Monday, 30 April 2012

Outing report- 29th April 2012 Bushbuck Trail

Some new facing at our Bushbuck Trail walk
(Photo Doug Butcher)

Attendees: Doug Butcher, Stan & Val Culley, Mike Fagan, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, J Hale, David Halle, Yegas, Yogee & Rosie Naidoo, Andy Ruffle, P Shelly, Hazel van Rooyen, I Weaver, Ron & Heather Whitham, David Wigley, Barry Willis & Sue Hansbury. (20 attendees).

Dave Halle
(Photo Doug Butcher)
Another good turnout today and it was nice to see some new faces also. Dave Halle, once again, was on hand to lead us through this little gem nestled in Southbroom.

A Brown Scrub-Robin sang for us, perched on an exposed branch, as we commenced our walk, while Trumpeter Hornbills did a flypast. Square-tailed Drongos were much in evidence. A Pigeonwood tree gave us excellent views of a Cape Batis and an interesting sighting of a Yellow-throated Woodland-Warbler. The latter being something we normally associate with places like Oribi and Ingeli Forest.
Unfortuantely, no sightings of Spotted Ground-Thrush or Green Malkoha this time. David is now familiar with the Malkoha call (having played him the call), so hopefully he will have a better chance of tracking down this bird on his regular walks through the trail.

After breakfast, we headed towards the beach via the golf course. Blacksmith Lapwings dodged the golf balls, but no 'Gypos'........strange. Ron did glimpse a Water Thick-knee though. On the beach, a Pied Kingfisher fishing in the small lagoon was our first sighting. Some waders could be seen foraging on the rocks in the distance. After investigation, by Stan, they were identified as Ruddy Turnstones. These seem to be a familiar sight during winter on our coast.

Ruddy Turnstone
(Photo Stan Culley)

Birds recorded: Brown Scrub-Robin, Red-eyed Dove, Dark-capped Bulbul, Tambourine Dove, Black-collared Barbet, Black-bellied Starling, African Dusky Flycatcher, Sombre Greenbul, Thick-billed Weaver, Olive Sunbird, Square-tailed Drongo, Dark-backed Weaver, Trumpeter Hornbill, Knysna Turaco, Black-headed Oriole, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Cape White-eye, Spectacled Weaver, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Green-backed Camaroptera, Grey Sunbird, Terrestrial Brownbul, Southern Boubou, Black-backed Puffback, Speckled Mousebird, African Firefinch, Village Weaver, Yellow-throated Woodland-Warbler, Cape Batis, Collared Sunbird, Bar-throated Apalis, Purple-crested Turaco, Amethyst Sunbird, Red-backed Mannikin, Burchell's Coucal, Red-winged Starling, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Blacksmith Lapwing, Hadeda Ibis, Pied Kingfisher, White-fronted Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Kelp Gull, Malachite Kingfisher, Water Thick-knee, Southern Black Flycatcher, African Pied Wagtail, Cape Wagtail, Cardinal Woodpecker (50 species).

Monday, 23 April 2012

Some new photos added

We've had some very nice photos coming in from Hazel van Rooyen, Stan Culley and the Williamsons.
Check out these links for recent postings:-

Photos from Hazel van Rooyen

Laughing Dove nest & chick

Red-billed Firefinch

Photos-Latest additions

Confused Budgie in the Southport area

These photos of a rather confused Budgie were taken by John & Ann Booth in the Southport area.
The bird has visited their garden a few times in the past two weeks and seems to have attached itself to a group of Village Weavers, who don't look too perturbed by the arrival of this colourful friend.

Osprey - The ultimate fisher Video

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Outing report- 15th April 2012 Litchi Syndicate

(Photo Doug Butcher)

Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Doug Butcher, Cameron Den, Mike Fagan, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Margaret Jones, Hazel Parry, Andrew Pickles, Andy Ruffle, Irma Smook, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Willie & Wilna van Zyl, Ron & Elaine Whitham, Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury. (20 attendees).

Wow! what a brilliant turnout for this mornings visit to Barry's old stomping ground. A fitting tribute as we approach the first anniversary of Barry's passing. For those of you who never had the privilige of meeting him, you can read his obituary here.

African Black Duck
(Photo Andrew Pickles)

The large dam was particularly productive with a good variety of species, including African Black Duck and Black Crake. Stunning views of a Malachite Kingfisher were had through Stan's scope. Little Rush-warbler's, sculking in the reeds, were easily identified thanks to Andrew P's ringing sessions. What we are sure was a Little Bittern made a dash low level across the water, only to disappear behind some reeds.

Our setting for breakfast
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Getting to our after breakfast walk was challenging to say the least. We will be looking at an alternative for our next visit. Birding here was slow, but we did manage fleeting glimpses of Blue-mantled Crested-flycatcher. An Olive Woodpecker was also nice to see.

