Report by Terry Walls
Saturday 6 October 2018
Alverstone Wildlife Park is a 100 hectare nature reserve near Hillcrest, Durban, South Africa. The reserve was created in 1997 by a group of neighbouring landowners.
The park has a diverse ecosystem, which includes grasslands, a forest, and wetlands. A number of mammals can be found in the reserve, including duiker, bushbuck, bushpig, civet, genet, mongoose and rock hyrax. Herds of blesbok, blue wildebeest, impala and zebra have been introduced to the reserve.
The weather was extremely kind to us as a small group of birders set off on the pathway along the crest of the hillside through the bush clumps.
The first call to greet us was the unfamiliar (to some of us) call of a Cape Robin-Chat which was confirmed, when it showed up beautifully on the path. Also calling in the same area out in the open in the grassland to the right of the path was a male Stonechat and the unmistakable chi chi chirrrrr call of Rattling Cisticola.
Further along the path a small group of Neddicky were active.
As we passed a group of large trees the Egyptian Geese were highly vocal, we were not sure if it was our presence, or that of a Beautiful Jackal Buzzard which glided past us, that was upsetting the Geese.
Here are a some other birds that made our day.
And some mysteries.
The next highlight as we approached the small dam were the herds of Impala, Blesbok, Wilderbeest, and Zebra. The dam produced a Grey Heron, excellent views of Lesser Stripped Swallow, Common Fiscal and Yellow-billed Kite. A group of Turacos which include both Knysna and Purple-crested were calling loudly.
As we made our way down the pathway to the dam at the bottom of the hill, Oriole and Black collared Barbet were seen.
The bottom dam produced the Golden Weaver we were looking out for, Southern Black Tit, a Black Saw-wing – not flying, but perched in a tree. Beautiful views of Sombre Greenbul and African Paradise Flycatcher too.
The walk back to the picnic area was far from quiet, with African Emerald and Red-Chested Cuckoos calling, along with Orange-breasted Bushshrike.
We were also fortunate to get an Olive Bushshrike out in the open. In the grassland once more we had beautiful views of Yellow-throated Longclaw.
To finish the day an African Hoopoe paid a visit to the Boma to bid farewell to the group.
A total of sixty three birds were identified (click here to view the list).
Jackal Buzzard was unanimously voted as the “bird of the day”.