Empisini Outing

Sunday 20 August 2017

Nine members and three visitors – some of the visitors got lost, a GPS does not always work but cell phones do and with a few judicious directions eventually everybody arrived.

We had decided to walk up the dirt road alongside the reed beds whilst waiting for the latecomers.

Little Rush Warblers called but not much else in the reeds but the trees and bush alongside the road were alive with birds. A Gorgeous Bushshrike called incessantly but was not seen and eventually a group of us broke off to hunt for more exciting stuff!  A few diehards remained behind and Dave Rimmer’s persistence eventually paid off (see a bit of red breast in the trees!).

Gorgeous Bushshrike – Dave Rimmer

Sandi and I did the list in the car driving back and our count was 66 (list attached – click here). Dave and Penny went down to the river (same pentad) and picked up Goliath and Grey Heron.

The bird of the day must be the Black-chested Snake Eagle and it was seen a number of times. We also had a fabulous display by a pair of Crowned Eagles, Long-crested Eagle  and Black Sparrowhawks.

African Crowned Eagle in action sequence – Mike Jackson

A close second to bird of the day must be the Scaly-throated Honeyguide -also called incessantly the whole morning and also was difficult to find.

Plus Lesser Honeyguide and Brown-backed Honeybird – good day for honeyguides.

Lovely views of a Bar-throated Apalis. Sunbirds: Amethyst, Collared, Olive. Weavers: Dark-backed, Spectacled, Thick-billed & Village and lots more.

The walk along the main path was fine – Scadoxus i.e. Snake Lily were in flower and Red-capped Robin-Chats called. Then the path came to an end and we turned up towards the grasslands and that’s when it turned into an obstacle course.

The triffid is rampant, trees have fallen across the path and the scrub/bush is taking over. No more grasslands! We eventually had to turn back (the crossing over the creek was a bridge too far) but Penny (the pathfinder) found us a different way and so we scrambled down a bank and up the other side to get back to the path and eventually a very late tea.

After tea we decided to walk alongside the river but again after a short distance were thwarted by the huge trees which had fallen across the path and the bush which had taken over on the other side of the trees. We wandered around for a bit longer but then decided to call it a day.

We had a great outing and everybody enjoyed themselves, even the bundu-bashing was met with glee but it does make birding a little difficult.

Thanks to Dave Rimmer and Mike Jackson for some great photos.

I know you cannot imagine why a photo of a raptors (?) wing is attached.  It was found under a tree in my sister’s garden (Hillcrest) and she thinks it must be the genets that winter in her roof that caught the bird – what bird?

Wing of a ?????

I have sent it to David Allan so let’s see what he has to say.




2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sandi du Preez says:

    Yes, Dave. I agree. And the butterfly is a White-barred Charaxes (Emperor)

  2. Dave Rimmer says:

    Greater Honeyguide I think should be Lesser Honeyguide. Southern Grey=headed Sparrow pic is the Brown-backed Honeybird.

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