Friday, 31 January 2014

Munster to Leisure Bay leg of Shorebird Count 31st Jan 2014

By Andy Ruffle

Counters- Doug & Angie Butcher, Andy Ruffle. (Lift shuttle provided by Vic Neilsen)

Vic dropped us off at Munster Beach, where we were greeted by the sight of a pod of +/- 50 dolphins cruising behind the breakers. Quite unusual for this time of year, Vic commented. African Fish-Eagle, Pied Kingfisher and Egyptian Goose were noted at the mouth of the Kandandlovu River. Further down the beach we stumbled upon what appeared to be an old rusty boiler.

Part of wreckage of MV Nightingale
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

This was infact part of the wreckage of the MV Nightingale, which sank off the coast in 1933.
Subsequent storms and high tides have gradually deposited various parts of the vessel on the beach and rocks. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find out anymore about the ship.

Angie & Doug Butcher
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

It wasn't until reaching Glenmore Beach that we saw our first true waders. Three White-fronted Plover scurried along the waterline. Water Thick-knee, Rock Hyrax a plenty and Rock Agama were also seen here.

White-fronted Plover
(Photo Doug Butcher)
Water Thick-knee
(Photo Doug Butcher)
 Rock Hyrax
(Photo Doug Butcher)
Andy & Angie
(Photo Doug Butcher)

After well deserved Ice Cream treats at Glenmore, our final walk took us to the delightful Kidd's Beach at Leisure Bay, where we were picked up by Vic and whisked back to his place for a wonderful braai.

(Photo Andy Ruffle)

What a thoroughly enjoyable day. The survey was a good excuse to explore and appreciate some of our beautiful beaches.
For the results from the south coast survey click here.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Trogons Facebook page resurrected

During a visit to the Vulture Hide by a group from Scottburgh Camera Club, it was suggested that we set up a facebook group for the project.

Following up on this, I played around with facebook for a while and soon realised that we could also resurrect our club facebook group.

Being able to share our blog posts is a major factor for setting up facebook. This means we don’t have to create posts for both sites, which makes the prospect of two sites very manageable.

The club will basically share it's blog posts to facebook, but members can now post items on facebook and be directed through to the blog.

Check it out and join by clicking here.

Andy Ruffle

News from Culley's Dam

Stan has proudly sent through this photo of his latest visitor/s to the dam.

Two Grey Crowned Crane’s have graced the new wetland in Port Edward. I can just see Stan’s face now. I’m sure he is grinning from ear to ear.

Well done Stan for creating/reinstating this special piece of habitat. We look forward to more ‘’news from Culley’s Dam’’.

(photo Stan Culley)

Photos Copyright of photographer

Monday, 6 January 2014

Outing report- Bird ringing 5th January 2014 Umzumbe Floodplain

Photos Andy Ruffle

Attendees: Liz Blomeyer, Sandy Olver,Herbie & Jeanette Osborne Andy Ruffle, Ron Whitham.

Summer migrants, European Sedge Warbler and (European) Marsh Warbler, were on the menu at this morning’s  ringing session on Umzumbe floodplain. Great Reed-Warbler and African Reed- Warbler were also netted.  We are very fortunate to see these LBJ’s up close and to be able to positively identify them during these ringing sessions. Marsh Warbler can only be distinguished from (Eurasian) Reed-Warbler by using a calculation based on certain measurements of the bird. In the field, in South Africa, it is impossible to separate them as they do not call.

European Sedge Warbler
(European) Marsh Warbler

For the previous post with pictures showing the difference between long distance migrant and resident/inter African warblers click here.

Other birds ringed included Yellow & Village Weaver, Rufous-winged Cisticola, African Firefinch, Fan-tailed Widow and a Burchell’s Coucal.

Burchell's Coucal
Burchell's Coucal

Although not netted and ringed, a special highlight for Anrew P was flushing a Harlequin Quail on the track during his drive back home. The last time we recorded this bird was on 1st Feb 2012 whilst ringing Barn Swallows on the floodplain. Click here to see the photo.

Don’t forget we have regular monthly ringing sessions and they really shouldn’t be missed.