Sunday, 24 March 2013

Outing report- 24th March 2013 Ellingham Estates, Park Rynie

Irma eyes up her mount at Ellingham Estates
(Photo Doug Butcher)

Attendees: Doug & Angie Butcher, Stan & Val Culley, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Tina Haine,  Joe & Adrian Harwood, V Kerr Wilson, Sandy Olver, Barry Pullock, Sean & Beathe Ross, Andy Ruffle, Irma Smook, Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury. (18 attendees).

This popular venue once again attracted a good turnout from the club, with some visitors from Port Natal Bird Club also joining us.

Those who attended the outing in August 2012, will remember an impressive flypast of African Sacred Ibis. Incredibly the same thing happened as we were arriving, with no less than 29 birds flying overhead in formation. Apparently, the birds roost at Croc World and then head out to the Municipal Dump for sustenance.

Pre breakfast walk
(Photo Sean Ross)
The pre breakfast walk took us through patches of indigenous forest and grasslands. Pockets of bird parties were a sure sign that winter is on it's way. Weavers were conspicuous by their absence, with only the odd Spectacled, Thick-billed and Dark-backed being noted.
While breakfasting by the dam, a raptor was spotted perching in a distant tree. With the aid of Stan's scope, we had stunning views of a majestic adult African Crowned Eagle.

a pair of Little Grebe on the small dam
(Photo Stan Culley)
African Crowned Eagle displays overhead
(Photo Stan Culley)

After our second walk, we headed to the river to prepare for our lunchtime braai. Black-crowned Tchagra could be heard calling and an African Fish-Eagle soured above us as we drove down.

Lunch by the river
(Photo Doug Butcher)
Both African Pied and Mountain Wagtail were seen along the river, with a Malachite Kingfisher also putting in an appearance. The morning's birding achieved a list of some 67 species recorded.

Malachite Kingfisher by the river
(Photo Stan Culley)
Birds recorded: Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Tambourine Dove, Long-crested Eagle, Purple-crested Turaco, Black-bellied Starling, Spectacled Weaver, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Natal Spurfowl, African Sacred Ibis, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Hadeda Ibis, Dark-capped Bulbul, Red-eyed Dove, Olive Sunbird, Red-winged Starling, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Southern Boubou, African Dusky Flycatcher, Trumpeter Hornbill, Cape White-eye, White-eared Barbet, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Fork-tailed Drongo, Barn Swallow, Southern Black Tit, Cardinal Woodpecker, Black Cuckooshrike, Bronze Mannikin, Green-backed Camaroptera, Terrestrial Brownbul, Lesser Striped Swallow, Black Saw-wing, Lesser Honeyguide, Steppe Buzzard, Square-tailed Drongo, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Green Wood-Hoopoe, Thick-billed Weaver, Black-backed Puffback, Little Grebe, Yellow-throated Longclaw, African Stonechat, Burchell's Coucal, Yellow-breasted Apalis, African Crowned Eagle, Willow Warbler, Brown-backed Honeybird, Common Moorhen, Common Fiscal, Neddicky, Knysna Turaco, Sombre Greenbul, Dark-backed Weaver, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Bar-throated Apalis, Grey Sunbird, Black-crowned Tchagra, African Fish-Eagle, Black-collared Barbet, African Pied Wagtail, Mountain Wagtail, Little Bee-eater, Malachite Kingfisher, African Harrier-Hawk, Amethyst Sunbird. (67 species).

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