Bluff Outing

Bluff Nature Reserve

Saturday 4th August 2018

Report by Terry Walls 

In spite of the clear day we were promised by the weather forecast, there were a few clouds about and a fresh chill in the air.

Bluff Nature Reserve was originally established in the suburb of Wentworth, to conseve a small patch of wetland, surounded by riverine forest with a small pan in the centre of the wetland. Over the years, the pan, due to various circumstances, has receded and the reeds and woodland surrounding the pan have established themselves. Initially two bird hides were built adjacent to the pan, one of which has been removed, due to the receding water line. The existing hide offers only a limited view of the pan, as it is mostly surrounded by reeds.

We were greeted by a Black Sparrowhawk and a pair of White-eared Barbets, while waiting for the gait to be opened.

To start with, we spent a short time in the hide. The morning sunlight in our eyes was not ideal, so we moved on to the pathway through the woodland. Here we came across a number of bird parties, consisting mainly of sunbirds on the abundant flowers of the Corral trees. A Grey Sunbird perched in the open was undoubtedly the “bird of the day” as it posed for photographs.

On the East side we had a beautiful view of a Spoonbill flying low over the pan, and another view of The Black Sparrowhawk on top of a Rafia Palm.

Melanistic Black Sparrowhawk – David Swanepoel

On the Northern side the birds were quiet and we had the opportunity to look at some of the butterflies, Common Bush Brown and African Common White and Common Wanderer were a few of which were identified.

We followed the path on the West side of the pan along the fence, adjacent to the road, which was rather noisy and overgrown. A gap in the woodland gave us a clear view of the pan where we saw African Jacana, Reed Cormorant, and Spur-winged Geese.

Spur-winged Goose – David Swanepoel

We ended our birding in the hide where stunning views of both Lesser Swamp and Little Rush-warbler were enjoyed.

Lesser Swamp Warbler – David Swanepoel

Other birds seen from the hide were; Blacksmith Lapwing, Moorhen, Black Crake and both Bronze and Red-backed Mannikins.

Bronze Mannikin – David Swanepoel

We also heard African Rail, Rufous-winged Cisticola calling in the Reeds. The morning ended with a Yellow-billed Kite making a first appearance of the season for many of us.

The following birds were seen or heard:

Ibis, Hadeda Sparrowhawk, Black White-eye, Cape
Dove, Red-eyed Mousebird, Speckled Dove, Tambourine
Turaco, Purple-crested Mannikin, Bronze Swift, African Palm
Barbet, Black-collared Barbet, White-eared Tinkerbird, Yellow-rumped
Weaver, Thick-billed Mannikin, Red-backed Canary, Yellow-fronted
Weaver, Spectacled Drongo, Fork-tailed Sunbird, Grey
Weaver, Village Tit, Southern Black Bulbul, Dark-capped
Brownbul, Terrestrial Greenbul, Sombre Thrush, Kurrichane
Sunbird, Amethyst Chat, Familiar Robin-chat, Red-capped
Robin, White-browed Scrub Apalis, Bar-throated Apalis, Yellow-breasted
Camaroptera, Green-backed Prinia, Tawny-flanked Flycatcher, African Dusky
Cisticala Rufous-winged Sunbird, Olive Flycatcher, African Paradise
Sunbird, Collared Boubou, Southern Puffback, Black-backed
Reed Cormorant Spoonbill, African Goose Spur-winged
Egyptian Goose Fish-Eagle, African  Lapwing,Blacksmith
Kingfisher Malachite Greenbul Yellow-bellied Scrub-Robin White-browed
Swamp-Warbler Lesser Rush-Warbler, Little Myna, Common
Starling Black-bellied Weaver, Yellow Bishop, Southern Red


Terry Walls



One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply