Friday, 29 July 2016

UPCOMING OUTING: 7 August 2016 - Bird ringing at Umdoni Park, Pennington

Dear Members
Sunday 7 August at 6.30am  BIRDLIFE TROGONS will visit Umdoni, Pennington where Andrew & Ivan Pickles will be bird ringing.  Bring cameras, chairs, and breakfast.  Mark Brown has previously done some extensive ringing in this reserve so perhaps we could get some of his ringed birds. There are always plenty of birds to see here so those who want to are free to walk any of the walking trails through the forest.   (Sorry, no braai afterwards).  

Take the N2 towards Durban – take exit 93 for R102 toward Sezela.  Turn right onto R102.  Travel 4.8km then turn right into Pennington Drive.
After 655m turn right into Minerva Avenue.  Continue straight to Umdoni Park entrance, enter the boom gate;  bear right (west) at the sign for 'Enviro Centre';
(Set GPS to DD MM SS.S  =  S30 23 32.2   E30 41 21.7) follow the dirt road (cautiously, especially in the dark, watching for Blue Duiker, Bushbuck, Genets and Caracal crossing) past the Enviro Centre until you reach Andrew's "bird ringing" signs he'll place to the left of the road.
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.  To check, 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.
See you there!
Hazel van Rooyen
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club

Friday, 22 July 2016

CANCELLED Trogons outing to Umbogavango 24 July 2016

Dear Members

We have made the decision to cancel our outing to Umbogavango planned for Sunday 24 July due to the bad weather forecast.

Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen

Monday, 18 July 2016

UPCOMING OUTING: 24 July 2016 - Umbogavango/Vumbuka

Dear Members

Sunday 24 July 07:00am. BIRDLIFE TROGONS will visit Umbogovango/Vumbuka (AECI) 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 weather, if doubtful please phone Hazel before setting off.
For further details telephone **  Hazel van Royen on 072 355 8837 
** Please note we cannot respond to text messages or “call me” requests.
Take Moss Kolnik Drive (M37) off-ramp from the N2 and keep left. Turn 2nd right into
Southgate Business Park and meet in lay-by on left just before the security gate.
Set GPS to DD MM SS.S  = S30 01 51.8  E30 53 40.9
Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen
BirdLife Trogons Bird Club

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Outing report - Mpenjati Conservancy, 10 July 2016

Attendees: Val Culley,  Doug & Angie Butcher, Graham & Sue Salthouse, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Clive & Margie Cowan, Hazel van Rooyen, Stefan Ringelmann, Louis & Pat Fourie
Bird count:  47(see end)
Text: Hazel van Rooyen

Today was such a different bird count from our previous outing in January, which is to be expected I suppose, it now being mid-winter. 
Kelp Gulls on the sandbank whilst a container ship looms ghost-like on the horizon (photo: Doug Butcher)
From the carpark we watched as a Pied Kingfisher dived for his breakfast from his vantage point on a washed-up tree-trunk and White-breasted Cormorants dried out their wings.  Both Pied and Cape Wagtails inspected the grassy area around the braais for tidbits.  A Grey Sunbird perched high in a strelitzia while a Black-headed Heron flew over the estuary.  Stefan spotted a Purple-banded Sunbird which we don’t usually see around here as it is at the limit of its range and this is the most southerly sighting Stan has heard about.
Grey Sunbird (photo: Stefan Ringelmann)
Purple-banded Sunbird (photo: Stefan Ringelmann)

Taking the tar-road up to the grasslands we spotted Black-bellied Starling, Dusky Flycatcher, Southern Black Flycatcher amongst others.  A Golden-tailed Woodpecker squawked intermittently from the woodland and Tambourine Doves flashed across our eye-line.  The boggy areas of grassland were dotted prettily with the orange and yellow of Red Hot Pokers.  Proceeding through the sand forest all was quiet until we came out into the sunshine onto the ground-cover laced dunes with the high tides pounding on to the beach.
Red Hot Pokers on water-logged grassland (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)
In the past the arrival of the sardines at this time of year would have also heralded the appearance of many more seabirds but those days are gone so it was nice to see a flock of about 40 Kelp Gulls and 15 Swift Terns resting on the sandbank.  
Swift Tern (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

