This was a new venue for many of the participants. The reserve is at the Kloof SPCA and run and maintained by WESSA. The trails through the grassland are well kept and regularly cut and WESSA have a monthly walk led by Jean Senogles. The SPCA Peacocks have definitely increased in numbers over the years and we could hear their harsh calls all morning!
The weather forecast showed heavy rain all morning, but fortunately for the 11 birders there wasn’t a drop of rain, although the cloudy skies and gloomy conditions made bird ID a little challenging at times.
First of all we explored the grassland trails and some of the species we recorded were Knysna and Purple-crested Turacos, White-eared and Black-collared Barbets, Black Cuckooshrike, Sacred Ibis, Rock Martin, African Black Swift, Neddicky, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Amethyst and Olive Sunbirds, Violet-backed Starling, Olive Thrush. We saw a Common Buzzard, two White-necked Ravens flying in formation and a Yellow-billed Kite with a stick in it’s bill. At first we thought that the Kite was carrying nesting material but it it spent the morning just cruising around aimlessly and didn’t seem to be on a nest-building mission! A lovely Black Sparrowhawk whizzed past while we were walking along the cliff-side trail.
Then into the swamp forest. I must say that I have never seen this special forest looking so beautiful and WESSA have built a very sturdy new boardwalk over the wetter areas. We were thrilled by a male Paradise Flycatcher on a nest and there was also a very co-operative Dusky Flycatcher posing for us. Green-backed Camaroptera, Fork-tailed Drongo and Black-bellied Starling were also present.
A sunny day would have produced far more species and more photo opportunities but thanks
to John Bremner for his contribution.
Total species for the morning was 41. (see the Bird List)
African dusky flycatcher
African paradise flycatcher
Southern black flycatcher
African black swift
African palm swift
southern black tit
Sandi du Preez