Umhlanga Lagoon 17th May 2017

Report by Sandi du Preez

It was a great relief to be blessed with a beautiful sunny day after 5 days of rain. Thirteen birders attended the outing.

The early arrivals saw the Black-throated Wattle-eye in a tree near the entrance, but try as we may, it was not to be seen again.

We birded from the first board-walk and here we had lovely views of Rufous-winged Cisticola, Little bee-eater, a “huddle” of Bronze Mannikins, Brown-throated Weaver and Dark-capped Yellow Warbler and Hamerkop.

A huddle of Bronze Mannikins

The Dark-capped Yellow Warbler was a lifer for some.

Rufous-winged Cisticola

A pair of Giant Kingfishers gave us a wonderful fly-past back and forth several times.

Birders on the Beach

Then onto the beach to look for the White-fronted Plovers, but no luck – good views of some very jaunty Tawny-flanked Prinias though.

Tawny-flanked Prinia
White-breasted Cormorant

A White-browed Scrub-robin was calling from exactly the same spot as last year’s October outing but remained hidden.

Black-bellied Starling

A very vocal Square-tailed Drongo had us confused at first but then we got to see it clearly. We heard a Fish-eagle calling several times and it took quite a while for us to find it. Of course there were the usual comments about the “Real Sound of Africa”!

Then we headed off to the forest area. Birding was rather quiet, but Calvin heard and saw a Chorister Robin-chat, but it disappeared before anyone else got a glimpse of it. We did, however see a very co-operative Red-capped Robin-Chat hopping happily along the path.

Red-capped Robin-Chat

We went over the other boardwalk to a section of beach that was just too steep to reach by most of us pensioners – this would not have been a problem some years ago! However, Stuart, our Dusi and Comrades  participant, was not at all daunted and he was rewarded with a good sighting of a White-fronted Plover.

Back through the forest and beautiful views of Ashy Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher, Black-backed Puffback, Terrestrial Brownbuls, Green-backed Camaroptera, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds.

During the outing we had four species of sunbirds (Amethyst, Collared, Grey and Olive).

As we went for our coffee break, John went off with his camera to see what more he could photograph. He was lucky to see a Sandwich Tern and a Swift Tern. While we were having our picnic, a strange bird flew overhead – a drone!!

Altogether we saw or heard 55 species. Click here to view our list.


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