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

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