Pigeon Valley 22 JUNE 2016
Report by Sandi du Preez
It was overcast and gloomy which was not conducive to good birding, and at first many of the birds were just silhouettes.
Unfortunately, Crispin was in Mkhuze so he could not join us and we could not go into the reservoir area. However next to the reservoir we encountered a fantastic bird party which featured Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds, Square-tailed and Fork-tailed Drongos, White-eared and Black-collared Barbets, Cardinal Woodpecker, White-browed Scrub-Robin, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Southern black Tits, Dark-capped Bulbuls, Olive and Collared Sunbirds, Black-backed Puffback, Black-bellied Starlings and Cape White-eyes.
A Purple-crested Turaco sitting on top of a Chaetacme Aristata was battling to feed on the rather large fruits. How we cheered as it swallowed each one!
We walked through the grassland area which is along the pathway up from the gate. Here the Bronze Mannikins industriously carried nesting material up into an Umdoni tree.
Then we noticed a bird party in an Acacia Robusta next to the fence – Amethyst, White-bellied, Olive and Grey Sunbirds, Black-bellied Starlings, White-eared Barbets, Dark-capped Bulbuls, Yellow-fronted Canaries, Spectacled and Thick-billed Weavers, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds and Cape White-eyes.
Later on we saw a Purple-banded Sunbird. So we had all six sunbirds possible in Pigeon Valley at this time of the year.
Along the centre track we got several Spotted Ground-thrushes and a Lesser Honeyguide at the map.
We were also serenaded by the Dark-backed Weavers with their beautiful song.
Other birds seen and/or heard were Black Sparrowhawk, African Crowned Eagle, superb views of male and female Southern Boubous, Red-capped Robin-chats, Terrestrial Brownbuls, Dusky and African Paradise Flycatchers, Kurrichane Thrush, amongst others.
At teatime we were entertained by three hyperactive Tawny-flanked Prinias – mom, dad and junior showing it’s yellowish wash.
Red duikers were everywhere we walked and we were lucky to get a good view of a solitary blue duiker.
The total count was 58 species.
Photos by Sandi and Cati – sorry but the bad light made photography difficult.
Sandi du Preez