Wednesday 14 October

It’s always a treat to go to Pigeon valley, and 15 birders spent a pleasant morning birding there. Near the reservoir where most of us had parked our cars we looked for the Spotted Eagle-Owl in the trees, but we couldn’t see it. Crispin Hemson, the Pigeon Valley fundi, was duly contacted by phone and he arrived immediately and showed us where the owl was perched.  Thank you, Crispin!  Shortly afterwards we had a pair of the owls flying past us overhead – a good start to the outing!

We then walked down towards the entrance gate, scanning the trees for birds along the way. Peering through the fence we saw a Red-capped Robin-Chat. Once inside the reserve we made our way up the path towards the reservoir where there is a small patch of grassland, but we had few sightings. There was a lot of birds calling and we did hear several bird calls including Yellow-throated and Bar-throated Apalis, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Spectacled Weaver, Purple crested Turaco, Red-fronted and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds. 

Walking on the paths we got to see Southern Black Flycatcher, Square-tailed Drongo, Kurrichane Thrush, Black-bellied Starling, Bronze and Red-backed Mannikin, Black-backed Puffback, Thick-billed Weaver and Southern Boubou amongst others. Some lucky birders saw Green Twinspots! 

The only “sky birds” we saw were some Palm Swifts and a Yellow-billed Kite. Walking down the central pathway a Black Sparrowhawk flew over. It has a nest in the area.

The total species list for the morning was 53. (see the attached list)

Thanks to participants for the photos which are each credited.

Sandi du Preez

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