Friday, 30 December 2016

UPCOMING OUTING: Umbogavango Nature Reserve, Amanzimtoti

Dear Members
Red-billed Firefinch (photo: Stan Culley)

Sunday 8 January at 07h00 BirdLife Trogons will visit Umbogavango Nature Reserve in Amanzimtoti.  Bring chairs, breakfast and something to braai for lunch.  ALL WELCOME.  There is a R20pp charge for non-members of BirdLife Trogons.  Outings may be cancelled due to the weather.  Check or phone Hazel (072 355 8837*) before setting off.

*Please note we cannot respond to text or "call me" requests.


Directions: Take the Moss Kolnick Drive (M37) off-ramp from the N2, turn left and go through robots. Pass over a bridge and take the next right turn. Continue straight until you reach the entrance to AECI where we will meet.

See you there!

Saturday, 24 December 2016


Dear Trogons

Thankfully, here we all are - Christmas 2016.  It's been a year dogged by the weather - too dry, then too wet but inbetween, lots of lovely sunshine and singing of our beloved birds.

True to tradition, this friendly Red-capped Robin-Chat in our garden wishes you a wonderful Christmas and holiday time.

 Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2017.


Saturday, 10 December 2016

TROGONS CHRISTMAS LUNCH - Sunday 27 November 2016

Dear Trogons

Here are a few pics from our Christmas lunch at the Umthunzi Hotel which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Both the company and the food were excellent.


CANCELLED Bird Ringing -11 December 2016

Dear Members

Due to the weather Andrew Pickles has once again had to cancel tomorrow's bird ringing.  Sorry everyone.

Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club

Thursday, 1 December 2016

UPCOMING OUTING: Bird Ringing - Sunday 11 December 2016

Sunday 11 December 2016 @ 06:00 BirdLife Trogons will visit Umzumbe Flood Plain where Andrew & Ivan Pickles will be bird ringing.  Bring cameras, chairs, and breakfast (note: no braai afterwards).

ALL WELCOME. There is a R20pp charge for non-members of Birdlife Trogons.

Please let Andrew know on 082 338 3302 if you will be attending the outing.
Outings may be cancelled due to weather.  Phone Andrew Pickles before setting off.  For further details & directions telephone* Andrew or visit the blog     ** Please note we cannot respond to text messages or “call me” requests.
Directions:  From Port Shepstone take R102 coast road. After crossing the Umzumbe River bridge turn left down the track to the floodplain. 
Set GPS to DD MM SS.S  =  S30 36 18.5  E30 33 11.03

Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Outing report: Izotsha Creek & Uvongo River, 13 November 2016

Attendees:  Doug & Angie Butcher, Stan & Val Culley, Eric Kok, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Michelle Pearson, Graham & Sue Salthouse, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen,
and Dave Bishop

Species recorded 83:  Izotsha Creek 54; Uvongo River 29 (+ 7 repeats)
Text: Hazel van Rooyen
White-breasted Cormorant (photo: Doug Butcher)
After a wet week country-wide (sadly with floods in Gauteng after the pro-longed drought) we decided to take a chance and ventured out to Izotsha Creek Wetland – some with their wellington boots!  However, although there were some puddles around, it was amazingly dry considering the amount of rain that had fallen recently.

After some indecision about parking, we started by inspecting the grassland area.  Here we found Tawny-flanked Prinia, Red-wing Starling and Speckled Mousebird.  Activity amongst the reed-beds proved to be Thick-billed Weaver, Southern Red Bishop and Fan-tailed Widowbird whilst aerial manoevres were being performed by Little Swift, White-rumped Swift, Barn and Lesser-striped Swallow.  In the treetops Village and Yellow Weavers frolicked along with a Black-collared Barbet.  Along the path between the houses and the swampy woodland of wild cotton trees Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds foraged and Green-backed Cameropteras bleated plaintively in the hidden shadows, expecting our movement to stir up insects.  
Fan-tailed Widowbird - Breeding male (photo: Michelle Pearson)

Back: Common Greenshank; L-R: Swift Tern, Sandwich Tern (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

Trogons Bird Club (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)
Swift Tern (photo: Doug Butcher)
Sandwich Tern (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)
White-breasted Cormorants (photo: Michelle Pearson)

White-breasted Cormorant "I've got your back"(photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

