Sunday, 23 December 2012

Outing report- 23rd December 2012 Uvongo River Conservancy

Uvongo River Conservancy
(Photo Irene & Dudley Reid)

Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Cathy Lee, Dudley, Irene, Robyn Reid & Douglas Williams, Andy Ruffle, Ron & Elaine Whitham. (10 attendees).

Our last outing of 2012 saw us returning to our favourite haunt, the Uvongo River Conservancy. It was nice to see the Reid's from Durban again and Cathy Lee who now lives in Vereeniging.
Birding today was surprisingly slow, considering the ideal conditions, but we still achieved a respectable list of 57 species recorded. The 'resident' Lesser Honeyguide was in it's usual locale, calling away. The Reid's were especially lucky by managing to catch glimpses of not one African Finfoot, but three- a female and two juveniles. Many thanks for the photos they submitted.

Female African Finfoot with two juveniles.
A very lucky sighting indeed.
(Photo Robyn Reid)

Birds recorded: Red-eyed Dove, Purple-crested Turaco, Dark-capped Bulbul, Black-backed Puffback, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Black-headed Oriole, Black-collared Barbet, Burchell's Coucal, Pied Kingfisher, Egyptian Goose, Dark-backed Weaver, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Olive Sunbird, Hadeda Ibis, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Spectacled Weaver, Yellow Weaver, Sombre Greenbul, Southern Boubou, Tambourine Dove, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, African Dusky Flycatcher, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Square-tailed Drongo, Spur-winged Goose, Cape White-eye, Speckled Mousebird, White-breasted Cormorant, Diderick Cuckoo, Green-backed Camaroptera, Knysna Turaco, Brown Scrub-Robin, Red-winged Starling, Cardinal Woodpecker, Collared Sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird, Yellow-fronted Canary, Lesser Honeyguide, Fork-tailed Drongo, Thick-billed Weaver, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Violet-backed Starling, Black-bellied Starling, Reed Cormorant, Village Weaver, Southern Black Flycatcher, Red-billed Firefinch, Bronze Mannikin, Laughing Dove, White-throated Swallow, Giant Kingfisher, Cape Batis, Black-crowned Tchagra, Yellow-billed Kite, African Pied Wagtail, African Finfoot. (57 species).

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

White-breasted Cormorants breeding sites

(Photo Hazel van Rooyen)

David Allan, Curator of Birds at the Durban Natural Science Museum, has asked if we can help out with the following request:-

Dr Rob Crawford , the seabird ornithologist with the Dept of Environmental Affairs, is working on an update of the numbers of White-breasted Cormorants breeding along the South African coast (i.e. within 10 km of the coastline).

If you, or anyone you know, are aware of any breeding sites in southern KZN (or even further down the coast) in our region, please advise David (contact details below). He’d be keen at this stage to also hear of inland ones (indeed of any large colonial heronries in our area that may or may not harbour this species).

Contact details:

David Allan
Curator of Birds
Durban Natural Science Museum
P.O. Box 4085
Durban 4000
South Africa
tel 031-3224214
cell 082-3610261
fax 031-3112242

Monday, 17 December 2012

Outing report- 17th December 2012 Bird ringing

Photos & text Andy Ruffle

Umzumbe River floodplain December 2012
(Photo Andrew Pickles)

Attendees: Liz Blomeyer, Eric Kok, Herbie & Jeanette Osborne, Andy Ruffle, Stephan Schoeman, Ron Whitham. (7 attendees).

It was originally planned to visit the Umzumbe Floodplain for today's ringing session, but as can be seen from Andrew's photo above, the floodplain is certainly living up to it's name at the moment.
Luckily, Andrew's home patch is always good as a backup, so he opted for there. Deferred from Sunday due to strong winds, Monday morning gave us ideal conditions.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

**UPDATED** Outing report- 9th December 2012 End of Year Lunch

 Text: Andy Ruffle, Photos: Hazel van Rooyen

Attendees:- Liz Blomeyer, Doug & Angie Butcher, Stan & Val Culley, Lennart Eriksson & Evelyn Heunis, Mike Fagan, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Caryl Lowe, Vic & Kay Neilson, Sandy Olver, Herbie & Jeanette Osborne, Hazel Parry, Keith & Maureen Roach, Paul & Margaret Rose, Andy Ruffle, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Ron & Elaine Whitham, Barry Willis & Sue Hansbury. (28 attendees).

View over the Gorge from the Taverna

Sunday, 2 December 2012

**UPDATED** Outing report- 2nd December 2012 Winklespruit Beach

Scanning the mudflats at the Lovu River mouth
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Caryl Lowe, Andy Ruffle, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Ron Whitham, Barry Willis & Sue Hansbury. (9 attendees)

This was the club's first visit to Winklespruit Beach, located at the mouth of the Lovu River. It was chosen, by the committee, as a closer and more accessible possible alternative to Bayhead Nature Reserve.
We began the morning with a walk along the main beach towards the river mouth. White-fronted Plover scurried across the sand; Little Stint, Ruddy Turnstone and Three-banded Plover worked the tidal zone and a flock of Swift Terns were seen roosting at the mouth.
Our next stop was a municipal picnic area, on the banks of the river, with good views of the mouth and mudflats.