Kelp Gull (photo:Doug Butcher)

A visit to Mpenjati wouldn’t be complete without sighting the White-fronted Plover scampering about on the littoral.  A fascinating piece of bamboo drift-wood supported a colony of barnacles in a very pretty fashion, conjuring up visions of it being swept around beneath mysterious deep oceans.
White-fronted Plover (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

Barnacles (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)

The photographers took advantage of the sight of a pair of dapper African Black Oystercatchers marching up and down the river tide-line.
African Black Oystercatchers (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)
After breakfast we made our way across to the other side of the estuary and investigated the forest walk to the beach.  Sadly the boardwalk through the forest still hasn’t been repaired but we enjoyed the walk as far as we could go, spotting Terrestrial Brownbul, Brown-hooded Kingfisher and Grey Waxbill.  As we returned back into the open a flock of Woolly-necked Storks were circling high on the thermals.
Grey Waxbill (photo: Stefan Ringelmann)
 Those who stayed on for the braai added a Black-headed Oriole to the day’s list.
Breakfast at Mpenjati (photo: Doug Butcher)

Breakfast at Mpenjati River (photo: Doug Butcher)
47 species

Barbet, Black-collared
Boubou, Southern
Bulbul, Dark-capped
Brownbul, Terrestrial
Cisticola, Rufous-winged
Cormorant, Reed
Cormorant, White-breasted
Dove, Red-eyed
Dove, Tambourine
Drongo, Fork-tailed
Egret, Little
Fiscal, Common
Fish Eagle, African
Flycatcher, Dusky
Flycatcher, Southern Black
Goose, Egyptian

Green-Pigeon, African
Greenbul, Sombre
Gull, Kelp
Heron, Black-headed
Ibis, Hadeda
Kingfisher, Brown-hooded
Kingfisher, Giant
Kingfisher, Pied
Mannikin, Bronze
Oriole, Black-headed
Plover, White-fronted
Prinia, Tawny-flanked
Robin-Chat, Red-capped
Starling, Black-bellied
Stork, Woolly-necked

Sunbird, Amethyst
Sunbird, Collared
Sunbird, Grey
Sunbird, Olive
Sunbird, Purple-banded
Tern, Swift
Tinkerbird, Yellow-rumped
Tit, Southern Black
Wagtail, Cape
Wagtail, Pied
Waxbill, Grey
Weaver, Spectacled
Weaver Yellow
White-eye, Cape
Woodpecker, Golden-tailed

(All photos property of photographer)

Sunday, 3 July 2016

UPCOMING OUTING 10 July 2016 - Mpenjati Nature Reserve

Dear Members
Sunday 10 July 2016 7am BIRDLIFE TROGONS will visit Mpenjati N.R.   Bring chairs, breakfast & something to braai for lunch.
ALL WELCOME. 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 telephone** Hazel van Rooyen on 072 355 8837 or visit the blog.
** Please note we cannot respond to text messages or “call me” requests.
From the R61 meet at the Mpenjati South entrance gate. There is a R10 per person entrance fee, however this is negated if you have a Rhino Card.
Set GPS to DD MM SS.S  =  S30 58 18.2  E30 16 39.3
Kind regards
Hazel van Rooyen

Bird Ringing report, iGwalagwala lower forest, 3 July 2016

Catch of the Day - Knysna Warbler

Yet again another good turnout of 18 people for Andrew's bird ringing session on a cold but bright Sunday morning.  I thought it might be too cold for the birds but they are brave little souls and as usual the first catch was the best.  In total 32 birds were caught, 16 new and 16 were recaptures.  

The diminutive Knysna Warbler was a recapture from the previous session. 
iGwalagwala Forest

Spotted Ground Thrush
Brown Scrub-Robin
Chorister Robin-Chat

Lemon Dove

All photos property of Hazel van Rooyen

In Memory Mike Fagan 12th March 1942 to 3rd July 2014