Sunday, 22 March 2015

Outing report - 22nd March 2015 Skyline NR & Uvongo River Conservancy

Report and photos by Hazel van Rooyen

Attendees: Gordon & Lorraine Duncan; Stanley & Asothie Gengan; Irma Smook,  Sandy Olver, Doug Butcher, Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury;  Bobby & Hazel van Rooyen; Stan & Val Culley;  Margaret Jones, Ian Upfold, Graham Watts, Ina de Koker, Eric Kok, Hazel Parry, Piet & Marietje  Beukes. (21 attendees)

7am on 22 March saw our group gathering at Skyline Nature Reserve in Uvongo.  It was a pleasure to see some new and some not often-seen faces in the line-up!  Barrie got everyone under way and Stan led the pack through some lovely indigenous and exotic forest and grassland.  Originally a farm, the reserve is undergoing a slow rehabilitation to native flora.  The trails are in a good condition, even paved in places.  Whilst pre-occupied identifying some Fork-tailed Drongos in a tree canopy, we had a lovely surprise when a Crowned Eagle suddenly took flight from resting on a branch right above our heads – wow!  Some of the birds seen were: Olive and Amethyst Sunbirds, Spurwing Goose, Chin-spot Batis, Black-headed Oriole, Bronze Mannikin, Dark-backed Weaver, Tambourine Dove, Brown Scrub-Robin.

Dark-backed Weaver
Bronze Mannikin

It was a very hot and humid morning and we were happy to have an early breakfast.  Barrie called everyone’s attention and announced that Herbie Osborne agreed to continue as Chairman of the Trogons Bird Club with Andy Ruffle accepting the Vice-Chair role.
After this we made our way to Uvongo River Conservancy.  A scanning of the river yielded Water Thick-knee, Egyptian Goose, and a Pied Kingfisher checking out the river from its perch on a big rock.  Proceeding along the walking trail through the forest-edge close to the very shallow river the following were spotted:, Common Sandpiper, Giant Kingfisher, Red-wing Starling, Spectacled Weaver, Half-collared Kingfisher, Goliath Heron, Scaly-throated Honey-guide.

Goliath Heron

Stanley led the team making the braai and enjoyed wearing the Braai-master’s apron.  Thanks Stanley!

Stanley the Braai-master

Birds recorded Skyline NR: Olive Sunbird, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Black-headed Oriole, Dark-capped Bulbul, Fork-tailed Drongo, Amethyst Sunbird, Hadeda Ibis, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Cape White-eye, Red-eyed Dove, Tambourine Dove, Brown Scrub-Robin, Southern Boubou, Red-winged Starling, African Crowned Eagle, Dark-backed Weaver, Spectacled Weaver, Collared Sunbird, Spur-winged Goose, Bronze Mannikin, Lesser Honeyguide, Chinspot Batis, Green-backed Camaroptera, Natal Spurfowl, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Sombre Greenbul. (26 species).

Birds recorded Uvongo RC: Egyptian Goose, Purple-crested Turaco, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Pied Kingfisher, African Pied Wagtail, Sombre Greenbul, Goliath Heron, Half-collared Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Common Sandpiper, Yellow-fronted Canary, Thick-billed Weaver, Natal Spurfowl, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Southern Boubou, Tambourine Dove, Dark-capped Bulbul, Speckled Mousebird, Black-backed Puffback, Purple Heron, Giant Kingfisher, Water Thick-knee, Hadeda Ibis. (23 species).

Outing total species: 42

Photos copyright Hazel van Rooyen

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