Jubilee Park – Wednesday 17 February.

Report by Sandi du Preez

I left home in rainy weather and did not expect the outing to take place, as I wasn’t expecting anyone to turn up. I had given a lift to Oscar and we arrived at Jubilee Park just before 07h00.

We decided to take a little walk in the rain before (or if) any other birders arrived.

Wednesday outing stalwarts Ian and Graham arrived, and a little later, Arno, and then Bob, much later!

Birding was very quiet at first and not easy in the poor light. We hung around the pond area for a while and kept our bino’s focused on a tree with dead branches at the top. In these branches were 8 different species –  Amethyst, Olive, Greater double-collared Sunbirds, Southern Black Flycatchers, Olive Thrush, White-eared Barbets, Dark-capped Bulbuls, Village Weavers.

The rain continued and we carried on through very wet grass through the forest area. The highlight was a Long-crested Eagle which flew in overhead and landed on top of the Raffia palm in an adjacent garden.

Southern Black flycatchers with juveniles were abundant and we had a beautiful view of a Burchell’s Coucal. Tawny-flanked Prinias were very active in the Setaria grass.

We were surprised to see a Cape Chestnut tree in full bloom.

Afterwards the wet birders settled under the Trichilia dregeana at the entrance (in the drizzle) for coffee and eats.

The species count was 43 – but unfortunately no Magpie Mannikins. The rain stopped and Oscar, Bob and I went for another walk.

A Willow Warbler gave us a hard time with I.D. but we eventually worked it out. Some White-eared Barbets were very agitated and we suspected that there was a Honeyguide around trying to get into the Barbets’ nests but we couldn’t see one.

We picked up another 6 species on the 2nd walk – Black-collared Barbet, Cape Batis, African Dusky and African Paradise Flycatchers, Collared Sunbird, and Willow Warbler . So the total count for the morning was 49. Not bad for an outing that really was not meant to happen due to the rain.

And we eventually only left for home at 1.15 pm!

Sorry that there are no photos. No-one was able to carry a camera in the rain.

Sandi du Preez

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