Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Outing Report - Umdoni Park, Pennington - 27 August 2017

White-eared Barbet (photo: Lennart Erikson)
Species count: 49 (see end)                                                                  Text: Hazel van Rooyen

Attendance: Sandy Olver, Hazel Nevin, Stan & Val Culley, Clive & Margie Cowan, Lennart Eriksson, Bob & Hazel van Rooyen

It was a small but eager bunch of birders that arrived at Umdoni Park on Sunday.  Having started out from Uvongo in sunshine, motoring up the highway clouds began to accumulate and we hoped that the promised rain would hold off for us.  I’m happy to report that it did and we had a lovely morning’s birding, quite content that the rain held off until we were homeward bound.
Umdoni Park (photo Lennart Erikson)

On arriving at the Environmental Centre, sunbirds – Amethyst, Collared and Olive - were much in evidence.  Later on a Grey Sunbird was also spotted by Stan, displaying its red pectoral tufts.  At the start of our first walk, a tiny Impithi buck was foraging by the roadside, keeping one eye on us humans.  Toad Trees were in blossom and little red Wild Freesias showed themselves amongst the grassy verges.  Some brightly coloured fungi caught Hazel Nevin’s eye.
Fungus (photo: Hazel Nevin)

This walk produced plenty “top of the tree” White-eared Barbets and Trumpeter Hornbills. 
Trumpeter Hornbills (photo: Hazel van Rooyen)
Birds preferring the seclusion of the woodland were Green-backed Cameroptera, Yellow-bellied Greenbull, Red-capped Robin Chat and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird. 
Red-capped Robin Chat (photo: Hazel Nevin)
A Paradise Flycatcher flitted in the more open trees at the edge of the golf green and at the retirement complex a Purple Heron and White-fronted Cormorant presided over the small pond.  Half of us then followed the fence back to the cars spotting a Southern Boubou on the way, whilst the others followed the route along the golf course, listening (unsuccessfully) for the oft-heard call of the Scaly-throated Honeyguide.

Group photo (H van Rooyen)

Breakfast was hauled out and Stan put some seed on the feeder, hoping for Green Twinspots but these were a no-show.  Lennart kept everyone highly entertained regaling a recent too-close encounter between himself, his car and a cow and on that high (or messy) note he had to leave.  The Cowans also had other duties calling.

After breakfast we crossed the golf course (nothing on the dam)
Pond on the golf course (photo: Lennart Erikson)
and took “Molly’s Road” to the wonderful viewpoint overlooking the Nkumbane River.  Here we paused for quite a while, enjoying the view.  An African Black Duck was spotted in the river and we were just saying we hadn’t seen any Yellow-billed Kites, when one appeared on the horizon.  The Crowned Eagle sailed obligingly overhead and a flock of Crowned Hornbills crossed over the gorge.  To add a touch of perfection  an African Fish Eagle called in the distance. 

Crowned Eagle (HvR))
 We could have stayed longer but with a satisfied feeling we trundled back to the Centre, admiring the beautiful fig tree outside the weekend bungalows.  Sandy spotted African Green Pigeons amongst the hornbills feeding close by and a Terrestrial Bulbul kicked up a fuss in the woodland.

We noticed the devastation from chopping and burning all the Strelitzia nicolai.   Sandy has sent a quote from Pooley’s Trees to Mary McKenzie of Pennington Conservancy, saying that many bird species enjoy the nectar from the Strelitzia,  birds and monkeys eat the aril and soft parts of the flowers,  frogs hibernate in the leaves,  Banana Bats roost in the furled leaves and the Strelitzia Nightfighter butterfly uses it as a food source.  Hopefully she can put a stop to this wanton destruction.  No wonder more monkeys are descending on the Pennington gardens where they make a nuisance of themselves and the residents get upset. 

At this point, Sandy and Hazel N had to be on their way, leaving the Culleys and van Rooyens to enjoy their braai and relax before the drive home.  A Thick-billed Weaver found the seed and had a good meal while Ashy Flycatchers and Cape White-eyes enjoyed the bird-bath, splashing delightfully. 
Tambourine Dove (HvR)
Thick-billed Weaver (HvR)

Ashy Flycatchers (HvR)

A Tambourine Dove came by to see what the fuss was about.  As we packed the cars, the final note came from a Brown-hooded Kingfisher as if to say “Don’t forget to add me to your list”.

A most enjoyable day - thanks everyone.

49 species

Apalis, Bar-throated
Barbet, White-eared
Boubou, Southern
Brownbul, Terrestrial
Bulbul, Dark-capped
Bush Shrike, Gorgeous
Cameroptera, Green-backed
Canary, Yellow-fronted
Cormorant, White-breasted
Coucal, Burchell’s
Crow, Pied
Dove, Red-eyed
Dove, Tambourine
Drongo, Fork-tailed
Drongo, Square-tailed
Duck, African Black
Eagle, African Fish
Eagle, Crowned
Flycatcher, Ashy
Flycatcher, Paradise
Fly-catcher, Southern Black
Goose, Egyptian
Greenbull, Sombre
Greenbull, Yellow-bellied
Heron, Purple

Hornbill, Crowned
Hornbill, Trumpeter
Ibis, Hadedah
Kingfisher, Brown-hooded
Kite, Yellow-billed
Oriole, Black-headed
Pigeon, African Green
Prinia, Tawny-flanked
Puff-back, Black-backed
Robin, Brown Scrub
Robin-Chat, Red-capped
Starling, Black-bellied
Sunbird, Amethyst
Sunbird, Collared
Sunbird, Grey
Sunbird, Olive
Swallow, Lesser-striped
Tinkerbird, Yellow-rumped
Turaco, Knysna
Turaco, Purple-crested
Weaver, Dark-backed
Weaver, Spectacled
Weaver, Thick-billed
White-eye, Cape

Photos property of photographers

No comments:

Post a Comment