Wednesday 26 February 2020
The outing was supposed to be held the week before but had to be re-scheduled due to rain. Just as well, as we were greeted by a glorious, sunny, windless morning. But maybe a little too hot for the birds?
The main attraction of the park is the presence of Magpie Mannikins and they didn’t let us down! All three Mannikin species were seen at the little pond, with Bronze Mannikins carrying nesting material. They nest all year round.
A moulting Fork-tailed drongo posed beautifully for a photo shoot – I call them “Fancy-tailed” Drongos! A noisy Brown-hooded kingfisher was heard but not seen. Yellow-rumped tinkerbirds called incessantly all morning and we managed to get a good view of one.
We saw three species of flycatcher (African Dusky, African Paradise and Southern Black) as well as three species of weaver (Spectacled, Thick-billed, and Village) and four species of barbet (Black-collared, Crested and White-eared and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird). A sub-adult Red-capped Robin-chat made an appearance for a few seconds in exactly the same place that I had seen it a few days before.
The park was looking green and lush and the Crocosmia aurea was in full flower, creating splashes of orange all over.
There were also lots of dragonflies and butterflies to be seen.
Whilst we were having our picnic after the walk, two Common Buzzards flew quite low overhead and we could see the underwing pattern clearly.
On the way out, a few of us stood in the old hide and watched and admired the industrious Thick-billed weavers constructing their incredibly neat nests.
The species count for the morning was was 38 (see the attached bird list)
Thanks to Paul Hobden and Peter Farrington for their photo contributions.
Sandi du Preez