Umhlanga Lagoon Wednesday 19th October

Report by John Bremner

Twelve of us gathered for this outing, the weather was overcast at first with a light fog for a short while which soon lifted and the day turned out sunny and a little breezy.

Some of us arrived early, just after 07h00, the birds were busy around the car park area doing what they do best and the Yellow Weavers were hard at work in the reed beds building their nests and trying to attract a mate to their rather neat nests.

Yellow Weaver
Yellow Weaver

Our walk started a little after 08h30, the whole reserve is very well maintained with neat pathways through the dune forests with boardwalks across the wetland areas.

The path through the dunes on the seaside of the wetland is closed off and there is a sign to say the dunes are off limits on that side, the path then leads to the beach.

We took a look at the beach area, which was quite busy with fishermen and sunbathers, no waders were around. We moved back across the boardwalk and walked through the dune forest. A Little Bittern flew past just before we entered the forest as well as a Black Crake flushed.

Most of the time it was very quiet in the forest with a few birds calling. We did get to see some of the usual forest birds like the Square Tailed Drongo, Sombre Greenbul, Terrestrial Brownbul, and a few Sunbirds.

We walked down to the lagoon, the path down the dune was very steep so was too difficult for some of the party who started back for their coffee break. A few of us soldiered on.

There are no mudflats around the lagoon as the vegetation is growing right up to the waters edge. Birding here was a little disappointing. We saw one Little Egret, one Three Banded Plover, some Blacksmith Lapwings, various Cormorants and a Greenshank.

On our way back to the car park Oscar pointed out a Black-throated Wattle-eye on a nest, right next to the path. This for me was the sighting of the morning, there were two eggs in the nest.

Black-throated Wattle-eye
Black-throated Wattle-eye


We saw or heard 63 different birds in and around the forest.

A few of the party felt we should have made an earlier start as things seem to have quietened down by the time we had started.

There are security guards in the park and it was quite busy with other visitors. Thanks to those who turned up and helped with the identifications. We had a good morning.

John Bremner

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sandi du Preez says:

    The “fire bugs” are the larvae of the Cotton-stainer bug,
    The mistletoe is Krauss’s mistletoe, also known as “Lighted matches” !
    The butterfly is Green-veined Charaxes

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