Report by Elena Russell
SAPPI Outing Saturday 3rd February 2018
Late Friday afternoon we had the most massive storm; hail, lightening, thunder and torrential rain. I wondered about the North Coast and hoped the storm never got as far as SAPPI but of course it did. The silver lining was that Jenny had offered me a lift!! The road into SAPPI was horrific (at least I thought so) but Jenny was not daunted, but the muddy side road to the hide was questionable. Anyway the security man came to all of our rescue and agreed to open up another access road to the picnic site so as they say in the classics ‘all’s well that ends well’.
We had a good turnout, some members did not pitch maybe because of the weather and at 10:30 when we were having our picnic tea and doing the list it had started to drizzle. Our total count at tea was 84 and then Jenny and I picked up two more so 86 – not too shabby.
One of the reasons to go to SAPPI early in the year is the Brown-throated Weavers and they did not disappoint. Some really nice photos.
We didn’t get any rarities but then the waders were almost swimming, no sand banks due to the storm, but that’s birding.
Some of the specials; Scarlet-chested Sunbirds, Great White Pelicans, Water Thick-knees (hidden away), Willow Warbler, Black-throated Wattle-eye, one lone Cape Shoveller and Black-crowned Night Herons.
Plus lots of Hottentot and Red-billed Teals, good views of Burchell’s Coucal and so many Moorhens we lost count.
SAPPI never disappoints and thanks for some great photos – John Bremner, David Swanepoel, Mike Stead and Mike Jackson.