Friday, 27 May 2016

UPCOMING OUTING - 5 June 2016 Bird Ringing

Dear Members
Sunday 5 June 6.30am. BIRDLIFE TROGONS will visit iGwalagwala Forest, lower site, Melville, where Andrew & Ivan will be bird ringing,  Bring chairs, cameras & breakfast, also maybe something to braai for lunch at the Pickles’ later.

ALL WELCOME. Outings may be cancelled due to weather, check or phone Andrew before setting off.  For further details telephone**  Andrew Pickles 082 338 3302 or visit the blog.  ** Please note we cannot respond to text messages or “call me” requests.


From the R102 coast road in Melville turn inland, signed Upper Melville.  Turn first left (about 100m from the R102, before you start going uphill).   Keep on the tar road and there will be a sign on the left hand side by a track up the hill, GPS co-ordinates at turn-off DD MM SS.S
S30 39 00.1   E30 30 25.9

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Trogons Outing Report - Stott Farm, Umtentweni, 22 May 2016

Attending: Doug & Angie Butcher, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Clive & Margie Cowan, Michelle Pearson, Graham & Sue Salthouse, Andrew Maree, Fran & Ray Coole, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, and Errol.

Species seen: 40 (see end)
Thanks to everyone who got up early for our walk on a lovely, crisp autumn morning.  Even before we moved into the farmland, the indigenous woodland revealed Olive Sunbird, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Red-eyed Dove, Paradise Flycatcher and – wait for it – a Narina Trogon (this, thanks to the eagle eyes of Fran Coole, all the way from Johannesburg). 
Narina Trogon (Photo: Michelle Pearson)
Paradise Flycatcher (Photo: Michelle Pearson)
Further into the farm, the edge of the forest was quiet.  Our usual pathway had been blocked for some reason so we walked further around the sugar cane which soon led us back to the woodland.  Along here we came to some ancient trees with wide-spreading branches which suddenly abounded with life – Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds, Dusky, Ashy and Southern Black Flycatchers, Cape White-eyes, Village and Spectacled Weavers.  The melodious piping sounds of a Black-headed Oriole and the ripple-laugh of the Paradise Fly-catcher floated in the air – we didn’t know where to look first. 
Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird (Photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

African Hoopoe (Photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

Eventually moving on we completed the circle back to the cars, spotting Collared Sunbirds and a Thick-billed Weaver on the way.   
It's over there! (Photo: Doug Butcher)
Finding a sunny spot where we could have our breakfast, a pair of African Hoopoes and a family of Yellow-throated Longclaws checked out our presence.  An African Fish-Eagle called overhead.
Little Bea-eaters (Photo: Michelle Pearson)
Moving on again closer to the farmhouse a Natal Spurfowl squawked indignantly while Little Bee-eaters hawked insects from a telephone wire.  Usually the avenue of trees leading to the farmhouse is busy with birdlife but not today.  However, proceeding to where the road tumbles down the hillside a tree in fruit with small juicy red berries attracted a host of birdlife, including Dark-capped Bulbuls, Forktailed Drongos, Sombre Greenbuls and a Purple-crested Turaco.  In the same vicinity a dead tree was host to several Black-collared Barbet nestholes, and indeed we had seen and heard many of these vocal birds on our walk.  Later on a Cardinal Woodpecker and Burchell’s Coucal were seen at this site too.
I always enjoy the avenue of old knarled Coast Coral trees lining the pathway down to the river, wondering who planted them many years ago.  Close to the river which was now just a trickle we spotted Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Yellow-fronted Canary, Bronze and Red-backed Mannikins, Southern Boubou, and White-rumped Swifts skulled about in the air looking for insects.  In a patch of dead khakibos, one lonely green plant struggled on and Errol noticed a large green insect feeding on it, mimicking a leaf.  Maybe someone can identify it? 
What sort of bug is this? (Photo: Doug Butcher)

