Attendees: Stan & Val Culley, Sandy Olver, Hazel Nevin, Stanley Gengan, Eric Kok, Bob and Hazel van Rooyen. We were joined by Port Natal members: Tina Haine; Annette Adams; Sandi du Preez and Ros Conrad. (12 attendees).
|African Dusky Flycatcher|
Arriving at Empisini, four members from Port Natal Club were waiting for us and eager to spot some birds.
We began with the walk straight ahead, which slowly inclined upwards affording some lovely views of the tree tops across the stream which trickled below. Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Grey-headed Bush-Shrike, Thick-billed Weaver, Olive Sunbird, White-eared Barbet and Dusky Flycatcher abounded. A Brown Scrub-Robin sang a solo from an opera whilst competing with the Dark-backed Weaver (known in Afrikaans as the Forest Musician). A Black Cuckooshrike flitted in the tree-tops, Olive, Orange-breasted and Gorgeous Bush-Shrikes were also sighted and a Collared Sunbird dipped into a profusion of provocatively perfumed September Bells flowers (Rothmannia Globosa).
|September Bells flowers|
The Trogons decided their coffee was calling whilst the Port Natal ladies were made of hardier stuff and continued with their walk. Back at the picnic site a host of Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds were breakfasting on an abundance of fruit from a magnificent fig tree with the occasional White-eared Barbet getting a look-in. Long-crested and Crowned Eagles made a fly-past, whilst a Yellow-billed Kite performed its diagnostic tail-twisting flight movements. For most of us this was a welcome first sighting of the season after their migration back to our shores from their winter habitat in warmer African climes.
|Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird & Cape White-eye|
Sadly the dam which used to be the home of water-fowl is now completely choked with reeds but we took a walk around it and on the far bank we were happy to identify a Brown-backed Honeybird with its crickety-call.
On our return, the braai-fire had been lit and soon we were all munching away, except Team Port Natal who eventually trudged in to join us, weary but pleased to add Lesser-striped Swallow and Black-backed Puff-back to our list.
Thank you to the Port Natal Club ladies who were very knowledgeable and jolly good spotters!