Shongweni 5th November 2016


Report by Elena Russell

Shongweni never ceases to amaze.  I arrived just before 6am on a very gloomy day – the mist lay heavy in the valley and I thought nobody was going to pitch but in the end about 18 of us were birding – in fact we broke up into two groups to start with, both groups picking up some excellent birds.

A pair of Lanner Falcons swooping over the soccer pitch and coming back to land in one of the trees was taken as a good omen for the birding still to come.

Mark’s group picked up Black Cuckooshrike, Black Cuckoo and Orange-breasted Bushshrike. The Rufous-naped Lark sang from the telephone wire; lots of Dusky Flycatchers and Adam who took most of the photos found out later when checking ID’s with Jenny that the one African Dusky Flycatcher  was in fact a Brown-backed Honeybird – Ah! The joys of photography.

YBK’s everywhere but just in the hope of something different one has to check them out!!

Cape Sparrow (which I have only seen there once before) was a good tick.  A few were lucky enough to see the Striped Pipit and also at the spot looking over the dam we had the Black-crowned Night Heron and a Green-backed Heron.  The Trumpeter Hornbills must have chicks in their nest in the krantz as they were seen a number of times going backwards and forwards to ‘their hole in the wall’.

Some of the birds seen: Rock Martins, Lesser-striped and Barn Swallows, Swifts – Little, Black and Alpine (a good one), Sunbirds – Amethyst, Collared, Olive, Grey.  African Black Duck and Mountain Wagtail down by the tunnel as well as Common Sandpiper. Starlings – Black-bellied, Cape Glossy, Red-winged and Violet-backed.  Burchell’s Coucal, Mocking Cliff Chat, African Firefinch, African Harrier Hawk, Brown-hooded and Giant Kingfishers, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Neddicky, Rattling Cisticola. Doves – Laughing, Red-eyed, Tambourine and Emerald-spotted.  Cuckoo – Klaas’s, Red-chested and Diederick.  Plus lots more.

At tea-time our count was 99 – a few birders stayed on a little later and the bird count was eventually 102 – not too shabby!!

But not to be outdone Mark ID 33 butterflies – well done!!!

It turned out to be a great morning’s birding and butterflying even though the weather was not that great.

Cheers

Elena

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3 Responses to Shongweni 5th November 2016

  1. Mick Jackson says:

    Glad it turned out all right……I really thought the weather was just too bad to venture all the way out there only to find the outing abandoned!

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