Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

Dear All

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh, InkosiYeentaka, Lehlwa and Mollie and our Cape Vultures; Bennie and N207, for the past week.

No news of Mac yet, hopefully I will have an update for you next week.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

Advertisements
Posted in Home, Posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

SAPPI Outing

Report by Elena Russell

SAPPI Outing Saturday 3rd February 2018

Late Friday afternoon we had the most massive storm; hail, lightening, thunder and torrential rain. I wondered about the North Coast and hoped the storm never got as far as SAPPI but of course it did. The silver lining was that Jenny had offered me a lift!! The road into SAPPI was horrific (at least I thought so) but Jenny was not daunted, but the muddy side road to the hide was questionable. Anyway the security man came to all of our rescue and agreed to open up another access road to the picnic site so as they say in the classics ‘all’s well that ends well’.

We had a good turnout, some members did not pitch maybe because of the weather and at 10:30 when we were having our picnic tea and doing the list it had started to drizzle. Our total count at tea was 84 and then Jenny and I picked up two more so 86 – not too shabby.

One of the reasons to go to SAPPI early in the year is the Brown-throated Weavers and they did not disappoint. Some really nice photos.

We didn’t get any rarities but then the waders were almost swimming, no sand banks due to the storm, but that’s birding.

Some of the specials; Scarlet-chested Sunbirds,  Great White Pelicans, Water Thick-knees (hidden away), Willow Warbler, Black-throated Wattle-eye, one lone Cape Shoveller and Black-crowned Night Herons.

Plus lots of Hottentot and Red-billed Teals, good views of Burchell’s Coucal and so many Moorhens we lost count.

SAPPI never disappoints and thanks for some great photos – John Bremner, David Swanepoel, Mike Stead and Mike Jackson.

Cheers

Elena Russell

Posted in Activities, Home, Posts, Reports | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

Dear All

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh, InkosiYeentaka, Lehlwa and Mollie and our Cape Vultures; Bennie and N207, for the past week.

You will notice that Mac movements are missing this week. Her transmitter has stopped transmitting but we will be searching at its last location this week as well as at her roost/nest site for any sign of her.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

Posted in Home, Posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

Dear All

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh, InkosiYeentaka, Lehlwa, Mac, and Mollie and our Cape Vultures; Bennie and N207, for the past week.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

Posted in Home, Posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

Dear All

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh, InkosiYeentaka, Lehlwa, Mac, and Mollie and our Cape Vultures; Bennie and N207, for the past week.  Mollie has been very active in this past week, exploring a large area.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

Posted in Home, Posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Columbia Trip Report

Hello all,

Lisl van Deventer and I recently returned from a 24-day trip to Colombia and managed to get 701 (33 heard-only) species including 50 (4 heard-only) endemics and a further 87 (4 heard-only) near-endemics. Mostly very pleasant conditions and some absolutely superb cloud- and subtropical forest birding. It’s a fascinating country with friendly people and pretty good food too. Full trip report published on CloudBirders.com, https://www.cloudbirders.com/tripreport/show/20601/30733

Kind regards,

Pieter Vrey

Posted in Home, Posts, Reports | Tagged | 1 Comment

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

Dear All

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh, InkosiYeentaka, Lehlwa, Mac, and Mollie and our Cape Vultures; Bennie and N207, for the past week.  The recently released Cape Vulture- N208 has been recaptured and is back in rehabilitation. Although a strong flier and healthy bird when released, he was not progressing well in the wild and is receiving the necessary care and treatment.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

Posted in Home, Posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Umbogavango Outing

Report by Elena Russell

Saturday 6th january 2018

The indemnity form had not been left at the office by security. Without it we were not going to gain access to Umbogavango, one of our favourite birding spots.

We were considering whether to toyi-toyi into the office and demand our rights but a few phone calls were made and all was sorted out amicably.

We had a very good crowd, old and new members and some visitors. We broke up into 3 groups, my thanks to Mike Roseblade and Adam Cruikshank for leading two of the groups.

