There was a huge thunderstorm during the night, and I was afraid that the outing was going to have to be cancelled, but luckily the weather cleared in time and on Wednesday 18 November we all met at Café Umfula which is more or less half-way between the main entrance and the waterfall, so not too far and the path is quite flat which makes for easy walking.
The birding was not as good as I am used to at Giba, probably because of the previous night’s storm. Near the start of our walk we heard the Knysna Warbler which is a highly sought-after bird and I’m not sure if anyone actually saw it (I’ve only seen it there twice before) although it is often heard in the bushy tangles along the path.
The usual forest birds were seen or heard , such as Southern Boubou, Green-backed Camaroptera, Yellow-fronted Canary, Red-chested Cuckoo, Brown-backed Honeybird, Dusky and Paradise Flycatcher, Sombre Greenbul, Black-headed Oriole, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Olive Thrush, Southern Black Tit, Purple-crested Turaco. We also had a lovely view of a Tambourine Dove.
The little stream that runs down from the waterfall and alongside the walking path is often a mere trickle but today it could almost be described as a torrent, and when we got to the waterfall I really could not believe what we were seeing. It’s usually a gentle flow of water, but it was transformed into a massive, beautiful cascade, and our special Mountain Wagtail was running around on the rocks.
At the two small dams near the waterfall we saw African Black Duck flying over, Egyptian Geese,
and Malachite Kingfishers, Thick-billed Weaver with a chick on the nest (so cute!)
and Eastern Golden Weaver.
A fw raptors were seen – Common and Jackal Buzzard, Yellow-billed Kite and then we were off to Café Umfula for our refreshments/lunch. No outing to Giba Gorge is complete without a meal there!! Various butterflies and a moth were also seen.
A beautiful fungus was seen decorating a branch.
The bird species count for the morning was 61.
Many thanks to Terry Walls, Dave Rimmer and Peter Farrington for the photos.
Sandi du Preez