Durban Botanical Gardens

Saturday 5 September

Report by Elna Russell

There were about 14 members and 2 non-members – also a few late comers.   Our bird count at tea was 52 and Sandi and Ros who stayed on longer picked up a further 3. A nice one being the Malachite Kingfisher at the pond.

Bot Gardens was lovely – lots of flowering shrubs and trees and although most are exotic the birds don’t mind a bit and neither did we.   Nobody got hit on the head admiring the Canon-ball tree (I made sure the indemnity form had been signed!!).

Black Flycatchers were prolific as were Amethyst Sunbirds.  Plenty of Palm Swifts, Lesser Striped Swallows and Little Swifts.

A Yellow billed Kite made an appearance and the Black Sparrowhawks were heard first and then seen. We went to check on the nest which is still in the same tree with fresh leafy twigs having been added to the nest.

Klaas’s Cuckoo was heard calling but we only had one brief glimpse of the bird.

Also present were Kurrichane Thrush; Natal Robins; Dusky Flycatchers; Olive and White-bellied Sunbirds,; Village, Spectacled and Thick-billed Weavers; Black-bellied and Red-winged Starlings to name but a few.

The Egyptian Geese were everywhere and a couple of Spurwings.

In the trees around the dam (aka the lake) there were Grey Herons (nests with juveniles); Pink-backed Pelicans; Woolly necked Storks; Sacred Ibis.

On the water, we had Common Moorhen and a pair of Hamerkop becoming very close and personal on a dead log lying in the water –  unfortunately none of our usual photographers pitched so the deed has not been captured for your interest!

We then walked through the Orchid House, a magnificent display, on our way to the tea kiosk for much need sustenance.   The scones and toasted curry sandwiches were as good as ever.


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