Our bird count was eventually 103 not too shabby (click here to see the list) – some of the highlights: Common Buzzard, Malachite Kingfisher (adult and juvenile) Buff-spotted Flufftail, Natal Spurfowl, African Spoonbills, Purple-banded Sunbird, Mountain Wagtail, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Black Crake and lots more!

Thanks to Sandi du Preez for the attached bird list and thanks to John Bremner, Adam Cruickshank and Tyron Dall for some really great photos.

Cheers

Elena

Posted in Home | Leave a comment

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

Dear All

Please find attached (Click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh, InkosiYeentaka, Lehlwa, Mac, and Mollie and our Cape Vultures; Bennie and N207, for the past 10 days.  Please also find the movements of a recently released rehabilitated Cape Vulture- N208. This individual has stayed quite close to his release site so far and is being closely monitored.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

Posted in Home, Posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sapphire Coast Bird Challenge

Hi All,

We are excited to have the Sapphire Coast Bird Challenge up and running.

The Sapphire Coast Bird Challenge is open to all residents and visitors to this part of the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. The aim of this challenge is to see who can see the most bird species in this region in 2018. The area stretches from the Mbokodweni river in the North, to the Mpambanyoni river in the South, about 9km inland, and 1.5km into the ocean.

Participating in this challenge will not only be lots of fun but will make a valuable contribution to conservation initiatives in the Sapphire Coast area.

A big thank you to Henk Nel and the BirdLasser team for making putting it together. What is really exciting is that everyone that participates between now and the end of March will go into a draw to win some amazing birding books compliments of Bargain Books SA.

Here is a link to the challenge:

https://www.birdlasser.com/challenges/sapphirecoast2018/overview

Please feel free to forward this email far and wide as possible. If anyone has any questions that can feel free to email me and I will answer them.

Thank You,

Adam Cruickshank

Posted in Home, Posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

Dear All

Please find attached (click here)  the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh, InkosiYeentaka, Lehlwa, Mac, and Mollie and our Cape Vultures; Bennie and N207, for the past week.

Another early email since New Year also falls on a Monday this/next year.

Wishing you all the best for 2018 – hopefully we can make a concerted effort towards addressing the threats to these magnificent birds in the coming year!!

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

Posted in Home, Posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

Dear All

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh, InkosiYeentaka, Lehlwa, Mac, and Mollie and our Cape Vultures; Bennie and N207, for the past week.

I am sending this mail early so that my computer can take a break on the 25th J.

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas and enjoyable festive season

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

Posted in Home, Posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

Dear All

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh, InkosiYeentaka, Lehlwa, Mac, and Mollie and our Cape Vultures; Bennie and a very adventurous N207, for the past week.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

Posted in Home, Posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

Dear All

Please find attached (click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh, InkosiYeentaka, Lehlwa, Mac, and Mollie and our Cape Vultures; Bennie and N207, for the past week.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

Posted in Home, Posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Springside Christmas Outing

Report By Elena Russell

2 December 2017

We had an excellent turnout for our Christmas outing to Springside. Could it be the famous toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches as prepared by our chefs, Marion and John. Most definitely, they and I mean the sarmies, get better and better each year! A big thank you to Marion and John for the catering – the sandwiches were delicious.

Also thanks to Mark and Cecily for their assistance.

Even Steve Woodall pitched up (much later) – he says he was looking for a butterfly, I think he had heard about the sarmies!!

We broke up into 3 groups and my thanks to David Swanepoel and Mike Roseblade for leading the other two groups. Springside has all sorts of different paths to meander up and down and although the weather was a bit dicey to begin with (spitting with rain) it improved during the morning and we had some jolly good birding.

Our total count at the end of the morning was 77 but as we gathered in the parking area there was the bird of the day – Broad-tailed Warbler.

