Sunday, 2 February 2014

Outing report- 2nd February 2014 Ellingham Estates, Park Rynie

Attendees: Doug & Angie Butcher, Stan & Val Culley, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Carol Hall, Margaret Jones, Caryl Lowe, Sandy Olver, Hazel Parry, Andy Ruffle, Ronny Seymour, Irma Smook. (14 attendees).

A very productive day was had at Ellingham Estates again, despite the weather not being too kind to start with.
The morning began with a European Roller displaying in the vicinity of the paddock. A juvenile African Harrier-Hawk then kept us busy for a while, trying to confirm it's identity.
The usual mass procession of African Sacred Ibis was more leisurely today, with small groups passing through at regular intervals.
Our first walk was hastened with the onset of some light drizzle. On returning to our cars at the paddock, Sandy kindly negotiated with the stable hand for us to use the stable for shelter.This story sounds familiar somehow.
So, this is where we had our breakfast and yes there were a few lines of 'away in a manger'.

The Three Wise Men?? (well ladies)
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

After breakfast we drove to the large dam. Here we saw a pair of Grey Crowned Cranes in the adjacent grasslands. It's always a pleasure to see these beautiful birds. We understand that there are two young birds on the estate at the moment, but these were not with this pair. From here, we headed down to the river where we did a short walk before setting up the braai. Good sightings were had of Olive Woodpecker, Lesser and Scaly-throated Honeyguide. The latter again gave us somewhat of a challenge as it was seen with two Lesser Honeyguides.

(Photo Andy Ruffle)

We finished the day with a very respectable 68 species, but noticed the absence of some common birds that you would expect to see. Had these made an appearance our total may well have reached the 80-90 mark.

Scaly-throated Honeyguide
(Photo Doug Butcher)
Group of Black-headed Herons
(Photo Doug Butcher)
Grey Crowned Cranes
(Photo Doug Butcher)

Birds recorded: African Sacred Ibis, Black-headed Heron, Red-eyed Dove, Purple-crested Turaco, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, European Roller, Spectacled Weaver, Yellow-billed Kite, Green Wood-Hoopoe, Hadeda Ibis, Burchell's Coucal, Dark-capped Bulbul,  Cape Wagtail, Lesser Striped Swallow, African Harrier-Hawk, Black-headed Oriole, Natal Spurfowl, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Tambourine Dove, Green-backed Camaroptera, Red-winged Starling, Black-bellied Starling, Southern Boubou, White-eared Barbet, Terrestrial Brownbul, Collared Sunbird, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Sombre Greenbul, Pin-tailed Whydah, Barn Swallow, Black Saw-wing, Violet-backed Starling, Little Grebe, Yellow-billed Duck, Square-tailed Drongo, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Black-backed Puffback, Long-crested Eagle, Ashy Flycatcher, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Yellow-fronted Canary, Village Weaver, Yellow Weaver, African Jacana, Grey Crowned Crane, Dideric Cuckoo, Common Moorhen, Spur-winged Goose, Olive Sunbird, Fork-tailed Drongo, Steppe Buzzard, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Neddicky, Red-collared Widowbird, Speckled Mousebird, Black-crowned Tchagra, Cape White-eye, Lesser Honeyguide, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Olive Woodpecker, Klaas's Cuckoo, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Mountain Wagtail, Rattling Cisticola, Hamerkop, African Fish-Eagle. (68 species).

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