Sunday, 28 June 2015

Outing report- 28 June 2015 Bushbuck & Frederika Trails, Southbroom

Text & photos by Hazel van Rooyen

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.

Olive Thrush

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.

Black-collared Barbets

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.

White-fronted Plover

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.

Birds recorded: 
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
Tinkerbird Yellow-rumped  

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