Sunday, 23 August 2015

Outing report- 23rd August 2015 Izotsha Creek Wetland Area

Text & photos by Hazel van Rooyen

Attendees: Eric Kok, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Barry Willis & Sue Hansbury with Cameron, Bob and Hazel van Rooyen

Izotsha Creek is an old hunting ground that the club had not visited for several years and the few members who turned up on an overcast but pleasant Sunday were not sure whether it would be worth our while getting up at the usual early hour.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained – it turned out to be quite a productive morning’s birding, thanks to Eric Kok for a well-led outing.
Meeting up at the fruit stall, we were greeted by, amongst others, Thick-billed and Village Weavers, a flock of Bronze Mannikins and the startled flight of Spurwing and Egyptian Geese, the latter honking in panic.
Crossing the road to the wetland area, an African Goshawk called “Quick! quick! quick! from high above our heads.  Moving towards the reeds, Dark-cap Bulbuls were in evidence together with Burchells Coucal, Purple-crested Turaco and Tawny-flanked Prinia.   Through a gap in the reeds we noted a Woolly-necked Stork feeding on the far embankment and as we walked around a congregation of Blacksmith Lapwings took objection to my presence and dive-bombed me, narrowly missing.  An African Fish Eagle flew over and settled in the top of the trees opposite.

African Fish Eagle

Other birds in the back-water: Yellow-billed Duck, Pied Kingfisher, Green-backed Heron, Common Moorhen, African Reed Warbler, Red-collared Widowbird.  A couple of waders in the distance were defying description but later from the beach side we were able to identify them as Common Greenshank.

Common Greenshank

We thought we had found another pair when we noticed one individual had only one leg and was hopping around until voila! the leg reappeared and the joke was on us.
The remains of the old narrow-gauge railway bridge provided an excellent drying perch for African Darter and Reed Cormorant.

African Darter (x2) and Reed Cormorant

Making our way back to the cars (for breakfast of course) we saw Yellow-fronted Canary, Chinspot Batis, and Rufous-winged Cisticola.

Rufous-winged Cisticola

Suitably refreshed we took the path towards the beach, noting White-bellied Sunbird, Spectacled and Cape Weavers.  A roundabout route led to the beach, a bit soggy in places, and we made a wide berth to find a narrow place to cross the river, where the ladies were gallantly assisted over the rocks by the gentlemen.  Once there we were happy to observe a flock of Swift Terns swooping around, a Little Egret, Kelp Gull, Three-Banded and White-fronted Plovers.

White-fronted Plover

And the morning was closed out with more coffee and a pleasant chat.  Thanks everyone!

Full list of birds seen: 
Barbet, Black-collared
Batis, Chinspot
Boubou, Southern 
Bulbul, Dark-capped 
Cameroptera, Greenbacked 
Canary, Yellow-fronted
Cormorant, Reed
Cormorant, White-breasted
Coucal, Burchell’s 
Darter, African,
Dove, Red-eyed 
Drongo, Fork-tailed
Duck, Yellow-billed 
Egret, Greater
Egret, Little
Fish-Eagle, African 
Fly-catcher, Southern Black,
Goose, Egyptian
Goose, Spurwing 
Goshawk, African 
Greenbul, Sombre 
Greenshank, Common 
Gull, Kelp
Heron, Green-backed 
Heron, Grey
Ibis, Hadeda 
Kingfisher, Giant
Kingfisher, Pied 
Lapwing, Blacksmith 
Longclaw, Yellow-throated 
Mannikin, Bronze
Moorhen, Common,
Myna, Indian
Oriole, Black-headed 
Plover, Three-banded
Plover, White-fronted 
Prinia, Tawny-flanked 
Puff-back, Black-backed 
Red-capped Robin-Chat
Sparrow, House
Spurfowl, Natal 
Starling, Black-bellied
Stork, Woolly-necked 
Sunbird, Amethyst
Sunbird, White-bellied 
Swift, Common
Tern, Swift 
Turaco, Purple-crested 
Wagtail, Cape
Wagtail, Pied
Warbler, African Reed 
Weaver, Cape
Weaver, Spectacled 
Weaver, Thick-billed 
Weaver, Village
Weaver, Yellow, 
White-eye, Cape 
Widowbird, Fantailed 
Widowbird, Red-collared 

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