21 February 2018
Report by Sandi du Preez
Eight birders attended the outing to a very hot and humid Jubilee Park in Westville.
I think the birds felt the same as there were very few to be seen. It would have been nice to start earlier in summer, but mid-week there is always a problem with traffic.
From the car park, we watched an African Harrier-Hawk raiding some nests – always fascinating to watch, but maybe disturbing for some! The main reason for going to Jubilee Park is to see the Pied Mannikins, and they did not disappoint. They were in the pond area with the extremely restless and active Bronze and Red-backed Mannikins (they need a dose of Ritalin!) and it is good to be able to see the size of the Pied, in comparison to the other species. This was a lifer for some of the group.
At the entrance there was a Thick-billed Weaver busily weaving it’s nest and we all marveled at the neatness of the construction.
During the walk through the forest some of the birds we saw or heard were Fork-tailed and Square-tailed Drongo, Black-headed Oriole, White-eared and Black-collared Barbet, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Black-bellied and Red-winged Starling, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Green Wood-hoopoe, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, and a young Olive Sunbird which had us working hard for an ID.
Altogether 37 species – click here to see list.
We came across some old tree stumps with interesting patterns formed by termite tunnels. They looked like beautiful sculptures.
Gorgeous Crocosmia (Falling stars) were in flower which gave splashes of colour to the forest.
When we went back to the cars to fetch our picnic things, a Familiar Chat and a Southern Black Flycatcher were waiting for us. As we were leaving, a Woolly-necked Stork flew overhead.
Thanks to John Bremner for the photos.
Sandi du Preez