On the 7th November 2020 which was an overcast Saturday morning, eight birders set off for our walk at Pigeon Valley. Johan Bodenstein had kindly agreed to be our guide for the morning. He is an absolute mine of information on avifauna and flora and his input was enjoyed by all.
We took the left hand path on the lookout for the Spotted Eagle-Owl which some of us spotted as it flew away. It was great hearing the Black Sparrowhawk calling, then later seeing it nearer its nest.
Walking along the paths we had sightings of Red-capped Robin-chat, Village Weaver, Terrestrial Brownbuls, Cape White-eyes, African Paradise Flycatcher and Olive Sunbirds.
A brief glimpse of the Green Twinspot flying past was seen early on in the morning but later the bird was again seen up in the twiggy branches of an Albizia tree, it is quite unusual to see them up that high. We had a beautiful sighting of a Collared Sunbird sunning itself in a few rays of sunshine. We heard the Crowned Eagle, Tambourine Dove and Burchell’s Coucalcalling.
A preening Yellow-billed Kite caused some confusion before revealing itself in its regal beauty.
Purple-crested Turaco gave brief glimpses as it scurried through the tree tops.
Red-backed Mannikins were feeding.
Some members of the group were lucky enough to see a Spectacled Weaver feeding a young fledgling close to the central walkway, it was unperturbed by being viewed.
Ending off with a coffee break is always interesting discussing the birds seen and listening to anecdotal birding experiences. Johan’s snippet is that one can add and eat the flowers of the Grewia occidentalis to a salad, it tastes just like lettuce and looks so pretty.
A few members walked up the road looking for the Spotted Eagle-Owl. The bird was seen sitting out in an exposed position and gave good views, the two non-members who joined our party were particularly thrilled to see these magnificent birds so well.
Total of 46 species seen and heard.
Text: Virginia Cameron and all photographs: Heleen Els