The wind howled throughout the night and I was worried that we were going to have a rather unpleasant outing with few birds, but the wind died down completely and 7 birders were blessed with very pleasant weather.

On arrival we heard a Buff-spotted Flufftail calling incessantly from the swamp forest area, but unfortunately we didn’t get to see it.

The Kloof SPCA is known for it’s Peacocks. I know that they are exotics, but mention must be made of the entertainment that we had from them. The males were very amorous as there were some females around and we were enthralled by their mating displays in which they wiggled and showed off their attractive and colourful underparts! One male was standing over an alate emergence and every time he moved a monkey desperately tried to grab a tasty morsel. It was so funny to watch! However, the Peacocks’ rather noisy calls became more and more irritating as the morning wore on.

The grassland area was rather quiet bird-wise but we had nice sightings of a Southern Fiscal, Bar-throated Apalis, Amethyst, Collared and Olive Sunbirds, Yellow-billed Kites, and a Kurrichane Thrush and Sombre Greenbul in one binocular view. The bird of the day was undoubtedly a Red-chested Cuckoo out in the open and calling loudly for a mate. We also heard Diderick and Klaas’s Cuckoos but didn’t see them. Black-headed Oriole called all morning and we were lucky to get a good view of one.

At the top grassland area we saw a Brown-hooded Kingfisher, a Tawny-flanked Prinia and some lovely Red-backed Mannikins carrying nesting material into a tree.

Then into the beautiful swamp forest and the special birds there – Cape Batis, lots of male and female Paradise Flycatchers, Black-bellied Starlings, Fork-tailed and Square-tailed Drongos, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Black Flycatcher, and a Dark-backed Weaver. A Golden-tailed Woodpecker was going about it’s business poking around in the tree bark for delicious grubs. I have always thought that one day I would see a Black-throated Wattle-eye in this forest. Well, Ros spotted one and some of us got to see it. That just made my day!

On the way out I added Rock Martin, Laughing Dove and Red-winged Starling. The species count for the morning was 48.

Thanks to Maxine Carter for her photos.

Sandi du Preez

One Comment Add yours

  1. Willem says:

    Found a Green Twinspot, Emerald spotted wood dove , spotted flycatcher and Lesser Honeyguide attempting to lay a egg in a nesting hole of a black collard barbet but promptly chased off.
    17 Dec 2022

Leave a Reply