BeKZN Walks…Amanzimtoti Bird Park
2 July 2022
A very cold but bright winters morning greeted 14 of us as we met at the Amanzimtoti Bird Park. Sadly the smell of sewage put a negative note into the morning, but the beauty of the park and the sound of bird calls soon distracted us.
Photo 1 Keen birders – Hazel Nevin
Straight away we able to identify several birds, by sight and call, including White-eared and Black-collared Barbet, Green-backed Camaroptera, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird and others. We walked onto the bridge over the stream and were thrilled to find the Half-collared Kingfisher – a lifer for some. We saw this bird several times around the small pond and on the stream edges. Giant, Brown Hooded and Malachite Kingfishers were also seen during our visit. Sunbirds and Starlings added flashes of colour.
Photo 2 Half-collared Kingfisher – Hazel Nevin
Walking through the small grassy area we added Grey and Common Waxbills, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Red-billed Firefinches, Red-backed and Bronze Mannikins and many more seed eaters.
Returning to the pond we were greeted by an African Spoonbill searching for breakfast in the muddy water and a Green-backed Heron was doing the same. One of our party spotted a Black-crowned Night Heron perched in a nearby tree. Mountain Wagtails were busy gleaning insects in the fast running water making our Wagtail count 3, with Cape and Pied. A Black Crake made a brief appearance, along with other water lovers such as Cormorants and an African Darter.
While enjoying a coffee/tea break in the welcome warm sunshine, the friendly security guard showed us a special park resident – a chameleon! Not sure of the species. Butterflies were everywhere and some of us were lucky to catch a glimpse of the resident iMpithi or blue duiker.
The Park is small but has several different areas and in the more forested parts we identified a Klaas’s Cuckoo, Green Wood Hoopoes, Black-throated Wattle-eyes, three species of Flycatchers and so many more.
We spent a lovely morning enjoying the beauty of this park and saw over 50 different bird species but the cherry on the top was the Spotted Ground Thrush which the security guard pointed out to us as we were leaving. Sadly most of our party had left so did not see this winter visitor.
Photo 7 Spotted Ground Thrush – Hazel Nevin
Text by Hazel Nevin