Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Trogons Outing Report: Culley Dam & Gaze Farm, 22 January 2017

Attendees: Stan & Val Culley (hosts),  Doug & Angie Butcher, Clive & Margie Cowan,  Robin Eccles & Hanli Kloppers, Mr & Pat Fourie, Stanley & Asothie Gengan, Margaret Jones, Eric Kok, B McDonald, Vaughan & Jenny Merryk, Hazel Nevin, Irma Smook, Joey van Niekerk, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen, Alastair Warman, Barrie Willis & Sue Hansbury (25)
Species recorded:52

Culley Dam proved its popularity yet again with an excellent turn-out of 25 people.

On arrival, half our number couldn’t wait to get down to the dam, whilst the more energetic tackled the hike up the hill, to be rewarded by the magnificent view of the Umthamvuna Estuary with the sparkling sea as a back-drop.  Some birds seen on the way up were Crowned Hornbill, Green Wood-hoopoe, Black Saw-wing and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird.

At the dam Stan was showing everyone the additional wetland he had created over the last few months and the excellent new hide he had built, facing the original one.  
Stan's new hide (photo Hazel van Rooyen)
Yellow-billed and White-faced Ducks graced the dams which were now swollen with the recent rains.  Thick-billed Weavers busied themselves building their neat nests in between two bull-rushes and Village Weavers flitted amongst the long grass.
Yellow-billed Ducks (photo Hazel van Rooyen)
In the meantime the hill walkers were examining the dam on the hill-top which revealed Grey and Black-headed Herons, Yellow-billed Ducks and an African Jacana which was treading elegantly over the lily-pads foraging for insects.  Returning down the mountain-side Yellow-throated Longclaw, Southern Black Flycatcher and Black-backed Puffback were spotted.

Black-headed Heron (photo hazel van Rooyen)

Arriving at Culley Dam a Malachite Kingfisher flashed back and forth across the water – a turquoise and orange jewel catching the eye.  A Purple Heron drifted gracefully in and a Little Bittern lifted up out of the reeds, only to disappear back down as if it had never been there.  And all was once again peaceful.

Except of course, back at the house where we enjoyed a sociable braai.  On the veranda we were accompanied by Mrs Amethyst Sunbird who was incubating her eggs in the nest built on the chain of the light fitting.
Amethyst Sunbird (photo Hazel Nevin)
Many thanks to Stan & Val for a good day enjoyed by all.

Bird Count:52

Bittern Little
Bulbul Dark-capped
Buzzard Steppe (Common)
Cameroptera Green-backed
Canary Yellow-fronted
Cormorant Reed
Dove Red-eyed
Dove Tambourine
Drongo Fork-tailed
Duck White-faced
Duck Yellow-billed
Fiscal Common
Flycatcher Southern Black
Goose Egyptian
Goose Spurwinged
Greenbul Sombre
Guineafowl Helmeted
Heron Black-headed
Heron Grey
Heron Purple
Hornbill Crowned
Ibis Hadedah
Jacana African
Kingfisher Malachite
Kingfisher Giant
Kite Yellow-billed

Longclaw Yellow-throated
Mannikin Bronze
Mousebird Speckled
Oriole Black-headed
Puffback Black-backed
Saw-wing Black
Sparrow Grey-headed
Spurfowl Natal
Starling Black-bellied
Starling Red-wing
Stork Woolly-necked
Sunbird Amethyst
Sunbird Olive
Swallow Barn
Swallow Lesser Striped
Swallow White-throated
Swift White-rumped
Tinkerbird Yellow-rumped
Wagtail Cape
Weaver Thick-billed
Weaver Village
Weaver Yellow
Widowbird Fantailed
White-eye Cape
Whydah Pin-tailed
Wood-Hoopoe Green

All photos property of photographer

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