Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury, Margaret Jones, Hazel Nevin, Sandy Olver, Doug & Angie Butcher, Stanley Gengan, Ina de Koker, Irma Smook, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Milcolm Sutton & Kate Clarence
It was a hardy bunch of folk who turnout out on a chilly morning (for us South Coasters) and some were even seen trying to manipulate their binocs with gloves. From the grassy area at the start of the Bushbuck Trail, an inspection of the tree top, golden in the brightness of the rising sun, produced a host of Trumpeter Hornbills and there was also a lot of activity from Amethyst, Olive and Collared Sunbirds, Red-winged and Glossy Starling. An Olive Thrush braved the cooler trees where we were standing in the shade.
After a while the forest called to us and we took to the trail, noting that the streams had almost dried up. Clambering over boulders, the group spontaneously combusted and split into two when we managed to lose each other! The occasional Collared and Olive Sunbirds were glimpsed but otherwise the trail was very quiet. My group climbed to the highest section (by which time we were well warmed up) and took a longish walk back via the leafy road to the picnic site where the others were relaxing comfortably and tucking into coffee. A family of Black-collared Barbets “doo-puddlied” from a tree-top and Val espied a Black Sparrowhawk flying in to see what the all interest was.
After some refreshment we realised Barry and Sue had taken a second stab at the forest and eventually reappeared with some more birds to add to the list.
Sitting in the sun had warmed us up sufficiently and after checking that no-one had suffered any frostbite we tackled the beach which was lovely with no wind. A lonely Kelp Gull stood sentry on an outbreak of rocks and a White-fronted Plover scurried along the tideline looking for titbits.
A Cape Gannet plunged into the sea, emerging seconds later, and sat a few moments before taking off again in search of those elusive sardines.
The pond which usually provides a hunting ground for kingfishers (and is famous for Eric taking an unintentional swim one cold winter day) had almost dried up and no self-respecting bird showed the slightest interest.
The Frederika Preserve was a pleasant walk but didn’t yield any new species. This took us to the whale deck and thence back to the carpark, some via the trail, others via the road. And thereby ended another hard day in Africa.
|Greenbul Sombre||Turaco Purple-crested|
|Oriole Black-headed||Wood-hoopoe Green|
|Hornbill Trumpeter||Weaver Spectacled|
|Ibis Hadeda||Goose Egyptian|
|Sunbird Olive||Drongo Square-tailed|
|Dove Red-eyed||Canary Yellow-fronted|
|Brownbul Terrestrial||Turaco Knysna|
|Sunbird Collared||Robin-chat Red-capped|
|Thrush Olive||Sparrowhawk Black|
|Sunbird Amethyst||Flycatcher Southern Black|
|Starling Red-winged||Drongo Fork-tailed|
|Boubou Southern||Wagtail African Pied|
|Dove Tambourine||Plover White-fronted|
|Sunbird Grey||Gull Kelp|
|Barbet Black-collared||Lapwing Blacksmith|
|Bulbul Dark-capped||Gannet Cape|
|Starling Black-bellied||Gull Grey-headed|
|Mannikin Bronze||Wagtail Cape|
|Woodpecker Golden-tailed||Fish-eagle African|