New Year’s outing to Umbogavango
Although we started early it was still very hot and humid and by 09:00 the birds were seeking shade as well as the birders!!
There were 25 of us and our bird count was 83 plus – not too shabby for such a hot day. Maybe nothing spectacular although we did hunt high and low for the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater and Fulvous Duck to no avail.
Various nests were found, Fork tailed Drongo high up in a Eucalyptus and in the same tree the White-eared Barbets were nesting and feeding chicks. Of course the weavers were busy; Village, Thick-billed, Yellow, Spectacled and Dark-backed.
Penny has taken some super pics of a Yellow Weaver starting out on his nest – let’s hope they meets with approval. Sunbirds were conspicuous by their absence – the one group heard was an Olive Sunbird and that was it.
Raptors: Long crested and African Fish Eagle – lots of YBK’s and a Common Buzzard. A number of Egyptian Geese with chicks and a lone Spur-wing perched in a dead tree.
Otherwise the water birds were mainly Little Grebe, Yellow-billed Duck and Common Moorhen. Lesser Swamp and Little Rush Warblers were mainly heard but we did manage to see a few as well.
We also found the most beautiful tree(?) frog – bright yellow (Sandi tells me that if the eyes are horizontal it is a painted reed frog but if the eyes are vertical then it is a tree frog).
Another unusual sighting was that of a pair of Red-billed Quelea.
Umbogavango is a lovely place, easy walking with various hides and masses of yellow and white arums in amongst the reeds. Waking back over the weir to the picnic site we surprised a Mountain Wagtail to end off a good morning’s birding. Here are some of the other photos taken:
Thanks to Sally for leading a group and thanks to all the photographers Rex, Mike, Paul & Penny and anybody else I might have left out for the superb pics!
Cheers & a Happy New Year