Sunday, 4 May 2014

Outing report- 4th May 2014 Bird ringing, Igwalagwala Forest, Melville

Photos & text by Andy Ruffle (unless credited)

Attendees: Liz Blomeyer, Stan & Val Culley, Eric Kok, Vaughan Meyrick, Andy Ruffle, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Ron Whitham. (9 attendees).

Andrew & Ivan chose a new spot for this morning's ringing session at Igwalagwala Forest.
With 15 nets erected along the forest track and the weather conditions perfect, expectations were high.

Thrushes started the ball rolling. First out of the bag was an Olive Thrush, followed by a Spotted Ground-Thrush. The latter being a sure sign that winter is well and truly on it's way.

Olive Thrush
Spotted Ground-Thrush

The next batch to come out of the nets looked very interesting as Andrew & Liz returned from the forest.
Did Liz have an Ostrich in that big bag?, we wondered.

What bird is Liz carrying in that big bag!!!!???? 

False alarm, it was only ringing equipment sadly.
This beautiful juvenile Cape Robin-Chat was amongst this next wave of birds to be ringed.
Buff on the wing feathers and the slightly mottled breast identified this as a youngster.

juvenile Cape Robin-Chat

Stan, Vaughan and Eric then decided they would go explore the inner depths of the forest. There timing could not have been worse.
The next specimen to emerge from the bags was met with rings of 'LIFER' from Andy. It was a 'buff morph' Olive Bush-shrike. It was a pleasure to see this very elusive bird at such close quarters. Needless to say, the wanderers were very disappointed on their return, when they realised they had missed it.

'buff morph' Olive Bush-shrike

Always keen to keep his spectators happy, Andrew came up trumps with this stunning Little Sparrowhawk.

Andrew's face says it all with this Little Sparrowhawk
Andrew checks the feathers for moult
Adult Little Sparrowhawk

The special birds didn't stop there though. A pair of Grey Waxbill were also caught today. The last time Andrew ringed this species was some twelve years ago.

one of a pair of Grey Waxbill

What an absolutely excellent day's ringing. Other species ringed included 4x Red-capped Robin-Chat, Cape Batis, 3x Green-backed Camaroptera, 1pr Lemon Dove, Square-tailed Drongo, Dark-backed Weaver, Brown Scrub-Robin. A total of 20 birds were ringed.

Miss the next ringing session at your peril.

Photos copyright of photographer

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