Sunday, 7 April 2013

Outing report- 7th April 2013 Bird ringing Umzumbe Floodplain

(Photo Andy Ruffle)
Attendees: Liz Blomeyer, Stan & Val Culley, Eric Kok, Vaughan Merrick, Herbie & Jeanette Osborne, Andy Ruffle (8 attendees)
We had perfect weather conditions for this morning's ringing session on the floodplain with Andrew & Ivan Pickles.
First out of the bag was a Natal Spurfowl. This is a bird which we may tend to regard as just brown and indistinct. But when you get to see them closely, you appreciate just how beautiful they are. The markings are stunning.

Natal Spurfowl
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

A feature we were able to observe, was the spur on the leg. This then sparked the question ''Is this the difference between Francolins and Spurfowl. Do Francolins have spurs?'' Further research reveals that the answer is not that simple. Many Francolin species do infact have spurs.

spur on the leg of a Natal Spurfowl
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

It was interesting to note the number of immature birds being caught today. This is perhaps an indication of some last minute breeding attempts due to the rather poor summer we've had.

immature Cape Robin-Chat
although in advanced stages of development.
Note the flecking on the head
(Photo Andy Ruffle)
Five species of warbler were ringed, including a Marsh Warbler. This will probably be the last we see of this palearctic migrant this year, as they usually depart for their breeding grounds in late March and early April.

Dark-capped Yellow Warbler
(Photo Andy Ruffle)
In total 22 species were ringed this morning - a very productive session. To finish off
a Pied Kingfisher landed in the nets.
male Pied Kingfisher
(Photo Andy Ruffle)
male Pied Kingfisher
Identified by double breast band
(Photo Andy Ruffle)
Re-captures of note were a Yellow Weaver which was originally ringed on the floodplain on 18th October 2003. This makes the bird atleast 9yrs and 5months old which is a new longevity record for the species.
A Rufous-winged Cisticola originally ringed on 29th January 2006 was also processed.
Birds ringed: Natal Spurfowl x 1; Olive Sunbird x 1; Common Waxbill x 2; Rufous-winged Cisticola x 2; Cape Robin-Chat x 2; Spectacled Weaver x 3; Cape White-eye x 1; Red-capped Robin-Chat x 2; Lesser Swamp-Warbler x 3; Little Rush-Warbler x 1; Marsh Warbler x 1; Little Bee-eater x 1; Malachite Kingfisher x 3; Yellow Weaver x 4; Pin-tailed Whydah x 1; Red-collared Widowbird x 1; Tawny-flanked Prinia x 1; African Reed-Warbler x 1; Thick-billed Weaver x 2; Dark-capped Yellow Warbler x 1; Neddicky x 1; Pied Kingfisher x 1. (36 birds, 22 species)

Re-captures: Yellow Weaver x 5; Rufous-winged Cisticola x 1. (6 birds, 2 species)

Other birds recorded: Blacksmith Lapwing, Egyptian Goose, Pied Crow, Little Egret, Black Saw-wing, Green-backed Camaroptera, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Red-eyed Dove, Spur-winged Goose, Yellow-fronted Canary, Southern Boubou, Crowned Hornbill, Sombre Greenbul, Black-collared Barbet, Speckled Mousebird, Purple-crested Turaco, Fork-tailed Drongo, Dark-capped Bulbul. (18 species)

Total species count: 40

References: Roberts Online

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