Kenneth Stainbank report back.


Kenneth Stainbank Sat. 7th September.

Despite the smorgasbord of events scheduled for Saturday, a group of 17 keen birders turned out for the outing – many of the regular Saturday outing birders as well as three visitors. The day started off with a number of birds entertaining us in the car park, notably an obliging Black-headed Oriole that gave everyone good views and photo opportunities, followed by a Yellow-billed Kite that decided to perch quite close by, and a pair of African Goshawks flying overhead. The grassland path was the route taken leading towards the small dam. Birds seen along this section among others included a female Black Cuckooshrike, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Rattling Cisticola, African Harrier-Hawk, numerous Olive Sunbirds and a Lesser Honeyguide close to the dam. As usual, the weaver colony in the middle of the dam was alive with Village Weavers and Yellow Weavers busy nest building.

From the dam we proceeded towards the office complex as John and others had recently seen the Spotted Ground Thrush – one was seen but only briefly flitting across the road to a few at the front. Good birding was had along the road between the offices and the picnic site with the highlight being excellent views of a Scaly-throated Honeyguide. This was a lifer for at least 8 members of the group, myself included. Other good sightings in this section of the reserve included Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Terrestrial Brownbul, Ashy Flycatcher, Red-capped Robin-Chat and Black-backed Puffback. We returned to the car park via the vehicle track on the southern side seeing White-bellied Sunbird, African paradise Flycatcher, Purple Crested Turaco and Golden-tailed Woodpecker along the way.

A total of 51 birds were either seen or heard including:
White-eared Barbets, Dark-capped Bulbul, Southern Black Tit, Dusky Flycatcher, Fork-tailed Drongo, Hadeda Ibis, Southern Black Flycatcher, Green-backed Cameroptera, Amethyst Sunbird, Southern Boubou, Yellow-fronted canary, Tambourine Dove, Square-tailed Drongo, Common Fiscal, Black-bellied Starling, Amethyst Sunbird, Collared Sunbird, Lesser-striped Swallow, African palm Swift, Cardinal Woodpecker, Neddicky  – and not forgetting the Zebra and Impala.

Dave Rimmer.

Photos care of: Dave Rimmer & Penny de Vries

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