Outing to Paradise Valley

Wednesday 12 December

Report by Sandi du Preez.

Only 5 birders attended,  as I accidentally planned this outing on the same day as a Springside outing.

It was very hot and birds were scarce and not calling, probably due to the latish starting time and the fact that breeding season is over and there is no need to sing to attract a mate! Unfortunately Paradise Valley only opens at 7.30. It would be great to be able to begin the outing at 6.00 o’clock in summer.

I always make a point of stressing (boasting!) that Mountain Wagtails are a guaranteed sighting but I sometimes worry that one day they will let me down. However, they did not disappoint and we had several sightings of this beautiful bird along the river and in their usual spot at the waterfall.

On some sections of the path through the forest there were masses of Wahlberg’s Emperor moth caterpillars on the ground  and on the trees. I have included a picture of the moth to show what it looks like.

Just before walking under the bridge of the N3 we saw three Golden-tailed Woodpeckers on a tree. I have seen them on this same tree on several occasions before.

Golden-tailed Woodpecker – John Bremner

The waterfall was looking spectacular and from the deck overlooking it we witnessed what seemed to be a religious cleansing ceremony  in the river and under the waterfall.

People preparing for cleansing ceremony at the waterfall – Sandi du Preez

Surprisingly we only saw one raptor (Yellow-billed Kite), and no kingfishers, water birds (except for Egyptian goose), mannikins or prinias.

By tea-time our species count was 32.

After our picnic, John and I went for another walk and added Southern Boubou, Yellow-fronted Canary, Pied Crow, Black-headed Oriole, Red-capped Robin-chat, House Sparrow, Collared Sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird, Kurrichane Thrush,  Dark-backed Weaver and Spectacled Weaver.  So the total count was 43. Click here to see the list.

Kurrichane Thrush – John Bremner

Thanks to John Bremner for his photos.

Sandi du Preez

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