The raptor count, due to the weather, was not too good, YBK’s and a single African Goshawk. Lots of Cuckoos were heard, Klaas’s, Diederik, Red-chested and some of us were lucky enough to see the Emerald. Sunbirds: Collared, Amethyst, Greater-doubled Collared, Olive and White-bellied.

The weaver count was very good. Holub’s Golden Weaver and a number of nests by the picnic site (vlei area) and further up by the stream. Some of the Thick-billed Weavers have made nests in the weeds on the hillside which looked a bit odd. Maybe they chose higher ground due to the heavy rains?  Also Village, Dark-backed and Spectacled.

Holub’s Golden Weaver – David Swanepoel

Here are some of the other birds, plants and dragonflies photographed:

Many thanks to Mike Stead (aka the photographer) and David Swanepoel for some great photos and of course Marion and John for their generosity and hard work!!

Here’s wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a great birding New Year.

Cheers

Elena

 

Posted in Activities, Home, Posts, Reports | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sand Forest Lodge Weekend Outing

Report by Cheryl Bevan

24 to 26 November 2017

For our last weekend outing for the year we went to Sand Forest Lodge in Hluhluwe . We had a great turn out – eleven in total.

A few of us stopped at St Lucia on Thursday on our way to see if we could find the Gull-billed Tern, Sooty Tern and the Eurasian Oystercatcher who have been hanging around for a while and lucky for us we all saw the two Terns.

Sooty Tern – John Bevan

On Friday after we had all set up camp we gathered for a braai catching up and planning for Saturday.

Starting off at six in the morning in very rainy miserable weather we set off through the forest expecting to see nothing. After walking for about an hour we had only heard and seen a few birds. Narina Trogans were calling but although we got close we did not manage to get a view of them.

We perservered entering the open grassland area and it paid off.  Seeing European Bee-eater, White-eared Barbet, Neergaard’s, Purple-banded and Scarlet-chested Sunbirds, Narina Trogon and more……………

Some other sightings of interest. A Baobab in the garden was flowering. An unknown caterpillar and a sunbird nest which we would like identified. It was thought by some as a Neergaard’s Sunbird nest. And a spotted-tailed Ant.

Spotted Thick-knees were nesting on the grass in front of the chalets.

Spotted Thick-knees – Paul Bartho

Here are some of the birds seen at Sand Forest Lodge.

After breakfast and tea time we set off to False Bay where we had great sightings of hundreds of Greater Flamingos and White-breasted Comorants as well as Whimbrel and other waders.

Common Whimbrel – Paul Bartho

We were excited to find a smallish dark wader which had us confused for a while until we realised it was still in breeding plumage. A Curlew Sandpiper [we always hope to find something rare] but this one was still in breeding plumage.

2 Curlew Sandpipers – Paul Bartho

After Lunch and a short rest we hit Muzi Pan – an hour away.

Black Heron on the other side of the pan, Ruff, a flock of Glossy Ibis, Burchell’s Coucal, Squacco Heron and other waders- Common and Curlew Sandpipers, Little Stint, Black-winged Stilts among them.

Sunday morning we birded on the property again picking up 102 birds for the weekend. This is Cheryl Bevan’s Bird List:

We all went home happy and tired.

Cheryl and John Bevan

Posted in Activities, Home, Posts, Reports | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Latest Cape and Bearded Vulture tracks

Dear All

Please find attached (Click here) the movements of our Bearded Vultures; Jeremia, Pharaoh, InkosiYeentaka, Lehlwa, Mac, and Mollie and our Cape Vultures; Bennie and N207, for the past week.

Kind regards

Sonja Krüger

http://www.projectvulture.org.za/

https://www.facebook.com/projectvulture
https://twitter.com/vultureproject

Posted in Home, Posts | Tagged | Leave a comment

BirdLife Port Natal Fun Evening

The final indoor meeting of the year took place on 8 November 2017, in the form of a fun evening organised by Steve Davis. Eighteen members came along for the mystery competitions, which required no expert knowledge of birds at all!

