Sunday, 9 August 2015

Outing report- 9th August 2015 Empisini Nature Reserve, Umkomaas

Text and photos by Hazel van Rooyen

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
Rothmannia Globosa

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

Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird

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.

Brown-backed Honeybird

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!

Birds recorded: (Supplied by Sandy Olver) Bar-throated Apalis, Black-collared Barbet, White-eared Barbet, Southern Boubou, Terrestrial Brownbul, Dark-capped Bulbul, Gorgeous Bush-shrike, Grey-headed Bush-shrike, Olive Bush-shrike, Orange-breasted Bush-shrike, Green-backed Camaroptera, Black Cuckoo-shrike, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Red-eyed Dove, Tambourine Dove, Fork-tailed Drongo, Square-tailed Drongo, African Crowned Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, African Fish-eagle, African Dusky Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Spur-winged Goose, Sombre Greenbul, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Brown-backed Honeybird, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Crowned Hornbill, Trumpeter Hornbill, Hadeda Ibis, Yellow-billed Kite, Bronze Mannikin, Red-backed Mannikin, Black-headed Oriole, African Paradise-flycatcher, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Black-backed Puff-back, Red-billed Quelea, Red-capped Robin-chat, Brown Scrub-robin, Natal Spurfowl, Amethyst Sunbird, Collared Sunbird, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Grey Sunbird, Olive Sunbird, White-bellied Sunbird, Lesser Striped Swallow, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Southern Black Tit, Knysna Turaco, Purple-crested Turaco, Little Rush-Warbler, Dark-backed Weaver, Spectacled Weaver, Thick-billed Weaver, Village Weaver, Cape White-eye, Golden-tailed Woodpecker. (59 species)

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