Shongweni Saturday 4 October

A short report back on Saturday’s outing to Shongweni.

We had an excellent turnout; we must have started out with about 27 members and then there were all the late comers!

Our bird count was in the region of 90 plus – not too shabby especially as Shongweni was very dry and a lot of the veld had recently been burnt.

The White-browed Scrub-Robins were in abundance, singing their hearts out from every tree and bush and hopping around on the ground like sparrows.

As there were too many cars to park at the top of the dam for our usual coffee break we went down to the camp site and sat there looking out over the water – this turned out to be a very good idea.

Across the dam on one of the spits we had Great White Egret, Cattle Egret, Black Crake, African Jacana, Common Moorhen, Red-knobbed Coots, Yellow-billed Ducks and a pair of Purple Herons flew across just before we left.  The African Fish-Eagles were heard calling and the pair was eventually spotted way up in one of the gorges. Note: Jenny Norman tells me that according to her records the Coots are quite rare for Shongweni – good sighting everyone!!

We then went down to the bottom picnic site where we met up with Jenny and Herman who had seen a juvenile African Crowned Eagle being harassed by a pair of White-necked Ravens and a pair of Lanner Falcons. The juvenile eagle had taken refuge on a rocky ledge and was still being harassed by the Ravens. This caused great excitement and must be the highlight of the morning’s birding.  We then walked down to the ‘giant’ steps and came back by way of the 4 x 4 trail.

Thanks to John Bremner for the pics and Sandi for the ‘fat’ skink.  Thanks must also go to Oscar for leading the one very large group.


Elena Russell.

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