Our Christmas outing to Springside was well attended (28 + a few late comers) and we raised R410 for the Hillcrest Conservancy – well done BLPN for your generosity. We broke up into 3 groups; many thanks to Sally and Sandi for leading the other groups.
We started off with the Long-crested Eagle quartering over the hillside – in fact there was a pair and some good pics were shot. The Diederick Cuckoos called incessantly and good views were had at the start of the walk.
The weather was not the greatest, very dull and overcast, it even started to drizzle at one stage. Some of the birds we saw – Olive Thrush, Southern Boubou, Cape Batis, Paradise Flycatchers, Black-headed Orioles, Bronze & Red-backed Manikins; Sunbirds – Amethyst, Greater Double collared, Olive, Collared & Grey, Lesser & Greater Honeyguides.
The Thick-billed weavers were nest building by the picnic site and we found the Golden Weavers at their nests further up by the stream. There was a very confiding pair of Sombre Greenbuls sitting on a nest right next to where we had our braai – they didn’t seem to be perturbed even though we were a little raucous at times. Also in the picnic area a Greater Double Collared Sunbird’s nest was found. The Black Saw-wings were nesting in the stream bank.
Later on a few of us stayed on and took another walk up the centre path and picked up Board-tailed Warbler. In Decklan’s pic you can see the bird taking a worm(?) back to the nest. In fact she became a little agitated so we turned around and left the birds in peace.
In total our bird count was 67.
Lesley had donated a bottle of SOS wine for the ‘best bird seen’. The adjudication of which collapsed into much hilarity and mirth and we decided to ‘pick a number’ between 1 – 50 and Anne Blake picked the right number – well done Anne!! In fact, I think the best bird maybe was the African Firefinch (Sandi & her group) but to make a decision proved much too difficult. Edgar come up trumps with the braai – he made the fire and then toasted all the sandwiches – well done Edgar!!
Thanks to Decklan & Paul for the excellent pics.
Have a wonderful Christmas & all the best for the New Year. Hope to see you all next Saturday 13th December at Tanglewood.