Firstly, there was a word search competition, in which each person had to find the names of 40 birds hidden in a 15×15 block. The winners of this were Chris, Rowena and Adam.

Secondly came a Bird Jigsaw game. Each person was handed an envelope with 1/6 of a picture of a bird stapled in and 5 miscellaneous loose pieces. The race was then on to find among the other members the missing five pieces of your picture. Much hilarity ensued as well as some long faces, as some people by chance got relatively easy pictures (e.g. Violet-backed Starling) while others were more difficult (e.g. Eastern Nicator). In the end, the winners, Rowena, Jenny and Jane, helped the others to complete their pictures in the end.

Thirdly was Bird Scrabble. This was similar to Bird Jigsaw, except this time each envelope contained the name of a bird and five random pieces of bird names. Again, much chaos ensued as everyone rushed around trying to find the component parts of their bird name, without dropping the small pieces of card. It wasn’t as easy as some people thought, as a bird starting with “Black-” could have a first piece with “BLA”, “BLAC”,  “BLACK” or “BLACK-” and only when you found the next piece would you know which was correct. In the end, the winners were David, Adam and Rowena.

After all the merriment and the prizegiving, tea, coffee, mince pies and biscuits were enjoyed by all. To those who were unable to come, you missed a great deal of fun but it is certain to be repeated by popular request.IMG_3072IMG_3077IMG_3079IMG_3082IMG_3083IMG_3086IMG_3087IMG_3088

Posted in Activities, Home, Posts, Reports | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mkuze

Report by Paul and Sally Bartho

22 to 24 November 2017

Prior to going on the BLPN Weekend Outing to Sand Forest Lodge, Sally and I decided to spend a couple of nights camping at Mkuze.

The campsite has a lovely layout with two ablution blocks. It’s main issue is lack of maintenance and site management. The other issue is that they charge for 3 people minimum, making the cost for two people prohibitive unless they are offering discounts.

Anyway we enjoyed our two night stay despite no water on the last morning.

Candy-striped Crinum Lilies

All the hides were open but there was little water  at the hides except those at Nsumo Pan and kuMasinga.

Anyone wishing to identify this tree? It’s fruit is the size of a Gooseberry and yellow/orange in colour.

KuMasinga was quiet both times we visited. However there was a pair of Egyptian Geese with 8 goslings wandering about near the water. What was interesting was to see all 8 goslings (at this stage no longer small chicks) snuggling together completely under mother goose. Not sure how she managed it.

Egyptian Goslings

Also seen at kuMasinga hide were:

Terrapins sunbathing

Nsumo Pan was overcast and windy, rain threatening. Despite that we had what we thought was an unusual sighting of 6 Comb Ducks on the opposite bank from one of the hides.

Also a Whiskered Tern was seen chasing a White-winged Tern for some reason.

As we left Nsumo Pan we heard a call – Woodland Kingfisher. We scoured for the source of the call without success then just as we started to turn away from the water we heard it again and I managed a photo from a distance.

Woodland Kingfisher

Driving around we came across a couple of juvenile raptors – an African Harrier Hawk and a Bateleur. Each was being bombed by angry birds. In the case of the Bateleur by a pair of Broad-billed Rollers.

The Crowned Eagle we saw on the previous visit made an appearance too.

Crowned Eagle

Here are some of the other species photographed while traversing the Game Reserve.

Little Bee-eaters

Over the past several visits to Mkuze we had not seen any of the big cats. My sister visited a few weeks earlier and said she had seen a Cheetah near a camera trap near the far end of the Beacon  Road. So as we passed by the camera we made an effort to see whether this cat frequented the spot. No luck. Then – having started car and driven about 200 metres there she was with 2 juveniles. Lovely sighting.

Cheetah with collar

Hope you enjoyed the read.

Paul and sally Bartho

Posted in Home, Posts, Reports | Tagged | 1 Comment

KwaXimba Conservancy Outing

KwaXimba Conservancy , Umgeni Valley

Sunday 12 November 2017

Report by Dave Rimmer

For the third year running numbers joining me on the BLPN outing to KwaXimba could be counted with less fingers on two hands.