Following the edge of the river down to the beach, White-breasted Cormorants and Swift Terns were casually watching where the river flowed into the sea, hoping for a juicy fish.  The river was too wide for us to cross but we watched the terns and cormorants for quite a while.  Stan spotted Sandwich Terns amongst the Swift Terns and a small flock of Sanderlings scampered up and down the rocks perfectly in tune with the wavelets flushing in nourishment for them.  A Common Greenshank stood on a rock close to the breaking waves whilst a Pied Kingfisher hovered and dived, hovered and dived close by and a single African Black Oystercatcher flew across.  A Ruddy Turnstone showed itself briefly and a Three-banded Plover searched for food on the dry shore in typical run-stop-search mode.  Just as we turned to leave, a flock of Blacksmith Lapwings landed, tinking noisily - as is their way.
Three-banded Plover (photo: Doug Butcher)

Time for breakfast had arrived and while we nourished ourselves we observed a Yellow-billed Kite, Lanner Falcon and a small flock of Woolly-necked Storks, after which we embarked on a walk through long grasses around a tributary of the river, thinking we could get to the shore of the main river but the reeds became too high so we back-tracked.  On the way we saw Yellow-billed Duck, Purple Heron, and Lesser Swamp Warbler.  

As braaiing would have been awkward with the grass so long we decided to move to Uvongo River and this proved to be a good decision.  On arriving we took our time looking around the picnic area where the birds were very busy.  Purple-crested Turacos were bouncing around in the tree-tops, flashing their red wings and calling to each other.  Black-backed Puffback, Lemon Dove, Red-backed and Bronze Mannikins were easily seen.  One group took a walk through the nature reserve and added Sombre Greenbull, Burchell's Coucal, White-belied Sunbird and Mountain Wagtail to the list.   
Mountain Wagtail (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

Thick-billed Weaver (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

The remainder sat on the bank overlooking the river and let the birds come to them – African Hoopoe, Paradise Flycatcher, Thick-billed Weaver, Southern Black FlycatcherA Giant Kingfisher flew down the river, just above the water.  The walkers returned and everyone relaxed with a braai.  Green Woodhoopoes “serenaded” us with their cackles and chatterings.  Also vocal were Lesser and Scaly-throated Honeyguides and an Olive Thrush was evident by its dartings and rustlings.  To finish off a great day a Crowned Eagle made a fly-past up the river.  Ooh!

Thankyou to Eric for leading us round Izotsha, to Stan for the scope and Stan and Stanley for the braai.

(All photos property of photographer) 

Species seen: 


Beach/Izotsha Estuary

Reedy breakfast area
Uvongo River

Barbet Black-collared
Bishop Southern Red
Bulbul Dark-capped
Camaroptera Green-backed
Cormorant Reed
Goose Egyptian
Goose Spurwinged
Ibis Hadedah
Mousebird Speckled
Prinia Tawny-flanked
Sparrow House
Starling Red-winged
Swallow Barn
Swallow Lesser-striped
Swift Little
Swift White-rumped
Tinkerbird Yellow-rumped
Turaco Purple-crested
Weaver Thick-billed
Weaver Village
Weaver Yellow
Widowbird Fan-tailed

Cormorant White-breasted
Gannet Cape
Greenshank Common
Kingfisher Pied
Lapwing Blacksmith
Oystercatcher African Black
Plover 3-banded
Plover White-breasted
Sandpiper Common
Tern Sandwich
Tern Swift
Turnstone Ruddy
Wagtail Pied

Boubou Southern
Coucall Burchell’s
Duck Yellow-billed
Falcon Lanner
Heron Purple
Kingfisher Brown-hooded
Kite Yellow-billed
Mannikin Bronze
Pigeon Speckled
Starling Black-bellied
Stork Woolly-necked
Sunbird Amethyst
Swift Palm
Tchagra Black-crowned
Warbler Lesser Swamp
Weaver Spectacled
Whydah Pin-tailed

African Hoopoe
Barbet Black-collared
Cameroptera Green-backed
Canary Yellow-fronted
Coucall Burchell’s
Dove Lemon
Drongo Fork-tailed
Duck Yellow-billed
Eagle Crowned
Flycatcher Paradise
Flycatcher Southern Black
Greenbull Sombre
Honeyguide Lesser
Honeyguide Scaly-throated
Kingfisher Giant
Mannikin Bronze
Mannikin Red-backed
Oriole Black-headed
Prinia Tawny-flanked
Puffback Black-backed
Robin-Chat Red-capped
Sunbird Olive
Sunbird White-bellied
Thrush Olive
Turaco Purple-crested
Wagtail Cape
Wagtail Mountain
Weaver Spectacled
Wood-hoopoe Green