28th November 2020
Our small group had a lovely morning’s birding. I think people might have just woken up at the last minute and realised it was BBD because there were 4 last minute cancellations and 1 no-show. We started up the hill, as it was a little gloomy early on, and were rewarded by seeing a female Red-backed Shrike, not a common sighting there.
It was the day for red-backed birds; Bronze Mannikins abounded and we were delighted to spot one solitary Red-backed Mannikin in the flock.
The unmistakeable sound of Buff-spotted Flufftail came from the forested area at the top of the hill. I peered into the gloom knowing full well there was little chance of a sighting. And so, it was to be. We also heard many Natal Spurfowl.
Neddicky could be hear pumping a lot of bicycle tyres up hill and down dale until at last there was one on a little bush right next to the path, singing away. A falcon flew overhead going the other way but in the gloomy light, it was difficult to ID. Lanner most likely, we thought.
We had been hearing Diederik Cuckoo from afar for a while. When we were on our way back, they sounded very close but not to be seen. Eventually we spotted them and what a lovely sighting it was. The male was performing courtship-feeding by offering fat caterpillars to the female. We watched for a while as this was repeated several times. He seemed to have a great source of caterpillars.
A Crowned Eagle paid a visit and Woolly-necked Storks floated overhead.
We found a tree with quite a few species on it after that, the star attraction being a brightly coloured Greater Double-collared Sunbird.
We drank tea and did our list and were about to leave when who should arrive on a BBD stop but Jenny Norman, Elena Russell and Sandi du Preez. While we chatted the Holub’s Golden Weaver arrived and as we left, we saw the Red-chested Cuckoo we’d been hearing, in the trees near the gate.
52 birds were seen in total – a nice little haul of quality sightings.
Written by Penny de Vries