Saturday 7th April 2018: Durban Botanic Gardens

A perfect morning for birding, about fifteen birders gathered in the car park. We were a little early as the gates only opened at 7:30.

In the car park we came across a number of birds: Common, Red-winged and Cape Glossy Starling, Speckled Mousebird, and both Red-eyed and Laughing Doves. Close up views of Cape White-eye and Bronze Mannikin frolicking in the pond at the entrance, and of course, Hadeda Ibis, and the much aligned Myna.

Once inside we were loudly greeted by numerous Egyptian Geese and the call of Spectacled Weaver, which was the most prevalent of the Weavers in the garden and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird. Other Weavers seen were Thick-billed and Village. Palm swifts were flying in and out of the large palm trees.

At the lake a vocal Hamerkop landed in spectacular fashion, while Spoonbill, Cattle Egret, Grey and Black-headed Herons were roosting in the tree above the lake. Interaction between Spurwing and Egyptian geese with chicks was quite entertaining.

The pathway up the hill was relatively quiet, a few Southern Black Flycatchers, Dark-capped Bulbuls and Paradise Flycatcher were seen. At the top of the path we found Dusky Flycatcher, Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon) Black-headed Oriole, Fork-tailed Drongo and Amethyst Sunbird; also seen was White-eared Barbet and Tawny-flanked Prinia.

Continuing to the Indigenous section we found Red-capped Robin-chat, Kurrichane Thrush, Olive Sunbird, Brown-hooded Kingfisher and Green-backed Camaroptera. Calls of Black-collared and Crested Barbets and Golden-tailed Woodpecker were heard.

We concluded the outing with refreshments at the kiosk where House Sparrow, White-bellied and Collared Sunbird were close enough to see without binoculars. Black Sparrowhawk and Pink-backed Pelican flying over were added to the list. On our way out we came across Yellow-fronted Canary which up to then had eluded us.

Other birds seen were African Pied Cape Wagtail and Woollynecked Stork.

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