I’m not sure whether it’s due to the early 06h00 start or a perception that it’s too remote a location to visit? Either way, by 6am the dawn chorus is already history and it’s really not that far nor remote – only half an hour from Pinetown!!

All the same, 9 birders joined me this year (thank you) and what a feast of birds we had.

There can’t be too many places on the outskirts of the city where one can view or hear a mix of bushveld birds (Long-billed Crombec, Blue Waxbill, Chinspot Batis, White-browed Scrub Robin and Violet-backed Starling), forest birds (Southern Boubou, Purple-crested Turaco and Tambourine Dove), and of course water birds (African Black Duck, Black Crake, Common Sandpiper, Hamerkop and Pygmy Geese) in the space of just a few hours.

Village Weaver (Photo credit – David Swanepoel)

The morning started off very misty which made for some interesting photo opportunities.

Morning mist scenery – Angels breathe (Dave Rimmer)

The mist soon lifted gradually giving way to the spectacular granite domes that surround the valley, and so too did it become hotter and hotter – hence the need for an early start.

Interesting geological rock formation (Dave Rimmer)

And it wasn’t just the birds that kept the group interested – there were some butterflies and dragonflies around, plus a large monitor lizard being watched closely by a goat (or was it the other way around?!) and a Roman spider or solifugid on the ground.

Roman spider or solifugid (Photo credit – David Swanepoel)

The first birds of the day were on the wing including African Palm Swifts, Lanner Falcon, Lesser Striped Swallows, Yellow-billed Kite, and Barn Swallows, along with some of the more common species usually encountered near human settlements such as Common Myna, Red-eyed Dove, Southern Fiscal, Red-winged Starling and Cape Sparrow. In the background, we had the chattering from the Village Weaver colony nesting in the trees behind the main building of the iSiThumba cultural centre.

Yellow-billed Kite with frog legs on the menu for breakfast (Photo credit – David Swanepoel)

Cheryl and Jeffery walk in the woods – splendid scenery (Photo credit – Steve Davis)

The trees seemed to be dripping with Diederik Cuckoo’s as they seemed to be everywhere – closely monitored by the ever-watchful weavers. Klaas’s Cuckoo could be heard calling and surprisingly no one heard the summer call of the normally ubiquitous Red-chested Cuckoo.

Kingfishers were aplenty with a total five species observed – Giant, African Pygmy, Malachite, Pied, and Brown-hooded Kingfishers.

We meandered along the river edge and watched a group of paddlers participating in a 50km two-day canoeing event and during which picking up on various water birds, some of which they kindly flushed for us.

Paddlers on the Umgeni River (Dave Rimmer)

Birds seen included African Jacana, Yellow-billed Ducks, a few Three-banded Plovers, Little Bee-eaters, Crested Barbet, Water Thick-knee, Brimstone Canary, White-bellied Sunbird, Orange-breasted Bushshrike, and a Cardinal Woodpecker.

Our bird of the day without doubt was a pair of African Pygmy Geese darting past us down the river – so quick there was just enough time to shout out an alert and point them out to those behind me. Sadly, no photo opportunity!

The final tally for the day was an impressive 98 species either seen or heard, with all records submitted to the SABAP2 database (one Full Protocol and one Ad hoc card) – viva atlassing! To see the list then click here.

Many thanks to Sandi du Preez, Ros Conrad, Steve Davis, Cay Hickson, Penny de Vries, Cheryl King, Mark Liptrot and David and Tania Swanepoel for venturing out for the day, as well as sharing with us some of your photos included herewith and of course to our host for the morning Jeffery Buthelezi who assists with various tours organized through Durban Green Corridor (DGC).

Yours in birding,

Dave Rimmer

 

Posted in Activities, Home, Posts, Reports | Tagged | 2 Comments