Pigeon Valley – Wed 16 July

We are sparkling here currently in Pigeon Valley NR.  People are coming to see the Buff-spotted Flufftails, which are very obliging while conditions are so dry.  While at the spot most likely to see them, I have also had great views of a confiding Narina Trogon, persistent attention from the Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher female, African Firefinches, very friendly Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds, and a bird yesterday that I and another watcher did not see well enough to be sure – she think it could be a Greater Honeyguide juvenile.

We have also had a rare visit from a Grey-headed Bush-Shrike.

But perhaps the most spectacular was when 25 of us on the BirdLife Port Natal outing to Pigeon Valley started the walk and then watched as a Scaly-throated Honeyguide tried to take over a Cardinal Woodpecker nesting hole in a branch over the main path just after the map.  It was unflustered by the onlookers, as it tried persistently, at one point locking bills with the female Cardinal Woodpecker in the nest.

Later in the morning, most of the BirdLife members stood and watched the male and female Buff-spotted, as a way of ending the morning.

One of the Red Duikers has died; I had a look at the body this morning; it is a bit decayed, but potentially it was taken by a Crowned Eagle; maybe I will be able to see the right eye socket a bit later to see if there are the marks of a talon.

I am getting emails that I am often not good at responding to, asking for co-ordinates of Pigeon Valley, and whether it is safe.  There are no guarantees of course, but I am not aware of any recent problem incidents, at all.
Co-ordinates are 29° 51′ 52″ S, 30° 59′ 19″ E

Crispin Hemson
Friends of Pigeon Valley


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