We were blessed with a lovely sunny day for the outing, although it was extremely hot and humid. Eleven masked birders made their way to the dam to see what was lurking in the reeds and swimming on the water. As we approached, a Common Moorhen walked across the lawn in front of us and quickly made a dash for the water.
A Black-headed Heron flew overhead, and we were thrilled to see it then feeding on a mole!
Otherwise, not much activity at the dam, apart from an Egyptian Goose with goslings,
a single Spur-winged goose, and an African Spoonbill perched on a tree.
I think that Botanic Gardens needs to be renamed “Black Flycatcher Heaven”. There seem to be more and more every time I go there, but it is always such a joy to watch them hawking for insects!
A moulting Fork–tailed Drongo was sitting on a branch showing off it’s “fancy-tail”. The sky was empty – only an African Palm Swift and a few alien Rock Doves. Many of the birds recorded were on call as they seemed to be hiding from the heat. The only raptors seen were Lanner Falcon, a juvenile African Fish Eagle and a Black Sparrowhawk.
We were just wondering if we would see a Red-capped Robin-chat, when one appeared in front of us on the central path!
Sunbirds seen were Amethyst, Greater double-collared and Olive.
Unusual bird of the day was surely Red-headed Finch, which is not a species commonly seen at this locality but is known from the residential urban areas south and north of Durban.
Some other birds seen:
We always look forward to visiting the coffee shop after an outing to the Durban Botanic Gardens, but unfortunately it was closed due to Covid restrictions. Even picnics are forbidden.
In total 49 species were recorded during the morning walk.
Sandi du Preez