4 September 2022
Danville Park is a 7-hectare reserve that forms the lowest part of the Virginia Bush complex. Despite being a very small park, there is a wide variety of habitats available to birds, including a small pond with reed beds, old-growth trees, and areas of dense undergrowth. This set us up for an enjoyable morning of birding on Sunday the 4th of September. We had lovely weather, and the birds certainly spoiled us with some lovely sightings. There were eight people who joined us for the walk, and we saw a total of 36 bird species. Some of the notable sightings included Red-headed Queleas in the reed beds, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Terrestrial Brownbul and Golden-tailed Woodpecker.
We walked around the lower path to begin, and within five minutes, we had seen the Terrestrial Brownbuls in the undergrowth below the trees.
We sat for a short while at the small hide next to the pond before continuing along the lower path. Here, we encountered the Golden-tailed Woodpecker and some White-eared Barbets.
Next thing, a commotion was heard in the trees and a male Klaas’s Cuckoo was seen arguing with another bird.
We then went and stood below a beautiful old fig tree, where we were entertained by a pair of Black-throated Wattle-eyes. Before heading on the path to the upper pathway, we saw an African Goshawk being mobbed by a group of Drongos while trying to fly off with breakfast in hand (claw?).
The upper path also led to some special viewings. We saw a Collared Sunbird quite close to us in the trees just off the pathway. After she went off around the tree and we turned a corner in the path, we were treated to seeing her tending to her nest. Higher up in the canopy, we saw a flock of Black-bellied Starlings.
After we had spent some time coming back down, we took out our snacks and started to picnic next to the pond. We enjoyed our food while watching African Yellow Weaver building a nest for the new season.
A short walk to view the other side of the reed bed had some of us scratching our heads. We saw some Red-billed Quelea, but amongst them, we spotted a few birds with some red feathers starting to sprout from their head. Thanks to Andre and his beautiful photos, we were later able to confirm that we were looking at Red-headed Queleas.
It was a delightful morning of birding in a gorgeous little reserve hidden behind a soccer field.
Written by walk leader – Carryn Smith