BeKZN Sit-In | Palmiet Nature Reserve

13 April 2023

It was a beautiful autumn morning, and some eager birders were there early.  We sat in and around the gazebo overlooking the ponds with flowering water lilies and bird song all around us. There were quite a few species calling, such as Purple-crested Turaco, African Dusky Flycatcher, Red-capped Robin-chat and African Paradise Flycatcher.

Waterlilies on the pond raising their heads to the autumn sunshine (N.Forbes)

One bird that decided it was going to keep us occupied was a Tawny-flanked Prinia which seemed to be around the whole morning and had us stating ‘just the prinia’ after quite a while.

Tawny-flanked Prinia (N.Forbes)

Another bird had the opposite approach and decided to play hide-and-seek with us giving us fleeting glimpses every so often and then after the people who really wanted to see it had left, came into the open and displayed beautifully – this was the Red-backed Mannikin!

Red-backed Mannikin (N.Forbes)

Mountain Wagtail flew down and sat in a tree for a while for a few people to see.  The others had to take a meander down to the river where they had cracking views of a pair preening, hunting in the river and flitting from rock to rock.

An Egyptian Goose appeared out of the bushes followed by 4 ducklings and then the 2nd adult. The goslings swam over for a few bits of corn that one of the workers had put down for them. They entertained us for a while.

Another flycatcher that showed off and gave good views were a trio of Ashy Flycatchers. A bird that called incessantly was the Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird – some people were lucky enough to see it.

Trio of Ashy Flycatchers (N.Forbes)

There was a brief flurry of interest in a mating butterfly pair of Dusky Telchinia whose rough and tumble had us wondering if both would come out alive. The male finally subdued the female and actually pinned her to the ground keeping both her wings down and under control during the mating.

The bird tally of seen and heard birds for the morning was 36 – not too shabby for an autumn morning.

Hosted and written by Jenny Norman

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