and photos by Andy Ruffle

Attendees: Doug & Angie Butcher, Mike Fagan, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Trevor Harty & Sheila Steyn, Eric Kok, John Marchant, Hazel Parry, Andy Ruffle, Irma Smook, Willie & Wilna van Zyl, Barry Willis & Sue Hansbury (16 attendees)

It was nice to see a couple of new faces this morning, with Trevor Harty and Sheila Steyn joining us for today's walk. John Marchant is also over visiting, so it was good to see him again too.
Eric's recky of the farm, during the week, paid dividends. We were able to explore much more of the farm, than on our first visit. Although predominantly sugar canes crops, there are plenty of tracts of indigenous forest with good access. A lovely walk hugs the banks of the Umtentweni River. There are some dams on the farm, but due to the access roads being impassable, we  were unable to check these out this time, but hopefully we will be able to on our next visit.
The coastal birding was once again slower than we would have liked, but still ended with a reasonable list.
Eric & John had a potentially interesting sighting when they saw a group of francolins.
When the birds flew they had a distinct impression of extensive rufous on the wings.
A possible candidate would be Red-winged Francolin, but when you look at the habitat (montane grasslands and rank vegetation 1800-2400m) this seems to rule this one out.
However, look at the reporting range for SABAP's 1 & 2 and you see that these birds have been recorded here in the past. Something to look out for in the future.

Red-winged Francolin distribution from SABAP
shows previous reporting in our area.
(Map SABAP2)

Birds recorded: Yellow-fronted Canary, Barn Swallow, Dark-capped Bulbul, Black-bellied Starling, Natal Spurfowl, Red-eyed Dove, Black-headed Oriole, Speckled Mousebird, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Village Weaver, Burchell's Coucal, Cape White-eye, Green-backed Camaroptera, Pied Wagtail, African Green-Pigeon, Tambourine Dove, Black-collared Barbet, Hadeda Ibis, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Southern Black Tit, Knysna Turaco, Neddicky, Black-backed Puffback, Spectacled Weaver, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Olive Sunbird, Black Saw-wing, Pin-tailed Whydah, Lesser Striped-Swallow, Yellow-billed Kite, Southern Black Flycatcher, Amethyst Sunbird, Long-crested Eagle,  Fork-tailed Drongo, Sombre Greenbul, Thick-billed Weaver, African Fish Eagle, Southern Boubou, Black-crowned Tchagra, Lesser Honeyguide, Steppe Buzzard, Green Wood-hoopoe, Fan-tailed Widow. (44 species)

References: Roberts Online; SABAP2

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