BirdLife Port Natal

Shongweni – Saturday 1 February 2014

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We started off with 19 members and ended up with 27 (some late risers!!). Early in the morning the mist was lying over Shongweni but soon started to lift and turned into a lovely hot day’s birding. Our total bird count was 84. Thanks to Herman for leading the other group.

We had some great sightings and the bird of the day has to be the Osprey flying over the dam wall and down the river.

No eagles! but we had Common Buzzards

Steppe Buzzard
Steppe Buzzard

African Harrier Hawks, YBK’s, White-necked Ravens and later on the Lanner Falcons appeared on the cliff face. We heard but did not see the Gorgeous and Orange-breasted Bush Shrikes. Rufous-napped Larks, Neddickys, Rattling Cisticolas, Twany-flanked Prinias called and displayed all morning. Some bird photos:

As well as a number of Butterflies and another creature.

We had a Dideric Cuckoo begging to be fed by ‘Mama’ Village Weaver, the cuckoo fluttering and squawking and chasing after Ma demanding food whilst poor Ma was desperately hunting for ‘tidbits’ for her monster chick!

Didrick's Cuckoo - juvenile
Didrick’s Cuckoo – juvenile

Later on we walked to the ‘giant’ steps but the birding was not too successful.

We then walked to the bottom of the dam wall & weir and picked up some nice stuff there. There was a mystery fledgling on a concrete block, maybe it was an Egyptian Goose but as Liz remarked where were the parents, normally Egypo’s are very protective of their chicks.

As the day was getting too hot we parked off under the shade of some trees and did a little ‘armchair’ birding – checking out the cliff face.

Thanks to Penny de Vries, Dave Rimmer, Herman Bos, John Bremner & Paul Bartho for the pics.

Cheers
Elena

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