(Photo Doug Butcher)

(Photo Doug Butcher)

This persistent Hamerkop refused to abandon
it's waterhole as we departed
(Photo Andrew Pickles)

Thanks go to all the photo contributors, which makes a much more interesting post.

Birds recorded: Hadeda Ibis, Natal Spurfowl, Red-eyed Dove, Dark-capped Bulbul, Black-headed Oriole, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Black-bellied Starling, Reed Cormorant, Little Rush-Warbler, Spectacled Weaver, African Dusky Flycatcher, Green Wood-hoopoe, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Common Moorhen, Red-knobbed Coot, African Black Duck, Spur-winged Goose, Little Grebe, African Darter, Barn Swallow, Southern Boubou, African Jacana, Fork-tailed Drongo, Pied Kingfisher, Egyptian Goose, African Harrier-Hawk, Yellow-billed Duck, Knysna Turaco, Malachite Kingfisher, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Olive Sunbird, Black-collared Barbet, Black Crake, Little Bittern, Red-capped Robin-chat, Black Saw-wing, Jackal Buzzard, Collared Sunbird, Yellow-fronted Canary, Southern Black Flycatcher, Amethyst Sunbird, Blue-mantled  Crested-flycatcher, Red-backed Mannikin, White-rumped Swift, Common Waxbill, Cape Starling, Southern Black Tit, Olive Woodpecker, Cape White-eye, Lesser Honeyguide, Dark-backed Weaver, Hamerkop.  (53 species)

Outing report- 8th April 2012 Bird ringing Andrew Pickle's home, Umzumbe

Text & photos by Andy Ruffle

Attendees: Liz Blomeyer, Stan & Val Culley, Mike Fagan, Rusty & Sue Lupton, Kate Reese, Andy Ruffle, Ron Whitham. (9 attendees).

It was a glorious morning for ringing at Andrew & Ivan Pickles home. After welcoming Sue & Rusty Lupton from Zululand and Kate Reese from Gauteng, we eagerly awaited the first bird out of the bag.
They say the early bird catches the worm, well we surely came up trumps with this one...a stunning and very unexpected Spotted Ground-Thrush - a sign that the winter migrants are arriving.

Spotted Ground-Thrush

Coming a very close second, in the wow factor league, was a female Cape Batis.

Cape Batis female

Certainly a candidate for the mystery bird competition was this juvenile Cape Robin-Chat.

juvenile Cape Robin-Chat

These ringing sessions provide you with the opportunity to appreciate aspects of birds not readily seen in the field.
A good example of this being the Grey Sunbird. Just look at those iridescent feathers!!

Grey Sunbird

For more photos of this session and some stunning photos of Crowned Eagles frolicking see Andrew's blog here.

The next ringing session will be 20th May. Snooze or lose.

Birds ringed: Spotted Ground-Thrush, Cape Batis, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Green-backed Camaroptera, Olive Sunbird, Collared Sunbird, Cape Robin-chat, Grey Sunbird, Yellow-fronted Canary, African Firefinch.

Outing report- 1st April 2012 Mpenjati Nature Reserve

Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Clive Edmundson, Mike Fagan, John Marchant, Andy Ruffle, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen. (8 attendees)

Not a wonderful turnout for this mornings visit, which was probably due to an unfavourable weather forecast.
Birding was reasonable with a good complement of six hirundine species. The odd Cape Gannet was seen soaring along the backline, whilst the strangest sight must have been a Speckled Pigeon (Rock Pigeon) foraging on the beach.
It was nice to see Clive after such a long absence. This was also John Marchant's last outing before heading back to Ireland. We look forward to seeing him back next year for our Summer trip away.

Birds recorded: Olive Sunbird, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Sombre Greenbul, Green-backed Camaroptera, Hadeda Ibis, Red-eyed Dove, Fork-tailed Drongo, White-rumped Swift, Amethyst Sunbird, Black Saw-wing, Dark-capped Bulbul, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Speckled Mousebird, Bronze Mannikin, Cape White-eye, Black-collared Barbet, Yellow Weaver, African Palm-swift, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Blacksmith Lapwing, Barn Swallow, Brown-throated Martin, White-throated Swallow, Kelp Gull, White-breasted Cormorant, African Pied Wagtail, Knysna Turaco, Common Sandpiper, Pied Kingfisher, Cape Gannet, Speckled Pigeon, Swift Tern, Water Thick-knee, Egyptian Goose, White-fronted Plover, Black-headed Oriole, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Yellow-fronted Canary, African Dusky Flycatcher, African Paradise-Flycatcher. (40 species)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Mystery Bird No.5 revealed

For the answer to the Mystery Bird quiz and Mystery Bird No.6
see here