Alverstone Outing Report

Saturday 1 October 2016.  

Elena Russell

Our outing to Alverstone was marred by rather cold and damp conditions with drizzle at times but the Saturday Chat Show must go on and 11 of us braved the weather and the slippery track down to the dam.

Actually it wasn’t too bad and we had some good birding – lovely views of a pair of Green-backed Camaroptera. None of the usual calls just a soft ‘ tick’ ‘tick’ between the two birds as they quietly went about the gleaning of leaves.

The Plain-backed Pipits were on the top field and I am sure they are nesting again slightly off the field more towards the bush on the side.

Seen were Yellow-throated Longclaws calling and displaying, Fan-tailed and Red-collared Widowbirds, Tawny-flanked Prinias, Common Fiscals, Barbets – Crested, White-eared and Black-collared, Speckled Mousebirds. A female Black Cuckoo-shrike was a good sighting.

No Swifts, possibly due to the weather but we picked up both Greater and Lesser Striped Swallows as well as Black Saw-Wings all swooping low over the dam.

The area around the houses was not as good as usual but there was a superb exotic looking billy goat with the ‘sweetest’ kid in one enclosure!!

Flycatchers – Southern Black, Paradise and Dusky, Olive Thrush, Purple–crested and Knysna Turacos, Sunbirds – Amethyst, Olive, Grey, Collared and Greater-double collared, Klaas’s and Red-chested Cuckoos called as well as Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds. Cape Wagtail, Weavers – Golden, Village, Spectacled and Thick-billed.

Raptors not so good: Yellow-billed Kite and a Jackal Buzzard and much later a White-necked Raven.

Yellow-billed Kite
Yellow-billed Kite

The bird of the day must go to the Bush Blackcap only seen and photographed by Decklan – I think it must be a new one for the Alverstone list. I thought they moved down in winter as I have seen them at Iphiti and Giba Gorge but always in the winter months. Possibly another visit in high summer is called for!

Bush Blackcap
Bush Blackcap

Our total count was 64 with better weather it would have been higher – but that’s birding!!

Thanks to Decklan and Adam for the photos.



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