Report by: Elena Russell
Saturday 3 October 2015
Last year it took us 3 attempts to bird Tanglewood Farm Nature Rerserve before we had decent weather. This year we had a perfect sunny day, the hillside had been burnt with wild flowers everywhere. We had an excellent turnout – must have been over 30 people: members, visitors and a few latecomers. Our bird count wasn’t too shabby either in the region of 88 – things are hotting up for summer.
We split up into 2 groups and on entering the forest the one group had wonderful views of a pair of Narina Trogon unfortunately the second group dipped but we got to see the photos!!
Natal Robins (Red-capped Robin Chats) called from hidden depths within the forest and very occasionally seen. Olive Thrush fossicked around in the fallen leaves, African Paradise-Flycatchers in abundance, not too many Black and a few Dusky Flycatchers.
A pair of Dark-backed Weavers had made their nest overhanging the forest path, much time was spent watching the pair bringing in nesting material and listening to the lovely call (the Afrikaans name is so evocative ‘bosmusikant’).
On the forest walk Cape Batis, Bar-throated Apalis, Southern Boubou, Klaas’s & African Emerald Cuckoos, Tambourine Doves, Dark-capped Bulbuls, Cameropteras, Sombre Greenbuls, Purple-crested and Knysna Turacos, Black-collared Barbets, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds – sunbirds: Amethyst, Olive, Collared and Greater Double-collared – plus lots of bird calls.
Walking up to the Cabin (aka the Boathouse) for morning tea, a pair of Crowned Eagles put on a magnificent display.
Earlier on we had African Goshawk, Yellow-billed Kites all day long, plus White-necked Raven, a Black Sparrowhawk and a Long-crested Eagle also put in an appearance.
Around the dams we had Grey and Black-headed Herons, Hamerkops and Hadeda Ibis everywhere. In the skies there were White-rumped, African Palm, African Black and Little Swifts, as well as Lesser-striped Swallows and Black Saw-wings.
After tea we walked the grassland area and down to another dam where the Yellow Weavers are nesting.
We also had Cape, Village, Spectacled and Thick-billed Weavers. The grassland yielded some good birding, Yellow-throated Longclaws, Streaky headed Seedeaters, Croaking Cisticolas, Grassbirds, Red-backed and Bronze Mannikins, Pin-tailed Whydah, Fantailed Widowbirds, Rufous-naped Larks and again lots lots more!!
Lots of butterflies and other critters:
and some really wonderful wild flowers. Just before entering the forest we came across a ground orchid Disa Woodii (looks like a glowing candle – Elsa Pooley) – birding can be such fun!!.
We returned to the cabin for a braai-brunch and the bird list – much hilarity and mirth- especially when we got all excited over a Black Stork that actually was a Woolly-necked Stork (can you believe it was going to be ‘Bird of the Day’).
Thanks to the guys who got the braai going, thanks to Sandi, John and Paul for the pics and a mega thank you to Caryl for allowing us to visit Tanglewood Farm.
Jenny lost a lens cap (if anybody picked it up) and I have a very nice bright blue camping chair in my boot – any takers? The striped pink hat has been claimed!!