Monday, 19 March 2012

**Updated**Outing report- 18th March 2012 Lake Eland Game Reserve

Malachite Kingfisher at the large Dam
(Photo John Marchant)

Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Margaret Jones, John Marchant, Herbie & Jeanette Osborne, Andy Ruffle,  Irma Smook, Ian Upfold, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Neithard & Kathrin von Durckheim (from Pretoria), Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury. (17 attendees)

Another good days birding was had at Lake Eland, with some nice sightings of a few unusual birds.
Bokmakerie was again heard in the reserve, whilst Red-throated Wryneck and Wahlberg's Eagle made brief appearances.

Red-throated Wryneck
(Photo John Marchant)

Wing-snapping & Croaking Cisticola's showed nicely for a few of us.

Wing-snapping Cisticola
(Photo John Marchant)

Cape Longclaw
(Photo John Marchant)

By far the highlight of the day was a suspected rufous morph European Honey-Buzzard which flew low over the dam giving us excellent views, but fooling some of us into believing it could be a Steppe Buzzard. The ensuing debate, which naturally followed, is now well and truly concluded thanks to John's photo below. However, following a submission to the Rarities Committee is transpires that the identification was flawed. The bird is in fact a juvenile African Harrier-hawk.

Is it a European Honey-Buzzard?
No, it's actually a juvenile African harrier-hawk
(Photo John Marchant)

A different twist to the day was when Chris Laubscher, from Talon Safaris, joined us to demonstrate a selection of Vortex binoculars and spotting scopes. Their website is currently hosting a competition in which you can win a pair of Vortex Diamondback 10x42 binoculars worth R3,390. Visit the website here to enter.

Birds recorded: Cape Wagtail, Egyptian Goose, Spur-winged Goose, Blacksmith Lapwing, Cape Turtle-Dove, Cape White-eye, Olive Sunbird, Common Fiscal, Cape Longclaw, Rufous-naped Lark, Familiar Chat, African Stonechat, Barn Swallow, Bokmakerie, Black-crowned Tchagra, Red-backed Shrike, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Croaking Cisticola, Black-headed Oriole, Cape Starling, Southern Boubou, Thick-billed Weaver, White-browed Scrub-Robin, Yellow-fronted Canary, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Red-throated Wryneck, Wahlberg's Eagle, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Southern Black Flycatcher, Bar-throated Apalis, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Chinspot Batis, Black Saw-wing, Crowned Hornbill, Malachite Kingfisher, Common Waxbill, Natal Spurfowl, Sombre Greenbul, Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike, Dark-backed Weaver, Fork-tailed Drongo, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Green Wood-hoope, African Firefinch, Neddicky, Speckled Mousebird, Dark-capped Bulbul, Cardinal Woodpecker, Red-winged Starling, White-necked Raven, Yellow-throated Woodland-Warbler, Red-backed Mannikin, Green-backed Camaroptera, African Black Duck, African Harrier-hawk, White-throated Swallow, Lesser Striped-Swallow. (58 species)

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