North Park Report

Outing to North Park 17 March 2017

Report by Sandi du Preez

There were 12 birders on the outing, which was a good turnout for a week day.

At the start of the walk we were treated to an almost perfect skein of about 15 Spur-winged Geese. I shouted at John to take a photo and he was just able to photograph part of the skein. Sorry, John – I didn’t mean to be so demanding!

Skein of Spur-winged Geese

It was definitely the sighting of the morning. It was hot and windless and the birds were rather scarce and very quiet.

It was pleasing to see that alien invasive vegetation is being removed. We saw an exotic creeper which most of us had never seen before. Mark was able to I.D. it as a Lollipop vine (look at the photo and see why it is so named). Beautiful, but a real baddie!

Lollipop Vine – a baddie.

There was a lot of water flowing strongly over the weir and a Water Monitor watched us as we contemplated the risk of wading across. Needless to say we all chickened out and back-tracked towards the bridge – nothing much to see from there as the reeds and grass have encroached on the rocks and sandy areas.

Water Monitor

Then a walk through the forest alongside the river and back to the picnic area for some refreshments.

Whilst having our picnic we heard a Crowned Eagle but we didn’t get to see it. The species count actually seen was somewhat disappointing, but seen and heard included Bar-throated Apalis,  White-eared Barbet, Southern Boubou, Terrestrial Brownbul, Tambourine Dove, Fork-tailed and Square-tailed Drongo, African Paradise and Dusky Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied and Sombre Greenbuls, Hamerkop, Goliath Heron, Black-headed Oriole, Black-backed Puffback, Red-capped Robin-chat, Natal Spurfowl, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Purple-crested Turaco, Dark-backed Weaver, Yellow Weaver, Cardinal and Golden-tailed Woodpeckers. (41 species in all).

Thanks to John Bremner and Mark Liptrot for taking the photos.

Sandi du Preez

One Comment Add yours

  1. I went to Pigeon Valley the week before with a group and had a similar experience; perhaps a combination of the heat, non-breeding season and migrants having left.

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