2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 80,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see our complete report.


European Honey-Buzzard – St Lucia.

Good Day,

This morning Thursday 9th January about 08h00, Sally and I saw a European Honey-Buzzard in the Western Shores section of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park – St Lucia, KZN. It was seen from the eMgadankawu hide in the thick trees on the other side of the pan.
We saw it fly in – quite barred underwing. On landing we got our scope on it and could clearly see the pigeon like head with a pale cere and black tip; yellow eye; but the clincher for us was its tail – clearly with a dark terminal bar and white tipped.
Unfortunately the photographs we took were extremely poor as the bird was not only too far away but it was sitting in dense dark green foliage.
Sally had seen one before but it was a lifer for me.
Paul Bartho

Springside, Saturday 4th Jan.

Report on Saturday’s outing to Springside.

We had a good turn out for the walk (18) and our bird count was 69.   The weather was a bit odd to start with as there was a heavy mist hanging above the reserve and there was almost a slight drizzle at times but then the sun came out and it was hot, hot, hot and the birding got much better.   From the top path we had great views of Cape Rock Thrush, Yellow-throated Longclaw and Golden Weaver.   Plenty of sunbirds, various weavers both Olive and Kurrichane Thrush.   Diederik, Klaas’s and Red-chested Cuckoos called – a few people managed to  see the Diederik.   Raptors – maybe not as good as usual, Common Buzzard, Crowned Eagle, African Harrier Hawk and African Gos; the Fish Eagle was heard.

The flowers are always a delight at Springside and this year the ground orchids were superb, Disa , Eulophia and Satriuyms, also lots of flowering trees.

The pic of the mating Rain Forest Brown butterflies is Sandi’s, the rest of the pics are from Cheryl  (the Golden Weaver is fabulous).

We collected R300 for the Hillcrest Conservancy – thanks to your generous donations.


Elena Russell.