Report by Sandi du Preez
It was extremely windy and the birds were not very co-operative, but we did manage to record 50 species (many only on call).
Just before starting off on the walk we saw a Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird industriously excavating it’s nest on a dead branch. It did not seem at all concerned about the humans oohing and aahing, and clicking of cameras right under the branch!
It was so windy in the grassland and there was not a prinia or cisticola to be seen. However we were treated to many zebras, bushbuck and impala with their youngsters gamboling in the grass.
It has obviously been a very good year for breeding. Lots of Yellow-billed Kites and Barn Swallows were having fun in the wind. There was a juvenile Common Fiscal where the Fiscals usually hang out, but no sign of the adults.
The dam was looking stunning after all the rain and the Village and Yellow Weavers were twittering noisily whilst busily constructing their nests on the island. There was also one African Jacana.
The best birding was on the road from the top picnic site back to the car park. Here we had a spotty juvenile Dusky Flycatcher, Terrestrial Brownbul, Fork-tail and Square-tailed Drongo, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, African Harrier-hawk, Southern Black Tit, and Golden-tailed Woodpecker, amongst others.
We came across three Black-headed Herons patiently waiting for tasty morsels. The sunlight on their backs gave them an almost purple glow – too beautiful!
Tea-time was at one of the picnic spots in the forest along the disabled trail. Here a Red-capped Robin-Chat sang a melodious song for us and we heard a Klaas’s Cuckoo.
Back at the car-park a young Laughing Dove was waiting to be photographed on John’s vehicle! Then we drove down to the bottom picnic area and added Red-winged Starling and Bar-throated Apalis.
Some of the other birds seen were Common Buzzard, African Paradise-Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Longclaw.
Thanks to John Bremner and Geoff and Iris Sear for the photos.
Sandi du Preez