Trudging wearily back up the hill we were urged on by the jumbled trilling of Black-bellied Starlings.
A shady spot (Photo: Doug Butcher)
By this time our tongues were hanging out and we enjoyed some cold refreshment under a shady tree.  All in all, another great day out – not a huge number of species but an abundance of birdlife.  Many thanks to the Stott family.
Narina Trogon (Photo: Hazel van Rooyen)
 Species seen: 
Barbet, Black-collared
Bee-eater, Little
Boubou, Southern
Bulbul, Dark-capped
Cameroptera, Green-backed
Canary, Yellow-fronted
Coucal, Burchell’s
Dove, Red-eyed
Drongo, Fork-tailed
Fish Eagle, African
Flycatcher, Ashy
Flycatcher, Dusky
Flycatcher, Paradise
Flycatcher, Southern Black
Greenbul, Sombre
Hoopoe, African
Ibis, Hadedah
Kingfisher, Brown-hooded
Long-claw, Yellow-throated
Mannikin, Bronze
Mannikin, Red-backed
Oriole, Black-headed
Prinia, Tawny-flanked
Red-capped Robin-Chat
Spurfowl, Natal
Starling, Black-bellied
Stonechat, African
Sunbird, Collared

Sunbird, Olive
Swift, White-rumped
Tinkerbird, Yellow-rumped
Trogon, Narina
Turaco, Knysna
Turaco, Purple-crested
Weaver, Spectacled
Weaver, Thick-billed
Weaver, Village
White-eye, Cape
Woodpecker, Cardinal
Woodpecker, Golden-tailed


All photos property of photographer

Friday, 13 May 2016

UPCOMING OUTING- 22 May 2016 Stott Farm, Umtentweni

Time: 07h00

Bring chairs, breakfast & a packed lunch. NO BRAAI.

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

Outings may be cancelled due to weather, check or
phone Hazel before setting off.

For further details & lift sharing telephone**  Hazel on 072 355 8837.
** Please note we cannot respond to text messages or “call me” requests.


From the R102 coast road turn inland at the robots into Rethman Drive. Meet at the farm entrance track approx 2km on the right.
Set GPS to DD MM SS.S = S30 42 38.5  E30 27 41.6


Saturday, 7 May 2016


Dear All

Our Chairman and committee have decided to cancel the planned outing tomorrow due to a most unfavourable weather forecast.  Sorry to disappointment everyone.
Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club

Sunday, 1 May 2016

BIRD RINGING REPORT - iGwalagwala Top Forest with Andrew Pickles - 1 May 2016

iGwalagwala Forest (Top section)

Birds ringed: 13;  species: 6                                          Text & Photographs: Hazel van Rooyen

Following a rainy Saturday Andrew, Ivan and Liz bravely set up the nets in the forest before dawn on Sunday morning.  Stars were shining in the sky but a wide bank of cloud hung menacingly out to sea.  However, as the day awakened, birds started singing and layers of jackets got discarded.  A fascinated group of 15 people looked on while Andrew and his crew worked their magic, ringing 13 birds overall – not bad considering the sudden onslaught of wintry weather. 

Getting down to business
Andrew points out the yellow pectoral tufts to keen photographers
And it was an interesting catch of little characters. 
Terrestrial Brownbul
The Terrestrial Brownbull was a recapture and amusingly vocal.  On later inspection of his records Andrew realised this was the bulbul’s fourth recapture since first being ringed in July 2011, again in September 2012, March 2013, August 2014 and today.  No wonder he objected so much! 

Red-capped Robin-Chat
One of the Red-capped Robin-Chats was first captured in May 2006 as a 6-12month immature bird, then in July 2013 and again today. An interesting fact according to Roberts is that the oldest recording of a Red-capped Robin-Chat is 11 years and today Andrew’s was 10 years – Go Andrew!  Also, no recoveries of ringed Red-capped Robin-Chats have ever been made away from ringing sites.   

Lemon Dove
Green-backed Cameroptera
Olive Sunbird

The Lemon Dove was also a 3-time capture - March 2013, July 2013 and today.  Likewise the Green-backed Cameroptera – March 2014, August 2014 and today.  An Olive Sunbird had previously been ringed in February 2014.

The brilliant male Collared Sunbird

Thankyou Andrew, Liz and Ivan for another interesting day of bird ringing, followed by the wonderful hospitality at your home overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Species ringed:
Red-caped Robin Chat (4)
Terrestrial Brownbull (1)
Green-backed Cameroptera (3)
Olive Sunbird (3)
Lemon Dove (1)
Collared Sunbird (M) (1)
All photographs property of Hazel van Rooyen