BeKZN Sit-In: Pigeon Valley

Eight of us gathered at the gate to Pigeon Valley. Crispin Hemson had already entered and we saw him urgently beckoning us to look on the grass next to the fence.  There on the lawn next to the fence was the most obliging Spotted Ground Thrush one could imagine.  It hopped about on the lawn and then went right up to the fence to give us cracking front, back and rear views of it as it went busily about the business of having its breakfast.  

This sighting was enjoyed by all and it was especially great to have new members and visitors among our number.

Once we had got over the excitement of the Thrush we headed up the central walkway a short distance, picking our way over some loose bricks and around storm damaged areas to a small clearing in the forest.  Here we set up our chairs and settled down to wait for the birds to come to us.

What is left of the central walkway following the floods – Priscilla Govender

A very vocal group of Terrestrial Brownbuls foraged around the area and with some luck one could get a fleeting glimpse of them as they flew across the path and settled.  An obliging African Dusky Flycatcher and a Thick-billed Weaver came and sat directly above us ensuring we used our neck muscles to maximum capacity.

Thick-billed Weaver female – Priscilla Govender 

As always it was the calls that helped build the list and Golden-tailed Woodpecker with its nasal shriek, Purple-crested Turaco with its loud kok-kok-kok call joined by Yellow-bellied Greenbul with its neh, neh, neh belly aching call all added to the orchestra.

Crispin took a group of birders off for a walk, they encountered Grey Waxbill and had good views of the Black Sparrowhawk as it flew over the area a few times.  Southern Boubou was showing off and sat out in the open for all to admire.  As always Crispin’s knowledge of the area gave the walk extra meaning and was enjoyed by the birders.

Southern Boubou – Priscilla Govender

Jonathan unfortunately had to go back for work early but did see a gorgeous Purple-banded Sunbird on his way out.

Purple-banded Sunbird – Jonathan Hempson

I took my grandchildren along and so we did a walk that was a little louder and more interactive but we did have great views of Red-billed Firefinch and Dark-backed Weaver.  Following the walk, they were very happy doing some quiet nature journaling.

Spotted Ground Thrush – AJ Morris 

An excellent list of 44 Species were heard and seen during the morning and a most pleasant morning was had by all.

Written by Jane Morris

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