Botanic Gardens – Saturday 1 April 2017
I arrived about a minute too late to see a Black Sparrowhawk take a Red-eyed Dove over the parking area – only John and Ismail were the ‘early birds’ who got to see the action.
We had a good turnout of members and visitors and set out on a slow walk around the gardens.
We were greeted by lots of Egyptian Geese – I was told that the shop sells food for the geese, I meant to find out exactly what this consists of but got side tracked and never did find out.
At the Lilly/fish pond were a pair of Malachite Kingfishers having an early morning meal and the photographers in the group rushed off to get some good shots.
Then there was this unidentified Warbler. Looks like a juvenile.
Plenty of Black Flycatchers around, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds called, a Lesser Honeyguide caused a little consternation before a positive ID was made!
Some of the birds seen – Black-collared Barbets, Dark-capped Bulbuls, Bronze Mannikins, Fork-tailed Drongos, a pair of Black-headed Orioles.
We found the Black Sparrowhawk perched in a tree but never found the nest.
Masses of Palm Swifts but no swallows. Speckled Mousebirds, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Kurrichane Thrush (one had a deformed bill). Amethyst, Olive and White-bellied Sunbirds, Golden-tailed Woodpeckers, one of the Cape Wagtails seemed to have a problem with its feet.
Around the pond we had Common Moorhen, Spoonbills and juveniles a few Grey Herons and a couple of Spurwing Geese but not much more.
We paid a visit to the butterfly dome and there were lots of butterflies around.
On leaving the dome we came across a small frog. The poor frog got rather agitated with us, Sandi was desperately trying to photograph the eye – it depends on the shape whether it is a tree or reed frog. Anyway the frog took one look at Jenny Rix, ‘his princess’ and jumped up her jeans, shirt and took refuge behind her ear lobe, missed the lips, Jenny then gently got rid of him in a flower bed. Well done Jenny (poor prince).
After all this excitement we went on to the tea kiosk for sustenance. We never did a bird count as it was rather a large circle around the tables but must have been in the region of 40.
I have had better birding at Durban Botanic Gardens, whether this can be put down to the number of concerts which now take place or the heat of the morning who knows.
Thanks John for the great photos.