Sunday, 29 November 2015

Outing report - Umdoni Park & Nkomba Conservancy, 29 November 2015

Attendees:   Stan & Val Culley, Rob Eccles & Hanli Kloppers, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Eric Kok, Hazel Nevin, Sandy Olver, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Ron Whitham,
Lennart Eriksson & Evelyn Heunis
Total bird count: 55 species (see end)
Sandy Olver with the Seabean (Photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

Meeting up at our usual summer start time of 06.30 at Pennington Park, we decided to try a different trail from our usual route – through the forest on the boundary to the Environment Centre.  It was a lovely sunny morning with a nice breeze.  Stan started us off by spotting a Grey Waxbill, quickly followed by Red-wing and Black-bellied Starlings and a White-eared Barbet.  Olive Sunbirds, Southen Boubous and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds sang whilst a Natal Spurfowl ran off screeching as they are want to do when flushed.  Red-capped Robin-Chats flashed their orange tails and a Brown Scrub-Robin trilled its sweet song.  Strolling further along, several Bar-throated Apalises flitted in the bushes.  Green-backed Cameropterer and Yellow-bellied Greenbul called repeatedly from the thickets and a Collared Sunbird flashed by.  Spurwing and Egyptian Geese and a Pied Wagtail enjoyed the peaceful pond belonging to the old-age home on the neighbouring property.  Yellow and Spectacled Weavers also decided it was a good place for home and a few nests hung close by.
Grey Waxbill (Photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

Bar-throated Apalis (Photo: Hazel van Rooyen)
Knysna Turaco (Photo: Stan Culley)
Back at the Environment Centre we were made welcome by Ian, the new manager of the estate.  While we were having some breakfast a Knysna Turaco preened in the tree canopy and Green Twinspots foraged by the bird-bath.  A curious little Blue Duiker known as an Impithi came quite close up to see what the chatter was about and another friendly Brown Scrub-Robin sang from a low branch hoping for some tidbits.
Brown Scrub-Robin (Photo: Hazel van Rooyen)
Enjoying coffee at Umdoni Park Environmental Centre

Green Twinspot (Photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

After coffee we proceeded to Nkomba, where we were greeted by Mary MacKenzie, Chairperson of Pennington Conservancy, Carolyn Schwegman and Paul Johnston who are doing great work to preserve this conservancy and create a peaceful oasis.  A fascinating vine, modelled here by our very own Sandy Olver, called a Seabean (Entada rheedii) has pods which grow up to 2 metres long
Sandy and the Seabean (Photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

Seabean (Photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

The river takes the 60mm diameter seeds out to sea which are then washed up on the beaches and used traditionally as good luck charms.  Another pretty tree in flower is the Barringtonia, a mangrove-type tree which is at home in the salt water of estuaries.  Our visit was badly timed and we were too late in the day to spot many birds in the reeds from their delightful new bird hide.  Birds seen at Nkomba were Black-backed Puff-back, Cape White-Eye and Yellow-billed Kites soared above the tree-line.
The trails there are very pretty with sturdy bridges over the wetland areas and after a satisfying braai, we vowed the next time we visited we would arrive earlier in the day.
Where does it start and end?
Barringtonia (Photo: Hazel van Rooyen)


Common name
Apalis Bar-throated
Barbet Black-collared
Barbet White-eared
Bee-eater Little
Boubou Southern
Brownbul Terrestrial
Bulbul Dark-capped
Bush-shrike Gorgeous
Bush-shrike Orange-breasted
Camaroptera Green-backed
Coucal Burchell's
Dove Red-eyed
Dove Tambourine
Drongo Fork-tailed
Drongo Square-tailed
Fish-eagle African
Flycatcher Ashy
Goose Egyptian
Goose Spur-winged
Greenbul Sombre
Greenbul Yellow-bellied
Heron Purple
Honeyguide Lesser
Ibis Hadeda
Kite Yellow-billed
Mannikin Bronze
Prinia Tawny-flanked
Puffback Black-backed
Robin-chat Red-capped
Rush-warbler Little
Scrub-robin Brown
Sparrow House
Spurfowl Natal
Starling Black-bellied
Starling Red-winged
Stork Woolly-necked
Sunbird Amethyst
Sunbird Collared
Sunbird Olive
Swallow Barn
Swallow Lesser Striped
Thrush Olive
Tinkerbird Red-fronted
Tinkerbird Yellow-rumped
Turaco Knysna
Turaco Purple-crested
Twinspot Green
Wagtail African Pied
Waxbill Grey
Weaver Dark-backed
Weaver Spectacled
Weaver Thick-billed
Weaver Yellow
White-eye Cape
Woodpecker Golden-tailed

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