11 March 2023
Twelve early birds arrived at 0630 at TC Robertson NR, Scottburgh, on a very warm morning. We were greeted by a family of Egyptian Goose as we made our way from the car park towards the river. Surrounded by bird calls we caught sight of African Paradise and Southern Black Flycatchers as we checked nearby trees that were lit up in the early morning sunshine.
The tide was quite high and the Mpambanyoni estuary was being flushed with good flow so plenty of water for the busy Pied and Malachite Kingfishers to show off their fishing skills. The resident Goliath Heron flew in and we enjoyed watching a tiny Three-banded Plover chick scurrying around on a sandbank.
A trio of Three-Banded Plover adults shared their space with Little Stints
Leaving the river, we wandered around the picnic area and added Southern Black Tit, Tambourine Dove, Cardinal and Golden–tailed Woodpeckers, Yellow–bellied Greenbul and many others to our growing list.
Moving along a grassy trail we enjoyed watching a flock of Bronze Mannikins bending the grass stalks as they fed on the seeds. Beautiful Little Bee-eaters sparkled like jewels as the caught insects.
Many birds were feeding in the sky above us including Barn Swallow, Little and White–rumped Swift and a Black-Sparrowhawk flew overhead.
By 10 o’clock the temperature was rising rapidly and after a cooling drink and snack in the picnic area several folk decided to make the long trip home. A few stayed on and added more birds to the list which totalled 46. It was so good meeting everyone and sharing this reserve which is so close to my home……and my heart.
Report by Hazel Nevin.