Report by Elena Russell
7 July 2018
I understand Saturday morning did not start off too well in Durban and north of the Umgeni with drizzle and an overcast sky, which may have put off some of the regulars to the Saturday Outing, but it turned out to be a very good morning‘s birding.
Driving towards the reserve from the Highway side we were greeted by amazing rainbows, at one stage there were two over Pinetown, had to be a good sign even though it was a bit chilly with a cold breeze!
I seem to have lost the list of who was there, but there were about 12/14 of us and so we remained as one group.
To begin with the birding was a bit slow but as soon as we hit the grasslands the birding picked up very nicely.
Lots of Yellow-throated Longclaws displaying and calling from the tops of trees, a good view of a White-browed Scrub Robin which we could hear singing but did take us a bit of time to find.
A Grey-headed Bushshrike and the Tambourine Doves called incessantly and in desperation part of the group eventually called up the Bushshrike and got some really good photos. I guess a dove is a dove and is not as photogenic as a bushshrike!!
Going up towards the top grasslands but still in a quite wooded area we had about 3 or 4 female Black Cuckooshrikes gleaning in the trees but there seemed to be no males present.
Then down to Kingfisher pond, nothing much seems to happen here but Paul and Sherelle who visited the reserve in February said they saw a crocodile in the pond, they were most emphatic, definitely a crocodile!! In the past there was a pygmy (?) alligator in the pond by the hide but I understand that had been taken out some time ago. So take care next time you visit NGNR.
Our count at tea time was 52 but then White-eared Barbet, Woolly-necked Stork and Cape Wagtail were seen in the car park and Oscar and Mick who carried on birding in the eastern section of the reserve added African Fish-eagle, Crowned Eagle, Lesser Honeyguide and Grey Waxbill so the total count was 59 – not too shabby for NGNR. Click here to see the list.
Thanks to Sandi for the bird list and Mick Jackson and Mike Stead for some great photos and to all of us for a super outing!!