THE outing began at the Gramarye smallholding at 07h00 on a very hot day. The garden provided a good start with a number of birds and then about a dozen of us walked down to the river.
There was plenty of birding activity starting with a Red-throated Wryneck.
In the tall grass there were Fan-tailed and Red-collared Widowbirds flitting around, Levaillant’s Cisticolas and Common and Orange-breasted Waxbills. Along the stream there were Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, African Reed and Little Rush Warblers. Hadeda and Sacred Ibis, Burchell’s Coucal, Cattle Egret, Red-eyed and Cape Turtle-Dove, African Stonechat, Cape Grassbird, all contributed to make up the numbers.
Heard, but not seen, were African Rail and Red-chested Flufftail. The highlight for Hennie and Decklan Jordaan was catching a glimpse of a large bird disappearing in the trees, pursuing it across the river and finding a Barn Owl which Decklan photographed.
And another surprise – photographed by Decklan.
On the way back we saw one of the Grey Crowned Cranes currently nesting in a pan in the wetland feeding in a home paddock next to the garden.
Driving to the forest cottages on Boston View farm we saw several Amur Falcons, a pair of Lanner Falcons, a Rock Kestrel and a Steppe Buzzard.
At Boston View we parked at Bottom Cottage . From there we did a forest walk.
The forest walk provided a change of habitat and we had to focus on hearing birds as much as trying to see them. Bar-throated Apalis, Green-backed Camaroptera, Sombre Greenbul, Terrestrial Brownbul, Cape Batis were amongst the birds marked as present, while another highlight was Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher.
Then it was lunch on the verandah of the cottage overlooking a dam, where an inexhaustible Decklan checked out the frogs as well.
And then it was time to leave Bottom Cottage.
On my SABAP2 atlas list I notched up over 60 species which included a pair of African Fish-Eagles circling Gramarye after we had returned home.