Saturday March 4th 2017
Report by Elena Russell
Short report on Saturday’s outing.
The weather was hot and humid – a louring dark grey sky that made you wish for rain to cool things down but only once the walk was over!
We were a small group about 12/14 of us and to start with the birding was done on call – I presume due to the weather.
Then there were the ants!!! When I put down a visit to Burman Bush I did wonder why it had been 2 years since the last outing – now I know – ANTS – big ones, small ones, some bit, some didn’t but trying to focus binoculars and keeping the ants at bay was horrendous.
On the walk up the road to the top we identified the calls of lots of: Square-tailed Drongos, Sombre Greenbuls and Tambourine Doves. We did eventually have excellent views.
Grey Waxbills were a highlight (but some people never got to see them, too busy fighting off the ants). Some good Sunbirds: Amethyst, Grey, Collared and Olive; Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird; Black-collared and White-eared Barbets; Black-headed Orioles, Weavers: Village, Spectacled, Dark-backed and Thick-billed; plenty of Red-capped Robin-Chats aka Natal Robins (mostly heard).
We had a fly past by the Black Sparrowhawk and later on found the nest in one of the tall trees in the ‘bush’. At the top of the road we had good views of Lesser-striped Swallows, Little and Palm Swifts and Black Saw-wings.
We walked back through the bush and thankfully there were no ants. Our first stop was on the viewing platform and here we added African Fish Eagle! (on the river). A heron was too far away but must have been a Goliath but we didn’t add him to the list!
Due to a small deviation on my part we took a wrong turn and found ourselves walking alongside a fence line (?) – the birding was difficult but productive – African Firefinch, Bar-throated Apalis, Green-backed Camaropteras; a brief glimpse of a thrush; Terrestrial Brownbuls, Black-backed Puffback; Yellow-bellied Greenbul; Paradise Flycatchers; Southern Boubou and lots more.
But I kept worrying about the fence and where were we? It was in fact the fence around the scout hall – I should say the ‘old’ scout hall. The building is derelict, no roof, no windows or doors a sad and forlorn edifice to what must have been happier times.
On arriving back at the picnic area the first spot was no good – too many ants!! But then we found a good spot and calm was restored and the Saturday Chat Show could continue.
Our bird count was 44. Thanks John for the photos.